40 Days for Life
What has been, that will be;
what has been done, that will be done.
Nothing is new under the sun.
Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!”
has already existed in the ages that preceded us.
Ever since time began, there have been the joys, celebrations, wars, marriages, sins, and repentances of life. One of those joys, for many, is getting married, then getting pregnant and having a child.
One of the sorrows of life, for many, is when someone close to us dies.
These basic joys and sorrows of life– birth and death– have never changed. Scripture tells us in the passage above that there is “nothing new under the sun.”
If this is true, then why do we think that NOW– in present-day 2018– we NOW have the answers to all of life’s problems?
Unhappy in your marriage? Get divorced.
Want to enter into a sexual relationship with someone other than your spouse? Have an affair.
Not feeling fulfilled as a stay-at-home parent? Leave your family and start over.
Don’t feel like being a parent yet? Use contraception.
Don’t want the baby already conceived in the womb? Have an abortion.
SOME people claim that these are basic assumptions of the modern world…. this is the way things work in 2018…. we have to keep up with the times….
But didn’t we just read in Scripture that there is “nothing new under the sun” and that when we THINK that something is “new,” it has really already existed in all the ages that went before us?
One would THINK that something that claims to be “new” would also be “improved.” And yet, have ANY of the above cases improved our lives? Is the general quality of life in our culture made inherently BETTER because of divorce, adultery, abandonment, contraception, or abortion? I think that most of us reading this would say NO.
So, if these things are not new… and definitely not improvements… then WHY DO THEM?
If THIS is what we all want:
…then why are we continually using the WRONG means to get there??
If we want to be truly happy and free, then we must follow God and His will. There are no other options. And some things He made a certain way, to have a certain PURPOSE. This includes sex. And when we decide that we are taking matters into our own hands….. that sex can be what I want it to be…. that I can create my own reality….. then the TRUE meaning and purpose of sex does not get lived out, and we are no longer following God’s will, and therefore…. we will not be happy or free. We will NOT live “happily ever after.”
But ACCEPTING the truth of God’s plan for life and love that God has created…. well, that will clearly bring us the happiness and freedom that we seek. It is not in trying to be “new,” “trendy,” or “modern” that our true happiness lies. God is MUCH smarter than we are. He KNOWS that nothing is new under the sun. He just wants US to figure that out.
May we HUMBLE ourselves, and live according to HIS will. And we will be truly happy and free.
Shift Manager Reports
It was an honor to witness and pray today with Peggy and Mary Ann. The sidewalk was quiet and peaceful this morning. At the beginning of our shift, a man named Charles stopped to encourage us and asked to pray with us. He prayed a wonderful prayer for God to be with us. Peggy brought a bouquet of roses and we laid them on the painted line in memory of the children lost there. Mary Ann brought homemade cookies, and let me tell you, she bakes a mean cookie! Thank you Mary Ann!I decided to take advantage of the space directly in front of the doors to Planned Parenthood, since the walkway is now protected by the new planters, we can safely stand there without having to worry about being hit by a car. I felt like I should kneel, especially since I was wearing a sign that says “Knees on the Ground.” I ended up kneeling on the bricks for the entire rosary, and I have to say it felt right. In fact, I feel like something inside of me changed while I was praying. I can’t explain it, and maybe it is not even right to tell you, but whatever it was that happened, I think it is a good thing. I just feel like I have been given a grace from God that is a new and fresh Resolve. I know how important 40 Days for Life is, and how God is using it in such a powerful way, but I think I was taking it for granted and not really appreciating the magnitude of the greatness of this gift that God is giving us! As I prayed, I felt like this is the most important thing we can do right now! I felt like all the cover of darkness has been removed, and evil is being exposed in all sectors of our world, both in the Church and in our government. People now are free to choose good or evil, there is no more deception. There is nothing left to do for us now, the work has been done already! Now, we simply must pray and fast. Offer our sufferings to be joined with the Lord’s sufferings, and in reparation for sin. I think God whispered to me that he would like me to come to the vigil every day during the 40 days to simply pray the rosary on my knees. I want to try my best to do that. Thank you everyone for joining us in this worldwide movement of God! It was wonderful to see Meredith and Jessie come for the 9 to 11 shift and to see the beautiful red roses that they brought to honor the babies.
I hadn’t been down to Planned Parenthood since last 40 Days for Life, so the new sidewalk arrangement was very interesting! Traffic in and out of PP included what seemed likely to be abortion-bound couples, and lots of contraception appointments. Had some good times of prayer, and I brought a friend from church with me who had never been down before but wants to be more involved. This year, a neighbor is able to help get her son off to school, so she plans to come for our church shift every week. What a blessing! The flowers on the sidewalk are very moving! They were definitely noticed by passers-by. One young black man made a point of stopping to encourage us to keep up the good work and he appreciated the significance of the flowers. Keep up the good work church and don’t lose heart!
It was a really good time of prayer on the sidewalk today. I praise God for that. Unfortunately, it seemed rather busy at PP. But praying and talking with Rita was especially nice.
One young woman stopped by to look at the baby models, and shared that she had had a miscarriage at 6 weeks. We offered our sympathy. She said with a smile that they are trying again. We offered a prayer for her.
Thank you to all who came and prayed with us!
It was a very good day. Some healthcare workers stopped to talk with Nancy, one of our prayer volunteers.
A woman came out of PP with a small child, saying that she was there to receive emotional support. I told her that WE could provide her with that.
Bill had left, but came back to pray with us some more.
A very difficult woman began talking to the group. She was very pro-abortion and wanted to argue. I knew that the way to talk to her was through loving, not arguing.
All in all, a very good day on the sidewalk.
I was glad to know Carolyn was not alone from 2:30-3:00. Almost as soon as I got there, a very attractive, well-groomed, well-dressed lady came along and told us how much she disagreed with all we do. She sees the developing baby at any stage as “a blob of cells,” and believes women are free to do as they choose.
Carolyn is the teacher for the youngest children at her parish, and she did a beautiful job of showing how God’s love is evident in creation of a baby. The lady was not interested in facts or morality, just choice. But she thanked us for being kind to her. She said she was “wasting her time,” but we were glad she stopped.
Anita came with two lovely ladies from Butler. We prayed four rosaries, each of us leading a group of mysteries. A tall, red-haired young man from Mt. Lebanon joined us, and another man just came along and led a rosary for several decades.
The usual waiting line for the bus stop did not come as far as PP, but many people looked and slowed to peek at the “babies.” It’s worth the trip just for those who are seeing for the first time the miracle of “how babies grow.” What a revelation! as another young man (in his 20s) learned why we are there, how the babies grow, and what they do at PP. His reaction was worth the whole day.
As we finished the rosaries, the 5:00-7:00 group arrived. Seeing a husband and his wife at the vigil was beautiful! I noted that he is a member of the Catholic Men’s Fellowship. As the 5:00 group came, it was noticeably cooler, and the rain changed from drops to a regular sprinkle. I did not see any umbrellas. Maybe the rain did not stay.
Lori came to pray with us. She talked a bit about meeting Abby Johnson and how Abby helped her. I was wearing a St. Vincent College sweatshirt. She asked me if I went to St. Vincent. I told her it was my son’s school. She said she went to Seton Hill. Yes, she knows Sr. Anne I., who has brought Seton Hill students to our Pittsburgh affairs. We should all get to know Lori.