“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.”
Jesus of Nazareth (Luke:13)
Jesus said we must STRIVE…but what does striving look like?
After 35 days of holding a prayer vigil on a sidewalk outside of an abortion facility…I doubt I am alone in feeling a kinship to the strain on this woman’s face. She (and we) are obviously STRIVING when we put ourselves out there to be a prayerful witness to the value of every person’s life, but why do we do it? What exactly are we striving for??? We know that Jesus paid the price of our salvation on the cross, and therefore there is nothing we can do to “earn” eternal life…so why do we strive? Why does our Lord tell us that we must???
God knows that it is in our human nature to strive for SOMETHING. If left to our own devices, we will strive for things we think are good for us. We will strive for money, success, power, acceptance, praise, comfort, pleasure and ease.
God, in his wonderful goodness, knows that all those things are dead-ends. If we spend our lives in pursuit of such things, we will end up being weak, selfish, vain little creatures that will never have the STRENGTH to enter through the NARROW DOOR that leads to eternal life!
So God commands us to strive for HOLINESS! That simply means striving to live by his teachings and to obey his commandments the best that we can. When I strive to obey His will by standing up for the sanctity of unborn human life, it requires effort. I have to go against my selfish desire for comfort and ease…as I stand or kneel at the vigil. I have to give up my desire for acceptance and esteem when passersby insult me and tell me to get a real job (or worse!). I give up my desire for power and control, as I humbly accept the fact that I cannot save the lives of those precious babies that are being carried through those doors to their deaths…even as they are still safely tucked away in their mother’s wombs.
There is nothing more important than human life. We can see that by watching the news. The massive flower memorials on the sidewalk in front of Tree of Life synagogue speak loudly to the value of the 11 lives that were taken so tragically on Saturday.
Those lives were important enough that the president of our country made the trip from DC to Pittsburgh, along with his family, to pay his respects to those who are grieving and to encourage those who were wounded. Even with the hard-hearted and arrogant snubbing from our local and state politicians, and crowds of protesters with cruel messages…he stood strong in his decision to affirm the human dignity of those who were killed.
Just as our president took time from his schedule to show his respect for eleven precious lives lost…we do the same as we pray at the site where approximately sixty precious lives are tragically and unjustly ended each and every week. The world is rightly grieving right now…as it should! Let’s pray that one day the world will also grieve for those who are killed by abortion and forgotten. Those millions of little ones that have no one to grieve for them.
Strive with me until this day arrives…will you?
Scroll down for today’s vigil reports:
Cathy did a double shift today, from 7-11 am! Thank you Cathy for your sacrifice this morning!
Here is her report…
A peaceful morning with the company of a number of fellow pray-ers. My fellow St. Juan Diego parishioner Mary joined me for the whole morning even though our official parish time was only 9-11. Peg was there for 7-9, and David, Priscilla, Beth and Dan prayed at various times throughout the morning. We got the “You should be ashamed of yourselves” comment, and a worker from the clinic came out and picked up flowers that were in the circle, saying that we can’t put them there. I’m guessing they got dragged there by the foot traffic. Also received thank yous and”God bless you”s.
Hank managed the vigil from 11-1 and stood with Anna Marie and her husband Bob, from St. Mary & St. John parish in Export/Delmont. He wrote:
It was a sunny and relatively quiet shift and little traffic into PP. There were many passers-by from the International Convention of Chemical Engineers some of whom gave us a warm greeting and a thumbs-up. Bob and Anna Marie from St.John and St.Mary Export were present for the entire shift and we prayed the rosary and other prayers and greeted many people. Nikki stopped by to kneel and pray the rosary and Lisa from River City Church joined us toward the end of the shift. Most passers-by seemed positive and only a few flashed dirty looks or made negative comments. Praise be to Jesus, Lord and Savior.
Chris managed the vigil from 1-3 and wrote:
I was joined by three prayer warriors from Bridge City Church- Pastor Gary, Mona Lisa, and Vicky, along with Marie from my parish, St. John Neumann. Such joyful people to be with!
We received more than several “Thank you for being here” and Thank you for what you do” comments from passersby. A man stopped by with a full bouquet of flowers, saying that his wife asked him to bring them to us! One lady, Michelle came by to offer us snacks- she works nearby and prays at PP when she can. Like several shift managers have mentioned over the weeks, I, too, had been hesitant to put my “Knees on the Ground”. But today was the day, my last shift of the campaign, to trust God, kneel, and pray. I prayed the Rosary using my special Rosary of the Unborn (pictured below) that displays an image of an unborn child in each bead.
Jeannie was the shift manager from 3-5. She sent in these pictures of the faithful group from CIM-PA:
We had a rainy but lovely time on the sidewalk with folks from Cultural Impact Ministry- CIM. They are dedicated to bringing to light issues in the culture that Christians should be active on. What a delightful group. Since it was raining I decided to stand in front of Planned Parenthood and sing in the rain. Don’t worry, I didn’t cause any kind of scene lol. One of my better numbers was actually a song that my son used to sing in grade school— Rain down rain down rain down your love on your people. Rain down rain down rain down your love Lord of all!!!
Joe K. managed the vigil for the final hour:
It was a extremely quiet / peaceful, but soppy last Wednesday evening shift of the campaign.I was joined by another large group of folk for the evening. Led by my faithful Shift Buddies Benson (St. Anne’s) and Jim (Holy Child) as well as a wonderful couple from Cultural Impact Ministries – Linda and Dave. The group was rounded-out with Lynda from Central Highlands United Methodist.We shared, we prayed and before we knew it, the shift was over…