40 Days for Life
I chose you from the world
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
cf. John 15:16
I was thinking about this verse a lot last evening…. and I’d like to share some reflections which hopefully relate to our vigil.
First, the Lord says, “I chose you.” Do we realize how amazing it is to have been CHOSEN? To choose someone is not random. It is quite purposeful. When I am chosen for anything- even if it is something I’d rather not do!- or something I don’t think I’d be good at- I still feel honored at having been CHOSEN to do it. How much MORE should we feel honored at having been CHOSEN by Our Lord to be HIS?
The Lord also says, “I chose you from the world.” Remember the old “duck pond” game at church festivals? I used to love that game when I was little. Out of all the little plastic ducks in that plastic swimming pool, I had to choose ONE. And I’d excitedly turn it over to see what my prize was going to be, as it was written on the bottom of the duck. It was a moment of suspense for a little child, to search the “pond” with shrewd eyes and decide “Yes, this is the one!!”
A rough and crude analogy, to be sure… because God doesn’t work that way…. exactly. But He DOES look shrewdly upon His people, and CHOOSES some to do His work. We see that clearly with people who are universally acknowledged as being chosen to do God’s work: St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), Pope St. John Paul II, Reverend Billy Graham, etc.
But what about us? Has God CHOSEN us to do His work? Let me tell you, if we are involved in any kind of pro-life ministry, then I say a resounding YES. This is not a ministry for the faint of heart.
And finally, the Lord says, “I chose you from the world to go and bear fruit that will last.” What is this “fruit”? When the Lord says that He wants us to bear fruit, of course, this could mean lots of things. And sometimes, the fruit we bear at any given moment depends upon the work in which we are currently involved. In our pro-life work, then, the fruit we bear might look like some of the following:
ALL of these are ways we can bear fruit in this ministry. So let us not grow weary in doing good!!
Shift Manager Reports
It was a quiet and peaceful shift. We had a nice group From Manordale Knights of Columbus with us for our whole shift. They brought a large bouquet of pink roses, which Peggy distributed around the circle. Peggy and I knelt in the crosswalk facing the doors and prayed. Thank you to everyone who came!
Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene arrived on the scene for the changing of the guard at 9 AM – so nice to see Nikki and Peggy on this crisp sunny morning. Meredith, Jessie, Judy and Pastor Joe represented LPNaz and we were soon joined by Katie…a very bright spot in our day. A big thanks to Katie for bringing so many resources and “good” things to hand out to people…and her zeal and determination to connect with people.
I started my shift out on my knees in front of the doors, and immediately the Lord impressed upon me to pray for the babies being murdered inside the building … In my mind there was one particular baby and the Lord led me to pray for Jesus to shield her (I think) from the pain of the brutal slaughter and for Jesus to receive her precious life into His everlasting arms. I was so overwhelmed by the prayer and my mind’s picture that I began to cry. After I finished praying, a young man (“B”) came out (he actually came out a couple times to smoke). I tried to approach him a couple of times, and finally he let me talk to him. I found out that his friend “S” was in there having an abortion. I gave him our resource card and told him she might need some support after the abortion. He allowed me to pray with him and he went back in and waited. I realized then that this was that baby I was praying for. He came out again before I left my shift and even though he was talking on his phone he stopped so I could talk to him. He asked me to pray for S. I told him about my experience of praying for the baby and that the baby was safe in the arms of Jesus and assured him that I would be praying for S. So, let’s all be lifting S up in prayer, that God will bring healing to her life.
Another lady went in and didn’t totally ignore me but didn’t stop. When she came out, I had an opportunity to talk to her because she had to wait to cross the street. She said she brought someone else in who couldn’t get services anywhere else (not sure what she meant by that), but she was very interested in our resource card and took two. She said she didn’t believe in abortion…so I told her the statistics of our PP and urged her to not support them. Even though she was in a hurry, she took the time to hear the information. She went back into PP a little later and then she came back out with her friend and her little baby. Pastor Joe asked the mom if he could bless the baby and she was happy to receive that. We all joined in that joyful prayer.
There were three very young ladies who went in. Two of them were in the waiting room and the blinds were open. I had offered them the resource card on their way in but they were not interested. As the two were sitting in the waiting room I stood in front of the window and offered them the card again. They were able to see the picture of the pregnant mom on the sign around my neck. One of the girls looked distressed and seemed to be wiping tears. Meredith mouthed that she would drive them somewhere else for services. When the two girls came out and crossed the street Katie was able to engage them and offer them resources. They at least looked at the material but did not accept them.
A young man came by who needed prayer. His young girlfriend had died of an overdose in September. It was very tragic. He showed me her picture and she was so beautiful. I acknowledged the tragedy and his loss and was able to pray for him. I can’t remember his name, but perhaps all of you can lift him in prayer that God will continue to mend his grieving heart and be a help in his time of need.
There were a couple of passersby who could also use prayer…one individual said we were wasting our time. One passerby had a choice name for me and told us to stop talking but he didn’t linger or do any other confrontation. So let’s pray that God turns their stony hearts into fleshy hearts and reveals Himself to them.
There was a young man riding his bicycle past PP and stopped at the models and was talking to our group on that side of the walk. He explained his past life of addiction and hard circumstances. He said that he was now a Christian. Pastor Joe had an opportunity to pray with him.
Meredith had an encouraging word for today…she has the sense that this PP is crumbling from the inside…the entire inside is crumbling. As she explained it I envisioned that picture in my mind, and I am claiming that as answered prayers and fasting. Perhaps we can all envision that in our minds and claim it to the glory of God. …The end of abortion at 933 Liberty Avenue in the Mighty Name of Jesus!!!
Today was a sad day, as it was an abortion day, and many people who passed by didn’t seem to want our information. But at the same time, those who refused were generally polite, not mean. At least that was good.
Judy mentioned “B” in her report, and he did come out again during the 11-1 shift, this time with “S,” and Katie had seen that S was crying. Deacon Paul went over to talk to them, and suddenly a woman– a stranger– came out of nowhere and gave Deacon Paul a hard time for coming over to them!! It didn’t seem like B had a problem with the deacon, but he just told him that S needed a little space. So Deacon Paul gave her that. As Judy said, please pray for them.
I am very thankful for all of those who came to pray with us today, including the Pittsburgh Byzantines, as well as Dan, Bob, John, and Lisa. The Byzantine prayer service we had was beautiful! Thank you all!
Dee and Mary Frances came from St. Bernadette, Monroeville, to pray. After we prayed the rosary, Dee gave away several rosaries to people who saw the red, white and blue ones in her hands, and liked them. Benson took his usual place beside the pole near the new fetal models. I did not know until today that he comes to PP after school every day.
At Mass this morning, I prayed that NO ONE would go into PP while I was there. The only person who went in while we were there was a UPS man delivering what looked like a load of paper.
The crispy cool in the shade was alleviated somewhat when the sun came over the top of the local skyscrapers.
May the Lord help us
to continue to do His work,
and bear much fruit that will last.
God have mercy on us all.