This morning, members of my Secular Franciscan fraternity met to pray the Rosary at a nearby abortion clinic, as we regularly do, in honor of our former spiritual assistant, Father Christian, who did so every Saturday. (We're not as consistent as he was, unfortunately!)
Normally I do not bring my children along, because we have been met before by a display of noisy prolifers who bring bullhorns and very graphic photos (the size of small trucks) and yell at the people going in. My own opinion is that these tactics are sometimes counterproductive and often serve to incite the "clinic escorts," and two of my children are too young to deal with what they would see and hear in that situation. But I had to bring Little Brother along today. (SFO Girl brought two of her daughters who would have stayed in the van with Little Brother if those other protesters had been there.)
He doesn't know, yet, what abortion is. I told him that we were going to pray the Rosary (which he has learned how to do) and say special prayers for babies. He replied that at school, they had prayed for a baby who fell out of a window 2 stories up, and turned out to be OK. I figured that if he asks for more information, I would just say that we were going to pray for babies whose mommies and daddies did not love them, and leave it there.
So we had six Secular Franciscans, one Franciscan Sister, two teenagers, and Little Brother outside the clinic today. We prayed our Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet. Someone in the clinic took pictures of us (but we were on the sidewalk, so we were not trespassing). There was one other man there, with his Rosary and an armful of pamphlets with information about crisis pregnancy centers. He was quiet, greeted us, and was respectful of our prayers as he offered several young women some information about abortion alternatives.
Little Brother stuck with it, following along on his Rosary, occasionally asking me if he was on the right bead, and completed all the prayers.
Someday Little Brother will learn why we stand on a sidewalk on occasional Saturdays and pray our Rosaries. And I hope that when he does learn this, he'll want to go back even more often.
And speaking of Rosaries, visit The Loveliness of Rosaries hosted by Sarah. There's enough there to get you through a whole week!