Another beautiful day in Pittsburgh to stand vigil for Life! I think all the prayer and fasting is making some forces a little angry. I experienced some spiritual warfare yesterday on the sidewalk…and it seems like some of the shift managers dealt with the same thing today. It is nothing too bad…just little “tantrums”. I think it just shows we are having an effect. Please keep up the daily prayers and fasting! Here is a photo from today sent in by Co-Shift Manager, Barb:
I have decided to officially dedicate this spring 40 Days for Life campaign to the baby that was saved from abortion on October 11th, during our fall campaign. I recently discovered that the mother ultimately succumbed to temptation and aborted the child at a later date. Although this news was very discouraging to me, I believe that this child’s brief life will serve a high purpose…by reminding us of how tough a battle this is…and will motivate us to increase our prayers, fasting and sacrifice at the vigil. Therefore, I have named her “Niara” which means “One with a high purpose”. I have made 15 beaded bracelets with her name on them, which I am wearing to remind me why I need to continue fighting this battle. If you want me to mail you a bracelet for free, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Here is a photo of the bracelet:
I also want to pass on the good news that a baby was saved from abortion during our kick-off event on Sunday! A young woman who attended the event with her mother broke down in tears after listening to Jane Abbate’s testimony of how abortion negatively affected her life. She confessed to her mother that she was pregnant and had been considering abortion. After hearing Jane’s testimony, she decided that she could not do that. Praise God for a life saved before our campaign even began!
I want to pass along some stories from the Shift Managers today. Barbara wrote:
“It was my privilege to be a 40 Days for Life shift manager for the third and fourth shifts of Lent, 2012. Getting ready, I gathered the handout literature, packed my bag and dressed warmly. I felt the joy. The mission of 40 Days “is to bring
together the body of Christ…during a focused 40 day campaign of prayer…with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s favor…thus bringing an end to abortion in America.” One of the springs of my joy comes from two quotes from the Book of Job.
“What is man that you should make so much of him, subjecting him to your scrutiny, that morning after morning you should examine him and at every instant test him? Will you never take your eyes off me long enough for me to swallow my spittle? Suppose I have sinned, what have I done to you, you tireless watcher of mankind?” Job 7: 17-20.
Job’s questions are frank and rough. “Then from the heart of the tempest Yahweh gave Job his answer. He said: Who is this obscuring my designs with his empty-headed words? Brace yourself like a fighter; now it is my turn to ask questions and yours to inform me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations? Tell me, since you are so
well informed! Who decided the dimensions of it, do you know? Or who stretched
the measuring line across it? What supports its pillars at their bases? Who
laid its cornerstone when all the stars of the morning were singing with joy,
and the Sons of God in chorus were chanting praise?” Job 38: 1-7.
God’s answer rings with truth, compassion and joy. I love this conversation. I feel joy beyond explaining that when He created me, God invited me to it. As a younger person, I asked God those questions. I was rough, frank and reluctant. God did not squash me like a bug. He remained my Father. I grew to be his Prodigal Daughter. As a member of the Body of Christ, I am invited and I am strengthened to take joy to the streets. There I stood in downtown Pittsburgh in front of Planned Parenthood on Wednesday evening and
Thursday morning. I was one of the faces of 40 Days, a multi nation endeavor begun in prayer in a small group of people in Texas, 2004. Joining me Wednesday, with names listed in order of their arrival, were Liz, Eric, Victor, Katie, Melissa, Dan and Jim. Thursday morning Laura and Brian, with their son Joachim; Rose; Kelly with her children Jack and Iris; and Pete joined me. Each new arrival and I read the daily “Devotional” to focus on the goodness of God and the evil of abortion. Each person arrived with a personal prayer preference. Paying attention, you hear Rosaries, impromptu prayer, prayers from prayer books, Scripture reading and, occasionally, hymn singing. Adding their voices to our prayer, many pedestrians greet us with, “God bless you.” Each praying person adds a unique voice to the assembly of the Body of Christ sharing this usually shady, often windy, generally bus screeched site. Thursday morning, David, a young man from New Mexico with a degree in psychology and interesting tattoos on his face, asked if he could interview Pete and me. Suppose, he said, a pregnant woman, undergoing surgery, develops complications. Either the baby or the mother will die. “Who should the doctor save?” he asked. After exhausting that topic, David began a circuitous description of a scenario that,
he insisted, required his repeating the roughest racial slur word and another vulgar
word, again and again and again. Trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but roughed up by his language and realizing that nothing good was coming from the conversation, Pete invited him to pray. After a lengthy refusal, David walked away. Shaken, we prayed for him.
If you ask them, each person praying for an end to abortion during the Lent, 40 Days for Life Campaign will have a joyful story to share. Ask them.”
Here is what Lisa wrote about her shift today:
Today, I was inspired. In the midst of what seemed like a lot of negativity today from passersby (which is NOT the norm), I was blessed to witness two souls, Paul and Ann from St. Ursula’s in Allison Park, who showed the love of Christ to others. Paul and Ann were passing out “spiritual adoption”cards to those passing by, and when one woman received one, she turned around
and began to scream in anger at Ann. I watched with a careful eye from the other side of the Planned Parenthood entrance, and began to pray hard. I didn’t know Ann before today, and so I wasn’t sure how she would handle this. But I saw her speaking softly and calmly to the angry woman, and I could see the anger slowly fade as they continued in conversation. I was so pleased and amazed. After the woman left, I asked Ann if she was okay, and she shared the story with me of what happened. While the woman was clearly not converted, she HAD to have been affected, if by nothing else, then by Ann’s peaceful and charitable disposition. She truly
characterized the 40 Days for Life philosophy so well. A big thank you to Paul and Ann, who are so dear and so genuine.
Barb, who accompanied Shift Manager Marilyn, wrote:
Overall the day was positive. Marilyn & I had one gentleman that was pretty crude with his words, but he said it with a smiling face which just sort of threw us off. We prayed for him as he definitely has a lot of hatred in his heart. We agreed that we will continue to pray for him. It’s very sad, but God can change even the hardest of hearts!
(Marilyn told me what the man said…it is too vulgar to repeat in this blog…but it had to do with Satan.)
I went down Thursday morning for only 45
minutes as I wanted to get to 9am Mass. A couple had been there from 7-8
and were just leaving. I can’t remember their names. Anyway, Barb
and I said a rosary and as we were finishing a man who had recently returned
from fighting in Afghanistan for 7 years stopped to talk. First, Barb and
I thanked him for his service, and he said we were the first ones to thank
him. Second, he needed to get to the bus station, so I told him I was
going that way so we walked together. I found out his name was Joe and he
asked me what we were doing and I explained about the 40 Days for Life
campaign. He was definitely pro-life and asked if I had a card. I
gave him some literature and he was grateful for something to read.
I asked if he knew of anyone who was thinking of having an aborition and he
said “no,” but he was open to passing on the pamphets I gave him
should the need arise. He made an interesting comment with great
sincerity – “Now is my time to give back…” All too soon
I had to rush to my car to get to Church, but I did manage to tell him I would
keep him in my prayers. On my way to Church I was so elated – like I had
been in the presence of an angel.