The Infant Samuel Praying (1777)
Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)
Fabre Museum, Montpellier, France
© akg-images/ Nimatallah.
At God’s command, Samuel anointed Saul and then David.
David answered Goliath: “You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have insulted.
All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle belongs to the LORD, who shall deliver you into our hands.”
1 SAMUEL 17:45, 47
Mortifying our desire for food is powerful….
The angels will carry us through, and
the demons will hate it.
Shawn Carney, To The Heart Of The Matter
I want to be a saint. I want to be a champion. I want to be Samuel, David, Shawn and Nikki. I added fasting to my routine. Yep!
The good thing about fasting is that I am so bad at it. When I get ready to begin my 40 Days for Life scheduled fast (24 hours, fluids only, 7p to 7p), I sometimes feel tons of reluctance. “You’re too old … You’re too busy today … Just think how much more hilarious your face will look if you lose weight.” Eeeww! Am I really that conflicted? Yes!
Sometimes I can’t fast until I pray. I can’t pray until I kneel down. Happily for me, the Bible offers treasures of little prayers that are just right for trying times. Here’s one.
“Rejoice not over me, O my enemy!
though I have fallen, I will arise;
though I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light.”
If I look in a mirror, I see only me. But when I pray, fast or choose virtue, a trio of voices does the talking … me, the Accuser and the voice that says, “Everything feels harder now, but DO THAT THING OF GOD ANYWAY!”
”You ask people to choose life. For some people that is a very hard choice. You can’t even choose not to eat another cookie!”
Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion is the creation of a champion. The Collegium Vocale Gent performers can recreate Bach’s beauty together because each of them faithfully devotes time to studying and rehearsing.
We are in the garden of Gethsemane just after Judas’ kiss. The soldiers took Jesus away. In a 4.5 minute interval Bach takes us from sorrow to outrage.
Bach. Saint Matthew Passion. “So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen” (So is my Jesus captured now)
So is my Jesus captured now.
Moon and light
are quenched for sorrow
because my Jesus is captured.
They lead him away, he is bound.
Loose him, do not hold, do not bind him!
Have lightnings, has thunder vanished in the clouds?
Open your fiery pit, o hell, wreck, ruin, engulf,
shatter with sudden force
the false betrayer, the murderous blood.
The “false betrayer, the murderous blood” is the enemy who rejoices when we fall. The enemy is not our brother or our sister.
Thank you, champions, saints. I need your example. I want to try. Here I am, Lord. Send me!
NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK
JEN Mc. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9
It was a morning of surprises. As I was driving to the vigil, I turned a corner and was startled by an enormous, bright, and beautiful full moon hanging at the horizon. The sidewalk was much busier than a normal Sunday morning. We had many pleasant greetings from the large group of runners passing by–a pleasant surprise, indeed. Something less pleasant: a young man walking past us suddenly stopped and screamed in a volunteer’s face as we were praying, making us all jump. Later an intoxicated man paused to talk and tried to hug another volunteer.
So grateful to everyone who came this morning! Diane and Tom set up all our vigil needs, followed by Nikki and Joe with the beautiful paintings. Shift buddy Vince led us in a Scriptural Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Mary, Katie, and Michelle all answered the call to pray with us. Amy and a friend covered the other side of the circle with prayer, most of the time on her knees. Faithful Bill stopped to pray. Sorry that I didn’t get a picture of everyone…I didn’t pull my phone out until Ken came to take over and pray with members of Most Precious Blood of Jesus parish.
Jen, Vince, Katie and Michelle
KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11
Thanks to Jen and Vince who managed the previous shift and were present and praying the Chaplet of Mercy when I arrived. Some sunshine and a little warmer on Liberty Avenue on this second Sunday in the Holy and penitential season of Lent. Thanks also to Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish who were present for many of the hours today.
The first hour we were joined by Tim and Pat from Most Precious Blood of Jesus. Also Joe and Nikki were present for the Rosary and Chaplet of Mercy. On this second Sunday of Lent, Transfiguration Sunday, when the Glory of God is revealed to Peter, James and John, we are reminded of the suffering that our Lord must endure before the Resurrection. Perhaps it is a reminder to us that we suffer these days in our battle against the evil of abortion but there will be victory. There will be an end. There will be a Resurrection when the Cross will triumph over the grave.
In our second hour today we were joined by Stacy, Rose and Claire from Most Precious Blood of Jesus . Also Marge from Our Lady of the Angels, who was with me for the entire shift. Thank you to all those who prayed in these hours today and may God bless us all.
Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish came to pray and witness today!
Rose and Claire shared the sidewalk in Witness with fellow parishioners.
ROSEANN AND RICH K. SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1
The presence on the sidewalk today by Most Precious Blood Parish was outstanding. In addition we had the R. Family come by to pray. Sorry that I don’t have pictures of everyone who came during our shift, we were busy doing much praying to end abortion. Thanks to all who came to witness.
Most Precious Blood of Jesus Witnesses brought Jesus to the sidewalk!
Family day to Witness for Life
JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5
A warm and sunny shift spent with prayerful believers in Christ.
One of the many great blessings in the 40 Days For Life campaigns, is meeting so many Christians who are closer to Christ than I.
It’s so inspiring, humbling, challenging, and gratifying to be on the battlefield with all of you.
All glory and praise be to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7
A little police activity across the street. But it did not disrupt the prayerful spirit on the last shift of the day. Great weather again thanks be to God. And we left with a confidence that Mary WILL shut down that mill!
It would be good to think that the law could defend unborn babies.
40 Days for Life … people who treasure every unborn baby …
and the baby’s parents.
And God saw that it was good.