I said: “My God, I am too ashamed and confounded to raise my face to you, O my God, for our wicked deeds are heaped up above our heads and our guilt reaches up to heaven. From the time of our fathers even to this day great has been our guilt, and for our wicked deeds we have been delivered up, we and our kings and our priests, to the will of the kings of foreign lands, to the sword, to captivity, to pillage, and to disgrace, as is the case today.
And now, but a short time ago, mercy came to us from the LORD, our God, who left us a remnant and gave us a stake in his holy place; thus our God has brightened our eyes and given us relief in our servitude. For slaves we are, but in our servitude our God has not abandoned us; rather, he has turned the good will of the kings of Persia toward us. Thus he has given us new life to raise again the house of our God and restore its ruins, and has granted us a fence in Judah and Jerusalem.Ezra 9:5-9
This morning, before my morning prayer time, I asked the Lord to help me to write this blog post quickly...as I had a late night last night, at our amazing kick-off Mass and Eucharistic procession to Planned Parenthood. Because of that, I was up till 2 am posting the photos, which you can see at https://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/2019/09/25/oh-what-a-night/ Anyway, I didn’t have much time to write this, since today is the day I babysit my cute little twin grand babies…so I asked the Lord to help me. And He did. When I read the daily Mass readings, the one quoted above from Ezra really says it all! Thank you Ezra for writing my blog reflection for me today! Can’t you see the similarity between Ezra’s situation and ours?
What struck me the most about our procession last night was the CONTRAST between our FAITH and the bewildered UNBELIEF of those who saw us. First of all, I want to thank Pittsburgh Police, Zone 2, for their outstanding protection and assistance! They went above and beyond their duty to make sure we crossed all the roads safely! But, back to my thoughts about CONTRAST. Just look at this picture:
Just look at that photo. The MOST PURE, the MOST HUMBLE…contrasted with the most WICKED, the most EVIL and IMPURE place in our city. Wow. Just WOW!
It really HAS to be this way, in order for change to be affected, doesn’t it? If something needs to be destroyed, the most effective way of destroying it is with something that goes directly against it’s created purpose…something that CONTRASTS. Satan knows this. That is exactly why he loves abortion so much! He intentionally targets the most sacred love of a mother for her child by tricking her into turning the MOST SAFE PLACE on the planet (her womb)…into an execution chamber. And this she does to the person who is the MOST INNOCENT, MOST DEPENDENT, and who would love her more than anyone else. Not to digress too much, or make this post too lengthy, but there is another old testament verse that speaks about this:
Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”Exodus 23:19
The trick of the devil to use what God created for a good and holy purpose, and twisting it into something that is opposite…a CONTRAST. This is such a terrible thing, that God even warned his people not to cook a young goat in its mother’s milk! Why? Because the PURPOSE of that milk was to nourish and sustain LIFE for the young goat…and if that milk is used to destroy the body of that same goat, it is now corrupted from its good and holy purpose.
So, last night, as I saw the CONTRAST between darkness and light in a very clear way. Standing in front of such an evil and dark place, I realized that we are taking back what the devil has stolen from us! He has tricked us into thinking impurity and immorality are no big deal. But when we stand in front of an abortion clinic where 3,000 babies die each year…we get a ring-side seat to see just where that “harmless” immorality leads. We are not going to be fooled anymore! We are going to CONTRAST all of the works of the devil, with the works of our GOD! If the world indulges in fleshly pleasures…such as overeating, drinking, laziness, selfishness, anger and pride…we will COUNTER those vices with the virtues of bodily restraint, abstinence, fasting, love, humility and self-sacrifice. This is the CONTRAST that will REPEL the enemy of our souls, and will ATTRACT his weak or lost children, back to safety and holiness.
So…here we go! I am trusting God for many miracles during these 40 days! We already witnessed a big one last night! Thanks be to God!!!
Read on for today’s shift reports:
Peg and Carissa had the first shift of the fall campaign! From the 7-9 am shift, they write:
First shift on the first day of the fall 40 Days for Life! I’m so honored to stand outside, pray and offer the hope and love of Jesus to the city of Pittsburgh and those involved with Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry with these lovely ladies!Carissa, Wed. 7-9am shift buddy
To put things in perspective… The Nazis killed 6 million Jews.
The US alone has lost over 60 million babies to abortions since 1973 (Roe v. Wade). That’s 10x more than the Holocaust. And while each is an abomination, this child Holocaust is still happening every day right in our very backyard.😢💔
Do you believe prayer is powerful? Do you believe fasting moves mountains? Do you believe Gods heart weeps for every life lost and destroyed by abortion?
If you do, please consider joining us on the sidewalk over the next 40 days. If you can’t make it to the sidewalk, there are opportunities to pray and fast with us. Go to www.40daysforlifepittsburgh.com or message me! I’ll be glad to get you connected in any way!!
Cathy and Elsie had the 9-11am shift:
It was a fairly quiet day, with few clients going into the clinic. Shift buddy Elsie, an Sidewalk Advocate, and Jim H. (also an SA), Priscilla, Bill L. and Debbie D. were there to pray and/or try to make contact with people. Some people took literature, received a few “thank you” or “God bless”. A gentleman who works down the street with one of the supporters of Mary’s House in Brookline stopped by to chat for a few minutes. A tour group passed by. The tour guide said, to no one in particular, “Oh, that’s an abortion clinic!” like he had never realized it before. I ‘m sure our presence brought on that realization.Cathy, 9-11
Hank and Judy were the shift managers from 11am-1pm:
It was a wonderful day to start the 40 Days for Life The weather was beautiful temps in the low 70s and sunshine. There was a lot of foot traffic passing PP but it was not an abortion day so not many people going into PP. There were many prayer warriors as has been the case on most Weds from 11-1. Fr.Tim and the Guardians for Life were there as usual and included 9 individuals (Irene, Rudy, Brian, Lisa, Joe, Tom, Dan, Terri, and Fr), Debbie from Epiphany was there from 9-12, Elsie stayed beyond her earlier shift, John from St. Killian and Dan from Steubenville arrived at noon and Pat dropped by for a short time. Many passing by greeted us warmly with a thumbs-up, thanks, or God bless you. We distributed a wealth of information (more than any in my past experiences) and Terri engaged and offered assistance to the friend of a young woman contemplating an abortion. While the reason for our presences is heart-sickening we are blessed to be gathered with strong people of faith and of course where 2 or 3 gather in my Name, there I AM.Hank, 11-1
Chris and John kept the vigil going from 1-3pm:
What glorious weather for the start of our campaign! God smiled down upon us. I arrived to the Rosary being prayed and prayers sung by Father Tim and the Guardians for Life. I was joined by Dan, Joan, and John during my shift, with each of us praying multiple Rosaries silently. There was light traffic in and out of PP, friendly comments and hugs from passersby and several unfriendly comments, too. Our attempts to provide resource information cards were mostly rebuffed, but we still smiled and asked if they had a friend who needed some help.
Jeannie and Virginia held the fort from 3-5pm:
OK I have to admit it. This was one of those shifts that makes me very very nervous. Why? It was as Mary Poppins would say “nearly perfect in every way”. The weather was beautiful, not to hot or too cool. Those who were for us were deeply for us. Those who I call the “incidentals” the mailman , the UPS deliverer, the policeman etc were agreeable and friendly. Those who objected to us being there stopped and talked about it in a civil way, and we were able to open their hearts and minds. We even managed to chat with one of the bar staff!!!
AMAZINGLY we had a woman explain that she had been raped and allowed her son to live because she felt it wasn’t his fault. We promised Christina prayers. I was joined on the sidewalk by 2 amazing women including the best card giver -outer ever: ,Virginia!
My day was blessed, so I told Virginia get ready because all the bad stuff might be coming!!!
Joe, Jim and Audrey completed the final two hours on the first day:
…back in the saddle again… I’m back…Joe K. 5-7
First shift of the campaign, beautiful September eve…
Wonderful prayer warriors witnessing for life!
Greeted warmly with smiles and hugs from Shift Manager’s Jeannie and Virginia… Mostly quiet for while as Fran faithfully stayed over from the prior shift for the entirety of last shift.
Jim from Holy Child and Patrick from St. Mary of Mercy joined in and we shared and prayed on one side of the arc while Fran manned the other side… It was Patrick’s first time!!!
Mostly positive / appreciative comments, though Jim did step-up quickly to save the fetal model display from potential harm as a woman approached it a bit aggressively…
Audrey joined in and before you knew it the first day came to a close as Tom & Diane (without Penney) came to pick-up the new groovy display…