Day 30: Thank you to St. Joseph Catholic Church (Verona), Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene, and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (Plum)!

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Anyone ever see the film, The Truman Show?  It’s one of my husband’s and my favorites.  I will try not to give too many spoilers, but in it, the main character, Truman (played wonderfully by Jim Carey), is born into a world that he believes to be real, but it has all been created for him, and is thus NOT reality.  Because Truman knows NOTHING ELSE than this, he, of course, accepts this as reality.

Recently, I found a comparison of The Truman Show, Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, and Our World.  Fascinating stuff.  On the site, it reads, “In both Peter Weir’s ‘The Truman Show’ and Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the prisoners blindly accept the confines of the pre-constructed realities with which they are presented.  Truman is presented with only specific things in order to distort his views.  Truman was hesitant to leave, although he was determined to, once he reached the door.  Other prisoners were furious when the one who was freed returned and tried to tell them their reality was false.”  The conclusion the site comes up with is that “In The Truman Show, Allegory of the Cave, and in our own world, people are bound to the realities with which they are presented.”  (Emphasis mine)

See the link below for the full site:

https://prezi.com/rbacgyd7ky10/the-truman-show/

 

The point is this.  Sometimes, we are BLIND to reality.  We only see what we are presented with and assume that it is real.  This can be really dangerous.  This applies to our Faith, our family relationships, our self-image, and of course, our understanding of human life.

This past Sunday, many of us heard the Gospel passage about Jesus healing the man who was born blind.  Like Truman, everything the man ever experienced was all he ever knew.  He could not comprehend what it would mean for there to be more… for him to SEE.  Yet, how his whole existence changed in the moment of encounter with Christ!

Brothers and sisters, WE have to be the healing face, eyes, hands, words, and heart of Christ on the sidewalk!  WE have to be that “encounter with Christ!”  So many are so blind.

As I write that, I realize that we cannot put ourselves in the position of the Pharisees, who thought that THEY were the ones who could “see” in the story of the blind man.  We cannot be prideful.  There are MANY ways in which we ALL are blind.  However, if there are things we know- good things, true things, beautiful things- that we can share with others in the name of Christ, then we MUST.  Let us be His presence to help the blind SEE.

 

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SHIFT MANAGER REPORTS

From Nikki:

I was very blessed to have my Saint Joe’s buddies with me again this morning. Thank you, Joyce and Bob, for spending your morning with me! We had a very peaceful and mild morning. It was a good time to pray and witness. It was a joy to see Judy and Chuck from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene when they arrived at nine. Judy said that many people in her church are fasting as part of the 40 day fast. She even said that some people are fasting all 40 days with just one meal at seven in the morning each day! She said the fruits that are being born in her church because of the prayer and fasting are phenomenal! What an inspiration she and her husband Pastor Joe and their church are! What a blessing to get to know so many wonderful people in this 40 Days For Life family in Pittsburgh!

 

Bob, Shift Manager Nikki, and Joyce from St. Joseph in Verona
Bob, Shift Manager Nikki, and Joyce from St. Joseph in Verona

 

From Bill:

Judy, Shift Manager Bill, and Chuck (Judy and Chuck are from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene)
Judy, Shift Manager Bill, and Chuck (Judy and Chuck are from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene)

 

From Marilyn:

I am so grateful to the wonderful parishioners of St. John the Baptist for coming to pray on this wet, dreary day!  Whenever I am all bundled up at the vigil due to inclement weather, I tend to fumble – gloves – papers – things, you know, drop.  Ok, so I will admit it, I am a klutz, always have been.  It just seems magnified at the vigil.  Anyway, I do have a point – today I was standing right outside the circle.  I dropped the yellow resource cards in my hand and, horror of horrors, they landed in the dreaded circle! Boy was I glad the security guard didn’t pick that moment to peek out the door.  He seemed to do that several times today.  So, I bend down to pick them up and as I am standing up, lo and behold, stopped right in front of me is a young woman wanting a resource card!  And, then, following her a young man also took a card.  Would they have taken them if they hadn’t seen me stoop to pick them up?  Hmmm…  Maybe being a klutz isn’t such a bad thing.  🙂 As you can see from the photo, I even learned how to take a selfie today. That was fun, though I don’t quite understand the younger generation’s obsession with them! 
A young, pregnant mom with her fourth on the way stopped to chat and get information.  She was happy to receive the tiny feet pins, baby model and fetal development literature.  It was so uplifting to see someone excited about having a baby.   Now, that is how God intended it to be, a cause for celebration, a joyous occasion!  I was very inspired by the vigil participants today who have large families and many grandchildren.  Thank you God for grandparents coming to pray for a culture of life.   Several people gave us encouraging words this afternoon.  Even though there was foot traffic in and out of 933 Liberty Avenue today, I felt more hopeful today than any other shift so far.   God bless everyone!
L-R: Bob from St. Paul Monastery parish, Marian from St. John the Baptist, Beth Ann from St. Alexis, Sue, Peg, and Frank from St. John the Baptist
L-R: Bob from St. Paul Monastery parish, Marian from St. John the Baptist, Beth Ann from St. Alexis, Sue, Peg, and Frank from St. John the Baptist

 

Shift Manager Marilyn's (center) first selfie! With Beth Ann and Shift Manager Lisa K.
Shift Manager Marilyn’s (center) first selfie! With Beth Ann and Shift Manager Lisa K.

 

From Lisa K.:

It was our parish’s day for coming to the vigil today, so a big THANK YOU to all who made the trek from St. John the Baptist in Plum!  I am also thankful to Shift Manager Pat who stood vigil with me for the first hour.

One notable thing was during that first hour, Pat and I were approached by a very “difficult” woman.  Apparently, she has been having conversations with vigil participants already, and just tries to “prove us wrong.”  It was a challenging conversation, and yet, the Lord allowed us to remain calm.  Interestingly, just as things were continuing to “heat up” in the conversation- and I wondered how long she’d be there!- a stranger came up and interrupted politely and asked for directions to Catholic Charities!  Pat and I laughed about that later.  Perhaps the man was an angel, sent to break up the difficulty!  In any event, we prayed for her.  Please join us in that.

Noreen and Dave from St. John the Baptist
Noreen and Dave from St. John the Baptist

 

From Dee and Helen:

For me, it was not a time of quiet prayer. No wonder Jesus went to the desert.

The couple from St. John the Baptist were veterans, and they had things under control on the sign-in side, so I went to the other side to pray a rosary. When I walked back I ran into Kim, a young lady who wants to be more involved. Dee said Kim did a bang-up job handing our brochures on Tuesday. Kim lives in North Versailles, and she wants to be a Sidewalk Advocate. I’ll take her to the next session.

Then, a woman came up to us.  She looked at the fetal models and questioned their size. When we started to explain development of the baby at eight weeks, she argued with us about the fetal models, and claimed they were inaccurate.

I told her we were there to pray and that some day PP would not be there.  She did not seem to appreciate that, and it was about that time that she pulled a $20 from her purse to go inside and make a donation to counter our presence.

The conversation got into birth control, population control, fewer abortions. You know the drill. The patient people from St. John were able to continue the conversation.

By now Kim had pursued some girls exiting PP to give them information. She stayed on the other side, just being quiet.

Our friend went over to talk to her. There was no yelling. Kim talks in one tone: soft.

The lady left.

Kim said she told the lady that if she thought the models were inaccurate, her beef was with the manufacturer.

I think her simple, soft response may have done more than our presentation of facts and faith.

Shift Manager Dee and Kim
Shift Manager Dee and Kim

 

 

3-30-17 spiritual blindeness

 

Check back for more reports and photos 

as they come in. 

Thank you for your patience!

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