A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.





Walt Whitman’s spider could have been a spider, tiny in the yellow brightness of a late winter pansie or a much larger spider launching its filaments between rocks and Queen Anne’s Lace near the end of summer.  It takes up to an hour for the average spider to weave a complete web.

The “bridge” for the second stanza soul  is entirely different.  In the first place, it is mistaken when it thinks that it is “…surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space”.  Human behavior occurs in a densely populated neighborhood.  The gossamer thread you fling, “O my soul” catches somewhere.  The somewhere matters very much.

When your decisions can generally be described as trying to “turn the other cheek” your world brightens and warms. Make a habit of decisions that generally see the people in your life as items to be managed and your world will start feeling cramped and chilly.

Are my past choices irrevocable? Can my life be warmer and brighter?  I want that!  Is it too late? Will someone help me?




“… if you listen carefully, if you look closely, you will discover that people are hungry.  We were created to love and be loved, and there is a restlessness…,”

“The Holy Spirit (the soul of our soul,” as Pope Benedict XVI calls him) is at the source of these longings.  It is the presence of God in the most interior part of ourselves that calls us to move beyond the surface concerns of our lives, to explore and experience something deeper.”

“Our hunger is not for appearances, nor is it for the fleeting and superficial; it is for something of substance.  We are hungry for truth.”

“This yearning preoccupies the human heart, and it is neither random nor accidental; everyone has it and we have it for a reason.”



“Many people consider Jesus irrelevant today because he proposes a life of discipline.  Is discipline, then, to be considered the core of Jesus’ philosophy?  No.  Christ proposes a life of discipline not for its own sake, and certainly not to stifle or control us; rather he proposes discipline as the key to freedom.”

His teachings are not complex or exclusive, but simple and applicable to everyone, everywhere, in every time in history, regardless of age, color, or state in life. Beyond life’s complexities, there is simplicity.  Beneath the chaos and confusion of life, there is understanding.  It is the Gospel, the good news.




“People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe.  There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy.”

G. K. Chesterton. ORTHODOXY


Here we can at once say that at the very heart of sin lies human beings’ denial of their creatureliness….

They do not want to be creatures, do not want to be subject to a standard, do not want to be dependent. They consider their dependence on God’s creative love to be an imposition from without.


We can only be saved – that is, be free and true – when we stop wanting to be God and when we renounce the madness of autonomy of self-sufficiency.

We can be saved only when he from whom we have cut ourselves off takes the initiative with us and stretches out his hand to us.  Only being loved is being saved, and only God’s love can purify damaged human love and radically reestablish the network of relationships that have suffered from alienation.

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI  ‘…IN THE BEGINNING…’


“Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.”

“Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool.  If you are willing, and obey….”

Isaiah 1:18-1


Since 1973, abortion has been legal in the United States for any reason at any time during pregnancy right up until delivery of the full term baby.

Babies are killed. Hearts are broken.

Untold numbers of people are organized to help people suffering from their participation in abortion.  Here are two.



The Campaign goal is to reach out to people hurt by abortion and to encourage them to attend abortion after-care programs. They invite those who are ready to break the silence to join us in speaking the truth about abortion’s negative consequences and the hope found in healing.


Rachel’s Vineyard

If the emotional and spiritual wounds of a past abortion have been sapping faith, love and joy from your life, I can promise, that if you enter this process for healing, your life will begin to change.

Rachel’s Vineyard can help you find your inner voice. It can help you experience God’s love and compassion on a profound level.

It creates a place where men and women can share, often for the first time, their deepest feelings about abortion. You are allowed to dismantle troubling secrets in an environment of emotional and spiritual safety. Rachel’s Vineyard is therapy for the soul.

Participants, who have been trapped in anger toward themselves or others, experience forgiveness. Peace is found. Lives are restored. A sense of hope and meaning for the future is finally re-discovered.



JEN  7-9

Rose and Ben returned to the vigil this morning to pray, witness, and encourage.  They were a blessing to me and to all who passed by.

The weather was a little less bitter, so more people were out and willing to interact.  Many of them accepted 40 Days for Life flyers and lollipops tucked into a Precious Feet pin card.

May God use our presence on the sidewalk to make everyone aware of His tremendous love for each one of His children!

Ben and Rose
Ben and Rose


SUE 9-11

My dear friend Dot L. graciously agreed to keep me company this morning at the vigil.  A great comfort, as I was not feeling well this morning.  We arrived to 7-9 shift manager Jen, along with Rose and Ben, praying and handing out lollipops stuck into Precious Feet cards to passersby.

Dot and I took up our post, and I have to be honest.  It got to a point at which I couldn’t stop talking to her.  She is the head of the Respect Life committee at our church, and we always have so much to talk about!  So, just like the two chatty little girls in the classroom, I had to separate myself from her and go to stand on the other side!

During the time that we were standing together, a woman came by, to whom I offered one of the lollipop Precious Feet cards.  At that, she very dramatically spit on the sidewalk in front of me.  We offered her a “God bless you” as she walked away, which was returned with an angry epithet.  We prayed for her after she walked away.

Please keep her, and all the angry passersby that we encounter, in your prayers.

In massively stark contrast, soon Patty, along with a 7-member family, arrived to offer a Rosary.  This family is one of those families that immediately upon meeting them, you feel great hope for our future world.  Each one of those 5 young children is extremely bright, polite, and respectful, and so willing and eager to pray for the unborn.  To say that they brightened my day is an understatement!  Praying with and talking with them was a huge blessing to me.  God surely treasures and hears and answers their prayers.

God bless you all, and keep praying!

Blessed Family Patty
Blessed Family



For the first hour and 40 minutes it was Meg from Herman, PA, and me.

God blessed us with an amazing conversation with a 46 year old security guard. He told us he believed that all women should bring the child to birth but he didn’t think it was his place as a male to do so.  Women should band together. I told him I agree women should support each other but that women are also looking for strong men who will stand behind their women.

He then told us that he has adopted 6 kids and is about to adopt a 7th. This newborn is the brother of the 4 year old he has at home.  The mother is incarcerated and gave birth to this child in jail.

I told him how awesome it is that he is willing to adopt all those children. He also told us how invaluable Genesis (, (412) 766-26930)

has been to him since he makes too much money for assistance. They provided him with clothes, diapers and baby food.

He was such an upbeat young man. He told us “thank you” for standing outside and witnessing!

I also had a pleasant conversation with a woman going to the theater who worked with mentally challenged young women who sometimes become pregnant.  She said she couldn’t understand why we won’t let them have the choice to abort. I told her that we believe once a child has been conceived there is no other choice but to allow them to be born. She listened attentively and thanked me for explaining our stance. She said she disagrees but respects our right to be there.

I felt good knowing that even on a day when PP is closed we make a difference.  It’s nice when people stop to talk in a respectful manner.




The 3 to 5 shift was mostly quiet.

A new pastor from Steubenville brought his wife, son and some church members. We fellowshipped and prayed the Life Stations of the Cross.

Their photo was taken by Maggie the 1 to 3 shift manager.

A man came named Nick. he shared some of his life stories. He stated he is the child of a rape. He also had other concerns. A good man he is! Hope the best in Christ for him.

Happy Sunday to all.

Steubenville Pastor with Family
Steubenville Pastor with Family




Stay tuned for more notes from our Sunday Shift Managers


And God saw that it was good.


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