Sunrise over city

Sunrise over city

Monday, August 22, 2016

An Awesome Responsibility

Chris Huling and I continue to hit the streets, and yesterday we even passed out free Gatorade in the mid-day sun.  Our offering was gratefully received, but our most compelling encounter happened after we emptied our cooler and stripped off the wool tunics in The Grotto parking lot.  A black man in his early thirties approached us, and said that he saw us kneeling in prayer.  He wore a hiking backpack and bore a few other signs of being homeless.  He said that he needed prayer, and asked if we could pray for him.  Chris and I glided past his words and asked whether he needed food or some money.  With a hint of impatience, he corrected us, "No, no, none of that."  You see, by a grace he understood that his greatest need was spiritual assistance--even deliverance from evil.  As far as being homeless and jobless, he said, "I can handle that.  You see, I'm the problem."  We walked over to the statue where Chris and I had been praying, and knelt down.  The statue captures the last moment of the Crucifixion, where Jesus died for our sins before heavenly and earthly witnesses.

The statue at The Grotto

I told our new friend about the figures below the cross, and asked if he prayed to his angel who accompanies him wherever he goes.  He said he does.  Then he painfully described how he's plagued with issues of "self-control".  He said he tries to fight it, but it almost seems like there are two of him--not in the sense of a split personality, but in terms of a struggle in his soul.  He hates how he sometimes hurts people when he loses control, if only he would never lose control again.  Then he prostrated himself before the Cross, just as the angel had taught the little children at Fatima.  By a grace I offered an extemporaneous prayer on Christ's faithful love for him and all his children, and how we ask for Christ's love to heal his heart so he might love others like Jesus, always doing right by them. I joined him in prostration for a few moments of silence.

Afterwards I gave him a rosary that belonged to a recently deceased priest.  I asked the priest (whether he's in heaven or purgatory) to watch over and pray for the young man.  He then asked what kind of place this was, that had such statues in a parking lot.  Chris and I were floored.  The man had no idea that he was at a national religious shrine--he had just noticed the trees and taken cover from the sun.  Only a grace could have led him there!  Then it was time to depart, and the last time we saw him he had tightly wrapped the rosary around his wrist like a bracelet.  On the way home, Chris and I prayed seven St. Michael prayers for him, as well as some Marian prayers.  I ask readers of this blog to offer him spiritual assistance as you can.  The young man's name was "Chris", and he's undergoing intense spiritual combat.  You might also pray for those he's hurt.

Later that evening, Chris Huling sent me the following e-mail about the privilege and responsibility of street evangelization:

"I was sitting home thinking about today and I'm trying to process it and took a little walk and it hits me! Do you have any idea what we witnessed? We were privileged enough to get to see the Holy Spirit in action! It's freaking me out a little in a good way of course. You had prayed that we might be the face of the LORD, I remembered. And here this young man comes out of nowhere and expresses what looked to me like perfect contrition to a statue of his savior! Is that not a textbook definition of grace? Sorry...it just hit me and the power of it is a little overwhelming!"

Yes, it blows the mind.  We're not worthy!



2 comments:

  1. Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish I were there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's been lots of good news lately, praise be Jesus! Wish you were here as well. Prayers for the family. Pax Christi, Scott

      Delete