The First Friday of Our Vigil: Thank you to “Pray for Life” students, and all from St. Mary of the Assumption and SS. Peter and Paul!

Psalm 124:8 tells us, “Our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Of course, as Maker of heaven and earth, He has complete sovereignty, complete control over ALL that is.  He is in control of what happens at all times and in every place.  EVEN at 933 Liberty Avenue.

So why does He allow this evil of abortion to continue there, if He is in control of it all?  Isn’t it true that it’s the trial in the Garden of Eden all over again.  Our Lord wants us to CHOOSE good, not just “fall into it” without thinking, and not be “programmed” to do it.  When we do NOT choose the good, we sin.  And as the perfect Father that He is, He allows us to make that choice, even knowing that we could remain separated from Him forever because of it.  He loves us that much that He does not want us to be FORCED to love Him or do His will.

His will is NOT being done at Planned Parenthood.  His will is clearly not that thousands of His children should be butchered each year at that location alone.  BUT!!!  Let us remember the first part of the Scripture verse above:  OUR HELP comes from the Lord.  He does not desire us to remain where we are, in our sins and trapped by lies that lure us into not doing His will.  On the contrary, Our Lord is there… He is HERE, now, as we read this… to be our HELP.  Our God is a God of MERCY.

As we recall His death on the cross on that Friday so long ago, may we on THIS Friday today be made more aware of the great MERCY He showed us from that cross.  May He have mercy on all of us, on those who work in the abortion industry, on those who have made appointments to abort their children, on those of us who are there to pray and fast… and on the whole world.

 

Here are some of the events that happened during our vigil today.  Shift Manager Sally shared the following:

What a wonderful fall morning!  Lots of sunshine, and lots of prayers went out this morning as the Ryan Catholic Newman Center came out strongly for life. We had about 15 students, 6 adults from various areas, and a Campus Missionary for FOCUS.  The students brought many sheets of prayers, and they prayed throughout the morning.

 

Students from the Catholic Newman Center in Oakland, along with Mary Elizabeth from St. Maria Goretti parish

 We saw no abortionist, a lot of workers, and very few customers.  This has been the norm for the last month. 


 One young lady came by, read the signs,  and asked if she could please have a flower, so I let her pick one and gave her a 40 Days flyer. She promised to show it to her pastor.  Another lady, going to renew her license, stopped to talk and was very supportive.  I also gave her a flyer and one of the “babies in blanket” to show others.                                                      

——————- The only difficult thing about the morning was the arrival, about 10:50, of Bob, the street preacher, who has been determined in the past to evangelize the pray-ers. He does not care at all if he interrupts very serious prayer.  When I left, he was doing his best to change the hearts of 2 students.  He also had a “disciple” with him.  We might need to think about what to do if he hangs around too much, on too many days,  and disrupts prayers as he was doing when I left.

– Sally
 

P.S.  The picture is mostly of the students from the Newman Center.

In the afternoon, Shift Managers Ginny and Marie shared some great photos of some of our faithful prayer warriors:

Vince, Ginny, Mimi, Rachel, Elaine

 

 

Mimi, Anthony, John, Vince

 

 

 

Shift Manager Pat also shared with us some stories from his shift, later in the day:

 

Tony from St. Gregory’s parish in Zelienople

 

 

Sometimes, when so many things happen in a shift, you have to just narrow it down to one or two.  I was so grateful to have Lisa C. and four of her kids (Luke, Daniel, Esther, and Nadi) back with me again for this most challenging shift.  

 

Lisa C. and family

 

Pittsburgh’s Gallery Crawl and an extremely large duck at the Point added a whole lot of foot and vehicle traffic to our evening.  And PP decided to participate.  The offered wine and cheese, opened their doors, and invited people into their facility to view the works of a local photographer.  

Now what I’m about to describe may seem very small and insignificant to a passerby, but anyone with eyes of faith would know that it wasn’t.  When PP put out their own sandwich board, which advertised the work of the photographer, they had drawn the arrow in the wrong direction on one side.  Instead of pointing towards the PP doors it pointed toward the street.  After a few minutes Lisa noticed this and kindly pointed this out to the PP employee who was watching the door.  The employee, in turn, acknowledged this small favor Lisa had done for PP with thumbs-up sign and a sincere thank you.  Now if any of you have had the chance to read Abby Johnson’s book, Unplanned, you would know from the story she shared how important those little acts of kindness toward PP employees are from those of us who stand and pray outside their doors.  Those little acts of kindness played a significant role in her conversion.  And among other things, they simply reveal our humanity to them.  
 
The second incident of significance I’ll mention occurred about 10 minutes before it was time to go.  A woman and her husband came out of PP after having viewed the photos (I understand they were simply photos of Pittsburgh) and came over to Lisa and her family and thanked her for being there to witness because she had no idea that she had just walked into a Planned Parenthood!  
 
Finally, I recommend to all shift managers to have some of the brochures Jeff Burgman created which gives a great explanation on what 40 Days for Life – Pittsburgh is all about.  Each time someone gave a positive acknowledgement or a thank you to us, I made sure to offer them one.  Who knows, maybe a few of those who read it might come to see that brochure as a tap on the shoulder from God to come out and join us. 
 
-Pat