A Sword of the Spirit

The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception are unapologetically pro-life. We rely heavily on the Holy Spirit’s action in all ministries, including this prayer ministry.

Welcome to Part 8 of a new weekly series on the formation journey of Josh, a first-year novice at the Marian House of Studies in Washington, D.C. Watch for a new entry every Friday.

Eight pro-life intercessors faced the Planned Parenthood clinic. Five of us were Marians, including four novices and one priest, while the others were ladies, Catholic laity. We were participating in the 40 Days for Life, praying for abortion’s end across our country. One of the women offered information to anyone entering the clinic. Normally, such pamphlets include scientific info about the unborn child’s rapid physical and mental development during the early stages of pregnancy, offers financial assistance to anyone who might feel she can’t afford to have a child, offers protection for women forced to abort, etc. 

Our group was quiet, prayerful, and respectful. Our lady who offered information would step away when the women entering didn’t want it. A couple of pro-choice escorts stood outside the clinic doors facing us, wearing orange vests. 

The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception are unapologetically pro-life. We rely heavily on the Holy Spirit’s action in all ministries, including this prayer ministry.

Come, Holy Spirit
It was a cool, overcast morning in late fall. I stupidly forgot to bring my sweater, so I was chilly, and I offered Jesus that little penance. 

As I prayed my Rosary, my mind went over the meditations from the Gospels, applying them to the unborn and their mothers. 

I raised my hands and silently entreated the Holy Spirit to come and bring understanding to all women, opening minds and hearts to keep them from making a tragic mistake that often tortures them for decades. 

I believe the greatest victims of abortion are the mothers.

All the killed unborn fall immediately into our merciful God’s hands. God will not fail to take good care of these innocents. 

A mother’s heart is wired for love. The maternal instinct is powerful, and when a woman has her unborn child killed, this choice so often leads to the woman tormenting herself with guilt all her life. 

I also have carefully researched near-death experiences and found that, very often, people who are clinically dead suddenly witness their lives in the light of how much they loved or did not love. What they suffer from, or condemn themselves for, is unloving choices. 

Some grief-stricken mothers of aborted children beg for forgiveness in their near-death experience and receive it, whereas others find themselves at the edge of hell. 

It is better to suffer, praying for forgiveness and receiving it, than to go through life refusing to understand or accept what we’ve done. At life’s end, everyone faces the truth about their life, and having killed their unborn children can lead to despair. Therefore, I prayed for the poor children, but I prayed above all for the mothers who Planned Parenthood thinks it helps.

I prayed to God, “Save everyone!” 


It is better to suffer, praying for forgiveness and receiving it, than to go through life refusing to understand or accept what we’ve done. At life’s end, everyone faces the truth about their life, and having killed their unborn children can lead to despair. Therefore, I prayed for the poor children, but I prayed above all for the mothers who Planned Parenthood thinks it helps.


Illumine hearts
The morning’s Mass reading from Ephesians said we should wield a “sword of the Spirit” against diabolical foes. I hadn’t forgotten that reading. 

I called on the sword of the Spirit to penetrate and illumine hearts, minds, and souls. Let mothers truly recognize their children, and let all lives be saved! 

Suddenly, in my imagination I saw a rainbow appear over the clinic, shining with mercy. I felt peace flowing from it into my heart, inspiring me to start praying, “Thank you, Jesus.”

Since the Marians’ silent retreat this August, I’ve been learning to start trusting these images that pop unexpectedly into my head. They seem to be from God.

About 20 seconds after I saw the rainbow of mercy appear in my mind, when I started giving thanks, I noticed one of the women with us was talking with a lady who’d been approaching the abortion clinic. One of the clinic’s escorts hurried over, but the woman who’d been advancing to the clinic shook her head, refusing to be taken inside. She looked deeply distressed. Soon, she accepted a pamphlet from us and walked away from the clinic.

After we finished praying, I asked about the woman. It turned out that the woman took the pill once but changed her mind and now she wanted to save her child. We gave her a pamphlet explaining how it’s not always too late to save your child after taking the pill once, if you get help within a certain timeframe. Now she knows, and she has a phone number to call for that assistance. 

This mother’s heart turned in compassion toward her child, who might still live. 

Next entry: "Christmas Dreams."
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