PLEASE NOTE: Vigil Cancelled tomorrow (Saturday) due to the possibility of violence! The vigil will resume on Sunday.
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.’ He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus loved this man, so He told him how to be truly happy. But the man walked away from Jesus. How disappointing, frustrating, and heartbreaking that must have been for our Lord.
We, too, experience such heartbreak when we watch women go into PP. We love them, so we tell them about better options that will allow them to be truly happy. But all too often they walk away.
I heard a beautiful homily on this Gospel passage once…I believe it was by Venerable Fulton Sheen in a rebroadcast of his radio show, “Life is Worth Living.” In the sermon, he points out that we don’t actually know how this man’s story ends. It’s possible he later reconsidered and came back to Jesus.
Likewise, we don’t know the end of the story for the women who enter PP. It’s possible some of them reconsider in time to save the life of their child. And for those who don’t, it’s possible they will come back to Jesus for forgiveness and healing later on.
One thing we do know is that Jesus never stopped loving this man, no matter what the man decided to do. And we are called to imitate that patient, merciful love for the women…and men…on the sidewalk.
Barbara & Richard, 7-9 AM:
Friday at PP began with Diane and Tom blessings. The bins were sorted and Tom zoomed away into the traffic. We remembered Al and Sally as they pray from home, steadily recovering.Barbara
Mary and Tim joined us. They got the email and felt the call. God is irresistible! Not much later, Beth joined us. We were becoming a crowd. We prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries. A little later, Mary led us in the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Bill shared his holy water.
Flowers arrived and surprised the brown grey wintered street with their color, shapes and fragrance … reminding me of the unique blessing each of our newborn babies brought.
Parents taking children to day care, middle school children hurrying to class, PP employees, abortion bound mothers and fathers…the sidewalk was full. We prayed and focused on the PP doors. Almost no one entered that building without our greeting and offer of support. We could not tell if our offers will be fruitful. Nothing is impossible with God.
The next shift arrived and a gentle drizzle began.
Kathy & Marianne, 9-11 AM:
Thank you to those who came to pray this morning.Kathy
Passed out lit to passersby. A few pp patrons accepted info. One young woman approaching pp accompanied by her aunt was on her way in for an ultrasound and counseling. The aunt accepted lit and said she would talk to her neice. Let’s hope and pray for a good outcome.
Sheila & Pastor Bryan, 11 AM-1 PM:
While we pray for the women who had abortions today, a couple of young men passing by need a lot of prayers too.Sheila
Not long after I arrived, a tall, thin young white man named Mark started to move the sandwich board (by the tall grey power/electric box?) but walked away when redirected by one of our vigil participants from St. Thomas More. Mark then came over to the fetal display. He very calmly told me that he wanted to get rid of it, that it bothered him. When advised against it, he stood in front of the display for over an hour to block its view from the public and continued to engage with Pastor Bryan and other vigil participants. Mark shared his personal belief that Planned Parenthood does wonderful work for the community and, that there was no God. He was especially irritated to see “so many men praying” because “men have no say in what a woman does with her body.” When it became clear that he was thwarting our efforts to reach out to women entering the clinic and hounding those engaged in prayer, we wished him well, withdrew our attention from him and prayed aloud. He finally walked away, but not before supposedly making a donation to Planned Parenthood (via his phone) in our names. I wouldn’t be surprised if he keeps showing up.
In the meantime, on the other side of the sidewalk, a young man, who looked to be identifying as a woman, draped a rainbow flag over his shoulder like a cape. He wrote F*&% You on a piece of notebook paper and stood next to vigil participants from St. Thomas More who were saying the rosary. This young man was shown love and respect by those participants, but sadly he responded by throwing them the finger, multiple times.
Elaine, 1-3 PM:
The pro-lifers that gathered today during my shift did not let the weather (the rain, the snow, the hail, the wind) discourage them from prayer and fellowship.Elaine
The sun came out a few times, as one pro-lifer said “God is shining is love upon us.”
Pat, 3-5 PM:
With the wind as it was, I didn’t bother with a sign, but I did put a 40DFL “Pray to End Abortion” button on my jacket. (I’ve also concluded that it’s best for me to pray on my knees as much as I can instead of trying to engage people. It just feels more right for me.)Pat
Bob and Linda were already there when I got there, praying, with Linda handing out literature as well. (And they both wore/held signs as well!) When Val and Mike from St. Mark’s in McKeesport got there a little later, Linda had the good sense to gather us in together to say some prayers. Thank you for that, Linda. Great thought. And, we had almost no negativity from anybody. One guy even dropped off some flowers for us.
David & Bill, 5-7 PM:
It was cold and windy. We had some powerful prayer warriors on the sidewalk. We had many people thank us. Unfortunately, one girl, coming out of the gay bar, spit on the models. We told her to have a good day, then prayed for her. A guy about thirty tried to spit on the models twice. His aim wasn’t good. We prayed for him too. Thank God!David