|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!