So here we are on Day 38, with just two days left to go. We’ll be gathering in front of Planned Parenthood on Sunday evening at 6:30 PM to mark the end of this campaign and to praise God for the many blessings He has bestowed on us during the last 40 days. It has been a long, cold, wet battle. We are tired and Jesus is granting us a time of rest now, as He often did for His apostles. But we know there’s more work to be done to bring about the day that every human being is recognized, respected, and protected as a precious child of God. That means it’s also time for perseverance.
Nikki, guided by the Holy Spirit, named the virtue of perseverance as the theme of this campaign. It’s so fitting. We don’t know God’s timetable for this battle, only the outcome: complete and total victory for the Lord of Life! What a beautiful reason to hope. And hope is the key to rallying ourselves to persevere. Most Reverend Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia, spoke of this hope in his keynote address at the 2016 Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation Dinner:
“People sometimes ask me if we can be optimistic, those of us who are religious believers, about the future of our country. My answer is always the same. Optimism and pessimism are equally dangerous for the believer because both God and the devil are full of surprises. But the virtue of hope is another matter. We have every reason to hope. Scripture tells us we must live in hope, and hope is a very different creature from optimism. Hope is the grace to trust that God is who he claims to be, and that in serving him, we do something fertile and precious for the renewal of the world.”
So please, have a blessed and joyful Easter, catch up on sleep, thaw out your toes. But then make your way back to the task at hand in a spirit of perseverance and hope. Sidewalk Advocates and their prayer partners stand in solidarity with those who suffer all year through. You can learn more about them by contacting Sue at email@example.com. And if Planned Parenthood is still on Liberty Avenue in September, 40 Days for Life will be there, too.
How is God calling YOU to continue fighting for the cause of Life?
Here are pictures and reports from today’s vigil…please stop back as more are added!
Barbara and Richard, 7-9 AM:
Daylight was already peeking around the building tops and Diane and Tom had the sidewalk furnished. Our last Friday was underway. There was absolutely no rain or breeze.
Al, Bill, Jen, Kim and Ryan arrived. Jen and Ryan are sidewalk preachers. Jen had amazing and repeated success engaging people.
Jeannie came with a bundle of prolife signs she had refurbished. She had flattened, strengthened and refreshed the signs, replaced the strings and inserted grommets. She stoutly refused to enter a conversation about Wallace and Gromit.
Al and I prayed a Sorrowful Mystery Rosary and included Sally’s recovery in our intentions. She is steadily getting better. The sidewalk is much colder without her.
Many people recognized and greeted us. Moms with kids in tow headed for the day care center just down the street, smiling and calling their kids to keep them near.
All of us will probably be here again in the fall. As Joe says, “All to the glory of God.”
Jeannie, 9-11 AM:
What a beautiful collection of the body of Christ we had this morning on the sidewalk. We saw a little bit of the sun, but the devil allowed the cold to persist and we kept each other’s spirits up through prayer. I was blessed to have Jen and Ryan full of The Holy Spirit to deeply engage several passersby with the word. In this picture a gentleman who stopped and started talking to them on the street chose to be included in the middle of the bunch!!!!!
The 10 o’clock hour brought me five fantastic women from St. Mary’s PA Right to Life. I am sorry that my picture of them did not work out. We had several groups of young people come by maybe classroom excursions, and it was great to see them appreciate the Fetal models. It’s funny how the first reaction is that it is something off color or grotesque. Then — once they realize what it is and that each of them was at one time that tiny and that perfect — it’s a different story.
Marie, 11 AM-1 PM
Nancy, 1-3 PM:
Not much traffic in or out of PP. The cold sidewalk was made bearable by the warm hearts of the prayer warriors. Elk County group stayed from 10-2, and West Hills Baptist church were there from 2-5. A few individuals also prayed. It was very encouraging to see the many witnesses for life standing up for the lives of the unborn babies and their families.
Lisa and Family, 3-5 PM
Pat, 5-7 PM:
Well, I signed my parish (St. Regis) up for this time slot, but I was the only member there this evening. Thankfully, I had my faithful prayer partner, Bill from St. Philip’s in Crafton, with me for the entire time. I also had a brother Knight, Paul, along with his wife Pat (St. Ferdinand’s in Cranberry), with me for the first hour. I believe they had already been there for at least an hour before I arrived.
Perhaps it was the cold, but this seemed to be my longest 2-hour shift of this campaign. While the streets and the sidewalks were both very busy, I can’t remember a single negative incident.