40 Days for Life
Today, many of us are celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary.
Part of today’s Gospel passage is included here:
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
One thing I have recently read is this interesting interpretation of the above passage, known as the “reverence theory.” Perhaps St. Joseph did NOT want to “divorce” his wife at all. In this theory, “he does not doubt her purity and innocence. Instead, he doubts his worthiness and ability to take care of Mary and the child. A just man, he knows that Mary belongs to God and he considers himself unworthy of living with Mary. He decides to separate himself from her quietly out of justice to God and reverence for Mary. He is willing to leave the picture so as not to reveal her mystery.” (Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of our Spiritual Father, p. 143.)
What I find especially interesting– and relevant to 40 Days for Life– is that at the news of this new life in the womb of his betrothed, St. Joseph had the appropriate response: REVERENCE. This is ALWAYS the appropriate response to the miracle of life– whether the woman houses the Son of God in her womb, or any other newly conceived little one. Conception, pregnancy, gestation, birth….. these are absolute MIRACLES. Let us hope that all men– all the fathers of newly conceived little ones in the womb– respond to their children (and to the mothers of their children) with a manly REVERENCE that desires only to love and protect these women and children. And thanks be to God for an example of such a Godly man in St. Joseph.
Shift Manager Reports:
It was such a quiet and peaceful shift this morning! It was just Peggy and I along with Samuel. Peggy and I prayed on our knees, one on either side of the circle. It was so peaceful and quiet without the usual passersby. Many employees going in today, but praise God, no clients! I feel like everything has been stripped away, all the fluff, and we are down to the nitty-gritty, real reason for us being there. It is just us and them at this point. The workers and our prayers. They look at us as they walk in, trying to pretend like they don’t see us, but I think our silent prayers are very loud in their ears.
While I was praying I felt such gratitude for our faithful team members who have been doing this for so long, I thought about how we have been able to do this for so long because we have so many dedicated people that it distributes the work and nobody gets overwhelmed by having to do too much themselves. An analogy came to mind of a funeral, where the pallbearers carry the weight of the casket. Any one of them would not be able to carry that casket alone, but with six or eight of them, it is doable.
Then I started to think about how much weight we are carrying in that casket that is holding the remains of all of the babies who have been aborted at this Planned Parenthood since we have started in 2010. With 3000 being killed every year, that would be 30,000 tiny babies. How much weight would that amount to? Actually, I just did the math, a 12 week fetus weighs 1 ounce, multiply that times 30,000 and you have a combined weight of 1875 pounds. We need all of us, our entire team, to carry this weight.
Near the end of our shift, Katie arrived and began writing messages of hope on the sidewalk with chalk. It was such a blessing to have her there. And as always on Thursday mornings, it was a joy to see the smiling faces of the Lincoln Pl. Nazarene group! Sorry, no pictures. Thank you everybody for your faithfulness!
Thank you to the faithful volunteers who joined us in prayer today. A strange week to be downtown, for sure. No one going inside PP except workers. So that- plus the fact that we were keeping distance from each other- really allowed for some good quiet prayer time. SO much to pray for, and SO many different ways to pray while we are there. Thank you all for ALL that you do.
Not only did today’s vigil feel like spring, we had flowers and even a dose of “spring cleaning” from an unusual source. The flower petals were plentiful. Everyone had a smile.
Today the yellow arc seemed to be keeping the evil “in” while we prayed for everyone trapped in its clutches. We saw no customers going in and only a few employees coming out. Someone said it was a “training day,” whatever that means.
When the PP guard came out with a little bucket of water and a broom and used them to obliterate the pro-life slogans on the street, Sam reminded him that he was washing a public street and not the property of PP.
He did not use his “tools” on the words and phone number on the sidewalk closest to PP’s door.
We started our vigil with a rosary and Divine Mercy prayers on the left side of the line. Almost right away we moved to the right side for another rosary. When we returned to the left side, it was 4:00 and time for the rosary and another Divine Mercy, as requested by Pope Francis in honor of St. Joseph on his Feast Day.
As we prayed, a lovely lady came and admired our precious models. She said her daughter was awaiting the birth of her son. This was Grandma, so happy that the baby was still coming, since her daughter had tried to rid herself of her baby. She said, “You know how women can get so mad at their men.” She said her daughter is now in the hospital and being taken care of while her baby grows.
When I arrived, the earlier group had just finished some intense praying, just what is needed, with a prominently displayed crucifix. Faithful prayer warrior Barb was already there and we were soon joined by Lisa M., praying on her knees and then covering every side of PP with prayer. Our protector Samuel was present; it’s always a joy to see him. Apparently today was a “training day” at PP, and hearing that made me wonder if anyone can look at a sonogram and not see a precious, helpless human being. I was told the security guard at PP, under orders from the employees, doused Katie’s beautifully written “Where there’s life, there’s hope” from the street. More willful destruction from PP. All I know is, no one ever looks happy entering or exiting PP. I feel very blessed to have such wonderful vigil partners!
God bless all the wonderful DADS out there
who LOVE their women and children!!