Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!! Think of St. Patrick today and how he and Jesus won souls for God.
A brief reminder: As prayer warriors for God through 40daysforlife, we will meet lions along the way as yesterday’s blog reminded us. But we are only church mice (right!). We come up against adversity just by standing in front of PP. Safety is a concern so if a situation rises to the level of a passerby needing to be escorted by a policeman, call the proper authorities. But we also have to remember our role as witnesses. Today’s blog is about change. We can see it in the weather and we can see it in people.
People are capable of change but sometimes it takes time, patience and respect. We have been waiting a long time for a change in the ordinance that established the buffer zone. We will need to wait patiently for that change. Please remember that our peaceful, non-threatening presence on the sidewalk can work miracles. Stand close to the circle but please remain on the outside for now. Someday we will be allowed in. Three of our people have put their names to the cause in court. Justice takes time. Please click on the following link to learn how to deal with lions: The Lion and the Mouse
And check out these videos please! Many feel the pro-life movement is restricted to old people or “only the holy”. Well, we know if we are involved, God uses anyone who responds to his call to get the message out! His name is Holy!
St. Patrick (link)
“As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him. During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer.
He wrote “The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same.” “I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.“ (catholic.org)
And so we ask ourselves when faced with change: “A daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she did not know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed that just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed. Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen.
He filled three pots with water and placed each over a higher fire. When the water began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them boiling for a while without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter moaned and waited impatiently, wondering what her father was doing. After twenty minutes, he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes and eggs out of the pots, placed them in different bowls, and poured the coffee into a cup.
Turning to her, he asked, “What do you see?” “Potatoes, eggs and coffee,” she quickly replied.“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After removing the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.
Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face. “Father, what does this mean?” she asked. He then explained that the potatoes, eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity- boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water it become soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After being exposed in the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which are you?” he asked his daughter. When adversity knocks to your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg or a coffee bean?”
Ezekiel 36:26- A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. (King James)
click link to read about: Dr. Alveda King- a present day example of a changed heart
Shifts: Today’s representatives of agents of positive change: (for the links, if St. Francis of Assisi clicks on don’t be surprised. He was trying to get through each time for me too!)
7 am to 11 am First Evangelical Free Church, McKeesport St. John the Evangelist (link)
Sally and Al report:
What a change from yesterday! The wind was fierce, quickly driving our balmy early morning temperature into the 30’s, whipping our signs around and freezing anyone not dressed for winter. No matter! We had two good churches with us this morning.
The First Evangelical Free Church of McKeesport, arrived in at least two groups, with their minister. A little before 10 a.m. they were joined by a Byzantine priest, his wife & several members of their congregation, all the way from DuBois, Pa. Both church groups have been with us during many other 40 Days campaigns. We also welcomed Beth S.,Marian C., Lillian, Bill H. and Amy, who apparently has been coming to PP with her own sign, beautifully advertising one of the Pregnancy Hot Line numbers. PP was rather busy.
A couple from Nepal, who spoke little or no English, were going into PP. Beth and Brian, one of the FEF Church men, convinced them to go to Catholic Charities. Beth took them there, and left them in their capable hands. As it turned out, the couple did not want an abortion. They have a 6 year old daughter, have been wanting another baby, and wanted to confirm their possible pregnancy. What if they had gone to PP instead of to Catholic Charities? Think about it. Please pray for this couple to have a safe delivery, if she is pregnant, or to be able to conceive another child if her pregnancy test is negative. (Thank you Beth.)
Our “friend” from the restaurant about 1/2 block away, who has not been seen since winter arrived, came back to give us his usual advice: “Abortion is caused by too many old people. Why don’t you throw yourselves under a bus?” Seriously, that is what he often said in the past and said again today. He obviously has problems. Please pray for him.
Cil managed the vigil from 11am-1pm and took these photos:
Was glad to have Pam and Joyce join me for our church vigil time from 11-3 today and glad Fr Mark was able to meet up with us later. SM Dean arrived before 1 bearing hot chocolate which was so welcomed as it was windy and colder than we expected today. It was nice to get away to warm up and grab a bite after Dean arrived. Had an interesting encounter with a young Muslim woman with 2 young children in tow. She asked how to get involved and if it was just for Christians. I told her it would b great for them to join us and shared the 40 Days flyer with Nikki’s contact info. Then later, Joyce spoke with an oriental girl who wondered why we were there. “…No race nor creed can love exclude if honored be God’s name. Our family embraces all whose Father is the same…”
A security guard (not pp) accepted a flyer. We talked about how our “jobs” are similar…protect life… He accepted a shamrock and resource sheet to share with a friend who just said she was pregnant but struggling, with her boyfriend, financially.
Photo gallery sent from Karen: When you are alone, you can always go “dahntahn” and pray for life!
Dean reports from the 1-3 shift:
I struck up a conversation with a Korean War veteran on the bus ride to the vigil this afternoon. We had a lot to say on a wide range of topics and our conversation was going well until………., he asked what was bringing me into town today.
Sorry to say that he felt that abortion was justified in preventing an already over sized population from getting any larger as well as keeping “challenged” babies from coming into the world. I tried as gently as I could to remind that maybe the argument is more about everybody adopting a more responsible attitude for the sex that they were having and also that we live in a world that’s far from perfect (for now).
Cecelia had some family style shamrocks for me to help pass out to passersby today. Some actually took them. The girls that were entering P.P. didn’t want to hear about any of the alternatives to abortion that are available. Folks from St.Sebastian prayed with me for the majority of my time at the vigil today. Thank you Cecilia for the hot chocolate.
It did the trick.
3 pm- 7 pm: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Carnegie St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (link it)
Sheila reports from the 3-5 shift:
Although the winds were cold and strong, we had the sun to warm us. I was surprised that there was so little traffic in and out of the clinic. Many passers-by were very accepting of the various resources we have to offer.
Vince, Walt and Joe from St Elizabeth Ann Seton in Carnegie prayed at the vigil today!
From the moment the ambulance pulled up in front of Planned Parenthood until the end of our shift , myself, Joe and the three wonderful gentlemen Joe brought from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton prayed specifically for this young woman that walked into Planned Parenthood Tuesday but left in an ambulance. We will never know her story, we can only surmise. This stark reality effected us all immensely last evening. ……may you know young lady, we will continue to pray for you and for your loss.
Prayer warriors are needed during the afternoon hours on Wednesday, March 18 and any time you would like to join in prayer.
Bring your cup of coffee!
click link for: Prayers to help with change.
“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” [John 16:21]