…If only we suffer with him…
I remember the first time I complained about suffering in front of Planned Parenthood…probably back in 2009 or so. It was a bitterly cold morning, and my fingers and toes were hurting. I complained to my partner, Sally about my pain, and was confused when she answered matter-of-factly, “Well, Nikki, just offer it up”. When I asked her what she meant, she explained that I could “offer up” the pain in my fingers and toes, uniting it to Jesus’ suffering on the cross…for the poor babies who were at that moment being aborted just a few feet from where we were standing. As a fervent Evangelical Christian, who loved to praise and worship Jesus…I understood how my JOYS could unite me with Him…but I could not understand how my suffering could be of any help whatsoever. After all, no matter how much I suffered, my suffering could not save even one little baby…and anyway, how could MY suffering help Jesus anyway? Surely, He does not need my suffering to accomplish anything…right?
Now, more than a dozen years later, I have a new understanding of the benefit of suffering. Not suffering FOR Jesus (He surely does not need it!)...but suffering WITH Him. There is a big difference.
I read this morning from the Magnificat daily morning prayer, this verse from Romans:
Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.Romans 8:14-17
What’s the difference?
I think that a common misunderstanding of the Catholic belief in redemptive suffering is that we somehow believe that we can accomplish something with our suffering. That would be terribly prideful of us, if we thought that. No, we are not suffering FOR anything or anyone…that would be pointless and vain. Instead, we are suffering WITH someone…namely Jesus. If a friend or family member is suffering, even though there may be nothing I can do to alleviate their suffering…should I not remain with that person and make that person’s suffering my own? If I truly love that person, the answer is yes.
How do we know that Jesus suffers because of abortion?
Well, I have been thinking about something. It is a sensitive subject, and I hope this doesn’t cause pain to anyone who reads this who may have taken part in an abortion…but it has been on my mind and so I just want to write a bit about it for your consideration. I recently heard an exorcist priest, Fr. Chad Rippberger, mention (in an off-hand way), that prior to the 1970’s, abortion was the ONLY sin that could not be forgiven in the sacrament of reconciliation, but required the bishop of a diocese to absolve it. Imagine that! Really…think about it! for almost 2,000 years…ANY SIN could be absolved with a sincere confession by any priest in any confessional around the world…but not the sin of abortion. You could confess having murdered your toddler, or your teenager…your husband or your wife, and you would be absolved. But you could not confess killing your child in the womb. That was considered too grave of a sin. Why? Fr. Rippberger explained that it was because, by killing the child before it was born, you were denying him or her of the right to be baptized…and thereby denying that soul of its right to Heaven.
Now I know what you are thinking….and I’m sure you are probably right. The Catholic Church changed her teaching on Limbo…and now believes that all babies who die without baptism go to Heaven. We could say that they received their baptism by blood. But isn’t it worth at least considering the possibility that a 2,000 year old belief could have some merit? Of course God is all powerful and all merciful and He can save anyone He chooses to save…with or without baptism. He is the One who made the rules…so I would think He isn’t bound by them if He chooses not to be. But at the very least…we can see that abortion is the most serious sin of all sins…it is the most tragic sin and so it stands to reason that it must hurt God the most. As I used to be an artist, I can understand how much of oneself is poured into creating a unique piece of art. The artist literally pours her body, mind and soul into the creation. If a thief were to break into my home and destroy a sculpture or painting that I had been working on for months…I would be beside myself with anger and grief. This scenario can’t even be compared to what God is creating when He is knitting together a brand new human being in its mother’s womb! Imagine all the details of a human person, from the DNA strands, to the bones and nervous system, all the organ systems, the tiny fingers and toes, facial features…not to mention all the personality traits that God gives to each of His creatures. We are so incredibly complex, each one of us! And we all have a unique purpose that God has planned for us, which He has woven into His tapestry of time, stretching back to Adam and continuing to the very last soul He will create. Surely, the intentional killing of babies in the womb on such a massive scale as exists in the world now must be the sin that angers and grieves Him the most!
What can we do about it?
There are many ways we can suffer WITH Christ, as he suffers with each baby that is aborted. We can go to the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood and make His suffering our own. We can suffer the cold, the traffic, the city noise and dirt. We can try to be Christlike to the homeless, and the lost…and we can try to love those that hate us. But most of all, we can try to remain with our Lord as He suffers. We can offer help and alternatives to those entering PP…and when they don’t want our help (which is most of the time)…we can cry with Jesus, as one of His precious little ones is lost to this world.
40 Days for Life Lenten Kick-off Mass & Eucharistic Procession
On Tuesday, February 13th, at 6pm, His Excellency Bishop Waltersheid will offer a Mass at Divine Mercy Parish, Epiphany Church, to kick-off our Lenten 40 Days for Life. Following Mass, He will carry our Lord in the Monstrance to Planned Parenthood. I invite you to join us in this spiritual battle to end abortion with the most powerful weapon that we have….the Holy Eucharist. CLICK HERE FOR THE FLYER!
Why bring the Eucharist to Planned Parenthood?
You may have already heard the story of the former Satanic High Priest, Zachary King. If you have not, you can look him up. I read his story more than 10 years ago, and that is what made me decide to begin asking for Eucharistic Processions to Planned Parenthood. As a former Satanic High Priest, Zachary King took part in hundreds of ritual abortions, and he understands that Satan receives power from the offering of innocent blood. He writes that abortion clinics are protected by a “bubble of evil”, that can only be “popped” by three things: Eucharistic Processions, Consecration of the Holy Eucharist on the site, and prayers of exorcism by an authorized priest. I just finished reading a book by Christine Watkins called “The Miraculous Medal, Pendant of Power”, where she recounts the story of Zachary King. It is a very difficult story to read and may not be for those with sensitive consciences…but if you have the stomach for it, it is a powerful reminder of the spiritual nature of the pro-life battle.
Why the Rosary?
Zachary King also speaks about his first-hand knowledge of the power of the rosary. He wrote that in all his years of casting spells and hexes through ritual abortions, there were a few instances where the abortions failed, and the babies were unintentionally delivered alive. He noticed that every time the abortions failed, they happened to be during the daytime when people were outside praying on “ropes”. (He didn’t know they were rosaries). One incredible testimony to the power of the rosary was when a “breeder”, (a woman from the satanic coven who would get pregnant for the purpose of providing a satanic ritual abortion), had entered the abortion clinic for her scheduled late-term abortion. Zachary was present for the ritual. Of course, the doctor was part of it. When the doctor examined the woman, expecting her cervix to be fully dilated, he angrily told her to sit up. Frustrated, he told her that she wasn’t even beginning to dilate yet, and that the baby wasn’t even in the birth canal. She would need to reschedule. He turned to leave the room, but before he got out the door he was stopped by sound of a baby crying. He turned around to see a perfectly healthy baby girl, lying on the table. She had been miraculously delivered! The staff of the abortion clinic was forced by law to transport the child to hospital, where she was put up for adoption.
Will you suffer with Him?
This was a long reflection, and was on the heavy side. I am sorry if it is too dark. These thoughts have been on my mind and I just wanted to share them. If they help you, that is great. If not, disregard them. For me, it is a help to remind myself of the uniqueness of the nature of abortion. It isn’t a sin like any other. It deserves our time and sacrifice to work to end it. No matter what else is going on in the world right now…and there are plenty of terrible things going on, that is for sure…we can never stop fighting to end abortion! It is truly the greatest evil in the world, and I believe we all have a responsibility to do whatever we are capable of to stop it.
Sign up now for the Lenten 40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil!
Our vigil calendar is up and running! You can sign yourself up for hours to pray in front of Planned Parenthood from Feb. 14th through Mar. 24th by going to the calendar HERE!
Donate to help us pay for security at the Vigil!
You can also help us to keep our prayer volunteers safe by offering to donate to help us pay for security. No need to send money yet, as I won’t sign a contract with the security company unless I get enough pledges. But if you are willing to pledge a certain amount, please email me at email@example.com.
Year-Round Sidewalk pray-ers needed!
If you don’t want to wait for the Lenten 40 days to begin, we are in need of weekly commitments year-round! We especially need someone to partner with brand-new volunteer, Chris, on Saturdays from 11am-1pm…beginning THIS SATURDAY! Please email Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org to get signed up.
PCUC PRAYER BREAKFAST is Saturday, Jan. 13th!
We are sadly very short of the amount of people needed to fill the breakfast at 10am on the 13th at the Chadwick. You could help PCUC continue to support pro-life organizations, such as 40 Days for Life and Sidewalk Advocates for Life, by registering to attend this breakfast! Mail your check for $25 per person to Rose Liptak at 164 Elatan Dr., Pittsburgh PA 15243. The registration form may be downloaded and printed HERE. Even though the form says the deadline is Jan. 3rd, we can accept registrations through Jan 10.
What a perfect way to begin 2024, by praying for an end to abortion with your pro-life friends! Come and be inspired by speakers Pastor Jay & Tiffany Gilbert! I look forward to seeing you there!
Thank you and may God bless you this new year!