Ezekiel 9. It has been on my mind since reading it in the Office of Readings earlier this week. I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post about it, since Marian is primarily in charge of the blog now, but I feel a tugging from the Holy Spirit that there may be some folks who will benefit from the thoughts that are on my mind.
9 Then I heard him call out in a loud voice, “Bring near those who are appointed to execute judgment on the city, each with a weapon in his hand.” 2 And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar.
3 Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side 4 and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”
5 As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. 6 Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple.
I couldn’t help but imagine that those of us who stand and pray in front of abortion clinics are being marked by the angel of the Lord with spiritual marks on our foreheads, to protect us from the judgement that is due to our nation from the sin of abortion.
“Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”
Not that that’s the reason we do it. We do not do it to escape punishment. In fact, if it is the Lord’s will that we share in the suffering of our nation, we willingly unite our suffering to our Lord’s for the salvation of souls. We do it because it is necessary. Our nation has become blind to sin. We are called to be a visible witness, so that perhaps their eyes will be opened. Our nation has become deaf to the cries of the weak and vulnerable. We are called to be a voice for them, and perhaps a deaf ear may be opened. Our nation has become weak, selfish and apathetic. We are called to be an example of self-sacrifice for the good of others, and perhaps someone will come to understand that giving away ones life is the only way to save it.
I am becoming more and more convicted that affluence is truly a hindrance to our souls, and to the soul of our nation. Jesus warned us that it will be very hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He didn’t say it is impossible, in fact, He said that with God all things are possible! But, He said it would be DIFFICULT. It seems that the more affluent and comfortable we are, the better we are able to insulate ourselves to the suffering that is all around us. I wonder if God is going to remove our affluence very soon. If so, it will be for our good, and for the good of souls.
Let’s not wait for that to happen before we act! He is giving us time right now, as a test, to see if we are willing to set aside our comfort for a few hours for Love of Him! Let’s not wait until we have no choice other than to grieve! It will touch Jesus’ Heart so much more to see His children WILLINGLY giving up their comforts in order to publicly grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done at 933 Liberty Avenue…rather than to do it unwillingly…after our comforts have been stripped away against our will.
Our 40 day vigil in front of Planned Parenthood is now 75% filled, with 70 churches/groups having adopted 80 of the 120 4-hour time slots! There are still 120 hours that are unfilled! Our team of faithful and selfless vigil shift managers are scheduled to be there no matter what…whether or not anyone else shows up, but I do not want them to have to stand alone. Please go to https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/pittsburgh/ to sign yourself up as an individual to fill a few of these hours. Consider making a weekly commitment of one or two hours. Or, if your church can help us to fill a 4-hour slot, email me at email@example.com to let me know, and I will add your church to the schedule. Make sure to check the list of scheduled churches prior to selecting your slot, to make sure that it is not already filled. Go to https://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/vigil-schedule/ to see the current schedule.
Plan to attend our 40 Days for Life Kick-off Event on Sunday, September 25th at 6pm, at Memorial Park Church, 8800 Peebles Road, Allison Park. Fr. Boniface Hicks, OSB, host of WAOB radio, and Rev. Joe Stump, Pastor of Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene will inspire us as we begin this difficult 40 day journey of prayer, fasting and witnessing. Jarod D’Amico of Intent, and Aaron Greer will bless us with their wonderful Christian music and we will have opportunity to enjoy fellowship and friendship during our gathering.
Finally, help us to maintain our 40-day fast by signing up to fast on at least one day during the 40 days! Our goal is to have at least two people fasting (either bread and water, or all liquids) on each day of the 40 days. Click HERE to sign up!
OH…and one last thing! The national 40 Days for Life team has put together an awesome (and short) video explaining this fall’s UNITED 40 Days for Life campaign! Please watch it yourself, and SHARE it on Facebook and other social media! Click HERE to view!
Thank you and may God bless you!
Your sister in Christ,