These have been strange days lately. Our world seems very different, doesn’t it? I keep waiting for our leaders, be it church leaders or civic leaders, to acknowledge our need to repent and turn to God for deliverance from this global chastisement…err…pandemic.
Why is no one looking around and seeing God’s Mighty Hand in this? When I mentioned to a church-going friend of mine that I believe that God is chastising us with this pandemic, she responded with, “Oh, I don’t believe that God would do that!” My boss gave me the same response when I was talking to him on the phone a couple days ago. He is not a believer, but said “I thought your God was supposed to be all about forgiveness!“
So, during my morning prayer today, I reflected on today’s Gospel reading (in the traditional Catholic Missal). From John 10:22-38, the unbelievers in Jesus’ time were trying to trip him up and wanting Him to admit openly that He was the Christ. In reply, Jesus said:
“I and the Father are one.”John 10:30
As I meditated on that short verse, it occurred to me that the reason that so many Christians are unwilling to entertain the idea that this global crisis could possibly be a chastisement is because they are conveniently forgetting that the merciful Jesus of the New Testament…IS ONE with the Just Judge of the Old! In fact, there is a quote from Billy Graham that says:
If God doesn’t punish America, He owes an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah!Billy Graham
In fact, God first broke my heart over abortion through a sermon that I heard on the radio called “Stop the Holocaust,” by Rev. John Guest. Before hearing this sermon, I had never given the issue of abortion much thought. I had never seen a photo of an abortion victim and I didn’t know the gruesome truth about the horror of abortion, or about the trauma that many post-abortive parents deal with for the rest of their lives. But as I listened to Dr. Guest talk about the numbers of babies that had been killed, and about various instances in the Old Testament where God had destroyed peoples and nations for the crime of shedding innocent blood…I heard him say that America is guilty in the eyes of Almighty God for this horrible crime. At that point, I began to cry and sob…as the reality of what our nation has done sunk in. Just as the passengers of an airplane have to pay the consequences of the pilot’s error when the plane crashes…so we will suffer God’s judgement for the shedding of innocent blood for over 60 million babies.
That was when I decided I needed to get involved in pro life work, and then I discovered 40 Days for Life. For 10 years now I have had the amazing privilege of leading so many faithful and dedicated brothers and sisters, as we have prayed, fasted and stood on the sidewalk. We have had joys and sufferings through these past 10 years, and I can say without a doubt that being part of the 40 Days for Life movement has been the most meaningful and spiritually enriching experience of my life. It has helped me to overcome my natural timidness, laziness and weakness. I am very grateful to God for bringing us all together to fight this spiritual battle, and I have no doubt that our efforts have brought much grace to our city…whether we see the results or not. Imagine, all the babies that were saved that we never knew about…some of them are hitting puberty by now! In another 10 years or so, a second generation will come forth from those saved lives! Our work will indeed bear eternal fruit!
Speaking of babies that have been saved…the couple who chose life after coming to PP for an abortion near the beginning of our campaign, are currently working with Birthright of Pittsburgh to help them with some of their needs. They have three small children and are in need of housing and employment, as well as material help for their children and baby-on-the-way. The husband is a plumber but would be grateful for any kind of employment. The wife is looking for cleaning work (in the evenings)…and they are in need of a house to rent. If you can help this courageous young couple, please contact Regina at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is my last blog post for these 40 days. I am uncertain what our future holds, and whether or not we will be able to hold a campaign in the fall. But I have peace in letting God take the reigns right now. I just want to watch and pray…and listen for His call when He wants me to jump back in.
Today’s message from Shawn Carney:
Here are our final Wednesday shift reports:
Faithful Cathy has been keeping her 9-11 shift from home:
I have been praying from home for my shifts (last week and today), streaming Mass, and prayer walking. No particular insights or revelations, just trying to stay faithful.Cathy Z
When we arrived at pp this am it appeared that they were closed but shortly a young man came out for a smoke and an older woman with a young child got out of a car and went into pp for a short time obviously both waiting for someone having an abortion. How ironic we’re asked to stay home and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus and save lives but the state allows pp to brutally kill the most innocent and defenseless among us. Lord have mercy on us. We prayed the Rosary and Devine Mercy for the end of abortion and for those seeking abortion and those facilitating this abomination.Hank & Judy
I had a quiet two hours of prayer in my home this afternoon. I prayed the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries using my Rosary of the Unborn (pictured below). Within each bead is the image of a 1-month old unborn baby. God bless those who are continuing to pray for the unborn during this time of trial.Chris
Today was a “dry” day inside, no breeze, 72 degrees…
Seriously, the shift was “Pro-Life Potpourri” – trying to tune-up the Mind, Lips, and Heart with worship (Virtual Mass with Bishop Barron), prayer (Vespers, and Divine Mercy Chaplet) and catching-up on Pro-Life email newsletters and educational videos.
Ended the shift reflecting on a few verses of the day that stood out with respect to our time with each other and others on the sidewalk as well as our current situation:
Ephesians 4:32 [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.
Matthew 4:34 Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself…
Peace my brothers & sisters!Joe