Brethren: See to it that you walk with care: not as unwise but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not become foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.Ephesians 5: 15-17
This was the reading from my daily missal this morning, and I thought it was a good verse to reflect on, after seeing the huge sinkhole that opened up just two blocks from our vigil site at Planned Parenthood!
Maybe I am seeing too much with spiritual eyes…but to me, this sink hole speaks volumes about the state of our world right now. I took this photo yesterday when I was downtown for my shift. There was a crowd of other amused people who were also taking photos. I think the reason we are so amazed at this sight is that most of us expect that the solid road underneath our vehicle is just that…SOLID. When something that appears solid and strong… suddenly and without warning, simply gives way…it is very surprising! Who would ever expect something like that to happen? But the false sense of security that we have…to expect what APPEARS to be solid to actually BE solid is because we only see the surface. We cannot see what is going on underneath. No one knew that for years, something was going on underneath that road surface…a water line leaking…or whatever…that destabilized the ground underneath the pavement. It kept washing away, leaving just a thin shell of pavement to support the heavy buses and cars. Until the moment came when it collapsed. I wonder if the same thing is happening with our culture? How long can our civilized society continue to function, while we continue to kill our own children by abortion? I picture our families and our faith as being the bedrock…the SOLID GROUND that supports our civilization. Abortion, the killing of our own, innocent children, whose blood is running underneath the foundation of our nation…is destabilizing our foundation. Surely, we are sitting on top of a sink hole much larger than the one in Pittsburgh. It is just a matter of time…
I heard the testimony of Patricia Sandoval at St. Anne’s Church last night. Patricia had three abortions between the ages of 19 and 21 that completely wrecked her life. To help justify her abortions, she took a job at an abortion clinic. When she saw the gruesome reality of abortion first hand, she had to face the fact that she had not aborted three “sacks of cells”…but had killed three of her very own children…and it sent her into a downward spiral of drug addiction which led to eventual homelessness. She is a very pretty woman, had been popular in high school and was a straight A student…with big dreams of success. How did she go from such high expectations to living on the streets…a gaunt skeletal figure with no hair? The answer? The foundation underneath her life had been washed away by the evil culture which had infiltrated her family and school:
When she was 12 years old, Planned Parenthood came into her school to teach them about sex. Patricia was embarrassed when she was shown how to put a condom on a banana. At 12, she was still playing with dolls…the thought of sex had never even occurred to her! Planned Parenthood also taught them about masturbation…encouraging them to do it! They were told about “safe sex” and were told that if they got pregnant, an abortion would take care of it. Abortion was simply a removal of a “sack of cells“…and it was a woman’s right! This was a classroom of innocent, naive children…the perfect prey for Planned Parenthood. The soil of their souls was soft and tender…all the easier for Planned Parenthood to dig underneath…destabilizing it…making it vulnerable for a future collapse. So, of course, when Patricia practiced “safe sex“, as she had been taught…and got pregnant…she chose abortion. And when “safe sex” failed again…another abortion. And for the third time…again. Planned Parenthood’s mission was accomplished. A ruined life. A ruined soul. A young beautiful woman full of potential…numbing her pain with drugs…pulling all her hair out and sleeping on the streets. The sinkhole had collapsed.
Depressing story, isn’t it? It sure would be…if it ended there. But thanks to God, it didn’t! As Patricia hit rock bottom and was curled up in a fetal position on the sidewalk, a waitress from a restaurant across the street saw her crying and came outside to embrace her and told her that God loves her and would forgive whatever she had done. Patricia remembered the God that she had loved as a child…the God that she had written love letters to and tied them to balloons to send them to Him in Heaven. She went back home…the prodigal daughter. She promised God that she would spend the rest of her life working to undo the damage that she had done. She went through a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, where she received the grace to meet her three children; a girl with curly hair, a little boy and a smaller girl. She knew she had been forgiven by God, but had not been able to forgive herself until she saw her children…ALIVE and JOYFUL! They told her how much they loved her and couldn’t wait to have her join them in Heaven. Once she knew her children had forgiven her, she was finally able to forgive herself and heal.
After hearing her difficult life story, I had the impression of the terrible darkness that fills the abortion clinics. We stand outside of them for so many hours that I think we get callous and forget just how terrible and dark they are inside. We are outside where the light of Christ dwells…in our prayers and in our presence. It truly is where light meets darkness. The place where the light meets the darkness is like a horizon during a sunset…where you can see the outline of every tree branch. Or…another analogy came to mind…
It is like the painting of a master…where the brushstrokes of light highlight the most beautiful part of the image...exactly because of the darkest parts contrasting against them. They become the focal points of the painting. We are that focal point on God’s canvas when we pray outside of abortion clinics.
Let’s let God continue to paint His Masterpiece with our lives as HE wills! Lord, let your will be done!
Help us to close our vigil THIS SUNDAY from 6-6:30 pm in front of Planned Parenthood…closing prayers led by Pastor Joe Stump, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene. Pot-luck social fun and fellowship at 6:30 in the Catholic Charities Welcome Center! Please bring something yummy to share! See you there!
Now, on to the shift reports from today!
Peggy & Carissa from 7-9 am
A lady stopped and told us she got pregnant at 14. Kept the baby.now that little girl is now finishing her PHD.Peggy
The joy of her life! I am only sorry I did not get her picture.
Cathy & Elsie from 9-11 am
Thank you to Win, David, and Ron from St. John-Burry’s Church, evangelist Bill, Priscilla-St John Baptist, Sharon – Sacred Heart, and Debbie – Epiphany for coming to pray today.Cathy
It was mostly uneventful during the shift – a few not nice comments but more smiles and “thank you”s. However, a young woman walked past three of us women and stopped and engaged the men. They told me after she left she said
the sign one was wearing – “Unborn lives matter” was an usurpation of “Black Lives Matter” and disrespectful. (I wonder if she thinks black babies lives matter?) She was proud to be a patient of PP and thinks they’re great. She later returned with a list of things we should/not do to have better success. Said she was a teacher. Her “protest suggestions included:
-Prayer groups in your place of worship
-Call your senator
-Don’t call people you disagree with child murderers
PS: Also Christian. Any
God who loves all humans would be unhappy.”
Hank & Judy write from the 11 -1 shift
The last Wed of 40 Days was like many of the other Weds, Debbie from Epiphany was with us for the 11-12 hour as she has been throughout the vigil, and Fr.Tim and the Guardians of Life (David, Bill, Tom, Tom, Priscilla, Sharon, Ron, Rudolph, Sr.James Anne, Gail, Mary and Terri) were out in force as they also have been most of the Weds. Helen and Pat from the McKeesport grouping and Melanie, her daughter Anne and granddaughter Amelia came down from Summerset. Anne’s husband is an army surgeon currently deployed to the middle east. He is saving lives as his wife and the rest of the 40 Dayers are praying to do. God bless and protect him and St.Michael the Archangel stand guard over him as you do over us. Almost no PP visitors, but lots of street traffic and a significant amount of literature distributed. Lots of prayers (multiple rosaries, Devine Mercy, Stations of the Cross) and praising God in song. Many positive and encouraging comments, few if any negatives. LaDina, an African American woman, stopped by and gave us a copy of a book she has written (Killing Grace) on the evils of abortion. We look forward to a review of the book in a future issue of the PCUC Newsletter. All in all it was a wonderful way to finish off the Weds of the vigil….we will preserver in our prayer and witness until the Lord brings this scourge to an end!! AMEN AND AMEN!!Hank
Chris, John and Rege “man” the sidewalk from 1-3 pm
The pleasant weather continued today. I was joined in prayer by John, Frank, Joe, Dave, Nancy, Diane, and shift buddy Rege. Upon arrival on the sidewalk, we joined Father Tim and his Guardians for Life praying the Luminous Mysteries and lifting their prayers up in song. Later during the shift, we prayed the Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries, taking turns leading the decades. Rege, on the other side of the half-circle, prayed several Rosaries while on his knees. We heard more than a couple words of encouragement and support from passersby and I didn’t hear one negative comment (a first for me this campaign). Jeannie arrived early for her shift and spread rose petals within the half-circle, to commemorate the lives lost inside the building. She took advantage of the new freedom to lovingly counsel women and couples heading to PP’s door. When her shift started, Jeannie came outside the semi-circle, put a sign around her neck and was replaced by Virginia as a sidewalk counselor.Chris
Jeannie & Virginia write from the 3-5 shift
Great last day on the pavement. Shift buddies Marilyn and Virginia finished strong. Joe Krol and his church pals from McKeesport were there too. John – faithful prayer warrior joined us as well. Since we had multiple shift managers I found it so interesting to be inside the line with resource cards. A few negative comments but TONS of affirmation including a beautifully pregnant lawyer who stopped to say she was so glad to see us inside the line!! I know my shift buddies will continue on after the 40 days- praise be to God!
Addendum: I have been missing my umbrella lately-it was a sentimental one given to me after my aunt passed away. Today I brought a big umbrella in the car but I forgot it. So what happened? Of course it rained. Joe K very kindly reached into the bag to give me an umbrella to use from the spares and guess what? It was my late auntie’s umbrella.!!! I have never been so happy for rain in my life! It’s those small moments when we get a sign from God that he really and truly is smiling down on us. God rest your soul Theresa, and thanks be to God for rain!Jeannie
Joe and David close out today from 5-7 pm
Last Wednesday shift started softly – similar to the drizzle we were experiencing…Joe K.
My reliable Shift Buddy Dave answered the call again to make sure that I was not alone – Thanks Dave!
We were shortly joined by Kevin with whom we prayed and shared.
First timers, Redeemer North Boroughs joined in and were immediately showered by a middle aged / slightly-altered state couple armed to the gills with typical pro-life edge cases…
Talk about baptism by fire (or raindrops in today’s case)… These young ladies handled it beautifully, with sincerity and attentiveness – letting the woman state her case / position…
Not shy, they continued to do the Daily Reflection as well as the Pro-Life
intentions on the back of the Baby Picture signs… Impressive!
The evening was also sprinkled with a few folks that we haven’t seen in a while… Jim from St. Maurice, and Jim, and Lisa…
For an evening that was supposed to be lightly attended, it was more that can be asked for – Blessed and reminded that He always provides!!!
Tom packed up Wednesday for Thursday as the evening came to soft landing…