I went again to The Vigil because it's what I feel so strongly called to do right now. I'm not sure what effect I have on those mothers choosing this death for their children but I know that someone has to be there. Today I was there and I witnessed and I learned some good things in the process.
Mortification - When I walked up, the man they call "cowboy" was on a roll. I have never seen him in person and, well, let's just say it was an experience. He wears several pro-life signs and holds a crucifix, all while spouting ( as one vigil member remarked, about 20% good stuff, about 30% questionable and about 50% vile). I would agree. When I walked up he was raging (and I say raging because he is shouting at the top of his lungs) about "now they let women read the gospel and that is complete B-S, there is no biblical basis for that." He later went on and on about how many Church leaders are abortionists.
The vigil manager there at the time is a dear man. He comes, every Saturday to witness. Instead of greeting him warmly I immediately went on the defensive and questioned the presence of this man who is clearly at odds with the 40 Days for Life credo of gentle witness (although there are a few that get loud, none as crass as this man). That's where I failed. Badly.
And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?
"The fast of Lent has no advantage to us unless it brings about our spiritual renewal. It is necessary while fasting to change our whole life and practice virtue. Turning away from all wickedness means keeping our tongue in check, restraining our anger, avoiding all gossip, lying and swearing. To abstain from these things – herein lies the true value of the fast."
— St. John Chrysostom