In today’s liturgical First Reading, we hear from Deuteronomy 30:15-20. This passage tells us that Moses admonished the people of Israel to follow God, and they would have life. By NOT following God, they would die.
Sometimes, we can physically die from not choosing God. And sometimes, the death is spiritual. We can find ourselves lost, and far away from where we had perhaps even intended to go, initially.
But God is a God of mercy…. a God of second (and third, and fifth, and 80,327th) chances.
Do you know anyone who has had an abortion? I do. Some people talk about the abortion experience as though it were liberating. Even Abby Johnson, the well-known FORMER abortion worker, felt that way at first. But we know that having an abortion not only causes physical death to the child in the womb, but it can cause spiritual, emotional, and psychological death to the mother. Oftentimes, these are effects that she may not even be cognizant of. But that doesn’t make it any less sad.
Point is….. this is LENT, folks. The PERFECT time for change….. for turning our hearts around….. for following the Lord more perfectly. He tells us in today’s Gospel, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23b) He also says, “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?” (Luke 9:25)
So if we think that abortion is an easy way out, and a way to “gain the whole world,” as Jesus says, we are fooling ourselves. We will, instead, lose our souls in the process…. a result that is not desired by anyone, including Our Lord.
Let us continue to pray for an END to abortion, and a new BEGINNING in post-abortive healing for those who need it.
Shift Manager Reports:
Peggy (Shift Buddy with Shift Manager sub, Jeff):
Busy morning – lots of prayers. No takers for our info. Katie was also there late in the shift. Pictured is Saturday night Shift Manager Jeff, who filled in for Nikki because she was sick, and faithful volunteer Mary Ann.
I won’t lie! It was cold from 9-11 this morning. Cold enough that it didn’t even occur to me to take a photo! Sorry!
I arrived to find substitute Shift Manager Jeff in excellent company with Mary Ann, Peggy and Katie! Jeff was a tall pillar of ice by the time I arrived and was glad to be relieved. He was subbing for Nikki, who was under the weather this morning. Praying for you, dear sister!
Mary Ann is such an inspiration. If you know her, you know why! 9 am brought Jessie and Chuck, dear friends from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene.
The sad news was that it was a busy morning at PP. After the first abortion-bound couple went in, I decided to lay down a flower for each mother going in who would not take a flower from me. By 11, I had laid down all 7 stems and counted the bunch of mini roses already there for the couple that had gone in just before I arrived. There were numerous single women going in as well. Most came dressed in classic abortion-day garb, loose fitting bottoms, but one young woman came in pj’s, wrapped in a large fleece blanket. She was accompanied by an agitated mother who didn’t appreciate us speaking to them, and a tall befuddled boyfriend. Mom and boyfriend came back out to smoke and mom told us she didn’t like abortion, but her daughter had to do it. Trying to speak to her just brought abuse and “don’t talk to me.”
Bob came by not knowing about 40 Days for Life, but decided to join us in prayer and presence. He spent time in the past at the East Liberty abortuaries and currently attends Faith Bible Baptist, a long time pro-life church. Herb came by as well, a friend of Katie’s, and attempted to reach out to clients going in or coming out of PP. No abuse from passersby this morning, and even some thank you’s for being there, and head shaking over Congress not protecting children born alive after an abortion. Glad to see Lisa’s beautiful face at the end of my shift.
God is good!
Meredith is right….. it was cold! Thankfully, I didn’t mind until about an hour and 20 minutes into the shift!
It was a shift which was, for me, a mixture of beauty and sadness, as many of us know and understand. I am deeply grateful for so many prayer companions this afternoon, and particularly for Katie and Herb, who served as Sidewalk Advocates today.
Sarah was waiting for the Chippewa bus but she was early, so she prayed a rosary. Suzanne read Scripture. She’s from Bellefield Church in Oakland. Dan came all the way from Mother of Sorrows in Murrysville. Fr. Thomas More will send a report.
Fr. Thomas More (He wrote some additional thoughts on his time at the vigil today, and was a “blog report sub” for Helen! Thank you, Father!):
After a few minutes of quiet prayer on this cold afternoon there on the sidewalk outside of Planned Parenthood, as people were entering and exiting, it quickly became clear of the bold confrontation again between life and death, good and evil.
And though the temptation to feel helpless may come at times, the deeper awareness of the power of our prayer today cut right through it all. That simple Hail Mary is the boldest prayer to offer. Indeed, Our Lady weeps, yet she sees far more than we can imagine, and she honors our request for her to intercede. That short stop there to pray this afternoon made, or will make, a difference for someone, though I may not realize it today.
My gratitude for the faithful there during these hours with me, for their presence, encouraged me to never stop praying for an end to abortion, so that it be replaced by a love and respect for human life.
The theme chosen for this spring campaign is LOVE.
May we always show the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ
on the sidewalk, and everywhere.
God bless you all.