Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” Luke 13:22
Two things struck me about this passage in today’s Gospel. First…I thought about a narrow gate. A silly image of an overweight person trying to squeeze through a narrow opening came into my mind, and I thought about how much easier it would be to pass through if one were fit and lean. The second thing that struck me is Jesus’ warning that many won’t be strong enough to pass through it.
We are getting close to the end of our 40 Days for Life campaign, and this is the time when everyone begins to get weary. It begins to be more difficult to get volunteers to come out to the sidewalk, we are getting tired of fasting, and we are just looking forward to day 40…and having a fun time at the closing rally! There is a temptation during these final days to slack off…take it easy and rest, but this is the time when we need to BE STRONG!
We are in a fight to save lives and turn our culture back to life and to God. And so we need to be strong, fit and lean! We can all get fit spiritually, through the discipline of prayer, fasting and patiently enduring hardships for the good of others.
It is also important to take care of our physical bodies as much as possible, so we can be strong for the work that God calls us to do. I have recently gone back to karate, something I had fun practicing for 10 years before getting involved in pro life work. I gave it up because I was just too busy with all this pro life activity. But now, thanks to our wonderful 40 Days for Life team members, being so dedicated and making sure our campaigns run so smoothly, after being away for 5 years, I am now able to make time for karate again…and I am having a blast with it! So keep fighting with me…stay strong!
The empty vigil hours tomorrow (Thursday) have now been filled (with the exception of 6pm, but Shift Manager Rick said his wife will join him for that hour…but if anyone wants to come at that time, it would be nice). Thanks to all you wonderful, dedicated 40 Days for Life family members!
Now for the reports from today’s sidewalk warriors…(including a report of a possible life saved!)
7 – 9 am Shift manager Sue wrote:
I was joined by Sidewalk Advocate Katie along with Mary and Cathy from St Juan Diego. Cathy is shift manager from 9-11am, but she came 2 hrs early to stand with her church! We spread out on both sides of the circle to pray and hand out the yellow cards. It was fairly busy with clients and employees going in. One woman was dropped off but didn’t accept any information. She later stood inside the circle by the door, giving another S.A. a chance to talk with her. She said she was waiting for sonogram results, so we ramped up our prayers. She accepted Katie’ s newborn gift. She did go back inside, than a little while later came out and a vehicle pulled in the middle of the street, honked and waved for her, calling her name. The girls were kinda cheering, and she got in and left!! We don’t know what her intentions were, but we consider it a save!!
Another woman came out and was easily engaged in conversation. She said she was there being treated for cervical cancer. We encouraged her to go elsewhere for treatment since she did not agree with abortion, especially right up to birth like she heard recently during the presidential campaign! She took some yellow cards, looked at the fetal models and we told her they are doing abortions in there today and last year over 3000 babies were killed there. Hopefully she gave the other women inside the resource information! Barbara, Windy and Nancy from North Ridge Community Church came and did a Jericho Match around the building! Thanks, Sue
9-11 am Shift Manager Cathy reports:
The morning continued to be fairly busy with Sidewalk Advocates Kim, Elsie and Katie reaching out to those going into the clinic. There was a couple who went in together. He came out after a short time and walked down the street with tears in his eyes. Kim tried to catch up with him, but was unable to do so. We missed when he returned. A young woman came out and was standing there – said she was having a sonogram. Elsie told her about the free ones (she said she had insurance) and gave her one of Katie’s baby blanket packs and offers of help should she need it. After going in and then out again, she was picked up. A young (12-15) girl, accompanied by her mother, went in, though they were not in for a terribly long time while the dad waited in the car. Elsie tried but was unable to get much from them.
In addition to the SAs, Mary, from my parish(it was our day), Stephan and Denise, David and Brittany, with their son who loved the baby model his mom gave him from the chest, Bill and Anita were all there to pray at various times.
Cathy also sent in this photo, taken from a recent trip to New York, at the site of the twin towers memorial:
11 – 1 pm Shift Manager Cil sent in lots of great photos from her shift:
1 – 3 pm Shift Manager Chris writes:
What a blessed way to arrive for my shift- Father Tim and his Guardians for Life praying the Rosary and singing hymns! Barb from St. Valentine’s joined me during her lunch hour for the 3rd consecutive week. I was also joined by Father Mark, a monk from near Butler, Bernice, Joan, and Judy. My time on the sidewalk was buoyed by multiple “God Bless Yous” and “Keep up the good work”. We had an interesting conversation with two women who turned out to be mother and daughter. They stopped to ask me and one of our lady prayer warriors who we were going to vote for. I sensed it was a loaded question. I consented to a discussion even though we’ve been instructed not to talk politics in front of PP. At the moment, I felt that to respond might be the only way to engage the women in a pro-life discussion. It turns out that they are pro-life, with the mother telling me she was “with us” and had four children. I explained the purpose of the 40 Days for Life campaign, its scope, and its timing twice a year. Sensing some interest, I invited them to stop by at any time, even if it were for just a few minutes, to stand witness with us. Just at that time, the Holy Spirit sent Bill to us to further the discussion. Hopefully, we’ve encouraged them to stand with us, if not during this campaign, then during the Lenten campaign next year!
3 – 5 pm Seamus was the shift manager…he sent in the following photo:
5 – 7 pm Joe K’s report is as follows:
Tonight’s shift was the quietest and chilliest of this current campaign.
I’ve been spoiled by previous Wednesday’s, but this one is a “note-to-self” –
Fall is here and dress warmer than normal for down here…
More foot traffic than usual and the bus noise was more than usual. Besides
some of the usual workers exiting the building, there was an unusually
noticeable number of young women exiting 933 Liberty Ave…
Attempted to share some of our info with these “volunteers”, but got the
typical “un-kind” responses that often spills out of 933. Let us prary
for them for the veil to be lifted on their eyes, hearts, and conscience…
I was proud to be shift manager for my church, Corpus Christi (McKeesport),
whose presence overlapped with Seamus’ shift. I was joined by Fr. Steve
Mike K. from the Pro-Life group. Fr. Steve, who earlier led us in prayer, has a history
of witnessing in front of the abortion clinics in Pittsburgh – both on Liberty Ave. and
in East Liberty.
Both Bob and Jim joined us to pray on their way home from work and Marian stopped
by to make sure that the vigil was going ok and kindly straightened out our new blue
signs that were placed directly across the street from 933 Liberty Ave.
The usual mother of 4 and her children wandered up the street,in the early evening
with some of the children stopping to view / play with the fetal models.
The evening faded away into the chill as Diane, Marian, Mike, and I packed away
our setup – determined to return with the warmth of The Truth again, again, and again,…