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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My Friend "Joe" the Bullhorn

Which instrument are you in
the Church Militant orchestra?
I used to sidewalk counsel at an abortion mill with a man whose style offended a lot of folks. He was
loud and could be abrasive. When he had the bullhorn, some of the folks on the prayer line got uneasy. "What will he say next?" He was especially hard on the men bringing the women to the abortion mill. I loved him! But, I admit, sometimes he even made me cringe.

You know what? He saved a lot of babies. God used him with his abrasive style to reach the hearts of some who were impervious to the velvet glove. I particularly remember the day we saved a little Muslim baby, the sixth child in her family. It was my abrasive friend who did the counseling when the couple pulled into the driveway.

I thought of him this morning while reading comments on the post I wrote yesterday about Catholic bloggers who condemn other bloggers for condemning.
Joe (not his real name) sounded pretty condemning as he blasted his message over the bull horn. Sometimes people came up to me to urge me to take it away because they preferred my style of counseling. I usually reminded them that Joe saved babies. He was there, as I was, almost every Saturday and his "style" which offended some, worked. I will always remember our years counseling together with a grateful heart.

God uses the willing instrument. Some of us are flutes and some of us are tubas. Some are even fog horns or cow bells or, yes, bullhorns. The Lord uses us if we offer ourselves to Him. Can we do things better? No doubt. Do we need to be open to learning new and improved ways to reach our goal of saving souls? Absolutely. But the old ways are best: deep prayer, regular fasting (I'm lousy at it) and a strong desire to be used by God. As a priest friend once said to me, "If you want to be used by God, by God you'll be used."

There are plenty of people who have a style that's different from yours or mine. Look at the lives of the saints. Some like St. Francis de Sales had a reputation for meekness. Some, like St. Anthony of the Desert, was so abrasive he drove off visitors. Some, like St. Philip Neri and St. John Bosco were jokesters and jugglers. Joan of Arc challenged a king; Catherine of Siena challenged popes. St. John the Baptist was fire and brimstone; Mother Teresa was gentleness and a smile. God used them all.

We may not agree with someone's style. Hey, I don't like everybody's style! But we'd better be careful before we declare that style to be sinful and condemn it. Jesus condemned sin and warned people about Gehenna. Why? To save them from eternal damnation. Aren't we called to follow in His footsteps and do the same thing? Sometimes that means heaping a few coals on sinners' heads. It may get their attention.

I'd like to see the circular firing squad straighten out and face the enemy. If you're defending the teachings of the Church and fighting sin, we're on the same side. We're in the foxhole together. Do you really want to use your ammunition to shoot me?

1 comment:

  1. I protest at a busy abortion mill called Latrobe in N.C. People of different religions are there to try and save babies. Everyone has there own unique style of bringing the pro-life message to those that chose death. I am the quiet Catholic one who says the rosary and divine mercy chaplet in front of the abortion mill. Others hand out pamphlets, some cry out though a front parking lot and try to change the minds of those entering the death chamber. Others, when we have the hard to get permit, use the bullhorn to say their message. Some place signs of aborted babies and also those mothers that choose life for the babies in front of mill. We also have the vans with x-ray equipment inside. Others warn the abortionist that he is in very grave danger of losing his soul and that he is killing babies and ask him to repent.

    A while ago I asked Father Harden what was the best way to combat the abortion minded. He said to go to Adoration and pray there. I agree to some extent, but when you go in front of an abortion mill, it is in your face. You can't escape what is happening to the babies.

    Also as a side note a protestant protester learned of my financial difficulties and gave me a generous donation. It helped pay my doctor bills. We all have special bond that the evil one cannot break.