When the Catholic Church had an abundance of vocations it sent out missionaries throughout the world.
But the Church knew that prayer must come before action. So in her wisdom she arranged for religious orders that had a special charism for prayer — holy monks and nuns in the monasteries and cloisters — to pray earnestly for the the missions.
In this way, the souls of the people the missionaries would come in contact with would be well prepared to receive the graces God offers. This is similar to what happens in our own lives when we seek out God‘s guidance through prayer, which will lead us to the action we need to take next.
This idea is very important for the prolife movement, as well. In the public square, we need both prayer and action. By action, I specifically mean counseling. It might be tempting to think that we only need one or the other. Usually, this is not the case.
Prayer, most especially to Our Lady through the Holy Rosary, is so powerful. After all, she is the Mother of us all. Shouldn’t we implore the mother of humanity to help all mothers in distress, as well as their little babies.
The need for prayer at abortion sites cannot be stressed enough. As we pray for the hearts of those contemplating abortion, we ask that their hearts may soften so that they can see the hope that belongs to them.
But action is imperative too! We need to have counselors guiding and consoling couples considering an abortion.
Some people feel directly called to do this work. Others may first go to an abortion site only to pray, but as time goes on, they may feel more open to the idea of counseling. Sometimes people just need to get familiar with the setting, and when they do, they may get more involved by talking to women in need.
Counseling does not always leave you with “warm and fuzzy” feelings. Honestly, it involves rejection, hostile temperaments, and sometimes an open resentment for your presence there.
However, there are times when a woman decides to turn around and choose life for her baby. Sometimes you might have an in-depth conversation with a person that leads them closer to the Lord. When these things happen, it is clear that God is at work.
In my opinion, the most important aspect of counseling is answering the call to be “a sign of hope,” for these couples. They may not accept your invitation to help them, but the important thing is that the invitation was given.
To me the saddest thing is when a couple feels trapped because they were never offered help. This should never happen! This is why answering the call to counsel is crucial and not to be taken lightly.
There is much to say about counseling, but the most important thing to remember is to continuously seek the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will let you know what to say, when to say it, and how to say it.
There have been numerous times that I went to say something to someone but nothing came out of my mouth. The Lord knows the heart of His creatures. Perhaps, that person was not meant to be spoken to at that particular time. In our society, we place so much value on the spoken word. However, sometimes silence has a value . . . a deeper value that goes beyond our understanding.
Counseling must include the following: compassion, gentleness, a sense of urgency, and a willingness to help at all costs.
For an eagle to soar above the land in the high skies it needs to have two wings. Then, it can survey the land and see more clearly what lies beneath it. This is also true for those involved in the prolife movement. We too need the two essential wings of prayer and counseling so that we can effectively touch the hearts of those we come in contact with. We need prayer to soften the heart and counseling to guide it.
As this takes place, we will soar to new heights as hearts open to the gift of new life. Let our message of hope and love fly throughout the world so that life may be cherished everywhere.
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