The Tip of the Spear
I work in business resiliency, and IT disaster recovery. My children and relatives still don’t understand exactly what I do, so I’ve given up describing my livelihood to them and mostly everyone else for that matter. To enhance my employment, I am enrolled for a Masters of Arts in Homeland Security. Ah, now I’m grounding to something more tangible. But as I hope we all understand, homeland security is not just one function, but a plethora of necessary functions. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is directly, and indirectly, responsible for many agencies.
It is comprised of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), coordination of national intelligence through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), those people at the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) who have a thankless job of patting us down before we board a flight, and also Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Coast Guard (Coasties) and the Secret Service.
DHS is comprised of twenty two agencies in all. Each agency has a job to do in this multifaceted objective of preserving the safety of our homeland. Many different people, with many different skills and abilities, contribute to this vital mission. Our states, local and tribal governments also contribute, as well as private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Everyone has a role in homeland security.
One small agency, in particular, stands out for the service it performs. The Federal Air Marshall Service (FAMS) are the undercover agents trained and equipped (with specialized firearms and bullets) to take down a terrorist in mid-flight on the aircraft. FAMS refers to itself as the “tip of the spear”. If would be terrorists were to get past the no fly list, and through TSA security and board an airplane, FAMS is our last line of defense. In an attempt to hijack an aircraft, the undercover marshals have the necessary task to take down the terrorist. Yes, kill them to preserve and defend countless of other lives. Failure is not an option.
In our “Homeland Life” (so to speak) mission, saving one life absolutely depends upon countless avenues of contributors to the cause. The Life mission is large, very large and one that rivals the DHS in the enormity and complexity of the support and vigilance. We could not function without high risk obstetric centers, post-abortive healing, pregnancy resource centers that provide medical services, clothing, food and subsidy to struggling families, housing services and adoptive resources. I try to distribute a brochure to abortion intent mothers that list fifteen private supportive resources, as well as government resources. I deeply thank all these unseen people in their work. There are also those that work on the political, electoral, judicial and legal front. You are a vital part of this too.
I say “avenues of contributors” because there are levels of primary, secondary and tertiary support. The local faith based, non-Catholic, pregnancy crisis center could not achieve the level of service and comfort it provides without the Gospel Mission Church that does an annual disposable diaper drive. Just as the mission of Homeland Security is larger than just the Federal government, the “Homeland Life” mission is larger than any denomination. We need everyone.
Yet, terrorists do continue to find ways to board airplanes, and medical transport vans, taxis and cars drop off women for the final 10 yard walk into the abortion mill. The collection of pray-ers and sidewalk counselors are the last physical and spiritual words of hope the mother, father, parent and the child, will hear before a life ends. It is today’s Way of the Cross. Prayer makes this place holy in its criticality. The Friars of the Renewal led us in prayer and held Stations of the Cross at the abortion clinic on Good Friday. On that day, when the Blessed Sacrament is not in repose in church, the streets before these clinics are the holiest of sites on earth.
I can’t claim to encompass all of Pro-life, but I can claim to be a part of abortion rescue. I am like the FAMS. I am the tip of the spear. All of you who contribute to pro-life are the shaft of the spear. It’s all necessary. Our spear tips would lay discarded on the cabin floor without you. We get 10 or 20 seconds to make a final plea. We are always conscious of those lives lost that day. We talk and we share, but we try to stay focused on prayer and on the mission. It just doesn’t see right to talk about frivolity. Like the FAMS, we in Abortion Rescue need to stay alert for our duty.
Abortion rescuers are always pleading. We need more spear tips. We need hundreds more people present at each abortion clinic. Just imagine how an army of prayers and Rosaries would dissuade more women not to make this choice? Abortion mills are about a death business, and they have a better count of our success that we do, through no-shows for the appointments. We only need to reduce their volume 10% or 20% in order to shut their doors. They cannot afford to operate on a handful of abortions per day.
I realize that abortion rescue counseling is not for everyone. I answered God’s call to this. The call to prayer though is universal. Prayer at the abortion clinic is vital. If you have never been praying at a clinic, then please come. It is not about protesting, shouting or blocking access. But be prepared for some humility. Prayer at an abortion clinic is counter cultural, and your friends and neighbors, the people in this world you esteem, will be in dismay. You will be safe. Pray-ers can stand far enough away and have no interactions so that they can never risk charges of harassment that I risk. Sometimes passersby will give you the thumbs up. Sometimes they will give you another finger.
The agents of fear, sin and death do cower at the spear tip of prayer. This is the battleground, and St. Michael the Archangel, Prince of the Heavenly Hosts is leading us, by the power of God in this cosmic battle between the sons of light and the sons of darkness. Through God’s good graces, there are some turnarounds. Our feeling is indescribable. It is more than just a good feeling; it’s a moment of holy joy. You can see success in the faces. With every turnaround your backbone straightens from the power of prayer! You get a rush when you team up with the angels and defeat a demon.
For those Catholics that are called by God to serve in social justice, I plea that they make contact with us. We are not in conflicting Gospel missions; we are on the same side. Yet, like government agencies prior to 9/11, we have not “connected the dots”. We need to connect the pastoral missions with the abortion rescue and support missions. Saving life is big, really big, and we have to connect. Come to a prayer line, and join us for a few hours. Tell us of your service, and be extra careful in your pastoral ministry to care for young mothers and fathers that we send to you. They are in that critical stage of confusion about the choice the world tells them they must make. Don’t throw them in with the hoards of people you already serve. Treat them special, because they are special. I have a story of how a soup kitchen saved the life of a baby and the soul of her mother and father, but I’ll save that for another time.
The first miracle for conversion of Jesus Triumphant on the Cross was through the tip of a spear. The centurion pierced his side, and blood and water flowed. “In truth this man was son of God (Mark 15:39)”. We revere Saint Longinus today, and see a massive statue of this soldier oversee papal Masses in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Prayer and social action, through abortion rescue, protects lives and it protects souls.