Lately, we’ve been acknowledging some weariness in praying for the closure of PP and wondering when God will answer. It seems to hit us at this point in the campaign.
Shawn Carney spoke to this issue on Monday, reminding us to put all our trust in God and His plan even though we don’t know its details. Many of the good things that have come from 40 Days for Life campaigns have taken the participants by surprise, at least in terms of timing.
By the grace of God, the Gospel readings for daily Mass this week have been very appropriate to the situation. Taken from Chapter 12 of the book of Luke, they contain many important lessons, including the importance of staying ready since we cannot know when things will happen.
- Jesus tells a parable of a rich man who built enormous new barns to hold his bountiful harvest so that he could take it easy for the rest of his life, not knowing that his life would end that very night. (Lk 12: 16-21)
- Jesus exhorts His followers to be like vigilant servants awaiting their master’s return from a wedding even though they didn’t know when he would arrive. (Lk 12: 35-38)
- Jesus points out that a man was unable to prevent a break-in because he was unaware of the hour when a thief was coming. (Lk 12: 39-40)
- Jesus explains what happens to a prudent steward who faithfully continues in his task even when his master is delayed, and what happens to a foolish servant who turns away from the job at hand and is then caught off guard when his master returns at an unexpected time. (Lk 12:42-48)
- Jesus chides His listeners for figuring out when the weather will change but not realizing that their lives would soon change, too. (Lk 12: 54-56)
God knows what He is about. He knows when PP will close. I need humility to accept that I am not in charge of the details. I just have to stay vigilant and keep praying until He takes me by surprise—because He will.
Come and join us on the sidewalk at 933 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh as we pray for an end to the violence of abortion and reach out to our hurting brothers and sisters. Use this link https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/to choose a time or simply show up between 7 AM and 7 PM from now until November 4th. (Please note that we will end the vigil at 5 PM tomorrow, Saturday 10/27.)
Here are the reports from today’s vigil!
7-9 AM, Barbara and Richard:
Crossing the Veterans Bridge on our way into town, again we noticed the Church on Mt. Washington and the moon…both brightly beaming. God is in His heavens. All is right with the world. Diane supervised and we helped arrange supplies. Pat came to pick up the mobile supply unit. I think that’s what he and Diane call it! Sally and Al, our shift buddies, give us street cred. These guys have been showing up, outside, all seasons, all over the county, for pro-life events for decades. “I love to stand outside wearing cold wet shoes,” Al declares as his reason for their fortitude and perseverance. Sally has reasons, but her smile says it best. About 4 sets of young women went in looking dressed for a really bad decision. It always feels bad. When they repent, God will be ready. A young woman stopped and asked me to pray with her. Today she will quit her job. She was not interested in advice. Prayer is what she wanted. People passed, nodded, thumbs up, smiles and accepted “God bless you,” with a return blessing. Kathy came and accepted the lanyard. Being part of 40 Days for Life challenges me to be my best self. What a blessing.
9-11 AM, Kathy:
Spent time in prayer. Passed out “Your Biography” and yellow cards. Many passersby accepted lit. One man stopped and asked what I was doing. I explained while he looked through the handout “My Biography.” He replied that he doesn’t agree with my viewpoint but will read the material. A few negative comments but nothing unusual. A large student life group from St Mary’s, PA arrived and filled and lit up the sidewalk. Thank you for traveling such a distance to witness for life!
11 AM-1 PM, Marie:
Had a great group from St. Mary’s, PA and Elk County Catholic High School. One of the mothers told me that today is 17 years to the day that Magee Women’s Hospital tried to convince her to abort her baby. She resisted – even though they were very persistent. During the story she was looking at her beautiful 17-year-old daughter who is alive today because of her parents’ courage.
1-3 PM, Dave and Noreen:
Dave and I were at PP from 1 – 3 today and St. John the Baptist had people there. It was nice because that’s our parish so we had some familiar folks with us. In the picture is Dave with Frank. Our friend Mary was there earlier but I completely forgot to take her picture!! AAAHHH!
3-5 PM, Pat:
A few weeks ago I talked about how it was frustrating it is – but also a lesson in humility – that one can’t really pray and pass out literature at the same time. We need to choose. But this time, as I was trying to spend as much time on my knees praying as I reasonably could, a new thought occurred to me. When you pray on your knees people who pass by look at you in a different way than they do when you are standing and praying. So as I watched the people passing by look at me I realized that a powerful message was getting across to them while I was engaged in prayer. And I think that message is as simple as this: “Wow, those people really are serious about stopping abortion.” And that vision won’t soon leave them either. It becomes a seed in their mind which God can work with. Perhaps the next time they are confronted in some way with the topic of abortion, their reaction to it will be a little different than it would have been. Perhaps it will be a little less abstract to them.
As for my shift, I was glad to be with the good people of Living Hope Church in Whitney. They’ve been here before and come a long way (about a 1.5 hour drive). So thank you. Thank you also to Walt, from St. John’s in Plum who was with me for the first hour.
And finally, a note to self and to my fellow shift managers. While I’m betting all of us regulars have become a lot better over the years at being disciplined about not reacting to those who hurl negative remarks at us, I think it would be good for me/us to get into the habit of mentally preparing those who come to pray with us – right after we introduce ourselves – for these situations and instruct them that we do not want to engage in any way with these passersby, but simply ignore them.
5-6 PM, Kathy:
Thanks to mother and son, Marlane and John, from St. John the Baptist Church in Plum.
Faithful Benson also stopped by briefly to join us in a prayer. A few folks accepted lit. A light rain started and soon Nikki came to SM the last hour.
6-7 PM, Nikki:
I filled in for the last hour of the vigil and was blessed to pray with Peggy from St. John the Baptist Church in Plum. It was sad to see so many women leaving the clinic, most likely post-abortive. I couldn’t help thinking about their poor little babies being left behind. I hope that my witness on my knees and my prayers helped show that each one of those little ones was worthy of someone’s prayers and sufferings.