Day 9: We are all Pilgrims on this Journey

Thanks to the pastors from Lighthouse Lutheran Church and St. John’s Evangelical Protestant (Burry’s Church) in Rochester who held vigil this morning!  We are blessed to have the participation of so many dedicated men of God!  Pastor Win wrote this about his experience on the sidewalk this morning:

I had a good experience as a whole. It was definitely cold, though probably not as cold as those there today in the freezing rain. When I participated with 40 Days for Life in Florida (Pensacola area), all I had to worry about was sunburn (then again, we had 9 hour shifts down there — 9 hours would have been too long in the cold of downtown.

If I may say this about Pittsburgh in contrast to Pensacola. Those walking by yesterday were far more encouraging than those who would interact with us in Florida. We received many positive comments from pedestrians as well as encouragement. Only one man made a point of stopping and telling us that we ought to “jump in front of a bus” … go figure.   In Florida, we would get quite a lot of angry comments shouted at us, angry honks and middle fingers pointed out car windows as people went by, and very little encouragement. Then again, we did see one of Pensacola’s two clinics closed down while I was serving with 40 Days down there, which was great news.

Those people to whom my hat goes off are those who coordinate and who serve as regular shift managers. They are the true heroes of this movement. Much thanks and gratitude for their dedication.

Blessings in Christ,


Afternoon Shift Manager Marilyn shared this from her shift today:

Here are two photos taken by Marilyn:
Late morning shift manager,Marie, with faithful prayer volunteers
L-R: Thursday regular Beth Ann, along with Mary, Laurie, and Sr. Margaretta from St. Mary’s, PA
This dedicated group of prayers traveled over two hours from St. Marys, PA.
We are so glad their pro-life group braved the cold for a four hour shift today!  It was a blessing to pray with them.
It was a very cold day, but my heart was warmed when two different passersby thanked us.    So grateful to Catholic Charities for opening up their offices to us to come and get warmed up!
God bless you,


Laurie from St. Mary’s, PA


Shift Manager Dee shared a photo and a bit about her shift as well:

Mary Elizabeth from St. Maria Goretti and another faithful volunteer

Dee had this to say:

The 3 to 5 shift was quiet except for one young man, who has been around before, and needles us with his strange view of the world. Seems that he does not know Jesus Christ and His Church. He left and later returned, when 2 men standing vigil confronted him. Thank God they were there. A couple of unexpected prayer volunteers did show up, so, I was not alone.

And as Campaign Director Timothy told us today, we are NEVER alone…. our guardian angels are always with us.  A good and wise thing to remember, especially in moments like these.

I chose this title for our post today because of my experience at my (Lisa’s) shift today.  When I arrived, I found out, to my surprise, that the prayerful group of six women outside PP had driven all the way from St. Mary’s, PA.  What a sacrifice of love.  Their pilgrimage to the abortion center in Pittsburgh was, sadly, not a pilgrimage site like many of us are used to hearing about.  We are used to places that are HOLY sites.  Planned Parenthood is NOT a holy place, let’s face it.  However, I think those of us who have prayed there can attest to the fact that something holy DOES happen there when PRAYERS happen there.

Another reason I mention this idea of pilgrimage is that one of our prayer volunteers, Mary Elizabeth, said some words of wisdom to me this afternoon.  She was saying that even though this is a battle we have been fighting for 40 years… imagine what things would be like if we were NOT fighting it.  Perhaps things like 40 Days for Life have been keeping things at bay.

I thought that was SO well said.  And it just made me realize that we are ALL on a spiritual journey toward the Lord.  We cannot claim that we are there yet.  We have not made it yet.  We are not finished yet.  We are still going.  And therein lies the point.  We must always keep at this.  Our earthly pilgrimage is filled with moments of prayer, struggle, and searching for God.  And often, we find Him in the most unexpected moments.  Even in front of a dirty downtown abortion clinic.

Thank you to all of you who have joined us in this pilgrimage of 40 Days for Life, this journey toward Easter.  The story does NOT end with the crucifixion.

8 thoughts on “Day 9: We are all Pilgrims on this Journey

  • February 21, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Good point, Timothy! Indeed, what would the world be like if no one was disturbed by abortion??? And what would the world be like if there were no Christians? Most hospitals, orphanages, “homes” for the unwanted of society, and instititutions of higher learning were founded by devout Christians.

    Keep being the light of Jesus, brothers and sisters!

  • February 21, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I’ve been thinking of a counter-argument for our bookstore friend who quotes Matthew 6:5 to call us hypocrites for praying in public.

    I find the answer in Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

    We don’t pray “to be seen by men” in the sense of being motivated by the desire of their admiration (it’s obvious that admiration by others is not necessarily what we receive in our culture). We pray in public to shine the light of life and to “glorify [our] Father in heaven”.

    The motive of the heart, not the action itself, is the key thing. As Jesus said, the hypocrites received their reward in full. Our reward is knowing that we are doing the Father’s will and knowing that babies are saved, whether we see it first-hand or not.

    There is a difference.

    • February 23, 2013 at 12:29 am

      Thank you, Pauline. Well said. I have sometimes thought the same thing. The “motive of the heart,” as you say, is what is of importance here. Thank you.

  • February 22, 2013 at 7:19 am

    I was able to stop down for an hour yesterday at evening rush hour, and went to join a heated conversaiton one of our helpers was having with the young man mentioned in the report. The young man himself says he is an athiest; seems to feel abortion is wrong only in 3rd trimester.

    I discovered that the he only wanted to and enjoyed arguing, but only on his terms. He refused to answer our points or questions by changing the subject, and still refusing to answer even when directly challenged to do so. Some points of my logic arguments seemed to sink in, and might cause him to think when he’s not out enjoying arguing with people.

    My observation is more global, however — he was tying up several helpers throughout his elongated visit there, and he is very loud, precluding any other ministry efforts on that side of the “circle” (which I had hoped to do with the bus-waiting crowd on that side).

    God then opened my eyes that Satan was using him to subvert our efforts and started quietly praying against this Demonic diversion (yet for the young man himself to someday find the Lord).

    My advice is to walk away and not play into his (Satan’s) hands at the expense of reaching out to many others who need to hear our message.

    • February 22, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Sounds like good advice Pastor Bryan! Sometimes the enemy sends people just to distract us. You are right in quietly praying against the demonic diversion…yet praying for the person’s salvation. Thank you for your gently, loving witness to our city!

  • February 22, 2013 at 7:32 am

    The story does not end with the crucifixion, true. Jesus rose and is the light of the world. But, until He returns, we are called to be the light of the world. Even in front of that dirty downtown abortion clinic.

    • February 23, 2013 at 12:31 am

      Yes, Janine! Exactly! That was my point. He has already WON the victory. So we can come and pray at PP with complete trust in His power to save. Thank you for your comment!

  • February 23, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Yes, satan does use people to distract us. Sometimes an abortion guard, sometimes a passerby, sometimes a very friendly person who shows up often just to pass the time of day, as a homosexual man did for years.
    Bob was very nice, we liked him, but he kept us from praying and from talking with those going into PP while telling jokes and stories. Since he retired and left the downtown area we sometimes miss him, but definitely have less distractions.


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