Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”
When I reflected on this verse today, I thought about our unity as Christ’s family. Unity…and intimacy. Jesus told us to call on the all-powerful, creator of the universe….as we would call on our “daddy“! This relationship, this INTIMACY with GOD is what unites all believers in Christ as a family. When we unite during 40 Days for Life in prayer, fasting and peaceful vigil in front of Planned Parenthood, we see believers from varying Christian denominations participating. For 40 days, instead of focusing on our differences, we recognize our UNITY in CHRIST! We all can share in the prayer that Jesus taught us 2,000 years ago, when we cry out, “ABBA…DADDY!”
If you have children, I’m sure you know how a parent’s heart is warmed by seeing their children playing peacefully together. Or better yet, when they unite for a purpose which is good. And you know how frustrating and angering it is to see them arguing and fighting amongst themselves because of pride, jealousy or selfishness. I believe that God looks upon His children in the same way, and when He sees us uniting in support of the weak and vulnerable babes in the womb, that He is pleased.
We had our 40 Days for Life team meeting last night, and a comment was made by someone about how good it is to read the national 40 Days for Life blog, and to see the photos of people participating all over the world. They look just like we do here in Pittsburgh…bundled up against the cold, sheltered under umbrellas in the rain, holding “pray to end abortion signs” (in various languages), and praying fervently in front of killing centers all around the world. How strengthening it is to see that we are all united…across state lines, across oceans…across Christian denominations. We are all God’s children, and He loves us intimately. And He is so pleased with our efforts to speak out against abortion.
Please come to the vigil if you can…especially TOMORROW (Thursday) from 3-7pm. There is no one signed up to stand with Shift Manager Jeannie from 3-5pm and no one with Bethany from 5-7pm! Our shift managers are so dedicated to the pro-life cause that they commit to be there NO MATTER WHAT…even if no one signs up. But I don’t want them to get discouraged standing all alone on the sidewalk. PLEASE COME SHOW YOUR SUPPORT DURING THESE HOURS!
Call or email me to let me know if you can stand with them.
Here are the stories and photos from today:
Charlene was the early-morning shift manager today and wrote:
October 8…7AM to 10AM shift. DICK AND I were prepared for the weather on the street today…layers and layers. And the folks who joined us warmed the day also…members of Hosanna Church who smiled, greeted, and passed out 40 Day pamphlets…Angela, Rich. And Alex were a blessing as well as Bill and Meredith.
We had 3 things to report today:
1. The car pulled in front of the “hope chest” again even though the while street was empty…I immediately moved the chest. Two people and a dog went inside. The girl came out and a policeman told her she had to move the car. Hee-hee
2. Rich offered a young girl a brochure and she said she did Not believe in abortion but felt we were rude for being here when people who wanted to go in were already stressed and traumatized. ..hmmm. she left before we could reply.
3. A member or Knights of Columbus (Jim) said he was responsible for programming for meetings and he wanted to do a pro-life piece this month…he did a video with his phone asking us basically why we were here. We told him we could only reply for ourselves and not the organization…so we spoke and he videod. He was sending it to Nikki…I hope he was who he said he was….
Very interesting day.
Charlene took these photos:
Cathy managed the vigil from 9:30 – noon. She wrote:
The shift started out fairly quietly. I was blessed to be with Angela of Hosanna Church until 11. We prayed together, and passed out some flyers to passersby. I was able to give a couple HO’s, including the small trifold resource sheet (nice!) to a young girl who was going in with some friends. Fortunately they came out shortly thereafter, shaking their heads.
At 11 the Guardians of Life arrived and went right to praying. After awhile I noticed a woman standing on the edge shouting. With the noise of jackhammers nearby it was hard to tell what she was saying, and I honestly thought she was just yelling at us. But as I paid closer attention I realized it was not that at all. About that time Fr. Tim started over to talk to her and I followed, as did Tom. Since Tom and I were with her, Fr. went back to leading prayer. As we listened we found out that she was grieving a past abortion, which it seems was not her choice. V. said her “son was ripped from her”. This must have happened some years ago as she has at least one grandchild. She was so upset. We told her that God still loves her and that he had forgiven her. Tom asked if she was Catholic and she said she was. Did she want to go to confession? “Yes.” So Tom went to get Fr. Tim who took her down the street and talked with her. When they returned she was much calmer, even showed me a picture of her grandaughter. I gave her some Rachel’s Vineyard literature, told her to call them, and that she might even want to go on the weekend retreat in which she seemed interested. We also told her we would pray for her. With hugs, she left, seemingly at peace.
This is another result of abortion which “they” don”t acknowledge.
Cathy took these photos:
I (Nikki) was the shift manager from noon – 2:45 and was blessed to be there while Fr. Tim and his Guardians for Life of Westmoreland and Indiana Counties were filling the sidewalk with their prayerful witness!
The Guardians for Life always bring Christ to the sidewalk. They pray and sing for the entire two hours! It is always a great reminder of the real reason we are there when we see people kneeling in prayer:
Actually, Fr. Tim was able to minister to a woman who began to cry as she was walking past the vigil this morning. When she saw them praying, she broke down and began sobbing loudly. She confessed that she had an abortion and Fr. Tim walked her around the corner where they could talk in private. He counseled her and gave her information about Rachel’s Vineyard. I saw the two of them as they returned to the vigil and the woman had a tearful smile on her face and was hugging Cathy, the shift manager. Praise God for using our presence on the sidewalk to bring about healing! To watch a short video of Fr. Tim being interviewed by Tom Venditti on the sidewalk this afternoon, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxblMk13WEA&feature=youtu.be
Tom also interviewed me on the sidewalk this morning. That video is posted at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYl-jV3kWZ0&feature=youtu.be
At 1pm the Guardians left and members of Hosanna Church once again picked up the torch for today…with the arrival of Pastor Gary and another member:
Johnny also came to help fill the vigil today:
At 2:45 Barbara and Richard arrived to take over for me. She sent in the following photos and report:
Hosanna parishioners from Bellevue came and prayed and stood with us downtown today in front of Planned Parenthood, the abortion clinic. Pastor Gary accompanied his church and led them in prayer.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you…” Matthew 23:37.
When the shift managers and people who come to pray return home, do they feel like prophets? What would that feel like?
I feel surprised and angry that anyone would tell a couple that their life will be better if they kill the unborn child who is bringing a “crisis” into their “relationship.” They should kill their baby? Are you kidding?
Oh, but the woman is the person who is pregnant. It is her problem. Really? Are you kidding?
Oh, but it will be better for the baby because an “unwanted baby” will have a terrible life. Really? Do you know how many couples are signed up to adopt a baby? There are so many that you can’t even get on the waiting list.
Secondly, do you realize how many people are surprised and upset when they realize they are expecting a new little one? Isn’t adulthood about handling and managing surprises in a civilized manner?
Have you seen a photo of what an aborted baby looks like? You should. You owe it to aborted babies.
Have you seen the anguished sorrow of people who aborted their child, when they finally, actually realize that they killed their child…and when they really realize that their decision is irrevocable?
For some reason, some of us realize the horror of abortion and simply can’t stand it. We can’t stand the inane rationale. We can’t stand the lies. God is going to continue to send us. We’re not coming to judge you. We’re coming to tell you that turning to God when life becomes difficult opens doors and windows and tears down entire walls you never knew were there. Managing difficulty is difficult. It is worth it. Ask the adults in your life. Ask the parishioners from Hosanna Church in Bellevue.