Such A Vision of the StreetMore than twenty-five years ago Eileen Egan wrote a book about Mother Teresa of Calcutta entitled ‘Such a Vision of the Street.’ The words of the Title are taken from the English poet T.S. Eliot. The more complete quote is “Such a vision of the street as the street hardly understands.” Eileen Egan was making the point that many people see the Sisters of Mother Teresa’s Religious Order as good humanitarian or social workers reaching out to the unwanted and the outcaste of society. Mother Teresa, however, with the eyes of faith saw her Sisters as Jesus doing acts of kindness to Jesus hidden in the distressing disguise of the poor, the unwanted and the outcast. A totally different vision of the same experience.
The Street Hardly UnderstandsToday many a passerby, including some pro- life people, might view the Helpers outside of abortion clinics as simply pro-life protestors of legalized abortion, demonstrators or some people praying primarily to save the innocent, unwanted unborn infants whose lives on that very day are at risk of a violent death from the abortionist and the pro-choice, pro-abortion supporters. To view the Helpers simply as people on the pro-life side vs. the pro-abortion side, in a struggle primarily to save the unborn babies, would be hardly to understand the Helpers on the street. Only with the eyes of faith in the light of Golgotha or Calvary, can the scene on the street be properly understood.
Sidewalk Contemplatives at CalvaryThe great mystery of Christianity is that the risen Christ intends to continue to do the work of His Father through you and me. He asks permission to live within us and through us to extend His mercy to those enslaved in the culture of death. The challenge of the Helpers is to be Sidewalk Contemplatives at Calvary. We must remove from our presence anything that would prevent those going to or working in the abortion ‘clinics’ from experiencing in us the unconditional merciful love of God for them. God gives us the power to love even our enemy. It is called the virtue of charity. Thus for the Helpers there is no longer two sides, pro-life vs. pro-abortion. There is only one side. We are commissioned by God to be faithful ambassadors of the merciful love of Christ to all those present at today’s Golgotha or Calvary. Even more important than being at the ‘clinic’ is how and why we are present there. At the foot of the Cross of Christ, Mary and John, Mary Magdalen and the other ladies were not talking and chatting or shouting and condemning but rather in prayer, fasting, love and compassion. Jesus did not die alone but was surrounded by prayer, compassion and love. So also the unborn in their final painful hours on earth should be surrounded with prayer, compassion and love. Moreover when the women come to the abortion mill and see people really praying, they are more likely to think of the presence of God and the Cross at Calvary. We must be convinced that God uses this type of Prayerful Presence to change hearts which then makes the sidewalk counselors attempt to speak to the women so much easier.
- Msgr. Philip Reilly
Source : February 22, 2011 Helpers Newsletter
Msgr. Philip Reilly, the founder of the Helpers of God's Precious Infants explains our mission: