If I can do it, anyone can do it Print
On His Time
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Oct. 03, 2013 -- 12:00 AM

For several weeks now, I have been reporting on various aspects of Vigil for Life and the now ongoing 40 Days for Life vigil to end abortion.

So often when I attend various events to write about them, I ask myself if I'm really doing enough. Does my job as reporter for the Catholic Herald give me a "free pass" from getting more involved in the efforts I write about? Is just telling people about it enough?

If I was going to try to convince other people to pray at 40 Days for Life, shouldn't I do the same? I did, and so can you.

One of the new efforts this year is to get more men involved in the vigil, especially in the overnight hours. Up until the alarm went off at 3 a.m. on the morning of Friday, Sept. 27, I was more than happy to do just that (after five minutes, I was good to go, and the ambition was back, no worries).

I knew I had to be out at the site, even for just an hour. I had to do my part, not just as a reporter, but also more importantly as a Catholic.

I wanted to use my God-given gifts and share my experience with all of you in the hopes that maybe you’ll want to give an hour or two of your time to 40 Days for Life as well. Granted, I don’t expect all of you to take an overnight “shift,” but maybe I can convince you to go out during the day, or whenever you can make time.

Prayer warrior

At no surprise to anyone, I was nervous driving out to the site, leaving my home in Fitchburg at 4:30 in the morning. I knew I would be fine once I got out there, but the drive seemed to take forever.

At first glance, the site seemed neither evil nor spiritual. To the average passer-by, it’s an average-looking building on an average-looking street on Madison's east side. Appearances can be deceiving.

As I got onto the sidewalk outside the Planned Parenthood Clinic, I met a mother from Wisconsin Dells and her son, a student at UW-Madison, whose shift I was joining.

I expected to find the "prayer warriors" deep in prayer praying for the unborn, the mothers, the Planned Parenthood employees, and anyone else affected by abortion. I expected to pray on my own. To my pleasant surprise, they asked if I wanted to say a Rosary with them, I happily, and without much thought, said "yes."

The quietness of the early morning and calmness of the prayer eased any remaining nervousness I had. I could focus the rest of my time on prayer.

In between prayer, the warriors and myself discussed our "work" at the site and how important it is. The mom touched on how important it is for men to get more involved in protecting the family.

While some argue abortion is just a "women's rights" issue, men are still fathers of the born and unborn.

We said another Rosary as the next shift's couple arrived before 6 a.m. They were parishioners from St. Mary Parish in Pine Bluff. All five of us got in a circle on the sidewalk and prayed. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I had praying with others.

I felt like I was connected with them in the important prayers we were saying and I just let the words flow through me. I wasn't praying for me, I was praying for all the people affected by abortion. I was offering my time and prayers for them. My own burdens took a backseat and during this time at the vigil, my concerns were not a priority.

I’m sure I’m putting too much into this, but it was an inspirational sight as the sun was coming up, just after 6 a.m. I saw the first light of the day sort of "halo-ing" over the Women's Care Center, which offers free ultrasounds and other services to women, across the street from the abortion clinic. For me, it was a sign of hope.

For better or worse, the time went fast. It was a bit of a jolt having to leave the prayerful site to continue on with my day.

I’m happy to say there were no complications during my time at the vigil site. There were no late-night or early-morning disruptions by people, places, or things. It never hurts to keep a watchful eye on your surroundings, but I felt no concerns for my safety.

Doing your part

Whatever time and prayer you can give, give it. For proof it really does work, just look at what happened in Green Bay with the abortion clinic there ceasing operations earlier this year. The effort to get more people to pray in Madison is using the same methods used in Green Bay.

There's so much work to be done yet, but the plan is in place. The plan won't work without everyone’s help though. A lot of people doing a little work can get more done than few people doing a lot of the work. If I can do it . . . anyone can do it.

40 Days for Life is going on now until Sunday, Nov. 3. For more information on 40 Days for Life, and how to sign up for a shift, go to VigilForLife.org or call Bette Weisshaar at 608-358-5963.

Kevin Wondrash is the reporter for the Catholic Herald in Madison. He is active in the young adult community in the Diocese of Madison. He is also involved with high school youth ministry and other activities at St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison. You can follow him on Twitter @CHReporterKevin