The devil attacks many of us with arrows of isolation and anxiety. We are not alone, however, because we walk with our Father in everything. Our personal trust in Him will make ripples today beyond what the eye can see.
Carney, Shawn D. To The Heart Of The Matter.
Day 40 feels different this spring. It feels different. But, the virus doesn’t stop abortion minded people from participating in killing children. The virus doesn’t stop people from rescuing innocents against all the odds.
Here are two stories with themes we recognize as being around since the beginning. They tell you things about people you already know. Evil can make people blind and driven. Good can dazzle people, igniting their hearts into responses replete with indefatigable creativity.
Finally, a song for you, “For Unto Us a Child Is Born” from Handel’s Messiah. The words listed are from the Bible text. Isaiah’s words hold a key. Life is not a problem to be solved. Life is a mystery to be lived. In the mystery the most amazing Person greets us!
… the clatter of heavy boots and the barking of orders in German. The hallway was suddenly in commotion. Ala stood frozen. But that kernel of an idea was growing. She raced to the children’s ward where the bright room was already in chaos, and turned to a duty nurse and gave swift instructions: Run, tell the kitchen staff we are coming. Ala needed the kitchen workers to fill a truck with food supplies and empty the vegetable boxes. Ala clapped her hands. Children! We must line up now very quickly. Daisy chains of toddlers and small children held each other’s hands, and teenage trainee nurses carried two or three infants at a time in bundles. Thirty children followed Ala swiftly down the back staircases and into the kitchens, where they were tucked in and among the wooden potato boxes. Ala ordered the cook to drive, and moments later Ala watched as the truck pulled away and disappeared around the street corner.
…by January 1943, the names of more than a thousand children were on the lists. Every single child Irena had placed in the Warsaw convents was still alive.
By the end of the war, ninety percent of Poland’s Jews would perish – some three million people – but not Irena’s 2,500 children.
Mazzeo, Tilar J. Irena’s Children. New York: Gallery Books, 2017.
The second powerful memory I carry as a treasure from that day is not of words spoken but of a silent act. At one point I looked across the street, and there I saw Abby Johnson on her knees at that black fence, where she had just placed two long-stemmed roses. One rose was for her own child that she had aborted years before, and the other for all the children aborted there while she was the director of the facility. Around her, others knelt, wept, and prayed, and many placed their own flowers at the fence, transforming it from a cold, hard barrier that had once kept us all out into a memorial to all the lives lost and all the pain inflicted inside that fence. Never again will an abortion center wall or fence look to me like a barrier. I will recognize it as a territory staked out by prayer warriors and covered by the love and faithfulness of God’s people.
David Bereit, “Breakthrough.”
Bereit, David and Carney, Shawn with Cindy Lambert. 40 Days For Life, Discover What God Has Done…Imagine What He Can Do. (2013)
Listen in to Handel’s Messiah, “For Unto Us A Child Is Born.” At King’s College Chapel, Roy Goodman conducts the Brandenburg Consort and Sir Stephen Cleobury leads the King’s College School and undergraduates from Cambridge University.
For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor,
Prince of Peace.
My soul clings to you. Your right hand holds me fast. Psalm 63:8
Shawn Carney’s message for Day 40:
NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK
JEN McD. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9
Vince and I kept vigil “together but apart” this morning, praying all the mysteries of the Scriptural Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I was blessed with a beautiful experience praying at a “drive-in” Adoration Chapel that has been set up in the window of a local church.
This has been a 40 Days for Life campaign like no other. I’m so glad we continued the vigil even though we couldn’t be on the sidewalk. I will miss gathering with all of you to close in prayer and fellowship tonight, but I look forward to what God has in store for us. Jesus, I trust in You!
KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11
Today is my last shift for this campaign. From 9 to 11 I was joined once again by my wife and four of our children. We prayed the Stations of the Cross, the five Glorious mysteries of the Rosary and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, live streamed by Fr. Mike Schmitz, from our home. Like many of you our home has the look of the domestic church as it should. The statues and holy images are sometimes overwhelming to visitors here but for our family it has always been conducive to prayer. And in this season of no Mass or sacraments this is a peaceful place to pray. However we are very conscious of the fact that it is a poor substitute for receiving Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament at our parish. This was our prayer today, that this sacrifice would be offered for the closing of PP. May God have Mercy on us all.
ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGER 11-1
Palm Sunday and our last day in our campaign but not the last day to pray to end abortion. I am sure we will all continue to pray daily that God will bring this hideous sin of abortion to an end. Rich and I prayed the rosary and Divine Mercy along with the R. Family in spirit. We included prayers from Fr. Pavone and attended mass in our living room via EWTN from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3
Beautiful reflection Marie. That’s great to know the Tabernacle is still exposed. I wasn’t sure after Bishop’s latest directive. We celebrated a Mass at home for my 40 Days for Life shift. With Bishop Robert Barron. It was a little weird because the cats kept knocking over our little altar. Luckily I had some dried up Palm from last year. I cried when I sang “Oh Sacred Head Surrounded” as our dismissal hymn. I can’t wait till we’re all united as a community again!
MARIE P. SHIFT BUDDY 1-3
This afternoon I prayed in front of the tabernacle at my church, SS John & Paul. I am so thankful that it is there and available for people to come and pray to our Lord in the Eucharist – even if through a glass window!
I prayed the Pro-Life Glorious Mysteries from Priests for Life and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I want to encourage all the Pittsburgh 40DFL team to not lose heart over the circumstances that our vigil had to take this time – God’s hand is in this.
We have to TRUST!!
The first Glorious Mystery is The Resurrection, I want to share the reflection on this mystery – may we keep this in mind as we journey towards Easter Sunday.
Christ is Risen! By His Resurrection, He has destroyed the power of death, and therefore the power of abortion.
The outcome of the battle for Life has already been decided: Life is victorious!
Let us pray that all pro-lifers will spread this victory to every segment of our society.
May your Holy Week and Easter be blessed with the love of Christ who has conquered death – and will conquer the evil of abortion!
ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5
So what can we control and what can’t we control.
We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Out of my control.
We have an extraordinarily aggressive government stance to try to flatten the curve, so aggressive that I believe it is fraudulent, full of ulterior motives which are most likely evil. And if you question our government being, and if you question our government being evil, what other word is there for a government that says abortion mills are vital necessary services, but churches are not?
Either way. Out of my control.
Some of us have lost our jobs for a time. Other’s work is so slow it may never return to the same it was before the crisis. Also out of our control.
But what do we do about it? Do we circle the wagons, seeking to protect our life or do we imitate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and serve without counting the cost? It is the good shepherd that lays down his life for his sheep. The hireling sees the wolf coming and runs. And there is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend. To those who have been laying it on the line for love of God in the poor, in service to others,
Shift Manager, Andy. Faithful 40 Days Witness
JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7
Privilege serving and receiving the Lord with yinz in another blessed campaign.
See you in the fall, and may the Lord’s protection be with you all.
And God saw that it was good.