When someone asks you to pray for them, what do you do? Do you stop what you are doing, close your eyes and say a quick prayer? Maybe you even get down on your knees for a moment. Truthfully, the sort of prayer that most of us mean when we say we will pray for someone does not cost us much. But what if someone was asking for prayer because they were in very grave danger? What if instead of just closing our eyes and saying a quick prayer, we got in our car and drove to where they were and prayed for them in person? How much more would that mean to the one asking for prayer? Has this ever happened to you?
How many people have prayed for you during your lifetime? I would guess that there are so many, that you have no idea of the number. But, imagine if you truly were all alone in this world…and had NO ONE to pray for you. Having others pray for us is so natural and normal, that we simply take it for granted…but this is not the case for everyone.
While I was at Planned Parenthood last week, I offered life-affirming resources to five abortion-bound couples. But sadly, all five refused and walked through those doors anyway. For each of the five, I knelt and said a prayer for that little one. I laid a tiny cross on the sidewalk for each. As I looked at the pitiful sight of those tiny crosses, it occurred to me that each one represented a PERSON who had NO ONE to pray for them! No one except me, that is. If I hadn’t been there, they truly would have been all alone. Abandoned.
I imagined each baby being carried gently in the arms of God’s Angels to Heaven. And I imagined God showing each of them the person who had prayed for them…who had interceded for them on their behalf. I realized what an incredible privilege it was, to be the ONE PERSON that prayed for them and I wondered if they prayed for me in return? I hope so.
So we begin our 40 Days for Life today. We pray for the babies, the moms and dads, the grandparents, and for each other. We pray that we may not fall victim to fear or discouragement from seeing so much darkness and sadness. We remember that we are not meant to be at peace with the world, but that we ARE meant to be at peace with one another. Our joyful Christian fellowship is a gift from God, to help us to persevere…in LOVE.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Cor. 13:7
Thanks to all who fasted today, to start us off with a spiritual “bang”! In closing I just want to share a prayer from Mass today that really confirmed to me why we have to fast:
Grant us, O Lord, to take up our duty as soldiers of Christ by holy fasting that we, who are going to struggle with the evil spirits, may be protected by the help of self-restraint. Through Christ our Lord.
We are indeed struggling with evil spirits when we pray and witness at abortion clinics! Isn’t it helpful to know that our fasting can actually help us to fight against them?
Scroll down to read the stories from those who began our 40 Days for LOVE today…and see photos from our kick-off prayer procession from last night!
Charlene was the first shift manager of the campaign, and she writes:
First shift of the Spring Campaign. I’ll have to admit I had mixed feelings. Last night’s Mass had me “ready for the challenge”…but this morning’s weather had me ready to huddle back under the covers. God is good…I was dressed in so many layers I could barely move…the Lord held the wind down…and thank the Lord and Diane for hand warmers. My attitude got a positive adjustment again. And Praying with Peg and having Mary join us certainly brought warmth.
Last Sunday, the first reading had a sentence that stayed with me. “As a test of what the potter molds is in the furnace, so in tribulation is the test of the just.” The country has gone to a place so sinful we can’t fathom it…but it has become part of what God wants us here for. He wants us to be ready for more “tribulation” than just the weather…this campaign may be the “test of the just”…the test of us!!
Cathy was sick today, so Rose W. kindly agreed to sub for her from 9-11. She wrote:
I arrived a little after 9 this morning and prayed several rosaries with Mary. Elsie was there and stood on the other side of the circle distributing her pamphlets. Theresa came around 10 as Mary left,and prayed with Elsie. After Mary left, I walked back and forth with my sign in hand, to keep warm. I went as far as the Gyro place and the man inside gave me a thumbs up and so did I. Several other people gave a thumbs up as I was walking and said ” thanks for doing this” which really blessed me! I was so grateful when Fr. Tim’s group arrived 10 minutes early so I could go home and thaw out. It was a privilege for me to be among the frozen today 🙂
Hank was the shift manager from 11-1 and wrote:
Cold and quiet for the first of 40 Days. Very little foot traffic, but plenty of prayer warriors. The Guardians of Life were there in full force, 16 in all including Fr.Tim. There was vocal prayer and song the entire 2 hour shift, the Rosary, Divine Mercy, Stations of the Cross and many other devotions as well. Theresa from the Salvation Army was there with us from 11 until noon, both she and Elsie covered the 9 to 11 shift. The sun was progressing down the street toward us as I left so I’m hoping Chris got some reflected warmth for his shift. God is good, praise be His holy name for wind and rain, snow and ice, warmth and cold!
Chris wrote from the 1-3 shift:
It was a cold and brisk shift on the sidewalk today, but very rewarding. I believe that prayer warriors witnessing for the unborn in the bitter cold make more of an impression on people walking and driving by than when the weather is warm and pleasant. When I arrived, I was greeted by the dozen praying Guardians for Life. What a joyous sight! During my shift, I was joined in silent prayer by Dan from Steubenville and Missy from Butler. Missy is a first-time participant. I asked her what encouraged her to come and pray on the sidewalk as part of 40 Days for Life. She replied that she’s been pro-life her whole life, but that she was so upset with the recently-passed NY State law allowing abortions throughout pregnancy that she felt she had to get involved, get off the sidelines, and do something. I gave her a big hug and welcomed her. Not much traffic in and out of PP, several “God Bless Yous”, a “Special Blessings on this special day (Ash Wednesday)”, and a few negative comments. I also noticed that the barriers on the street in front of PP, that were there last Fall, are gone.
Jeannie had the 3-5 shift and wrote:
It was a great- if freezing – 3-5 shift on the sidewalk this afternoon. I was joined by Marilyn from Saint Bernard , Annie from Amplify and Edith from Saint Nicholas. At one point we were walking back-and-forth like we were doing a civil rights protest or a worker strike. It reminded me of the women’s garment workers . We received a whole lot of affirmation This afternoon and really just one or two negative comments. At one point someone yelled “ you go ladies” – and we all smiled. Sun came out now and then and the snow was pretty— all in all a peaceful, prayerful start!
Joe K. finished out the first day from 5-7. He wrote:
Best way to set the scene for this inaugural shift – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”? Or maybe the Dante’s Inferno icy Ninth Circle of Hell (Treachery) – which may be more befitting of doors of 933 Liberty Ave. outside of which we pray and witness.
The cold faded away a bit as I settled in and started to join in sharing with my new shift buddy, Lori. We were almost immediately stopped by a women who passed the vigil, did a double take on the fetal models and doubled back to discuss… This woman was hurting, she indicated that she had multiple abortions and that one day she would have to answer to God. Lori jumped right in talking to her and told her that our presence is about L-O-V-E and gave her a big hug…
Love & prayers for this woman please!
In sharing with Lori, I found out that she is a ATTWN (And Then There Were None) member and knows Abby Johnson. Lori shared that she left her job upon finding out that a project she was assigned involved tissue from aborted babies – how courageous! ATTWN helped her in her transition to a new job.
During the last half of the shift, John stopped by to witness and indicated he would be back throughout the campaign. Not long after John joined us, Jeff stopped by and was extremely supportive of our cause and shared that he had lost his child to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
and discussed abortion in the context of folks that wanted children, but for whatever reason, are childless… Jeff asked to pray with us and in a powerful moment, all 4 of us joined hands as he led us in prayer. Jeff indicated that he would try to get back to vigil again!
Jim (my old Sidewalk Advocate compadre) stopped by after work to say hey and share some fun and seriousness…
Tom sans Diane (get better!) hauled away our gear for a warmer tomorrow!
P.S. Sharing a thought on our current campaign’s theme and the current
liturgical period that we just entered into (Lent)…
I heard a speaker once suggest that a common / causal perspective of
what we see / have of Jesus upon the Cross is one of pain and suffering,…
but from the Cross what is Jesus’ perspective looking out at us?
Of course, it’s LOVE!
Last night’s Kick-off Mass and prayer procession was a beautiful event and a perfect way to kick off our 40 Days for Life! Thanks to Fr. Chris Donley, Fr. Thomas More Sikora and Fr. Jeremy Mohler! I would also like to thank Noah for providing the beautiful, spiritual music. Thanks to everyone who came! The church was packed with faithful pro-life Christians and many braved the bitter cold for the one-mile walk to Planned Parenthood, where we concluded with a prayer service, led by Fr. Chris. Scroll down for photos from this event: