By Erin Dunne and Caroline Savoie (March 24, 2008)
We are students at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and we have the pleasure to brighten your day with an amazing story concerning the power of Divine Mercy.
We are blessed to be involved in many wonderful clubs at school, one of which is Students for Life. In October, I (Erin) went to Brooklyn, N.Y., for a sidewalk counseling retreat where I was trained to counsel women who are thinking of getting abortions and also post-abortive women. Monsignor Philip J. Reilly led the retreat. He is the founder of Helpers of God's Precious Infants and is known worldwide for his pro-life activism. He changed my life forever (I encourage you to check out his website, helpersbrooklynny.org).
One of Monsignor's teaching methods was to give us examples from his life as a sidewalk counselor. One story he shared stuck with me the most. It concerned a time when Msgr. Reilly went to Choices, one of the largest abortion mills in the country, to pray and counsel. Just as he arrived at the mill, he met his fellow sidewalk counselors who begged him to go and talk with a man smoking on the corner of the building. This young man had just let his girlfriend enter the clinic for an abortion.
Monsignor Reilly went up to the man and said, "You had better put that cigarette out."
"Why?" the man asked.
"Because you are going to go in there and get your girlfriend."
After a few minutes of counseling, the man went in. Immediately Msgr. Reilly went to the prayer group praying outside of the mill and said, "We are in need of some serious help for that couple. Please pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet."
The members of the prayer group, knowing the power of the chaplet, totally committed to God's mercy and got on their knees and began to pray. When they were on the second decade, Msgr. Reilly felt a tap on his shoulder. It was the man from the corner. Monsignor Reilly said in an exasperated voice, "I thought I told you to go inside and get her."
The man replied, "I did."
The crying woman behind him was indeed his girlfriend. Just as Msgr. Reilly began to talk with the couple, along came another couple out of the clinic in need of counsel. While counseling these two couples, another woman came out crying because she decided to keep her baby and also needed counseling!
Monsignor Reilly turned to the group who was praying and said, "Will you slow down, I can't do it so fast!"
When Msgr. Reilly approached the mill that day, the prospect looked as bleak and as hopeless as the Son of God hanging on the cross. But, once some of the faithful started to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a shower of Jesus' blood and water poured onto the Choices abortion mill. Not only did the first couple have a change of heart, but in His mercy two more women were spared the sin of abortion and two new lives are here today.
In St. Faustina's Diary, Jesus said, "When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls" (1074). Jesus' promise of mercy is real and was seen so beautifully at the Choices abortion mill.
The Divine Mercy Chaplet is a miracle, a grace, and a supreme gift from God. Whenever we feel hopeless, sinful, and especially when despairing while counseling at the Plan Parenthood in D.C., we fall on our knees and pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and peace floods our hearts. We are able to trust completely in God and immerse ourselves in His merciful love — thus fulfilling the Lord's command to let our lives "shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in Heaven" (Mt 5:16).
Learn how to pray the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy.
Erin Dunne, from Elmhurst, Ill., and Caroline Savoie, from Crowley, La., are both freshman at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.