40 Days for Life
Then [Jesus] said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”
As Christians, during Lent, we usually WANT to “do Lent well.” We have a desire to accomplish our spiritual goals, and have the best of intentions. But temptations creep in at every turn.
Sadly, sometimes the world cries out to us in neon lights. It screams, “DON’T YOU WANT THIS??”
If we say “yes” to the world, are we willing to lose our soul in the process?
It might take everything within us to say “no” to the lures of the world, and to remember that enduring difficulties well -carrying our crosses- will bring us closer to Our Lord and to real joy and life.
And so, we turn again to the only One in Whom the fullness of life is found. We carry our crosses and we follow Him. And sometimes that can seem like walking alone in a desert. Maybe even uphill.
But notice that in the above photo, the man has something really important to help him on his arduous journey. A backpack. What is inside it? We don’t know. But we can assume that it is filled with things to help him on his trek through the desert.
Likewise, Our Lord never leaves us alone. He supplies us with all that we need to “do Lent well,” and to carry our crosses. One of the key aspects of His help is not a backpack, but something even more helpful: His presence. He doesn’t say, ” Take up your cross and…. there ya go! Good luck! Hope that works out for ya!” NO. He says, “Take up your cross and…. FOLLOW ME.” Hmm. Perhaps Jesus is actually ON this journey WITH us. We can FOLLOW Him… and we will not be alone.
Now there is a DIFFERENT kind of journey that some of us are on. This is a journey that involves fear, doubt, and insecurity. This is the journey of a couple who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy. In what kind of desert might such people find themselves?
This woman is not in a typical desert, but finds herself in one nonetheless. Even when other people and civilization are all around her, she may feel more alone than ever, and may believe that abortion is her only option.
But Jesus is present for her, too. She just needs to seek Him. He does not want her to be LOST through the desert. He does not want her to die. He wants her to FOLLOW HIM.
And if she does, then a new person, created by God, will make SOMEONE’S life a whole lot brighter.
Shift Manager Reports
I am thanking God for warm weather! It was so comfortable being outside this morning, what a blessing! As always, it was a blessing to share my 7 to 9 shift on Thursday mornings with wonderful Peg. We stayed on opposite sides of the circle, and I sat in the chair for most of my shift because I am not feeling well. I hope I am not getting the flu, I hope it is just a cold.
It was also a huge blessing to have Katie join us for the entire shift. She came to offer hope and options to those entering Planned Parenthood, which she did on many occasions. It seemed as if it may be an abortion day, a few couples went in, the clinic was definitely open for business. She also offered literature to everyone passing by, some took it and smiled, others stared straight ahead as if she wasn’t even there, I heard a few tell her that they support Planned Parenthood or they were pro-choice. Thank God she was there.
Chuck and Judy arrived early for their 9 to 11 shift. I am so thankful for them and it is a treat to get to see them each Thursday! We left the vigil in their capable and loving hands.
Today’s shift was busy, and in a way it felt like we’d never left. I’m sure that others who oppose us don’t feel that way!
We had several newcomers today, which was great! Thank you for coming! New people are always welcome!
I was blessed to have many pray-ers come and go on my shift. I even had two Sidewalk Advocates! That was wonderful. Thank you, ladies!
Several people who passed by said they were thankful for us being there. Always encouraging.
John and Antoinette were at 933 when I arrived. What joy to see John. Antoinette and her husband Tom are a K of C couple from Greensburg.
Tom and Jim were so warm & friendly, the rain was no burden.
Weather was wet but hearts were warm. Old pal John was part of Carolyn’s vigil. What joy to see him! The K of C couple from Greensburg were veteran pro-lifers.
I had just prayed a rosary when a man carrying a flask-like bottle of a clear liquid came along. He took a swig and told me, “I don’t agree with this stuff.” I was not sure if he meant me or PP, and I didn’t ask.
I went around the yellow curve to tell Jim, when along came a lady to talk to us. Jim responded artfully as this somewhat inebriated lady tore into us, telling us we should not be there. She had had an abortion when she was 17, and she was glad. She said that we had no business telling anyone what to do. Her streak of blue language made us assure her that we would pray for her. As we listened to the lady’s rant and pitied her condition, I wondered if she might be a familiar face to others who keep vigil.
By the time Rick arrived, we were well-soaked but happy to have had the privilege of being there. The smiles and greetings from passers-by and our humble presence will make a difference we won’t know until the next world.
The Thursday 5-7 PM shift was quiet, peaceful and rainy. Special thanks to Francis from St. Margaret of Scotland, SS. Simon and Jude Knights of Columbus, and Jim from St. Maurice for their prayers and witness on behalf of unborn children and pregnant mothers in need. Thanks also to Tom and Diane for their faithfulness in picking up all the signs and materials. The 5-7 PM shift ended a little early due to the inclement weather.
One last thought on the season of LENT:
Even though we might sometimes feel like this little guy…. we CAN resist temptation, carry our crosses, and FOLLOW the LORD. Be not afraid!
Lent is GOOD- it brings us closer to the One who loves us most!!!