Day 13: St. Catherine of Siena, St. Bernadette: Be the Light

“O that to-day you would harken to his voice! Harden not your hearts!” Ps 94:8

“Our prayer, during Lent, aims at awakening consciences, at making them sensitive to God’s voice. ‘Harden not your hearts,’ the Psalmist says. In fact, the numbing of consciences, their indifference to good and evil, their deviations, are a great threat for man. Indirectly, they are also a great threat for society, because in the last analysis the level of morality of society depends on the human conscience.” John Paul II 3-15-1981

We can be that light that awakens the consciences of our brothers and sisters who pass by us downtown, whether they be pp bound or pp employees or just passerby’s in cars or on the street. In no uncertain terms we are saying, “This is wrong. This is evil.”

We can be the seed that is planted deep in their hearts that God will water and make bloom.

But we must all fight against that love of comfort (especially in these cold times), That self-centeredness of “but I’ve got so much to do”, that “what will people think of me praying in public” and that assumption “oh somebody else who has more time will show up.”

We rarely see the impact or effect our presence has being at the vigil sight but I am confident we are His hands and feet and voices. And we are not laboring in vain.

So, if you haven’t been down yet to the vigil site, stop by, stay awhile, and be the light.  If you are reluctant to go, here is a first step: Take a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and give it to the shift manager.  See what it is all about. You don’t need to stay.  Just take the first step with this act of kindness.  I am certain it will be appreciated.  Someone did it for me a week ago and it might have been the best coffee I ever had.

We can use the help today from 3-7 PM today as no church has signed up.

Stories from today’s vigil will be posted as they arrive throughout the day.

Remember if you go to the vigil, I challenge you to take  selfie in front of the abortion center and post it “as the light” on your social media site.

Tim B.

From Kathy L 9-11 AM:

 Snow, ice, and cold weather didn’t stop MaryAnn Mulkerin from coming to the vigil this morning. In fact, she arrived at 8 am. and stayed until Access picked her up at 10:45 a.m. Her dedication is inspiring to all of us.

While MaryAnn and I were praying, we were joined by Amy (LMJ), and later during the hour, a group of women from St. Bernadette’s came to pray and distribute 40 Days flyers. Bill H. also made a brief visit. Many passersby today due to the two-hour school delay. Some young people accepted the 40 Days flyers. A few women entered PP during my time there.

The new shift manager, Mark, arrived promptly at 11 a.m. ready and willing to carry the vigil into the next two hours.

From brand-new shift manager, Mark, 11-1:

Quiet between 11 and 1 today. A lot of time praying and realizing in the cold that our young babies only know a cold world was brought to a warm moment when a woman walked by and gave me a hearty and encouraging greeting…they are out there.  Here are the ladies from St Bernadette.



From Beth S. 1-3pm:

Justes” is French for the people who saved Jewish children from the Holocaust.  In the book, When Paris went Dark, by Ronald C. Rosbottom, the author writes: Until mid-1942, when anti-Jewish operations became more violent and the rumors of a Nazi “final solution’ had finally reached Paris, most well-meaning and generous Parisians were aware, in general, of the laws restricting the lives of their Jewish cohabitants but had convinced themselves that the government was only trying to control immigration and “terrorism.”  They certainly did not know of the plan to deport them to their deaths, but to their deaths they went:  the last sad convoy to carry children, three hundred of them, left Drancy for Auschwitz on July 31. 1944, at he orders of Alois Brunner.  The final transport of adult deportees left on August 17, a week before Paris would be liberated. (p.286)”
More than 11, 000 children were taken from France to the death camps.   How has history judged the people of the world for what was done and not done during the “Final Solution?”  How will history judge us during abortion-on-demand?
Today, prayers were offered to awaken the world to the tragedy, “the plan” of abortion.   When Rose and I arrived, Matt was standing as witness at PP with brochures and his “40 Days for Life” hat letting people know why we are there.  Then Ed came from St. Bernadette’s and Dee came right after him.  Cathy, the next shift manager arrived early and our shift was over.  People were generally were positive in their comments and at least we’re trying to let everyone “know of the plan,” that is Planned Parenthood.
From 3-5 Cathy Z:
That which is essential is invisible to the eye.” (The Little Prince)
I had a quiet, uneventful 2 hours alone this afternoon. One young man, I think asked, what about my daughter, but I didn’t hear clearly and he kept walking. He just wanted to throw that out there, but didn’t really want to know. Otherwise, I gave, and received, some smiles from the few who made eye contact. But today, and any day, what is important is the positive changes we don’t see in those passing by who are influenced by our presence and prayers.
From Pat 5-7 PM:

It was a nice quite evening downtown. I was joined about 15 minutes into my shift by Chris, who works for the Diocese of Pittsburgh and belongs to St. Bernard’s. At his suggestion we prayed a rosary together. After he left I was by myself for the remainder of the evening, but enjoyed the solitude. I had decided to not pass out any literature tonight and to just stand and pray with my “PRAY + FAST” sign. Because I wasn’t passing out literature I had the chance to watch people as the walked by and looked at my sign. The vast majority had no visible reaction, but what I sensed in almost everyone was that it was making wheels turn in their heads. It was getting them thinking.

One young man of about 18 was the only one to make a verbal comment – something like “Yeah, but what if someone gets raped?” I didn’t say anything, but when he and his two friends came back 20 minutes later, I was ready for what happened next. He politely asked me about the rape situation and I talked about how someone conceived in rape was just as human as he was when he was conceived. The conversation went on for a little longer and touched on other aspects of this problem. By the end he more or less thanked me for giving him some things to think about. How about that? Maybe a heart and mind was changed tonight.


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