Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Most Holy Theotokos

"Wisdom! Most holy Theotokos, save us. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim. In virginity thou gavest birth to God the Word. True Theotokos, we magnify thee."  ~from Moljeben in Supplication for the Victims of Abortion

Orthodox Clergy at Moljeben Service (photo credit:  40 Days for Life/Dan Miller)

photo credit:  Mary Anne Urlakis

Fr. Gregory Madlom and Subdeacon Henry Shirley, the clergy from St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church in West Bend, Wisconsin, hold a weekly Orthodox Moljeben Prayer Service for Victims of Abortion with an ecumenical congregation outside of Affiliated Medical Services, a Milwaukee abortuary, during every 40 Days for Life Campaign.  The prayer service is beautiful!  It's 30 minutes of chanted prayer with so much incense that the demons must surely be smoked out of that place of torture and death.   I have been honored to take part in several of the prayer services during each campaign.  Our gatherings are always peaceful events; peaceful, that is, until the last prayer service of the most recent campaign, a prayer service that was anything but typical.

About 30 people had gathered in front of the abortion mill to pray on Sunday, November 3rd at 3 PM.  Fr. Gregory was delayed in traffic, and everyone was waiting patiently for the prayer service to begin.  A car approached the abortion mill, and the driver, not bothering to pull over to the curb and out of traffic, rolled down his window and very kindly said hello and then said something about how nice it was to see so many people gathered for prayer.  That, unfortunately, was the only nicety he offered.  Then the back window rolled down, and a man with a megaphone began shouting insults at our group.  He criticized our God, our religion, our belief in the right to life, our politics, our clothing and our hairstyles.  He was a typical bully.  All the while that he was shouting through the megaphone, the man in the front seat continued his rant as well.  They continued for at least 20 minutes.  We tried to ignore them, and many of the men in our group stood with their backs to the aggressors to form a wall.

Shortly after they began the harrassment, a beautiful young lady, being quite disturbed by this hateful display, approached the car to try to reason with the antagonists.  The man in the front immediately laid into her with profanities, and one of the men from our group had enough.  He knocked the megaphone down to the ground.  The man in the front seat of the car was clearly delighted by this bit of aggression.  He said, "Ooh, this is a violent group!!!  You attacked me!  I'm going to call the police and put a stop to this!"  And he did call the police all the while continuing his harassment. I was told that this wasn't the first time that these two men have come to cause trouble at the abortion mill, that they are well known by many members of our group. But there was someone far more powerful who was also very present at the abortion mill that day, someone who would see to it that no harm would come to those who were standing up and praying for the innocent lives of infants who meet their demise at that house of horror.

I had been honored to hold the icon of Our Lady of Walsingham, the work of subdeacon Henry Shirley, and when Redemptorist priest, Fr. Jim White, came and stood beside me, I asked him to lead us in praying the rosary.  Soon there were 30 voices united in prayer and the sounds of antagonism were drowned out, and the embittered men, finding that they were ignored, left.  At that moment, while holding the icon of Our Lady and praying her rosary,  I felt firmly and completely protected by the presence of the Blessed Mother, and was pleased with the speedy departure of those tormentors which was brought about through our Lady's intercession.  Before we could complete the rosary, Fr. Gregory had arrived and our Moljeben began.

The police did arrive during our prayer service, and as it turned out, the men with the megaphone were in violation of several laws including blocking traffic and the use of amplification without a permit.  Our Lady had shown us that with her protection, the protection of the one who has crushed the serpent's head, there is nothing to fear and we will continue to confidently and boldly step out in service of our Lord in any way He happens to call us.

Our Lady of Walsingham by Henry Shirley

"Most holy Theotokos, save us!  O Mother of God, our queen and our hope, the refuge of the abandoned and the intercessor for those who have gone astray; the joy of all who sorrow and the protectress of the needy; thou seest our poverty, our affliction and misery.  Help us who are weak; feed us who are hungry; intercede for us with thy Son and our God, and may He deal with us as He pleaseth.  For we have no other hope, no other intercessor,  no other consolation except thee, O Virgin Theotokos.  Protect us beneath thy veil, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen."   ~from the Moljeben in Supplication for the Victims of Abortion

1 comment:

  1. Wow, so sorry to hear about your disturbance:( Not surprising that Our Lady covered you with safety and peace...Thank you for your dedication to LIFE!