"And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!'" (Rom 10:15).
According to tradition, typical demonic responses during exorcism include foul language, references to sexual perversion, deceit, and profuse blasphemy. Similarly, prayers for exorcism outside the Northern Illinois Women's Center abortuary in Rockford have provoked just such a reaction from pro-abortion workers and activists within.
"Not Against Flesh and Blood, But the Rulers of Darkness"
Their revulsion for anything as holy as a Catholic priest is evident in their bizarre window displays, a few of which reportedly include a nun in a coffin, a rubber chicken hanging from a noose, and a picture of Jesus flipping the bird that says, "Even Jesus Hates You."
The beautiful thing about this ongoing battle is that the number of abortions has reportedly been cut by half at this abortuary since the spiritual power of the Jesus was first unleashed through the prayers of the priests who have prayed outside since September of 2008. At least, the abortuary seems to blame them and the special prayers of the Church.
Just this past Friday someone inside the building displayed a sign in reaction to a priest and seminarian praying outside that said "F.... Your Perverted Priests." They have endured personal insults and vandalism of their vehicles. One priest's car was egged, another discovered a hand-written sign that read "I Rape Children" taped to his car.
Another hand-written sign displayed prominently outside the main entrance to the clinic read "Stop the Perverted Catholic Priests from Raping Young Boys." In convoluted pro-abortion logic, it seems that somehow child abuse is bad, but abortion is good.
The priests in Rockford quietly stand vigil in every type of inclement weather with open coats, so that the women seeking an abortion are aware that a priest is present in his flowing, seemingly flaming cassock.
Invoking the matchless power of Jesus Christ through the Church, they make sweeping Signs of the Cross and pray that the abortion mill and the whole earth will be cleansed from the evil that surrounds and drives abortion.
The Rockford mill hates and attacks the priests outside so viciously because they, and priests and pro-life workers like them all over the country, have saved countless lives and souls.
When they first began their vigils, it was reported that the pro-life sidewalk counselors in Rockford noticed an immediate, dramatic decline in the numbers of mothers who go there for abortions, a distinct rise in the numbers of mothers who choose life outside the mill, and the correlation of these changes with the beginning of the displays of blasphemy from inside.
The response at this abortuary has been particularly virulent, but priests are praying outside them all over the country through Priests for Life, in which priests and parishes are paired with specific abortuaries.
It is to St. John Vianney that our beloved priests are entrusted, and he said it so eloquently: "Were we to fully realize what a priest is on earth, we would die: not of fright, but of love. It is he who opens the door: he is the steward of the good Lord; the administrator of his goods. Leave a parish for twenty years without a priest, and they will end by worshiping the beasts there. The priest is not a priest for himself, he is a priest for you."
Because they are priests, they take the good news, uniquely, even into these demonic abortion trenches. As the Year for Priests draws to a close, may we bathe their dusty, tired, beautiful feet with the anointing of our prayers. Amen.