Dear Friends in Christ, the national leadership of 40 Days for Life has made the difficult decision to end our public vigil due to the coronavirus crisis. Although today was our last day on the sidewalk, PLEASE continue to fast and pray from home for an end to abortion and for God’s love and providence to surround all who find themselves pregnant and in challenging circumstances.
Your fear of the Lord in a world that has no fear of the Lord
goes a long way. It is truly countercultural.
Shawn Carney. To the Heart of the Matter
Life dazzles me. Proprioception, electrons, nasturtium, jelly donuts, warm rainy day walks, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Bach, birdsong! I did not create or pay for it. It is a gift.
There is more. Inviting me closer, life gives me a yes or no choice. Someone cunningly suggests that I ignore the yes or no. Say maybe. Keep all options on the table. Someone else entices me. Say yes and say yes again and learn to live yes. Both of them are terrible. They call me to battle!
I did not learn this in kindergarten. The Bible taught me. This week the blog had a picture of a witness who brought the Crucifix to the sidewalk. Great idea!
1 Corinthians 2:2
It wasn’t just that Jesus died, that He was put to death – but that He died in this uniquely horrific way. That’s one of the most shocking things about early Christianity. How absolutely strange it was to put a crucified criminal at the heart of the operation.
You have not considered the weight of sin.
What’s going on in the life and death of Jesus is a working in and with sin so as to change it – to undo it from the inside.
God, as it were, had to enter life as a warrior – into sin – so as to break it and conquer it from the inside.
A word of forgiveness blithely offered from a distance is not going to affect what had to be affected.
What’s happening on the Cross, is God going into God forsakenness, taking on Himself precisely the dysfunction of the world, symbolized by all those forces that brought him to the Cross.
Having taken all that on, He is able through the divine mercy, to break it and remake it from the inside.
All of that demands a work. It demands that a price be paid. It is a battle that has to be won. The Father out of love sends the Son who accepts the mission out of love.
A price was paid. A work was done. See with the Cross the awe full work of the Divine Love.
Bishop Robert Barron. “Bishop Barron on the Scandalous Cross of Jesus”. youtube
Life dazzles. Life engages me in battle. Life blesses me with goodness, truth and beauty.
Saint Paul began with Jesus Christ, crucified. A crucified heart is a heart full of riches to share with sisters and brothers vulnerable to abortion.
NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK
PAT M. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9
The 7-9 on Sunday morning is already the quietest shift on the schedule, but it was even more so this morning. This made the atmosphere especially peaceful. It was my parish’s (St. Regis, Trafford) turn to take a shift and I was joined by my wife, Steph, and Nancy, who has been with us many times in the past. Whenever I take this shift I find myself filled with such gratitude for SB Vince and his prayerful leadership. He even printed out a prayer guide for all 20 mysteries of the Rosary, plus the Divine Mercy Chaplet. He and I and Nancy prayed that while Steph stayed on the other side and prayed silently. Chuck and Carol came early for their 9-11 shift and it was good to see them.
Shift Buddy Vince, Shift Manager Pat who is witnessing with Saint Regis Parish, Diocese of Greensburg. They are joined by Chuck and Carol, Lincoln Place Church of the Nazarene.
KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11
This was a quiet and peaceful Sunday morning on Liberty Avenue. Aside from a few panhandlers there were no comments and few that passed by on the sidewalk. I arrived to find two members of The Church of The Nazarene, Chuck and Carol with shift managers Vince and Pat. For most of the shift we had a most pleasant and welcome visit from the sunshine. Chuck and Carol stayed with me for the entire shift and gave us prayer and praise music and pleasant greetings for all who passed. I was able to pray the Rosary, on my knees, in peace for a good part of my shift. Nikki stopped on her way to Mass to set up the Sacred artwork for the benefit of all to see and also the rose petals for life that added much, in the sunshine, to bring life to this place of death. We did have two welcome guests in vehicles, Janine who prayed from her car and an off duty police officer in uniform who provided some security. My shift ended joined in the prayers of the Chaplet of Mercy with shift managers Rosanne and Rich and Lynn from The Oratory.
Chuck and Carol joined Ken so he would not be alone.
Ken, Shift Manager
Nikki arranged her art after spreading the rose petals that honor the lives of the babies abortion takes at Planned Parenthood downtown.
RICH AND ROSEANN K., SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1
Very calm on the street today although we did manage to get one negative remark but it was soon eclipsed by a positive one. When we got there Ken took a photo of Rich, myself and Lynn who witnessed with us until noon. Joe stopped by to pray. We prayed Rosaries and the Divine Chaplet. Before we knew it Lindsay and her husband Daniel showed up. Thanks and God Bless to all who braved coming out today.
Lynn from the Oratory witnesses with Shift Managers Roseann and Rich
LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3
Let’s just say all hell broke loose today!
It was an EVENTFUL time outside the 933 Liberty Avenue Planned Parenthood. Things were calm and peaceful and prayerful, and then all the sudden there was a club wielding man amongst us. It started out in the middle of the intersection, when a deranged man yelled at an (uninvolved) driver of a car stopped at a red light. They floored it to get away. Then the man started to come towards us. He was holding what appeared to be a large club and was wearing a black fedora style hat and something that looked like a dead animal wrapped around his neck (later I realized it was a cheap faux stole). Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re running but you can’t seem to move? That was me, your fearless shift leader. The man spoke unintelligibly and then lay down in the gutter and started to devour rose petals that were scattered there. He got back up and restlessly paced while still wielding what appeared to be a HUGE club (shift buddy Marie thought it was one of those Amazon rain sticks).
God gave me strength to at least try to start getting pictures and video and to run over to the security guard/hired police officer. I believe he had already called for backup. The man started to go down the street away from us when he saw our security guard. But he whirled around and came back with purpose. He lay down on the sidewalk one more time. He got up, club in hand, and ignored the warnings of the police officer to calm down and drop the club. So the police officer acted heroically, swiftly, and professionally and pinned the man to the ground. In the scuffle our sandwich boards and baby models flew. Thankfully many other police cars, police motorcycles and policemen showed up. And it took about five or six policemen to remove the club from the man’s hands. And he was arrested, thank God. When all the police were gone I realized there was another maniac amongst us. He seemed restless and agitated and started to punch a metal pole near us. But thankfully the power of prayer drove him away, just as I was dialing the 9 of 9-1-1.
I do want to thank the courageous prayer warriors who stuck with me during the scare. I also I want to thank the courageous security guard / police officer and all the other Pittsburgh police officers who were so quick to restore order to Liberty Avenue. My heroes always wear blue!
This all might seem scary and it was. However I believe it is a really awesome thing!
Our constant prayer and witness, compassion and love is REALLY making Satan mad now. We must be real close to closing Planned Parenthood at 933 Liberty Avenue! So keep it up, prayer warriors, especially Patty, Ray, Mimi, Marie, her wonderful husband, the beautiful Catholic school teacher, and my husband Daniel. And stand tall and courageous.
Especially if Jesus, the Blessed Mother, and the Pittsburgh Police got your back! Today was full of heroes. Thank you Father Jason Charron for giving Catholics the beautiful opportunity to receive the most Sacred Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ today at an outdoor Easter Ukrainian Rite Mass, that honored all social distancing and sanitary laws. May God bless all the heroic people I met, and prayed with, and prayed for. We’re spiritually sustained today!
Patty, Ray, Mimi, Marie, her wonderful husband, the beautiful Catholic school teacher, and my husband Daniel. Prayer warriors standing tall.
Our constant prayer and witness, compassion and love is REALLY working.
ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5
A sunny day
with much quiet prayer and some public
but one thing in common between us all
firm hope that 933 Liberty Avenue WILL CLOSE!
And God saw that it was good.