Day 22…Thanks to St. Juan Diego (Sharpsburg), St. Joseph in Cabot, St. Raymond of the Mountain (Donegal), McKeesport Knights of Columbus and dedicated individuals!

What do you see?

What do you see when you look at this photo? My heart was deeply moved by the sincerity on this little boy’s face, as he prayed at our vigil with his family last week! Others were obviously touched by it as well, because since we shared it on our Facebook page, it has seemingly gone “viral“, being viewed by 31,000 people, shared by 631 and commented on by 195 people! That is a first for our humble little Facebook page! But the thing that struck me were the comments. You see, for me…looking at this beautiful child…all I can see is beauty. All I can feel is gratitude. From my perspective, and from my vision…I can’t imagine that anyone could see anything else. So I was surprised by some of the comments. One in particular grabbed my attention. A woman commented, saying the parents should be ashamed of themselves, for “using” a child to make a political statement. She looked at this photo and saw no beauty. She felt no gratitude. How can that be? How can two people look at the same thing and see something completely different?


But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Matt. 6:23

This is the verse that came to my mind when I pondered how it can be that one person can look at truth and see beauty…and another can see the same thing and think it is something bad. As I was reflecting on this, I checked the Gospel reading for today in the Church (the Gospel reading for today’s traditional Latin Mass), and wouldn’t you know…they apply!

Let them alone; they are blind guides of blind men. But if a blind man guide a blind man, both fall into a pit.

Matt. 15

As I thought about this, I was reminded of the character of “Uncle Andrew” from C. S. Lewis’ “The Magician’s Nephew“, in his “Chronicles of Narnia” series. In this wonderful story, C. S. Lewis lets us witness Aslan creating the world. We watch it being born.

With his imaginative writing, we see Aslan literally “singing” into existence all creation…from the sky and the earth, to the plants and animals.

The children who are witnessing this spectacular show are awestruck with amazement. They cannot believe the beauty that is before their eyes. However, young Digory’s evil Uncle Andrew had stowed away on their adventure…and although he was witnessing the same beauty that the children were, from his perception it was quite different. He was terrified of the animals and especially of the Lion. When the animals talked to the children, although they could understand them and have delightful conversation…Uncle Andrew only heard ferocious growls coming from the animals mouths…and he tried his best to kill them.

Anyone who could look at the photo of this little boy praying, and see anything other than beauty and goodness…innocence and purity…has the eyes of darkness that Jesus spoke of. They are the blind guides from today’s readings.

Why am I reflecting on this? I guess it’s because we see this very thing playing out in this battle for life. Those who are against us are SURE that we are wrong. We are bad people, who are trying to take away women’s rights. We tell them that unborn babies are human beings with just as much worth as born humans…and they don’t understand. They don’t get it. There is no reasoning or arguing with them. They don’t see what we see, and there is no way we can make them see it.

Abby Johnson didn’t see it. For so many years, working for Planned Parenthood, thinking she was helping women. No one could change her mind. But then God intervened. Conversion is a work of the Holy Spirit. We can’t do it. But we can pray, and we can plant seeds. God will make them grow, in His time. We just have to be faithful and obedient to our calling to witness to the sanctity of all human life. He will do the rest.

I hope you can get out to see the movie about her conversion, “Unplanned“, this weekend! To find a theater, click here:
https://unplannedtickets.com/

Read on to find out what went on at the vigil today….

NOTE TO ALL WHO PRAY AT THE VIGIL: It is the policy of 40 Days for Life in Pittsburgh to recommend to all vigil participants that they NOT bring cash to the vigil, and to PLEASE not give cash to ANYONE who may ask! This distracts us from our mission and our focus of praying to end abortion, and the word gets out fast that people are getting money from us. If you want to give cash to anyone who asks, please do not do it while at the vigil. Thank you!

Also…one of our shift managers, David, has passed on request from one of our vigil participants…to please pray for her son, “J” who is having suicidal thoughts. Please pray for “J” to be delivered! Thank you!

Peg and Mary had the 7-9am shift:

Peg and Mary were the early morning prayer warriors. Peg reported it was a quiet shift, but very cold.

It was a very chilly morning, before 7 AM, when Tom arrived. He said that Diane is feeling better. It was nice to see and chat with Tom and Peg while we set up on the sidewalk. It is day 22 already. Peg and I prayed the devotion for today which was about Job. Our world is full of Jobs. There are so many people hurting, dealing with trials and tribulations and ,yes, unplanned pregnancies. We must have faith and trust that no matter what we face,God, in His Mercy and Wisdom, will redeem it. After Job prayed for his friends, God restored all that he lost. The Lord will bless us as He blessed Job. However, today ,so many people feel independent and don’t acknowledge their need for God.Let’s pray for them to realize that we can do nothing without God and that nothing is impossible with God. The sun was a blessing when it rose above the buildings about 8:30 AM. It felt so good after being chilled to the bone.The rest of our shift was cold but mostly peaceful. There were some thank yous and some dirty looks or snide remarks.Just as kathy arrived there was a young man who stopped to argue for Planned Parenthood. Peg and Kathy  did a good job of challenging him and he listened but couldn’t accept what they said. He thought that he knew everything and just stormed away. Maybe some day their words will help him see clearly.

Mary

Cathy managed the 9-11am:

Mary and I represented St. Juan Diego parish this morning. (Thank you to Peg who waited til Mary, whose bus was late, arrived.)  It was a quiet am, with not very many going into the clinic.
 

Cathy
Mary and Cathy represented St. Juan Diego parish today

Hank & Judy report from the 11-1 shift:

Wow,  what a day!!  There were 30 prayer warriors today for the 11-1 shift.  Fr.Tim and the Guardians of Life, Rachael and her gang from Donegal-Latrobe area, Gloria and Marie from St. Mary Glenshaw, and a group from St. Joseph in Cabot.  As always there is lots of prayer when the Guardians of Life are present.  We prayed the rosary, the Divine Mercy, Stations of the cross and made a joyful noise to the Lord in song.  Terri and Cil distributed lots of literature and engaged a few individual in conversation and Joyce and Rachael had a great conversation with 2 young men.  Once again there was not much traffic going into PP.  We had mostly positive reactions from the by-passers.  Blessed be the Lord , my rock and my redeemer!

Cil brings a great group from St. Joes in Cabot!
Gloria and Marie
Fr. Tim and the Guardians for Life always fill the sidewalk with prayer
Large group of faithful from St. Raymond of the Mountain in Donegal

Rosalina is back! She took over for Chris…(please pray for a successful surgery for him today!)  Check back for news from the 1-3 shift…

The people praying we’re Rosalina, myself , Carolina, and a woman from Penn Hills named Karen.
A little after 2 David R and Marilyn came. It was uneventful except that a young man walked up to me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and said he bought them for the babies!!! Karen and I decided to take each flower and say a prayer as we placed them on the sidewalk.
David had an interesting talk with a man who wanted to know more about what we were doing. I heard only a small part but The man realized that it was not about judgement.. it was about love..missy

Missy

Jeannie writes from the 3-5 shift:

We had a beautiful afternoon of prayer and conversation. Only positive comments on this sunny day. Terry from Conneat Lake stopped by to thank us for being there. She worked as a chaplain in the hospital and was in the city visiting her daughter who was in for a convention. It’s wonderful how the pro-life movement brings us all together as one family in Christ.

Jeannie
Lots of petals and flowers on the sidewalk today!
Jeannie wrote that this was her favorite picture…she titled it, “Look mom, no coats!!!” Beautiful, Beautiful, wonderful sunshine!

Joe closes out the vigil from 5-7:

What a spectacular sun-splashed truly spring day on Liberty…
 
The area around Arch was tinged with flowers and rose petals –
and even the flower pots had flowers “in-m”…
 
I was blessed once again to be joined by my shift buddy, Lori.  We shared, and prayed, and even “listened” to a gentleman who stopped
by to discuss his view of our vigil…  and his self-described view
of being on the other side of the line from us…  He was very respectful
and Lori shared with him and brought-up some excellent points that I
thought brought him closer to that line – Job well-done Lori!!!  It
was the first healthy dialogue that I’ve seen in long while…
 
Jim stopped by on his way home from work – it was nice to see him
since I haven’t run into him since the Fall Vigil…
 
There was lots of noise, foot and auto-traffic, but it did not deter
Lori and I from getting in a Rosary before Tom, Diane, and yes, Penney
showed-up and packed us all up for tomorrow…
 

Joe K.

6 thoughts on “Day 22…Thanks to St. Juan Diego (Sharpsburg), St. Joseph in Cabot, St. Raymond of the Mountain (Donegal), McKeesport Knights of Columbus and dedicated individuals!

  • March 27, 2019 at 10:50 pm
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    I see a baby who in another circumstance might have been one of fatalities at 933 Liberty Avenue. I was 43 when he was conceived and we were given a 1 in 13 chance of a Down Syndrome diagnosis (the phone call came when I returned home from standing vigil one afternoon- God’s great “walk-the-talk” moment in my life). I was scared and overwhelmed. I felt so much of what many mothers must feel that drives them to a quick but devastating “fix”. By God’s grace (shown through a supportive husband, loving kids, and each of you with whom I’ve stood vigil), I had trust that He would protect and provide and that He would not leave us abandoned. I see a baby born without Down Syndrome but with other issues that we deal with now and likely will in the future but, mainly, I see God’s infinite love and mercy. This little guy has been standing vigil from the moment he came into existence and he will continue to pray, as we all do, that one day all mothers will know God’s love, mercy, and protection; the knowledge that will finally, completely, end this scourge.

    Reply
    • March 28, 2019 at 5:43 am
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      Thank you for sharing that beautiful truth Sue! i didn’t know any of that. The most difficult things that happen to us have the potential to be the most beautiful and profound things also. God is so good!

      Reply
  • March 27, 2019 at 10:57 pm
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    “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?” I see a child of God having a conversation with his Father. God is listening, and loves him very much just for being himself.

    From the sign he wears, we assume that he’s asking for something bigger than a good grade on a spelling test, or even a speckled pony. If he was asking for something small and self-centered that we could laugh at, no one would be bothered. But God tells us to ask for very big things, and not to fear what anyone says or does, because no one can separate us from the love of God.

    We should want everyone to know His love in their hearts and then they would want to be saints and to love Him forever with the simplicity of a child.

    Reply
  • March 29, 2019 at 6:19 am
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    From Barb K:

    God has given women free will to do whatever they want with their bodies. She can alter it, cut it, starve it, stuff it, shoot it up with drugs, farm it out for sex and many other things that she may think will make her happy. She could also use her body to love and comfort others, nurture and heal, protect and pray. She can steal, gossip, bully and kill. She can give or she can take. She can serve others or gratify herself. All are possible from the free will of a loving God.

    This loving God, who has given all of us free will, has written his laws of love in our hearts to insure we know right from wrong. She knows right from wrong. She feels it in her heart. She feels no peace when she has done wrong. She feels joy when she is true to the laws in her heart.

    One more thought for her: that baby in her body is not her body. She does have free will to kill it. That would be wrong. Her feels this in her heart.

    I pray that she does what she knows to be right. Mary be a mother to her. Amen.

    Reply
    • March 29, 2019 at 7:02 am
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      This is beautiful! I’d love to share it! Could someone post it on the Facebook page? With a minor edit of the sentence, “Her feels this in her heart.” (She)

      Reply

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