40 Days for Life in Ft. Wayne, IN, calls for prayer AND fasting
On Tuesday Nikki’s e-mail gave us all a pretty good insight into the spiritual battle which was being waged that day in front of PP. She even allowed that she “can’t help but feel that today…Satan won the battle.” But then, good leader she is, she rallied her troops and showed us a means by which we can push back on the enemy. Here’s what she wrote in the very next line: “I have a favor to ask from my wonderful 40 Days for Life family. Especially for those who are unable to come to the vigil to pray in person…but who can be with us in spirit….PLEASE PRAY AND FAST FOR US!!!
Now when I got to the word FAST, I could actually feel my body give me its immediate and unambiguous response: “I don’t wanna!” Now my body has gotten pretty smart over the years. Knowing that this alone wasn’t much of an argument, it (my body, that is) quickly went into rationalization mode. It reminded me that we were already doing a couple of different “fasting” things AND we had signed up to do a day of liquids only fasting, which we were already dreading. “Wasn’t that more than enough?” I was listening with a sympathetic ear. I mean, my body had made some very good points. But then my conscience cleared it’s throat rose to speak. It had me take another look at the stakes here – LIFE and DEATH. That made me squirm. Next, it asked me how committed I really was to this noble cause – and then asked me if there was any cause more noble. It followed that up by pointing out how so many others down through the years have sacrificed much more for causes no less important than ours.
So I wrestled internally for the good part of a day with how I was going to settle this internal argument. The decision as to whether or not I was going to “step-it up a notch” in terms of my fasting wasn’t really the hard part in the end. Even though I sometimes find it hard to make sacrifices in the abstract (i.e., for infants in the womb I will likely never meet), this 40 Days family is a very concrete reality in my life. How could I have peace in my heart knowing that my brothers and sisters were rallying to Nikki’s call, “stepping it up a notch”, while I was refusing to do the same?
So the question then became: “What to do?” Well, over the years I’ve learned a few things about myself when it comes to fasting. The first is (ironically): “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” I know that I’m exceedingly weak-willed in this area – so I need to take this into account. I’ve found that I have much more success and endurance with a few little sacrifices than I do with trying to make a really big and tough one. The second is that while I need to have some specific things to give-up during a period of fasting (i.e., chocolate desserts or a favorite TV show or listening to sports-talk radio on the way home from work), I like to approach each day with an openness to doing some spontaneous fasting as well – little ‘bonus’ gifts offered to God to assist in the battle. I might pick-up a piece of trash on the street and throw it away. Or I might skip the tea or coffee I want to have as I’m preparing my lunch and just have hot water.
I write all of this with the belief that there are many others out there who sees the word “fast” and just want to find a place to hide. I hope it’s been helpful.
Now, for the Shift Manager reports:
This was a totally peaceful morning. For some unknown reason, PP was slow again. Could they be using the back door? Escorts did not have much to do, and went home about 9:45.
We had wonderful groups of people, from many areas, praying the entire morning, including Susan in her wheelchair, and a young family with 4 beautiful children from St. Elizabeth.
Ten people arrived from St. Alexis, including their priest. It’s
always a good day when a clergyman is with his people.
One family, and many knights, were with us from the Bellevue, K of C. They prayed one rosary after the other the entire morning.
We again welcomed seven Grove City College students. They have been very faithful during past 40 Days for Life campaigns, and we now know that they are responsible for saving one mother and baby from abortion during the 2013 Lenten 40 Days. The little girl is named Elianna Grace and was born in early September, and two of the students are still in contact with, and helping the new mother. Thank you, Jesus for such wonderful, caring
young adults. Sally
Julie, who managed the 11am-1pm shift, wrote:
Hello, today from 11am to 1pm I was with prayerful students from Grove City, Julia from (I forget), and a group of 7 from Word of God/Madonna del Castello parishes of Swissvale. Right as I arrived the students told me they had noticed a couple walk by a few times and overheard the man say to the woman: “It’s your decision” they walked past at one point and looked back towards the building. We kept praying for them. Later Julia saw a young girl, crying get dropped off by a young man and go in. We never saw her come back out before I left at 1pm. I have been praying for her all afternoon as I go about my business. Maybe the next shift has news of her. She was in pink pajama bottoms.
Another woman got out of a taxi and went in quickly, but came out not too long after. We saw another couple come in and out and they didn’t look distressed, the man smiled back at me. I was happy that Brandon came around noon and handed out 40 days for life brochures to people because people walking by didn’t speak to us much.
Noticing a few shakes of the head in disapproval from young men going by makes me very sad for my own generation’s ignorance of the loving vigil we keep each day. I pray for more young adults hearts to be broken over the horror of abortion, learn about the vigil, and join in prayer!! There is no such thing as darkness…. It is simply the absence of light. Come Holy Spirit, light if Christ.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139:11-12
Maggie who managed the 3pm-7pm shift wrote:
Saturday from 3-7 was a sad day. There was a young girl who came out at 615 pm in a wheelchair. The man with her was older, driving a very expensive vehicle. He pulled right up front to the door. The young woman was inconsolable. She was visibly shaking and crying. The couple I was with was able to see her getting into the car. They said that her face was so distraught she was crying and this caused the woman praying with me to begin crying herself. The pain, the agony this young woman was in was UNDENIABLE. She told me that the planned parenthood worker simply said to her as she closed the door of the vehicle, good luck to you. I was shaken up. The reality of the terror and horror that occurs in this facility was hitting me hard. I could sense the pain, the anguish that Jesus must feel knowing how upset I was and this was his daughter.
The shift was not all sad though. In fact in started off really positive. I was able to start the shift praying the rosary with Mimi our prayer warrior who comes every day! Then I was able to spend some time with a beautiful young family who had started with shift 2. They reminded me of the Holy Family and their little girl was such a powerful witness to life, she was 5 months old and she drew people in with her innocence and her smile.
This couple was so faith filled and committed to Christ. He is a science teacher at a Christian school in the South Hills. There was also another young gentleman that I didn’t get to talk with much but he also started in shift 2 and had a 50 minute conversation with a former gang member. This young man was “on fire” with the Lord. He had also spent some time talking to the friend of a young woman who was inside the PP. The young couple I mentioned earlier had spoken with the young woman who so valued his compassion.
I am HONORED to spend time with these beautiful, committed people on Saturday afternoons. They are so grateful to have a vigil manager there but I am so grateful to them for being there with me praying and sharing in the sadness of death.
Here is another photo taken by Maggie: