Skip to comments.Man gives up everything, walks across U.S. making reparation for sins of abortion, family breakdown
Posted on 01/08/2014 3:18:40 AM PST by NYer
TEXAS, January 7, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – It can be a temptation living in these dark times to simply throw up one’s hands in despair as the world descends from one blackness into another. But accepting defeat has never been an option for Mark Byerly.
Instead of standing idly by witnessing western civilization become more and more corroded through abortion, the breakdown of marriage and family, and the loss of a sense of sin, the 49-year-old decided on a radical course of action: He would embark on a journey across America on foot, praying for the spiritual needs of his countrymen.
“Ultimately, I just couldn’t stand around and watch this happen anymore,” Byerly told LifeSiteNews.com by phone during his brief stop in Odessa, Texas for Christmas.
Byerly’s journey would be a pilgrimage of penance, prayer, and sacrifice to make amends for his own crimes and the crimes of others committed against God and neighbor.
The word “pilgrim” conjures up images of someone from the Middle Ages dressed in tattered robes and traveling across Europe or Russia with a staff and a ragged bundle slung across his back. While Byerly is a modern pilgrim with modern tools, such as an iPad for communicating and for tracing out his route, he is driven by that same mysterious hunger felt by pilgrims of all ages, a hunger for God and for his Kingdom to come.
Byerly set out on his pilgrimage from his hometown of Newark, Delaware on July 25, 2013. Prior to this he had disentangled himself of his worldly responsibilities. He left a successful job as a manager of a private Spanish restaurant. Then he gave away, sold, or threw out everything he owned, except for what he needed for his journey.
Byerly will visit 150 Catholic shrines on his roughly 3,000 mile trek across the continent to California, one holy place for each “Hail Mary” prayer of the 15 traditional decades of the Rosary.
Byerly has a set of what he calls pilgrim “rules” that he follows religiously.
“I do not take busses, trains, or planes. I do not hitchhike or directly request rides from anyone, but I can accept rides from those who generously and freely offer them,” he said.
“I have no funds of my own but rely solely on God's providential help through alms. I never ask people for money, but will accept gifts of money freely offered. I can beg for food, water, and lodging only. I have a tent — and make as much use of it as possible — but many good souls have opened their homes to me.”
“While walking I pray—for the people I pass by, for the dioceses and their bishops and priests, for the towns and cities that I go through, for all the good souls that have helped me along my way, for the Catholic Church, for our Pope.”
As he walks Mark prays that God will raise up an army of men and women of the “most dramatic sanctity that our world has yet seen” who will courageously confront the prevailing evils of the culture, even to the point of martyrdom.
“Our world, being so very ill, cannot wait any longer,” he said.
Byerly said that his pilgrim prayer is directed especially towards priests and bishops who he said must become “humble and repent” if authentic renewal in the Church and world is to happen.
He says he experienced what he called a “gradual awakening” to the real state of the world after reading LifeSiteNews.com articles over a few years. He became deeply concerned by the reports about anti-life and anti-family actions that he read.
“It’s really hard to read all those things and not see that things are in a crazy down-spiral throughout the whole world morally and spiritually,” he said.
Byerly says that in a moment of epiphany it suddenly dawned on him that a massive spiritual battle was taking place, a battle between the forces of good and evil for the souls of every man, woman, and child.
“I realized that I stood in a world which, to my great dismay, despised the child and the innocent and pure, and that it despised them with sadistic violence.”
“I realized that the demons in the sky are blacking out the sun, that the enemies of Christ are strong and many, that His Kingdom is devastated, and that ‘My God! who will you send to help us?!’”
“Seeing over the last four to five years the dizzying speed with which all of the world is ingesting every known spiritual and moral disease with the apparent purpose of hateful self-annihilation, I could not stand and watch any more. The entire edifice is burning and few are shouting ‘fire’ with the necessary urgency of voice,” he said.
He decided to be that voice shouting “fire” through prayer, fasting, and walking on pilgrimage.
People passing Byerly as they drive along the highway will see a man in nondescript brown clothes wearing a backpack. They will notice a simple cross hanging from his neck. Many will write him off as a nutcase, as did one Texas police officer who offered to drive the pilgrim to the next county line.
"No disrespect, bu' don’t’cha think it's all kinduva lost cause? There’s jus' too much evil'n this world,” Byerly remembers the officer saying.
He generally agrees with this kind of an assessment, but always adds: “Yes, but many individual souls can still be saved.”
Byerly knows that the fruits of his pilgrimage will largely be hidden from the eyes of the world. They will be seen by God alone. Deep down he believes that his pilgrimage will help bring God's grace and mercy for the Church and for humanity. He hopes it will bring people a “vibrant and shimmering hope” that God has not forsaken his people.
Join Mark on his journey, through your prayers.. Ping
Father, we of all people know our need, and Mark has taken one step to get YOUR attention to get OUR attention.
Raise US up, O Lord and strengthen our wills to do YOUR good and acceptable and perfect w8ill.
In Jesus' name and for His sake ... Amen
WOW......reminds me of my favorite movie...”The Way”.
I have never understood how someone walking changes a darn thing about any matter. It just comes across as a self-centered, attention-grabbing activity.
Color me unimpressed.
Color me unimpressed.
The abortion issue should have been dealt with decades ago, but the pro-lifers are only capable of a bunch useless attention seeking rallies while many of them vote for the politicians that continue the killing.
May his prayers bear much fruit!
Reparation is not what he’s performing
Picture the reality of it: he meets people. He prays with them or for them, which often touches people deeply. He talks about abortion and other types of sin that are demoralizing the nation, and by his example tries to give people the courage to turn away from pop culture to seek something deeper. People he meets cannot help but be struck by their encounter with a man who has sacrificed his conventional life. "Self-centered"? I can still remember brief but life-altering encounters with spiritual persons I have met along life's way, some of them from 50 years ago when I left home, and am grateful for their contributions to this day.
Your proof? Statistical studies that bear out this claim? All the numbers I've seen are weighted in favor of life by frequent religious attendance, and in favor of marxism by atheism, non-affiliation or non-attendance.
You have to give credit to pro-lifers for refusing for 40 years to allow an evil Supreme Court decision and the growing intrusive power of the Federal government to rule their conscience. Sort of like Moses in the desert -- 40 years! Had it been a just ruling, such as the end of slavery and segregation, it would have been accepted gradually. Instead, the numbers of young people who approve of abortion have been dropping, not increasing. There is really very little justification for it other than the life of the mother, which is present in a fraction of one percent of abortions.
I never forgot that
So anyone praying with a lot of different people along the way is networking .... which is what the Lord commands of us ....
The key element missing in many evangelistic endeavors is ...
We're supposed to disciple them too, and if all you're doing is "chatting", you leave the work to the Holy Spirit .... who is quite capable of accomplishing the task .... but God uses people.
We’ve already condemned ourselves by squandering our Christian principles and our divinely inspired Constitutional rights anyway...
...lets hope Marks reparations keep the world as we know it spinning long enough so we can start to make things right.
You know the MSM would never honestly cover this walk so who can really say that it’s not through Gods will that we even know of this?
If the revelations of BVM and Saints are to be believed then they tell us personal reparations are very much appreciated in the eyes of the Lord.
Yes, but many individual souls can still be saved.What an extraordinary "feet" for Jesus, man, and country. I'm not in his ballpark (and I will pray others join him), but I did throw up my arms this past Christmas myself. Our four children, all fallen-away Catholics in their 20s, were gathering three days over holiday. This year I decided to give them gifts of adoration. That is to say, I spent two hours [special] each for all of them in an Adoration Chapel fiercely praying.
Kinda like fasting. It’s to get God’s attention, not mans.
My prayers join with Mark’s. May our Blessed Lord bless this man and keep him safe.
Thanks for posting this inspiring story.
That guy is a better Christian that almost any other Christian I know.
OMW! Your Christmas story made me cry.
My adult children have been fallen away, as well. I have said many, many prayers and I have asked for the intercession of St. Monica. One of them seems to be coming around. I will take your spiritual advice.
And I join in your affirmation: Rock on, Mark Byerly!
Im wondering what you would have said about Jesus and the apostles walking from place to place back then.