FLOWERS IN CEMENT
Thanks to Nikki’s audacious “Yes!” and the echoing “Yes!” of too numerous to count witnesses who come to pray with us, 40 Days for Life endures in Pittsburgh. I see us as flowers in cement. We pray that people cemented in fear from a crisis pregnancy will let God shepherd them in their difficulty as they choose Life for themselves and their family.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
My ancient faith talks a lot about seeing and death.
According to the Book of Wisdom, probably written between 221BC and 117 BC, the battle between life and death looked very much the same then as it does today. Then as now, holiness could bring death. Then as now, death in the heart caused by evil can be harder to see.
“With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death….”
“These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them, and they did not know the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense for holiness nor discern the innocent souls’ reward. For God formed us to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made us. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are allied with him experience it.
Witnesses whose lives offer palpable evidence of “recompense for holiness” are so many that only God can count them. Here is one.
Father Alfred Delp was a German Jesuit priest condemned to death by the Nazis. A selection from Father Delp is quoted monthly in MAGNIFICAT. Notes about his trial show him condemned to a shameful death. His letters show what a heart recompensed for holiness looks like.
Delp’s trial was handled with ruthless expertise and arrogance, with no serious defense allowed for the prisoner. It was held in front of Gestapo agents and an obedient jury. They could not incriminate Delp as a conspirator in the assassination plot, so they dropped those charges. Nonetheless, on January 11,1945, Father Delp was sentenced to death for high treason because of his repudiation of Nazism and his hopes of building a new Germany on Christian principles. On February 2, 1945, he died by hanging at the Plotzensee prison in Berlin.
Don’t be sad,” Father Alfred Delp wrote to a friend from a Nazi prison as he waited for his death sentence to be carried out. “God has helped me so wondrously and so perceptibly up to now. I still am not at all frightened. That is probably yet to come. Perhaps God has willed this waiting state as the extreme test of my reliance. I assent. I shall endeavor to fall into the furrow as fruitful seed for all of you and for this land and nation that I wanted to serve and help.”
Some people think and feel that abortion is a reasonable solution to a crisis pregnancy. Parents leave their baby’s body behind. They do not see how the killing tears life from the baby body. As they walk away, they do not see how this death tears life from their heart.
We 40 DAYS witnesses passionately hope to help as God opens their eyes.
NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK
Our Lord gave the gift of sight to a man born blind, allowing him to see everything around him for the first time; and then the gift of faith, allowing him to see that Jesus is truly God and truly trustworthy.
May our Lord grant all people the ability to see that He is Lord of all life, to see that every human life is precious to Him from beginning to end, and to see that we have an obligation to protect one another and to bear each other’s burdens.
So very grateful for the warm, prayerful fellowship of Pastor John, Becky, Chris, and Erin from Covenant Community Church in Wexford; along with Sunday “regulars” Rose, Vince, Bill, and Sue on this beautiful spring morning at the vigil!
What a beautiful morning to be outdoors! I was going to say “what a beautiful day to be on the sidewalk,” but unfortunately, as nice as the weather ever is when we are on the sidewalk at Planned Parenthood, it can never truly be beautiful on this sidewalk until the day arrives that this facility is no longer in operation.
Today I was joined by Pat, Patty, and four prayer warriors from Covenant Community Church in Wexford, Erin, Melissa, Tracy, and Alice. I was not feeling well when I arrived, but their sweet and uplifting demeanors definitely helped to make me feel better. We prayed and discussed different aspects of being pro-life and also parenting. Tracy is a foster mom and has been for eight years, for various teenagers. She said it can be quite difficult at times. She is now officially one of my heroes! Alice is a proud grandma to a beautiful Down Syndrome baby boy. She said that all who know him find this young baby to be the light of their lives. Praise God!!!
Due to the nice day, we had many more passersby than usual — all positive comments except for one woman who walked by shaking her head. Those folks, who shake their heads or otherwise indicate disapproval or disagreement as they walk by, always get extra prayers from me. I actually stayed for a little while after 11, after Rich & Roseann arrived — it was refreshing, for the first time this campaign, not to have to run to get out of the cold! Keep praying, faithful prayer warriors!
Sue, Shift Manager, Alice, Tracy, Pat
I had 11 people with me today from 4 different churches! It was awesome!
We prayed the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
A comment was made, “Why do you waste your time here?”
I thought to myself, “Because I made you think today. I agitated your conscience and if I hadn’t been here today you wouldn’t have thought about abortion.”
So let’s keep on keeping on!
The 3 o’clock hour was graced by this family who came all the way from St Joseph’s Church in Amsterdam, Ohio. Their priest, Reverend John, is on the left. They traveled a long way to be a force of Prayer and Grace on the sidewalk. They prayed with unison of spirit. It was like a song when they prayed the rosary in the rain.
Bill stopped by. Always glad to see him.
The 5:00 o’clock hour was graced by this beautiful family of Rev. John’s flock. They are from St. John Fisher in Richmond, Ohio. They brought the sunshine and many smiles.
What a blessing to witness the faith in action from St. John Fisher and St. Joseph of Amsterdam parish. Way to represent and serve Jesus. They drove a good distance to stand for life. These pictures display what greatness God does when we say “yes” to life. What a treat this evening was.
All glory and praise be to God.
Thanks Stan for sharing you amazing journey with me.
And God saw that it was good.