40 Days for Life
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
As most of you know, the theme for this fall’s Pittsburgh vigil is HUMILITY. I find it a beautiful and very meaningful theme. And from a practical perspective, it is an extremely helpful attitude to have when on the sidewalk at the vigil.
When we have humility, we will not fall into confrontation, argument, anger, rudeness, etc. with those who are passersby on the sidewalk. MANY stories about 40 Days for Life show the facts about how CRUCIAL it is for us to be humble and loving. It means EVERYTHING.
The passage above reminds me of that. To paraphrase the words of Jesus, when we wish peace to all on the sidewalk, if the person we encounter there is peaceful, then our peace will rest on him. If not, it will return to us. We have only to remain humble before the Lord to be able to be open to that peace and hold onto it.
THANK YOU to all who came to pray at the vigil today…. a special THANK YOU to Bishop David Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. It means a lot for him to have joined us today in prayer.
SHIFT MANAGER REPORTS:
I was very grateful to have my shift buddy Peggy this morning. It was just the two of us for the 7 to 9 shift. We both prayed on our knees the rosary, right in front of the doors, outside of the circle, after laying our flowers on the sidewalk. A funny thing happened, however. Within a minute of laying my flowers on the circle, a young mom with her toddler came walking by. The sweet little boy saw the flower and picked it up and they walked away happily enjoying the beautiful flower! I had to laugh, I wish I could have been fast enough to get a picture of him. He was so cute! Anyway, that got Peggy and I thinking that it would be nice if it was made more clear that these flowers are a memorial for the babies who have died. I think most people when they walk by do not really realize that babies are dying there, and so they don’t understand the significance of the flowers. Anyway, we had a very prayerful and peaceful shift. It was a blessing as always to see Judy and Chuck, at 9 o’clock for the Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene time slot, and it was a double blessing to say that they had brought Pastor Joe Stump with them! Thanks to everyone for all you are doing to bring the light of Christ to that dark place at 933 Liberty Avenue.
We had beautiful weather for our vigil today. Our Lincoln Place Nazarene group was Pastor Joe, Meredith, Chuck, and myself. We were joined briefly by Judie who stopped by to pray on her way to the dentist. She was an encouragement. We were also blessed by Bill’s presence for a while towards the end of our shift. The rain held off until near the end of our shift. That was a blessing to us.There was a fair amount of traffic in and out of the PP doors today. We were able to intercept several people to give them information about free services at our pregnancy centers. They seemed willing to receive the information but continued through the doors. There were a couple rude people who gave us the finger gesture all the way into the building but they were not verbal. One of them kept looking at me through the door so I bowed my head and started praying.
Several beautiful things happened during this shift today. While I was praying with Carolina, a young woman who went into PP walked past us several times, and three times we tried to give her a resource card. The third time worked. Carolina was able to convince her that she had options other than PP, and the woman took the card.
A young man began to open the door to PP, and we mentioned to him that we could direct him to free resources elsewhere. He said he was looking for diapers. I asked him whether he had checked with Catholic Charities, and he said, “Yeah, and they told me to come here!” I knew that didn’t sound right!! So after discussing things with him for a minute, I finally said, “I’ll walk down to Catholic Charities with you, and we’ll check it out.” He took me up on it. As we walked to CC, he filled me in on his situation a bit, and he just seemed like a confused kid, really. We got to CC (which he said he had NOT gone to), and the woman there was as helpful as could be. The man was helped right away, and he was so happy that when I said good bye to him and held out my hand to shake his, he smiled and said, “Can I give you a hug?” I laughed and said, “Sure!” He was genuinely thankful.
Lastly, a small thing. Carolina and I prayed together for quite a while today. She is a beautiful soul! And she was worried that she didn’t know all of the rosary prayers in English, so I said, “I don’t care, pray them in Spanish!” So she did, and I was able to pray the Hail Marys with her in Spanish. That was a beautiful moment for me. Thank you, Carolina!!
The arrival of Bill and Arlene meant Carolyn was no longer alone.
Around 4:15 the rain came, and by 4:30 every step was a slosh.
A man with a little boy came along and said what he has wanted for
a long time is a rosary. I gave him the one I was holding and he was
delighted. He immediately put it over his head and left with a big thank
you. He wants to teach his son to pray.
As 5:00 got closer, I thought most of the people exiting PP would be
employees. Wrong! A young woman approached the white car parked
in front of the book store. Bill offered her one of our yellow cards and
said, “You might get some help from these numbers.” She said,
“You have already helped me. I could not go through with it. I’ll have to
suck it up and face my problems.” Translation: “I will not have an abortion.
I will have my baby.”
A little later a young woman came out with a person I’d guess was her
father. He looked very happy. She did not. I offered her a yellow card,
and she took it and kept walking. She did not look like she was in a
hurry to join him as he walked up the street. I’ll pray for them.
For about half an hour the rain poured. The cross walk in front of PP was a pond
about 8″ deep. Many people sloshed through, ruining their shoes. Even those who
went around those “new” barriers found more water . Whoever put up those
barriers was not thinking of pedestrians on a rainy day.
One young woman stopped and said, “Do you volunteer to be here?”
The 5:00-7:00 shift had to brave the storm, but they arrived ready to stand
and pray in the rain as the sky grew darker.
I hope all went well while Bishop Zubik was with you.
May the Lord bless you all as you continue to pray, fast, and
participate in the vigil. He is with us!
Let us remain HUMBLE so we can continue to do HIS will on the sidewalk!!
Thank you all!