Today’s First Reading tells us this familiar sobering tale:
The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’
Exodus 32: 7-8
In the Responsorial Psalm of the day, we see a continuation of the same theme:
Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.
Psalm 106: 19-20
And from all those thousands of years ago, we have not changed. Why do we do this? Why are we children of such disobedience and rebellion? We see human examples of this all the time, often from children who don’t care about what their parents are telling them- especially if it’s something GOOD for them.
Why are we so ready to dismiss that which is GOOD, and exchange it for something FAR LESS GOOD…. or even BAD for us? Choosing our OWN way instead of GOD’S way is never going to end well.
Abortion-minded couples are like this too. Abortion workers as well. And yes, ALL of us can fall into this mindset. Lent is a perfect time to consider what our priorities are. Do we really want GOD? If so, how are we going to choose to live?
Let us step out in faith, and trust that by doing God’s will and living HIS way, we will ultimately live a life of JOY. We cannot have true joy apart from Him. But WITH Him, we can have it all.
Shift Manager Reports
It was a good start to Day 30 on the sidewalk today! As always, it was wonderful to see my sidewalk buddy Peggy and faithful Tom setting up the materials. I brought roses and Peggy brought a beautiful colorful springtime bouquet, which we scattered on the sidewalk as a symbol of the beauty of every life that is tragically discarded behind those doors, in hopes that they will touch some hearts.
The Knights of Columbus, Manordale Council in Murrysville sent four wonderful prayer warriors. It was a blessing to stand with them for my entire shift. Also, Pastor Paul came with three ladies from his church, Bentleyville Assembly of God. He brought his guitar and sang and played, which was awesome!
After praying silently on my knees for the first 45 minutes, when couples begin entering for their abortions, I got up and began offering help and alternatives. Sadly, nobody that we know of took us up on our offers of help. But, we prayed for those couples and for the babies. They did not die alone and forgotten.
I arrived, pleasantly surprised, to a full sidewalk this morning and someone playing a guitar and singing worship songs! Very different from the shift I did earlier in the 40 Days with one other person!!!
My good friends Pastor Debbie from Christ’s Church Ministries and Jessi from Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene came with me today. Just leaving was the group from Manordale Valley Council of the Knights of Columbus. The guitar player was Pastor Paul of Christian Assembly from Bentleyville, PA, who brought three ladies from his church, staying from 7:30 – 11am. Their worship was so beautiful and encouraging on the streets of the city. Before long Bill H. stopped by and Chuck and Katie arrived. A newcomer joined us who had seen Unplanned and felt a need to respond. Thank you Al for heeding the call!
Katie and I are accustomed to working together and we took up positions on either side of the door. There was what seemed like an equal amount of traffic both in and out of PP this morning. I tried unsuccessfully to engage couples leaving in conversation, to see if I could determine why they were there. One couple left unwilling to speak to me, but were back in short order. They unfortunately went back inside.
The saddest part of our morning came when a couple went in who I felt were hesitating. The man kept looking at us, and eventually came out and spoke to us. He didn’t want his wife to abort their fourth child, but he couldn’t talk her out of it. He’s a Christian and knows it’s wrong, even though doctors were recommending it to her because of medications she takes. Multiple people contributed to the conversation with him and we prayed for him and encouraged him to go in and try again. We prayed fervently, but he came back out unsuccessful in his efforts. Jess pointed out how good it was that we were there for him. Imagine how much harder it would have been for this young man without our support and encouragement. He said it was so spiritually uncomfortable in the waiting room that he couldn’t stay in there. Pray for M and his wife M and for their family. If she has the chemical abortion, she will struggle with the decision she made for the rest of her life, as she too considers herself to be a Christian. It was time for us to go, so we took turns hugging M and telling him we loved him and were praying for him.
We left the scene in the caring hands of Lisa and a nice sized group of prayers from the eastern suburbs!
Lisa K. (11am-1pm):
To finish the story that Meredith started above, it was very sad for us to learn that M did indeed begin the chemical abortion process, but we were able to tell her husband about the possibility of abortion pill reversal, and that there was still hope.
There were a several angry people…. with ridiculous comments as they passed by, including one woman who Katie awesomely took under her wing. Thank you to all those who had to endure the rough situation with that one woman- especially Tracy and her sweet little ones!
I am so thankful for all of you prayer warriors that came out today. God bless you all.
Helen (3-5 pm):
So sad to hear the incident during the earlier shift. Prayers for the man and his lady.
The sign-in sheet was so full, we had to use the margins of the pages. Let’s hope that happy inconvenience will last for the rest of the vigil.
As Carolyn was leaving, five ladies from Lucinda in Clarion County arrived, along with our Shift Buddy Anita, and Philene, a veteran pro-lifer from the South Hills, stopped on her way home from the office and stayed to pray.
The ladies from Clarion were Karen, Linda, Ann, Patti and Desiree’. They had a lot of questions about what goes on at PP. Unplanned has not reached their local theater, but it was the big topic between prayers. We prayed the rosary at least five times as well as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
The man with a half-full glass and an unsteady gait gave his attention to one of the Clarion ladies. She ignored him and he went away.
Another man stopped and told us he was embarrassed to ask but he needed $10 for his child. After he repeated it twice, we told him Catholic Charities was just down the street. He said he had been there and they were closed. Anita and I assured him they should still be there. He said they closed in March. We walked with him about halfway to Catholic Charities when he stopped and said, “I don’t want to go there,” and he left to go in the opposite direction. I did tell him that we were not supposed to carry money when we were at the vigil. That IS a good idea.
The action from PP seemed to be employees leaving at the end of their day. It was good to see Joe K., who traded shifts with Charlie.
Joe K. (5-7 pm):
It truly seemed like a “5 O’clock World” today as everyone seemed to hustle home -not much attention paid to the vigil… Except one young woman who stopped by, wanted to “pray” with us and quickly “prayed” that we wouldn’t be so judgmental – but didn’t stay long enough to become “enlightened” about 40-DFL and particularly our current theme: L-O-V-E… Also, humorously absent was the failure to recognize the irony in such a claim…
Joe, my shift buddy from St. Bernadette’s, and I prayed from the “Rolodex of Prayers” and shared…
Another gentleman, Rocky, stopped by a couple of times – he’s in a tough situation and can use prayers. Rocky shared with us that he had crossed paths previously with Kermit Gosnell…
The shift / vigil ended for the night as faithful Tom, Diane, and Penney packed us up for tomorrow…
Check back later for more reports as they come in.
God bless you all!