Today’s Responsorial Psalm tells us:
The Lord takes delight in His people.
So, IN WHOM does He take delight?
The Lord takes delight in ALL of His people. Not only the born, not only the “privileged.” He takes delight in those with psychological difficulties, those who struggle with their weight, those who are poor, those who are post-abortive, those who are abortion workers…..
Does He always take delight in what we DO? Of course not. Like any good parent (and He is the quintessential Parent), He wants the BEST for us. and sometimes the choices we make are NOT what is best for us. But is it possible for our Heavenly Father to still delight in us nonetheless? Yep. Mostly, He simply delights in our EXISTENCE. What joy, what freedom, what glorious relief that should be for our weary souls. He loves us and delights in us because WE ARE.
Let us pray that all whom we encounter on that sidewalk may know that they are loved, simply because they exist. And may those abortion-bound couples recognize the worth and value of their children…. simply because they exist.
God help us. Lord, have mercy. Jesus, we trust in YOU.
Shift Manager Reports
Warm and dark morning greeted us as Diane, Peg and Eileen S. arranged our sidewalk supplies. Lovely soft drizzle sprinkled the neighborhood for just five minutes. Together we read the Devotional for Day 2. Busloads of commuters walked quickly by and answered our “God bless you!” with their “God bless you!” Blessings all around. Katie arrived, lovely and stocked with power bars and literature to share. She got busy right away. She spoke with a young woman who took her literature and shared a conversation, but then went into PP. Sadly, young women declined our help and went into PP. We prayed for them and their baby. Right on time, Chuck and a friend arrived. Chuck’s friend gave me her blessing that lifted my feet above the pavement! Showing up to pray in front of PP downtown sounds like a chore if you have not done it. Try it. It is a blessing. Peace. -Barbara
It was Mary Ann’s first experience at the vigil. Katie did a good job getting literature into a lot of hands, but we didn’t get much opportunity to speak to anyone. We got help taking the photo from a student out on the sidewalk for a fire drill! Some of the kids looked at the models, but it was mostly mass confusion! It would have been difficult to get to the doors of PP while the students were there. A person from the gallery next door set their sign in the middle of the sidewalk and complained that our presence was keeping people from coming into the gallery. Beautiful morning to praise and worship God at the gates of hell!
This shift started out peacefully, and ended up being a little hectic. But it was for a good reason: we were trying to save someone’s life. We don’t know the end result of the story, but Sidewalk Advocate Katie was awesome. And thank you to all of those who prayed an assisted in any way throughout that situation! May the Lord bless and guide that couple.
Thank you especially to Mike and Mary Pat from St. Vincent, who came for the first time! And Ken, who came for the second time…. and his first time, last campaign, was inspired by his seeing “Unplanned.” Thank you, Lord!!
Oh, by the way, I was also threatened with physical harm from a woman I was merely offering help to. Wow. So this issue leads people to threaten?? This is some of the awful fruit of the abortion culture? So sad. Her last words to me were, “Leave me alone.” That would have been sufficient. The threat was unnecessary.
Cecilia (contributing on behalf of Carolyn):
What a beautiful day to share with Shift Manager, Carolyn, and members of my parish family from St Joseph and St Mary churches. Carolyn is such a lovely lady and is from a very active church it would seem. We were so thankful that our Priest, Father Jim, could be with us today! He has been to other clinics before to pray, but it is his first time with us. Father Jim, Margie and the two other couples who came for our vigil, Pam & John, and Patti & Denny, kept both sides of the sidewalk filled with prayer. At least 4 rosaries were said, and they prayed the prayers on the back of the signs.
We had several helpful encounters…
One young lady came out for a smoke and was willing to speak with me. Her sister was inside. She was glad to take the resources that we had, and wanted to talk her into keeping her baby. Her sister has other children but is married to a not-so-nice guy. I said that adoption would be a better option if she does not want to keep the child. They are from New Castle so I told her about Alpha Omega Center up there. Praying she changed her mind.
A guy stopped and said that he and his wife had a child care place but that he wanted to do something more for fathers…start a non-profit. I told him about the National Fatherhood Initiative that TriLife Center is involved with and gave him our 40 Days resources in case he wants to hook up with some other group near him…Brentwood I think?
A young lady stopped. She attended our rally on Tuesday and was very moved. She is involved with the MAYA Organization in Swissvale and told me of the good work they do. She was interested in learning more about Angel’s Place and the Guiding Star Project that we spoke about. They are expanding / growing out of their facility and may benefit from teaming up with other organizations in the area.
We also had a man, Matthew, from the Red Rose Rescue stop by on his bicycle. He travels the country. How ironic it was for him to come on a day that others brought red roses to scatter and I remembered to bring my large red rose that was given to me by Elk County RTL several years back. Unfortunately I left my rose behind but pray that it will be used for good this campaign.
What a beautiful day!
Matthew was the young man on his bicycle who was with the 1:00-3:00 shift and then on his knees for about an hour while the 3:00-5:00 group prayed.
The 3:00-5:00 vigil had three beautiful testimonies from women who stayed for at least ten minutes to tell their stories. First, a mother who accompanied her daughter to the abortion mill 13 years ago, and when there was a slight complication about blood work, the daughter decided against the abortion, and now there is a 13-year-old grandson keeping things lively. She’s so glad he’s around.
Second was a beautiful lady who wanted to share her dismay over the state of our land on abortion. She talked about a book she’s reading and spiritual support from Scripture.
The third lady disagreed with much of what we believe from the Bible and Catholic Church teaching, but she also talked about her past life with drugs and other lifestyles.
Shift Buddy Anita does a beautiful job of witnessing for Christ. She talked to a lady who is trying to decide if she wants to keep her part-time job. We parted with promises of prayer and hope for God’s guidance in her life.
It was a pleasant change of pace to see three beautiful steeds guided by Pittsburgh Police Officers.
Our prayer time was also quitting time for many employees of PP. It was good to see they were closing the place for the day.
This evening I was joined by Joe, Larry and Red Rose Rescue member Matthew, who had also joined the previous shift and I believe had been in front of Planned Parenthood on his knees most of the time in prayer. It was a joy and a privilege to speak with this courageous young man, who has done two stints in jail for his rescue work.
One young woman came by, curiously checking out our display, and I learned she was two months pregnant. I gave her some pregnancy help info and we enjoyed looking at the Watch Me Grow brochure. Two young men stopped by to ask us why we were there, and I was happy for the opportunity to explain our position. One of them said his girlfriend had aborted their baby years ago, and I assured him his baby is safe in Heaven. We had a good, respectful exchange.