What to do about the men’s vigils? September 21, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, manhood, sanctity, secularism, sexual depravity, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
Folks, I have to say with a somewhat heavy heart that the men’s vigils outside a local strip joint have experienced a pretty severe drop off in support in the past 2 months. Since July, we’ve been down to just a handful of guys each night. I want to make clear that I appreciate everyone’s support, and I thank all those who have made it out once or several times from the bottom of my heart. Even having one other man come out and pray is a wonderful thing, and for those who have made an effort to come out, you have my deepest admiration.
I knew this prayer vigil would be a dicey proposition for a number of reasons. First of all, people might have qualms about being exposed to morally dangerous things outside a strip club. I can say that in about 20 vigils I’ve been involved in so far the only immorality we’ve been exposed to was the cussing of a manager of the strip joint several months ago. For the past 3 months, we’ve had no interaction at all. And maybe that’s part of the problem, contra praying outside mills and the great satisfaction of occasional saves, we really don’t have a lot of visible reward for our activities (although there is some). I’ve wondered if that might have caused some men to feel like we’re not having an effect.
The main thing, I suspect, is just that even those who are inclined to participate just have limited time or other priorities that make their participation difficult (which is why CH, who came just a couple of days after the birth of a daughter, is my hero). Which is the point of this post: for those who live locally, or anyone with a bright idea for that matter, what could I do to help make participation easier for you?
- Favor another day of the week or time? We do the first Wed and third Friday each month, presently, from ~8 to 10 pm.
- Favor more or fewer vigil days per month?
- Favor another venue? I chose ‘The Men’s Club’ because we have a safe and well-lit parking lot directly across the way. Others are not as advantageous in many regards, but I’m open to suggestions.
- Favor a more confrontational approach? Is perhaps just praying at a slight distance ineffective in your mind? Would you prefer signs/placards, or standing directly at their entrance instead of across the street?
- Prefer to focus your limited time on pro-life work or other endeavors? That is, you think there are other endeavors more worthy of your time?
- Suggest any other way to get the word out about these vigils? At present I only use this blog and some e-mail lists to “advertise.” I’m open to suggestions.
- Like to see earlier/more reminders of upcoming vigils?
This prayer vigil is not really a number’s game, but I do know that we seem to get more response, and probably have a greater effect, when there is a larger crowd present. Certainly, it is the simple witness of even a handful of men and the intensity of their prayers that is most important, but I had hoped that this effort might start to develop a sort of life of its own by attracting a good number of men, men willing to be co-leaders and go pray outside this or other strip clubs on their own initiative. That is, I hoped it might start to grow into a self-sustaining movement, not entirely dependent on my presence or initiative. Sort of life the pro-life movement, though I have no illusions that anything that large or universal would develop.
We’re six months in and after some promising growth the vigils seem to be dying down a bit. I will keep it up even on my own, but I thought I’d canvas for ideas to help generate more enthusiasm and support. I understand it may seem pointless to pray since we have no idea of the impact we’re having, but I am certain we ARE having an impact and if even one man gives up his strip joint addiction that would make all the effort worthwhile in my eyes. I tend to imagine we’ve had more impact than that already.
This is a battle with principalities and powers and it is not easy. Again, those who have attended truly inspire me and have gladdened my heart. God bless you all. Please, any of you, if you have some suggestions to help make this small but necessary effort at spiritual warfare more attractive, let me know!