The following is a letter from pro-life activist Wayne Smith, who uses his disability as a weapon to fight abortion and a tool to bring people to Christ.
Dear Mr. Scheidler
Once I took pride in my skill in manipulation and seduction. I championed liberal causes, and believed that any child who was not wanted should not be born. I supported birth control and abortion.
I grew up as an agnostic and secular humanist, but had an incurable disease that slowly robbed me of my sight. I grew to hate myself and many times wished that I had never been born. I believed that blindness was a kind of death.
But in 1996, I was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, and now I love God, Our Blessed Mother and all the saints and angels. I got to this point purely by grace and prayer. I now accept my blindness as a beautiful gift. I ask people not to pray that this gift be taken from me. I have come to believe deeply in the power of prayer.
But I have always been skeptical about devotions that border on magic or extremes. When I hear someone talk about saying this number of prayers or go to that place, it puts me on my guard. This brings me to the reason I am writing this letter. Recently our Director at Port Ministries, a Franciscan ministry to the poor, read me a letter from Judith Dasse, asking for prayer for you in your battle with NOW. I knew that they were attacking you, and that their hatred is a testimony to the importance of the work you are doing. The letter asked us to pray for your cause. But I had no intention of praying 1000 Hail Marys. I believed our Lord would hear a Rosary and that would be enough.
The next day, I began praying a Rosary for your intentions. When I finished the Rosary I felt a powerful desire to pray the 1000 Hail Marys. This was out of character for me. But as I prayed each Hail Mary, speaking to God through Our Blessed Mother, peace descended on me. I became aware that something was happening. As I touched each bead, it became the tiny head of an unborn baby in danger of being murdered. The beads did not actually become tiny heads, but each one felt as though it was. My fingers touched each bead in a caress. I became aware that each Hail Mary was a prayer for a different unborn baby. I prayed for 1000 babies that day. The experience has left me forever changed. I was shown by the Holy Spirit that I had been thinking of the pro-life movement as a cause, but when each bead was transformed into a real, tiny helpless unborn person, tears came to my eyes. It took me four hours to pray 1000 Hail Marys.
The next day, I went to Church early to pray a Rosary before Mass. As I entered the Church I was engulfed in the aroma of flowers. I began praying the Rosary and the experience happened again. My fingers felt as though they were caressing a tiny head that needed prayer. This experience has taken me to a closer walk with God and with Our Mother Mary. Please encourage all those who pray for you, and the right to life, to take the time to pray from the heart.
Peace in Christ,