Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fighting the Devil

When I came to church this morning, I had a shock. A heavy white marble statue of Our Lady had been hacked into pieces and thrown into the mud.

 
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It caused me physical pain to see my Mom's face pressed into the mud.

 
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At first I felt awful, then suddenly I felt better. It was like proof that "evil is real" and we're all in this together as the Body of Christ. The little injuries I received over the past two weeks were apart of this larger attack on the Catholic Church. How can I feel alone in my misery when my own Mom's statue is face down in the dirt?

I immediately asked my family to pray with me by this statue. We promised to do acts of prayer and reparations for this sacrilege. We talked about how it was no surprise that vandals chose this statue of Mary, out of all the other things in our Church to attack. The Devil hates Mommy Mary because she is so powerful!

If you look closely, you can see that this was a memorial to a 26 year old son who died in a car accident 30 years ago. What a beautiful statement of hope after tragedy his mother left for the parish.
 
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Later, I went back to church at 3 PM and took some photos. I couldn't stand to see Our Mom doing a face-plant in the dirt. It took all the strength I had to flip her over. Marble is heavy!

 
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I called in a few of my friends to help me clean her up.

 
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My cleaning crew hard at work

 
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It was a "coincidence" but the Sister of the deceased brother whose memorial this was came over to chat with us during our cleaning session. She was very heartsick that "people could do this." She was really touched however, that we were there cleaning up her brother's statue.

We left a note for the vandals.

 
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(Dear Vandals, We are praying for you, St. Joseph's)

We know that the Devil is real and he does mean stuff! But lets not give up Hope. Let's keep with the fight. The Devil hates our Mom because she can crush him with a bare toe. If the Devil hates us because we're starting to have a "family resemblance to Mom" lets rejoice, instead of being disheartened or scandalized!

Update: Found out that his statue weighed 800 pounds and yet was dragged into the middle of a city street.

16 comments:

Mandi said...

It is so sad that someone would do such a thing, especially when it is a memorial to someone who has passed away (I feel like people who are anti-religious or anti-a specific religion at least respect memorials to the dead!). Evil is real, but we rarely see "bad things" as evil like we should.

Katherine said...

How awful. There has actually been a string of incidents like this in New Jersey in the Cherry Hill and surrounding areas. I knew it was a problem up there. I didn't realize it was happening here in Maryland too. So sad.

ginny said...

That was sickening. I am finding out that this is happening more and more lately. Your family is beautiful to go and clean up the statue. God bless you.

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

This bring tears to my eyes. Not because of the vandalism (although it is horrible) but because of the way you turned it into a beautiful teaching opportunity for your children. Abigail-I hope you realize how special you and how much Mary loves you. This is just amazing. Amazing. Your kids are blessed beyond measure and I am trying to soak up your love and wisdom.

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

My heart is heavy. But thank you for your beautiful response. Such love, and Mother Mary must be proud.

Abigail said...
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Abigail said...

Thank you Kaitlin!

Susan said...

Dear Abigail,
This is horrifying. Today we visited St. Bernadette's in Silver Spring and think we may have found a new home. But one of the things we enjoyed most was seeing the parents take their children to visit the Mary statue. I cannot imagine how awful this was for you and others in your parish. We will pray with you that good with come out of this atrocity.

JellyBelly said...

How horrible! My parish's statue was vandalized a few years ago and I'm still scarred by the image of the baby Jesus with no head. How sweet of your family to clean our Lady up!

AlbertaMama said...

That's such a sad thing for anyone to do. A couple of years ago someone stole a statue of our Holy Mother from one of the local parishes in Calgary. She was found days later, burned in a ditch on the highway. I cried at the heartlessness of it.

What an example you are of the love she showed for us, by choosing paryer and forgiveness. Out of such a tragic, evil act there can be love.

Thank you for sharing this with us and thank you especially for choosing to go and clean her.

Danya @ He Adopted Me First said...

Oh how rotten of them! Thanks for fixin' her up...I guess we all need that once in a while.

Bridget said...

Praise God for you and your family taking action to make reparation for the damage & destruction!
Such a wonderful example for us all to not just shake our heads in disgust and look away... but stay and pray, stay and make it right to the best of our ability.
Way to go!

St. Rita's Roses said...

How sad. I think it was beautiful the way you took care of our Mom. The pic of little girl with spray botttle cleaning her face made me tear. God bless you and your family.

lydiapurpuraria said...

How wonderful you were able restore her! It's so hard to see sacred things desecrated like that. The fact that it's a statue and can't do anything almost makes it sadder.

Also, Susan, St. Bernadette's in Silver Spring is my home parish. I don't live there anymore, but it's a wonderful place!

MommaBear said...

Makes me want to pray extra rosaries! I love to fight back when the evil side does things like this!
Will the statue be repaired or replaced? I do hope so!

Elizabeth M said...

This is so sad. I'm glad your family and others worked to clean Mary.

I live in the area of South Jersey Katherine mentioned. Six Catholic churches in 4 different towns had statues (many of them of our Blessed Mother) vandalized. Outside one monastery and parish, more than 30 life-sized statues in a rosary garden were damaged (many had their hands broken off). These statues illustrated each of the mysteries.

This was planned and targeted only Catholic churches. I think the only reason our parish was spared is because our Mary garden happens to be behind the church, and many outsiders don't know it's there.

The FBI was being consulted as this was finally being classified a hate crime. The last parish hit had some security cameras, so they may have something to work from.

Sadly, evil is real, as is hateful prejudice against Catholics. What a wonderful reminder you have for us all == to pray for those who do this.