A Christian reader writes from Brooklyn:
Today I was walking to the Subway after work when I passed two guys and heard one of them say that there was a big protest at Borough Hall. I was intrigued and guessed that it was about the executive order. So, I decided to walk over and catch a glimpse of some Brooklyn SJWs in action. If only it had been.
I was about four blocks away from Borough Hall when I heard the call of “Allahu akhbar.” There was a very large Muslim crowd gathered in the plaza. There were easily a few thousand people, with hundreds of men praying when I got there around 5:30. From where I stood I couldn’t see where the women were praying so I don’t know how many total worshippers there were. But it was a big crowd with people spilling off of the sidewalks and onto Court Street.
I tried not to give in to despair, saying the Jesus Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed quietly to myself over and over again. Though I was discouraged, I still thought of something Archbishop Chaput said in a speech you linked to last year about Muslims setting themselves apart in society:
‘In Philadelphia I’m struck by how many women I now see on the street wearing the hijab or even the burqa. Some of my friends are annoyed by that kind of “in your face” Islam. But I understand it. The hijab and the burqa say two important things in a morally confused culture: “I’m not sexually available;” and “I belong to a community different and separate from you and your obsessions.” I have a long list of concerns with the content of Islam. But I admire the integrity of those Muslim women.’
I have that same sentiment toward that crowd that I saw today, even if the people in it do have the full weight of the left-wing establishment protecting them. But I was still so disheartened and longing for a refuge.
Then I remembered that there’s a Maronite church nearby on Henry Street. I walked to it but it was closed. I needed a priest so badly. But I just headed for home at that point.
I was so sad that, as a Christian, I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of something like what I saw. Something different and separate from our morally confused culture. Maybe I should have kept looking for a church but my disappointment was so intense that I couldn’t think straight. Please pray for me. I love living in NY so much and I won’t leave but I MUST find a refuge.
It’s not just in New York, my friend. Answering this man’s need for refuge is why I wrote, and we need to figure out, the Benedict Option.