DAY 40: Thank you, Shift Buddies Vince P., Kathy K., Jim and Cathy S.; and all the Witnesses who joined our Pittsburgh Vigil for Life today!


The Crucifixion
Fra Angelico (c. 1387-1455)
Capitular Hall, Covent San Marco, Florence, Italy
© Electa / Leemage
https://us.magnificat.net

The devil attacks many of us with arrows of isolation and anxiety. We are not alone, however, because we walk with our Father in everything. Our personal trust in Him will make ripples today beyond what the eye can see.

Carney, Shawn D. To The Heart Of The Matter.

Day 40 feels different this spring.  It feels different. But, the virus doesn’t stop abortion minded people from participating in killing children.  The virus doesn’t stop people from rescuing innocents against all the odds.

Here are two stories with themes we recognize as being around since the beginning.  They tell you things about people you already know.  Evil can make people blind and driven. Good can dazzle people, igniting their hearts into responses replete with indefatigable creativity. 

Finally, a song for you, “For Unto Us a Child Is Born from Handel’s Messiah. The words listed are from the Bible text. Isaiah’s words hold a key.  Life is not a problem to be solved.  Life is a mystery to be lived.   In the mystery the most amazing Person greets us!

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… the clatter of heavy boots and the barking of orders in German.  The hallway was suddenly in commotion.  Ala stood frozen.  But that kernel of an idea was growing.  She raced to the children’s ward where the bright room was already in chaos, and turned to a duty nurse and gave swift instructions:  Run, tell the kitchen staff we are coming. Ala needed the kitchen workers to fill a truck with food supplies and empty the vegetable boxes.  Ala clapped her hands.  Children! We must line up now very quickly. Daisy chains of toddlers and small children held each other’s hands, and teenage trainee nurses carried two or three infants at a time in bundles.  Thirty children followed Ala swiftly down the back staircases and into the kitchens, where they were tucked in and among the wooden potato boxes.  Ala ordered the cook to drive, and moments later Ala watched as the truck pulled away and disappeared around the street corner.

…by January 1943, the names of more than a thousand children were on the lists.  Every single child Irena had placed in the Warsaw convents was still alive.

By the end of the war, ninety percent of Poland’s Jews would perish – some three million people – but not Irena’s  2,500 children.

Mazzeo, Tilar J.  Irena’s Children. New York: Gallery Books, 2017.

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The second powerful memory I carry as a treasure from that day is not of words spoken but of a silent act.  At one point I looked across the street, and there I saw Abby Johnson on her knees at that black fence, where she had just placed two long-stemmed roses.  One rose was for her own child that she had aborted years before, and the other for all the children aborted there while she was the director of the facility.  Around her, others knelt, wept, and prayed, and many placed their own flowers at the fence, transforming it from a cold, hard barrier that had once kept us all out into a memorial to all the lives lost and all the pain inflicted inside that fence.  Never again will an abortion center wall or fence look to me like a barrier.  I will recognize it as a territory staked out by prayer warriors and covered by the love and faithfulness of God’s people.

David Bereit, “Breakthrough.”

Bereit, David and Carney, Shawn with Cindy Lambert.  40 Days For Life, Discover What God Has Done…Imagine What He Can Do. (2013)

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Listen in to Handel’s Messiah, “For Unto Us A Child Is Born.” At King’s College Chapel, Roy Goodman conducts the Brandenburg Consort and Sir Stephen Cleobury leads the King’s College School and undergraduates from Cambridge University.

For a child is born to us,

a son is given to us;

upon his shoulder dominion rests.

They name him Wonder-Counselor,

God-Hero,

Father-Forever,

Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:5

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My soul clings to you. Your right hand holds me fast. Psalm 63:8

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Shawn Carney’s message for Day 40:


NOTES FROM THE SIDEWALK

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JEN McD. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

Vince and I kept vigil “together but apart” this morning, praying all the mysteries of the Scriptural Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  I was blessed with a beautiful experience praying at a “drive-in” Adoration Chapel that has been set up in the window of a local church.

This has been a 40 Days for Life campaign like no other.  I’m so glad we continued the vigil even though we couldn’t be on the sidewalk.  I will miss gathering with all of you to close in prayer and fellowship tonight, but I look forward to what God has in store for us.  Jesus, I trust in You!

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

Today is my last shift for this campaign. From 9 to 11 I was joined once again by my wife and four of our children. We prayed the Stations of the Cross, the five Glorious mysteries of the Rosary and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, live streamed by Fr. Mike Schmitz, from our home. Like many of you our home has the look of the domestic church as it should. The statues and holy images are sometimes overwhelming to visitors here but for our family it has always been conducive to prayer. And in this season of no Mass or sacraments this is a peaceful place to pray. However we are very conscious of the fact that it is a poor substitute for receiving Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament at our parish. This was our prayer today, that this sacrifice would be offered for the closing of PP. May God have Mercy on us all. 

ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGER 11-1

Palm Sunday and our last day in our campaign but not the last day to pray to end abortion. I am sure we will all continue to pray daily that God will bring this hideous sin of abortion to an end. Rich and I prayed the rosary and Divine Mercy along with the R. Family in spirit. We included prayers from Fr. Pavone and attended mass in our living room via EWTN from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

LINDSAY M. SHIFT MANAGER 1-3

Beautiful reflection Marie. That’s great to know the Tabernacle is still exposed. I wasn’t sure after Bishop’s latest directive. We celebrated a Mass at home for my 40 Days for Life shift. With Bishop Robert Barron. It was a little weird because the cats kept knocking over our little altar. Luckily I had some dried up Palm from last year. I cried when I sang “Oh Sacred Head Surrounded” as our dismissal hymn. I can’t wait till we’re all united as a community again!

MARIE P. SHIFT BUDDY 1-3

This afternoon I prayed in front of the tabernacle at my church, SS John & Paul. I am so thankful that it is there and available for people to come and pray to our Lord in the Eucharist – even if through a glass window!

I prayed the Pro-Life Glorious Mysteries from Priests for Life and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I want to encourage all the Pittsburgh 40DFL team to not lose heart over the circumstances that our vigil had to take this time – God’s hand is in this.

We have to TRUST!!

The first Glorious Mystery is The Resurrection, I want to share the reflection on this mystery – may we keep this in mind as we journey towards Easter Sunday.

Christ is Risen! By His Resurrection, He has destroyed the power of death, and therefore the power of abortion.

The outcome of the battle for Life has already been decided: Life is victorious!

Let us pray that all pro-lifers will spread this victory to every segment of our society.

May your Holy Week and Easter be blessed with the love of Christ who has conquered death – and will conquer the evil of abortion!

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

So what can we control and what can’t we control.

We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Out of my control.

We have an extraordinarily aggressive government stance to try to flatten the curve, so aggressive that I believe it is fraudulent, full of ulterior motives which are most likely evil. And if you question our government being, and if you question our government being evil, what other word is there for a government that says abortion mills are vital necessary services, but churches are not?

Either way. Out of my control.

Some of us have lost our jobs for a time. Other’s work is so slow it may never return to the same it was before the crisis. Also out of our control.

But what do we do about it? Do we circle the wagons, seeking to protect our life or do we imitate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and serve without counting the cost? It is the good shepherd that lays down his life for his sheep. The hireling sees the wolf coming and runs. And there is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend. To those who have been laying it on the line for love of God in the poor, in service to others,

Shift Manager, Andy. Faithful 40 Days Witness

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

Privilege serving and receiving the Lord with yinz in another blessed campaign.

See you in the fall, and may the Lord’s protection be with you all.

Peace

And God saw that it was good.

Day 39: United We Kneel

I was blessed to spend part of Lent a few years back in Milan, Italy where I saw this panel on the Duomo doors. I was moved by the detail in the people portrayed in the scene, especially the man hiding (Peter? Me?) and the wear marks left by thousands of faithful kisses as they reverenced our Lord. I was moved even more by the red roses someone had carefully placed upon the scene, but I shouldn’t be surprised. The red rose is a such a powerful symbol of LOVE, and this panel depicts the greatest love story EVER. He so loved the world that He sent His only Son …. This week we remember the rest of that love story. That is why a red rose is a perfect symbol for the Pro-life Movement. LOVE – true, pure unselfish LOVE Conquers All. LOVE WINS!


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Reports from our shift managers:

7-9 Shift Manager Tim Reports:
Today I joined my prayers to end abortion and for protection of the unborn with those around world starting with the recitation of the rosary from Lourdes, France, where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared a little over 100 years ago, and the holy Mass, both aired on TV.  My wife joined me and she remarked what peace it brings to the soul in these difficult times! All members of the 40 Days for Life Family are in my prayers. God bless you and bring you peace.  Tim

11-1 Shift Manager Dean Reports:

Good afternoon. As we prepare to enter God’s Holy Week, I was reflecting on a message about Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.
Jesus, who was One with God the Father and Creator of all, allowed His creation, sinful men, to end His life. This is a mystery that we will never be able to fully understand. However, we can be thankful that Jesus’ selfless act has restored our relationship with God. Thank you Jesus.
I also thought about what it meant to be a shift manager during the 40DFL campaign. I tried to balance my time in prayer with a heightened sense of vigilance for the safety and welfare of those faithful people who came to pray against abortion.
Although this campaign concludes tomorrow, I know that all of you will be continuing in prayer for Planned Parenthood’s closure. I close with this verse from 1 Cor. 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Thank you for allowing me to be part of this group.

Shift Manager Melissa Reports:

Today I sit and drink my coffee and feel blessed to know that no matter what is going on I can trust in God and his promises. 

I read Exodus 11 and 12 and am reminded that there was a time when God asked his people to go and STAY in their homes. He asked them to put the blood of a lamb on the top of their doors and stay there and trust God as the plague passed over them.  Then when it was over, God called them out of their homes and they experienced freedom from the slavery they had been in. 

God sent them forth to the promised land with health and strength in all of them. This year, Jewish Passover begins on the evening of Wednesday, April 8th and ends on  April 16th and our Christian celebrations of the Passion of Christ and of the Resurrection on Sunday, April 12 occur simultaneously.  Is it a coincidence that all of this is happening around such holy days?

 I believe in those promises of new life.  New beginnings. I wrote a new prayer to share with all of you. I pray that you are safe and well.

Heavenly Father  We thank you for the blessings in this day. Help us to remain strong and focused on you in these uncertain times. We know evil is having its run in this world right now but we are reminded that you are always in control.  Right now you have taken us into your shelter. Cover us in your wings. In your shelter we find protection. We know you have a plan in all of this. We trust in you with all of our heart and do not lean on our own understanding. We stand firm in our faith and turn away from evil and fear only you Lord. We know this is healing to our flesh and refreshment for our bones. We put on God’s armor to defend against the evil one. We wear truth as a belt… Righteousness as a breastplate … Shoes with readiness to proclaim the gospel … Faith as a shield to deflect ALL the flames of the evil one … Salvation as a Helmet …  Sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.  And prayer for ALL the saints. Thank you for these weapons to fight against evil. We come up against the spirit of death and destruction and cancel out all evil attacks of the enemy in Jesus name.  We have been given authority in Luke 10:19 to trample snakes and scorpions and overcome ALL the power of the enemy. To cure diseases and drive out demons in Jesus name. We stand on your promises Lord that when we ask something in Jesus Name, that you hear us and will answer us. We confess we have failed you. We confess we have been silent when we should have spoken out. Forgive us Lord and fill us with a new boldness and courage and faith and strength to speak up and defend the vulnerable.  To use the weapons you have given us especially joining in prayer today to defeat the enemy. We rest in knowing that God is victorious and the enemy is defeated.

Today we stand and renounce ALL evil —- Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God? I renounce them! Do you renounce the powers of this world that rebel against God? I renounce them! Do you renounce the ways of sin that draw you from God? I renounce them!

We stand together and affirm what we believe here using the words of the song “We Believe” from the album Out of the Ordinary from our own PITTSBURGH PROJECT:

We Believe in God the Father. We Believe in Christ the Son. We Believe in the Holy Spirit. We are the church and we stand as ONE. We Believe in the Holy Bible. We Believe in the Virgin Birth. We Believe in the Resurrection; Christ one day will return to Earth.

HOLY HOLY, HOLY is our God ; WORTHY WORTHY, WORTHY is our King! All Glory and Honor are His to Receive- to Jesus the King – – – – because we BELIEVE!

We declare today we are healed, protected and that the abortion industry will be shut down and this virus to be gone from this world.  Thank you God for never leaving us, for always guiding us and loving us. Thank you for choosing us to be your children.  We must defend all your children in Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Shift Manager Billy Reports: Hope you are all surviving the quarantine. I went walking for the 2 hour shift to pray today. Actually, this was such a struggle doing this with God instead of a partner, but I was praying for our protection, for the babies and praying for any way God could help defund planned parenthood. I got really distracted in prayer that I lost track of time. I want to end this by sharing the lyrics of the the worship song I was listening to at the end of my prayer walk: open the blind eyes and open the deaf ears. I think that should be our prayer for our culture and for those at planned parenthood! I miss you guys! Be safe and God bless you, Billy 

Day 38: “Lord, Get Me Out of This!”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.

John 11:5-6

Every time I hear this Gospel passage, one word hits me hard: SO. As in, “for that reason.” Jesus loved His friends, SO He didn’t go to help them right away. He waited to help them because He loved them.

In my weak and clouded mind, that sounds completely contradictory. I want Jesus to swoop in immediately and end suffering right away. But unlike me, God is omniscient. He knows the long-term effects of present events. He knows that some things we suffer for a little while bring about positive change in our lives. And since God is all-loving, He allows that to occur at times.

It’s true in our current coronavirus crisis. It’s true in an unexpected pregnancy situation. It’s true in any trouble that befalls us. God uses difficult and sorrowful circumstances for our ultimate good whenever we put ourselves into His loving care.

Our (now retired) parochial vicar once gave an excellent homily in which he recalled the Apostles hiding away between the day when Jesus ascended into Heaven and the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost. Fr. Bud said:

At times, we are also locked in our own Upper Room, afraid and confused.  Instead of praying, “Lord, get me out of this!” try praying, “Lord, what do you want me to get out of this?”

Now is the perfect time to try, since we’re literally locked in our homes by quarantine and perhaps locked in our mindset by fear.

Dearest Lord, even in our darkest times, please let us trust that You will use our suffering for good if we give it all to You.

-Jen


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Vigil Reports

Barbara:

Richard and I were up and ready to begin at 7 this morning. We prayed a Scriptural Rosary, Sorrowful Mysteries and prayed with the EWTN Mass. Rose, our Shift Buddy, is continuing to pray furiously for the end of abortion and the end of this virus. Mary Ann, a Christ Our Savior Parishioner, continues to pray with us. 

Later we took 2 dozen red roses and showered them on the sidewalk in front of PP downtown. Who was it who recognized what a good way this is to remember the babies whose lives abortion will take today? It feels right.  How else to get rid of that terrible feeling of helplessness in the face of so much tragedy!

Someone had already placed rose petals there.  A young man was passing and admired the flowers. We gave him a few for a bouquet to take to a loved one … we all love someone enough to take them flowers!

It felt good to be at the sidewalk even for a few minutes with mask and gloves.

Peace.

Kathy:

Thank you to Kim, Mark, Memorial Park Church, and my family members who joined in offering prayers from our homes to end abortion.  May God hear and answer our prayers.

Mark:

What a beautiful peaceful morning of prayer to our Holy mother! Come Holy Spirit, living in the heart of Mary, thank you for the gift of our loving mother, Mary! Who knew Jesus better than Mary? Makes me wonder who knows a child better than his or her mother.

I prayed again this week next to our 40 Days banners in front of the church (St. Gregory’s) on Rt. 68. Few cars and trucks went by today and most drivers met my eyes. Some waved. It was good to be there! Thank you for the privilege.

I pray all of  you stay well and your families… I pray for our clergy and staff and I pray for those contemplating the future of the baby in their wombs. Peace and love to all…

Thank you Lord for my wife and children.

Cil:

What a beautiful sunny day today!  Some members from my church, St Joes, offered to pray from home for our shift.  Joyce had the great idea to go to St Mary’s in Herman and do the “drive by” Stations of the Cross that they have outside the church and cemetery.  So that’s what we did each staying in our own vehicles and utilizing the same pro-life Stations of the Cross resource.  We also stopped our minivans at the last station, which also had the Rachel’s Mourning statue nearby, and prayed a pro-life rosary.  Here is a picture (do you spy the bunny?):

We prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy utilizing the beautiful video that someone told us about on this blog recently (sorry I forget who but Thank you!).  And we prayed the Litany in Response to Abortion down by the Mary statue.  Thank you to the Guardians for Life for their wonderful prayers!

Although it’s our last week for this campaign, we can continue our pro-life efforts.  We know that many people are still struggling right now.  Even more so with some people out of work.  Some may be contemplating abortion or having a hard time supplying for the needs of their children.  Please consider checking in with your local crisis pregnancy centers and ask them how you might be able to help out.  There are things that you may be able to do “from home”.  For example, Alpha Omega Center has a client in Chicora and one in Springboro (upper Crawford County) that are in need of supplies esp diapers and wipes.  AO is looking for two people who are willing to keep a supply of diaper and wipes (they will supply) on hand so that when AO gives the OK, you are willing to leave a bag on the client’s porch.  If you can do this, call them at 724-674-3343.  I’m sure other CPCs have ways you can help them out too.  If you don’t have the time but you have money or supplies for them, they would be grateful.  

You are some of the kindest, most generous and loving people I know.  May God bless you all and I pray you have a wonderful Holy Week and Easter Season!

Pat:

Well, for reasons mostly beyond my control, I didn’t get started until closer to 4 PM today, but I did pray two hours from that point.  I started in my room with a rosary, and then went for another walk (getting a little lost at one point) praying both the rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet.  Anyone else find it hard to focus on prayer for abortion and have COVID-19 keep floating to the front of your brain as we do this?

Val:

Just wanted to send you a few photos of where Mike and I prayed today.  This is part of our church grounds.  As we were walking down to the church the sun came out!  It was beautiful! 

Bill:

My final shift for this Lenten session for 40 Days For Life was like a lot of other things happening these days.  It is just very different.  Maybe by next session some of the normal will have returned, even though we are praying for change.  Imagine if God did end abortion, until he does we keep working and praying for a save.  And so we pray at home now.  My wife and I did stop by PP for a few prayers in this past week.  I concluded my shift with my wife as we called up on EWTN the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a beautifully sung prayer.  Thinking of Claudia and Mary, my shift buddies.  God Bless!

Day 37: Thank you to those who aren’t giving up. That’s all of you!!

40 Days for Life

Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind
but straining forward to what lies ahead,
I continue my pursuit toward the goal,
the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.

~Philippians 3:13b-14

Goals are hard. Setting them is hard. Striving toward them is hard. Reaching them? Hard again. I have a difficult time with all of these. I wish I didn’t. But I do. But here’s the thing about goals. We COULD decide to do away with them. That might make procrastinators like me think we are in the clear. “Nothing to worry about now!” But the problem is… without those goals, our progress would most likely not happen NEARLY as much or as often… if at all. I speak from LOADS of frustrating experiences. Amidst them all, I can say that the goals that motivated me were important and absolutely necessary.

In this spiritual battle against abortion, we must have goals as well. It might take a LONG time to reach them, but we need those goals to at least be in place. In 40 Days for Life in particular, we don’t pray merely that abortions will slow down or decrease (although that would be good). We set our sights HIGH, and pray that abortion will END. Without striving toward this goal, we may never get there.

But you know what? We are NOT giving up. Our prayer, fasting, and other sacrifices continue. May we trust. And then trust more. And NOT GIVE UP.

GO TEAM!!


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Shift Manager Reports:

Nikki:

Poor Nikki was not feeling well this morning, and was unable to pray during that early shift time. But her faithful sidekick Peggy did!! Thanks, Peggy!! And let’s keep Nikki in our prayers!

The Knights of Columbus Manordale Valley Council 4226 from Murrysville also prayed from 7-9, honoring the commitment they made before the sidewalk portion of the vigil was cancelled. We are so grateful to them and to all who continue to pray from a distance!

Lisa K.:

I was able to pray the rosary for the first part of my shift. Once again, I prayed (the Luminous Mysteries) along with WAOB radio. One of the lines from the Scriptural Rosary was about when the Father’s voice is heard at the Mount of Transfiguration and He speaks of Jesus, saying, “Listen to Him.” It struck me that SO many times, we don’t. We just DON’T listen to Our Lord. And when we don’t, we get a whole lot of sin in our lives and in the world at large. Abortion is one of those sins. I was then praying for people’s conversions from this sin.

The next part of my shift was prayed on a walk outside through my neighborhood again. Very windy, but beautiful. I prayed another rosary… the Joyful Mysteries this time. I was praying that people would see the GIFT of their children (born and unborn), and of course, praying for the abortion workers as well.

For the last part of the shift, Shift Buddy Beth Ann and I had a video call via Facebook. We prayed a couple litanies, the 40 Days devotional for today, and a few other prayers. It was good. It’s times like this that technology is such a gift. Thanks, Beth Ann!

It was sunny and windy! But the time spent in prayer was good! Thank You, Lord!!
Beth Ann and me on our video call!

Mary M and Barbara K.:

From Mary:

Today during my shift I prayed the Glorious Mysteries, very slowly, as I was also thinking of my former father-in-law, who is in hospice with only days to live. A staunch Protestant and a good man, he had some trouble accepting a Catholic daughter-in-law, but I never forgot something he once said- that he had to admire Catholics, because they were firm in their belief that abortion is wrong, and were willing to put themselves out there. Of course we know that many people of all faiths, even of no faith, see abortion for the egregious sin that it is, and some are willing to join in the fight, and it’s true that more and more hearts and minds are changing. It is so good to know people who have sacrificed their time and their comforts to confront the abortion mills and call it what it is, remembering that it is our Creator who gives us the strength to persevere and who hears our pleas. I thank God for all of you! 

From Barbara:

Today is my last day praying at my assigned time for the vigil. But my prayers for the protection of life in the womb and the conversion of hearts of all those involved in the abortion holocaust will continue. I am in awe of the wonderful people I met during this campaign, their holiness and dedication. I fear that abortions will continue for quite some time, but rest assured that God has heard our prayers. It’s not time yet. I cry at nights knowing that babies were torn to shreds at 933 Liberty Avenue. Please God, save the babies! It’s not time yet.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple because it was not his time yet. However, now is our time to choose. Whose side are we on? Well friends, we have shouted loud and clear to our Lord that we are on His side! We have planted seeds of hope in all who have seen our presence. We HAVE changed hearts. We have SAVED babies, maybe more than we know! I am reminded of 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” And Mathew 25:23, “Well done good and faithful servant…”  I think God is pleased with our work. Blessings to all of you as we approach “virtual” Holy Week. 

Sometimes, things look insurmountable.

But we must trust in God and NOT give up.

God is the One who will win this battle.

We just have to show up and do what we can to reach the goal.

Day 36…Old Testament God?

What happened to THIS God???

These have been strange days lately. Our world seems very different, doesn’t it? I keep waiting for our leaders, be it church leaders or civic leaders, to acknowledge our need to repent and turn to God for deliverance from this global chastisement…err…pandemic.

Why is no one looking around and seeing God’s Mighty Hand in this? When I mentioned to a church-going friend of mine that I believe that God is chastising us with this pandemic, she responded with, “Oh, I don’t believe that God would do that!” My boss gave me the same response when I was talking to him on the phone a couple days ago. He is not a believer, but said “I thought your God was supposed to be all about forgiveness!

So, during my morning prayer today, I reflected on today’s Gospel reading (in the traditional Catholic Missal). From John 10:22-38, the unbelievers in Jesus’ time were trying to trip him up and wanting Him to admit openly that He was the Christ. In reply, Jesus said:

“I and the Father are one.”

John 10:30

As I meditated on that short verse, it occurred to me that the reason that so many Christians are unwilling to entertain the idea that this global crisis could possibly be a chastisement is because they are conveniently forgetting that the merciful Jesus of the New Testament…IS ONE with the Just Judge of the Old! In fact, there is a quote from Billy Graham that says:

If God doesn’t punish America, He owes an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah!

Billy Graham

In fact, God first broke my heart over abortion through a sermon that I heard on the radio called “Stop the Holocaust,” by Rev. John Guest. Before hearing this sermon, I had never given the issue of abortion much thought. I had never seen a photo of an abortion victim and I didn’t know the gruesome truth about the horror of abortion, or about the trauma that many post-abortive parents deal with for the rest of their lives. But as I listened to Dr. Guest talk about the numbers of babies that had been killed, and about various instances in the Old Testament where God had destroyed peoples and nations for the crime of shedding innocent blood…I heard him say that America is guilty in the eyes of Almighty God for this horrible crime. At that point, I began to cry and sob…as the reality of what our nation has done sunk in. Just as the passengers of an airplane have to pay the consequences of the pilot’s error when the plane crashes…so we will suffer God’s judgement for the shedding of innocent blood for over 60 million babies.

That was when I decided I needed to get involved in pro life work, and then I discovered 40 Days for Life. For 10 years now I have had the amazing privilege of leading so many faithful and dedicated brothers and sisters, as we have prayed, fasted and stood on the sidewalk. We have had joys and sufferings through these past 10 years, and I can say without a doubt that being part of the 40 Days for Life movement has been the most meaningful and spiritually enriching experience of my life. It has helped me to overcome my natural timidness, laziness and weakness. I am very grateful to God for bringing us all together to fight this spiritual battle, and I have no doubt that our efforts have brought much grace to our city…whether we see the results or not. Imagine, all the babies that were saved that we never knew about…some of them are hitting puberty by now! In another 10 years or so, a second generation will come forth from those saved lives! Our work will indeed bear eternal fruit!

Speaking of babies that have been saved…the couple who chose life after coming to PP for an abortion near the beginning of our campaign, are currently working with Birthright of Pittsburgh to help them with some of their needs. They have three small children and are in need of housing and employment, as well as material help for their children and baby-on-the-way. The husband is a plumber but would be grateful for any kind of employment. The wife is looking for cleaning work (in the evenings)…and they are in need of a house to rent. If you can help this courageous young couple, please contact Regina at nateran1291@aol.com

This is my last blog post for these 40 days. I am uncertain what our future holds, and whether or not we will be able to hold a campaign in the fall. But I have peace in letting God take the reigns right now. I just want to watch and pray…and listen for His call when He wants me to jump back in.


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Here are our final Wednesday shift reports:

Faithful Cathy has been keeping her 9-11 shift from home:

I have been praying from home for my shifts (last week and today), streaming Mass, and prayer walking.  No particular insights or revelations, just trying to stay faithful.

Cathy Z
Hank and Judy fulfilled their last 11-1 shift today by praying from their car at Planned Parenthood!

When we arrived at pp this am it appeared that they were closed but shortly a young man came out for a smoke and an older woman with a young child got out of a car and went into pp for a short time obviously  both waiting for someone having an abortion.  How ironic we’re asked to stay home and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus and save  lives but the state allows pp to brutally kill the most innocent and defenseless among us.  Lord have mercy on us.  We prayed the Rosary and Devine Mercy for the end of abortion and for those seeking abortion and those facilitating this abomination.  

Hank & Judy

I had a quiet two hours of prayer in my home this afternoon.  I prayed the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries using my Rosary of the Unborn (pictured below).  Within each bead is the image of a 1-month old unborn baby.  God bless those who are continuing to pray for the unborn during this time of trial.

Chris

Today was a “dry” day inside, no breeze, 72 degrees…
Seriously, the shift was “Pro-Life Potpourri” – trying to tune-up the Mind, Lips, and Heart with worship (Virtual Mass with Bishop Barron), prayer (Vespers, and Divine Mercy Chaplet) and catching-up on Pro-Life email newsletters and educational videos.
Ended the shift reflecting on a few verses of the day that stood out with respect to our time with each other and others on the sidewalk as well as our current situation:

Ephesians 4:32 [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

Matthew 4:34 Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself…

Peace my brothers & sisters!

Joe

Day 35: Thank you Christ the Divine Shepherd Parish and individual Prayers!

The last time I was on the sidewalk, a woman came hurrying past, juggling a child and several bags in her arms. She was joyful, but trying to make it to the bus station to catch her bus. Greg immediately scooped up the bags and she hoisted her toddler onto her shoulders and the three of them ran down the sidewalk towards the bus station!

When he returned, he reported that she did make it in time to catch her bus, but the other striking thing she told him was “She Saved Me”

Several hours later that day, I came across this American Idol audition. It is a beautiful story about a young woman choosing life and adoption for her baby, while still pursuing her dreams. At one point in telling her story, she says “She Saved Me”

In our culture of death society, I found these two women to be amazing witnesses to how choosing life for their unborn children had changed the trajectory of their lives for the good!! It is a message not often heard these days. I hope you have time to watch the audition!


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Greetings from Tracy and Charlene 7am-9am

Juju
Tracy and I had big plans for today. Tracy was going to Confession and “Mass at home”. I was really looking forward to Adoration at the Grotto…especially when I realized that the statue behind the altar was Our Lady of Guadalupe!! What a perfect place to pray for the unborn…other than the sidewalk. But it was closed!!! By order of the Bishop! I was so sad!! I saw one of the secretaries in the parking lot and expressed my sadness and she said, “Jesus is everywhere.” Thank you Lord, that was what I needed! I came home and prayed here… …with Jesus!!
Charlene

Christ the Divine Shepherd 11am-1pm

Christ the Divine Shepherd parish honored their 40DFL commitment and prayed all 20 mysteries of the rosary from home during their parish’s time slot of 11am-1pm. Their priests led the prayers and livestreamed them so that parishioners Lisa M., Lisa F., Carol, Suzanne, Lynda M, Emily, Linda V., the Knights of Columbus and the Men’s group could be united in prayer with them!

Nikki 1-3pm

Here is a picture of my little prayer area where I spent my prayer shift this afternoon.

For the first 40 minutes I meditated on scripture. The first reading was from the book of Daniel, and was the story of Daniel being thrown into the lions den. The gospel reading was when Jesus was being encouraged, out of spite and disbelief, to attend the festival of Tabernacle’s. He said that he would not go because it was not his time yet. But then, he did go, although he remained hidden. So, as I prayed, I thought about how God sometimes hides himself, and that reminded me of how we are all in hiding  in a manner of speaking. Evil is out and about, prowling like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Meanwhile, we are in hiding, waiting for God’s time. We don’t know what he is up to right now, but we wait and pray.  It was a reminder to me that although God has gone to such extreme measures as dying on the cross to save us, the majority of his people by far do not believe. It is a crazy time right now and very few people are even thinking of him or looking to him, let alone repenting. 

Chasing Down Exposition – Unsuccessfully
Since my shift buddy and I so enjoyed our prayer time last week at the Oratory Johanna checked on line and they did not say they were closed.  We headed there.  As I was getting off the parkway, Johanna called me with the unfortunate news that it was, in fact, CLOSED.I came home and watched the daily mass on Word on Fire.  My home parish, St. Colman, in this past weekend’s bulletin (available online) listed having Holy Hour Exposition 6:30 – 7:30 so off I went.  Unfortunately, that too was cancelled – CLOSED.  I am sure Johanna still prayed rosaries on her own and I will be praying my Rosary of the Unborn.  We will persevere. Blessings, Lisa

Day 34: Hope springs eternal

The signs of spring are all around us.  We will come out of these trying times and things will be better.  We must have hope.  We must also have faith and of course demonstrate love.  I hope and pray for God’s mercy for my family, for all of you and the world.  I know HIS mercy is is limitless and will be showered upon us in HIS time.

I also hope that we all come out closer to God.  I hope our faith will be strengthened.  I hope we will all have the courage to love those around us especially the unborn. As I hope you know, God can turn any bad thing into something good. Sure we will have tribulation in the world but remember He has conquered the world. 

“We just need to do the best we can, where we are with what we got.” God will do the rest. HE has this under control.  He’s got this. Have Hope.

Jesus I Trust in You. Jesus I Trust in You. Jesus I trust in You. Tim


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Here’s from Sue 7-9 am today:

My shift buddy Amy and I were united in prayer from our homes for the 7am-9am shift. Amy emailed me on Sunday to say she planned to pray Rosaries and Divine Mercy Chaplets. I did the same from my own home. It’s like a Monday where we were covering each side of the yellow circle at PP. Blessings and peace, Sue and Amy

From Donna 11-1:

My shift was interrupted a little today as I had to go to my Mom’s so she could do a telemedicine phone call with her Dr.  I was close to town so for the last hour of my shift I parked near PP and sat in my car and prayed.  I did sing along with some praise music, “Raise a Hallelujah”.  Praise God no one went in and only one person came out and may have been a worker. May God stop PP and shut them down immediately since they are not an essential life sustaining business and should not even be open during this pandemic. Blessings For Life,
Donna

From Beth 1-3

There’s an altar in there!

Rose and I prayed for our shift.  St. Albert’s has glass doors and Father Steve has set up an altar right inside those glass doors with tabernacle, candles, and statues. People stop while circling the parking lot saying their prayers. Some just sit in their cars facing the altar.  We’re going to do what we can and prayers work.  Beth

Day 33: Thank you, Erie Carmelite Nuns; all of you who pray, fast and witness for life with our Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life community.

The Crucifixion of Christ (detail)

Diego Velazquez (1599 – 1660)

Prado Museum, Spain

©Jean-Paul Dumontier/La Collection

https://us.magnificat.net

There are three thousand abortions per day in the United States. Do you believe that will end? We need to know that deeply and work that reality into our daily lives. And when abortion ends, there will be but one reasonable explanation: God.

Shawn D. Carney

TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

The 40 Day Companion to Live a Culture of Life

“Cynicism Takes No Effort”

Put yourself in the place of your sisters and brothers who feel that abortion is the only solution for their crisis pregnancy. You know how bad life sometimes feels.  You feel tightly gripped by relentless cold, impenetrable darkness.  Details out of your control block your escape.  Your faults nag endlessly.  Not thinking, you get up.  You go outside.

We pray that this moment … this exact moment … will change everything for them.  Let them notice the rush of fresh air … the fragrance of spring … birds singing, winging bush to tree … colors … daylight.  Let them feel Beauty calling.

Dear Father, help this poor one to turn to you. 

Hear him. 

From all his distress save him.

Saint Augustine says when we fall down we get up faster. Sidewalk witnesses, (virtual sidewalk witnesses for now) the infantry in the war for life, watch our PP bound sisters and brothers, hoping to rescue them.

Our Sidewalk Advocates are really good at it. Listen!

We want to help you.

Right now … we are ready now … to help you today … and tomorrow … and  always.

Let’s go for coffee!

You are right. This is serious.

It is life and death.

We want to get it right.

God takes life and death very seriously.  Reacquaint yourself with Jesus’ Passion and Death on the Cross.  Remember.  Listen and sing along. 

J.S. Bach Saint Matthew Passion, Choral: “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden,”

O Sacred Head, surrounded by crown of piercing thorn!

O bleeding Head so wounded reviled and put to scorn!

Our sins have marred the glory of Thy most Holy Face

Yet angel hosts adore Thee and tremble as they gaze.

___________________________________

I see thy strength and vigor all fading in the strife.

And death with cruel rigor bereaving thee of life.

O agony and dying! O love to sinners free!

Jesus, all grace supplying, O turn thy face on me.

_________________________________

In this thy bitter passion, Good Shepherd, think of me

with Thy most sweet compassion, unworthy though I be.

Beneath Thy cross abiding forever would I rest,

in thy dear love, confiding, and with Thy presence blest.

———————————-

But death too is my ending. In that dread hour of need,

my friendless cause befriending, Lord, to my rescue speed.

Thyself, O Jesus, trace me right passage to the grave,

And from Thy cross embrace me, with arms outstretched to save.

___________________________________

The words are attributed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – 1153)

Together with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, we too must recognize that man seeks God better and finds him more easily “in prayer than in discussion.” In the end, the truest figure of a theologian and of every evangelizer remains the Apostle John who laid his head on the Teacher’s breast.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 10/21/2009


Shawn Carney’s message for Day 33:


DEE G., FUEL

Erie Carmelite Nuns

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Just a note to let you and those at 40 Days for Life know that you have been in our thoughts, prayers, and sacrifices especially during the Novena to Our Father, Saint Joseph. He saved the Author of Life from Herod’s plans to kill him—what a strong supporter and model for 40 Days!!

May he obtain from Jesus all the graces you need to remain faithful to Him and to persevere in your good work of saving lives—-both body and soul of mother and child. 

God bless and Mary keep you, Saint Joseph guide!!

Sincerely in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Your devoted Carmelite Nuns

 “As Jesus was Himself subject to Saint Joseph on earth, just so in heaven, He still does all he asks.”    St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila)

___________________________________

NOTES FROM THE VIRTUAL SIDEWALK

JEN McD. SHIFT MANAGER 7-9

In an email this morning, Barbara lovingly asked us to send in our shift reports and noted, “It is harder without the sidewalk.”  I agree!   Many people wrote this week that they were better able to focus on prayer in the silence of their homes.  Not me, sadly…but a few things comforted me in my distraction. First, I was blessed to have a livestream from a Perpetual Adoration chapel showing on my computer.  Looking up at our Eucharistic Lord helped me to re-focus many times.  Second, I knew my shift buddy, Vince, was joining me in prayer from a distance.  I missed having his spiritual leadership to guide me, but it felt good to know we were still united in praying the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  Third, I’ve been told that intentionally redirecting your thoughts to Jesus over and over again when you are distracted is an act of love to offer up to Him.  I’m glad I had something to offer, considering the sorry state of my prayers.  And finally, knowing that our prayer is a supplication rather than an incantation gives me comfort.  If it were an incantation, like some magic spell, the effectiveness of my prayer would depend on my power and my ability to recite it perfectly.  But a supplication is totally dependent on the power of God to hear and answer in the way He sees fit.  And so I ask my merciful Jesus to hear my pathetic plea:  please end abortion, both the act and the belief, and remind us all that you are the Lord of Life!

KEN B. SHIFT MANAGER 9-11

I was joined in my two hour shift today by my wife Darlene and our four children still at home, Bernadette, Rita,  Brendan, and Emma. We offered our prayers for the closing of PP on Liberty Avenue and for God’s Mercy on all women who have appointments for the coming week. In our first hour we prayed the Stations of the Cross,  the five Glorious mysteries of the Holy Rosary,  and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy before the altar of our Domestic Church. The second hour we prayed the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass live streamed from Duluth by Father Michael Schmitz. Father’s homily was most appropriate for our intention. He spoke of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus. Jesus allowed His Heart to be crushed and broken as He wept for Martha,  Mary and Lazarus whom He loved. And so our hearts are broken and crushed but we do not lose heart, we are not discouraged,  we continue to enter into the Sacred Heart and we continue to trust. And so this is our prayer today,  that those women whose hearts are broken and crushed with an unplanned pregnancy will trust in the heart of Jesus and the hope of the resurrection. May God have Mercy on us all. 

RICH AND ROSEANN K. SHIFT MANAGERS 11-1

During our 11-1 Shift, we prayed the beautiful Divine Mercy Chaplet sung by Donna Cori Gibson.  I shared a link. I hope I shared it correctly. We prayed the Rosary and several more pro-life prayers that we found from Father Frank Pavone. Then at 12:00 noon we attended Mass via television EWTN. The R. Family prayed the rosary during our shift today from their home.
I pray you all are doing well in these stressful times. Stay strong.

https://youtu.be/EL8Xzj76kh0

MARIE P. SHIFT BUDDY 1-3

Lindsay and I split our prayer time today. I prayed outdoors from 2:00-3:00 p.m. standing in front of a tabernacle that has been place inside the glass doors at my parish, SS John & Paul .

The tabernacle sits on a table with a small statue of the pregnant Blessed Mother (Guadalupe perhaps?) on one side and the Divine Mercy image on the other side.

While we no longer have Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist for now, we are able to visit the tabernacle here at any time. This virus cannot keep HIM from us!

I prayed the Pro-Life Meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries from Priests for Life followed by the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

It was nice to feel the warmth of the sun shining down despite the strong wind gusts that threatened to blow me over.

This afternoon was to be our parish’s time at the vigil. Since we could not be present physically, our Respect Life team members were asked to spend time in prayer between 1:00-3:00.

This past week’s blog reports have made me think how deliberate and intentional our prayer has become, now that we are no longer on the sidewalk outside PP.

I found that my prayers today were that way since I didn’t have all the distractions that being on the sidewalk, even on a Sunday afternoon, presents.

My prayer is that ALL of our prayers are being raised up with more fervor – for the unborn, their mothers and fathers. I know that they are.

And that God is pleased with our intentionality – He longs for us to be intentional. Perhaps not being on the sidewalk is meant to remove the distractions.

God has a plan, it is on us to trust His plan! It is on us to remain strong – and to finish these 40 days strong!! I know we will!!

ANDY L. SHIFT MANAGER 3-5

A surreal day, praying to shut down the mill.  And to open the Churches. Sunny skies, a strong wind at times.
But a heavy heart over the cancellation of funerals, weddings, and baptisms.
And the pandemic.
Part of me wants to lock myself in a safe room and never leave, and part of me thinks it is all in God’s Hands as a just punishment for my sins and those of the whole world.
I do encourage you to read the Dr. Fauci article in last week’s New England Journal of Medicine.
Interesting stuff.
Be faithful and keep praying.  

JOE W. SHIFT MANAGER 5-7

I was cleaning up my email this week and stumbled across this photo from the 2012 fall campaign. Nikki sent it to our church group with a thank you letter. It stirred up a lot of emotions, below are a few.

Wow that went by fast … I’m OLD … and  BORING  (wknd shifts) …

AMAZEMENT, I can’t believe how many wonderful people I’ve met down

there, and the things I see them do.

FULFILLED … what happens down there is really indescribable … it

must be experienced to be understood.  Where such wretchedness

abounds, so too is the abundance of God’s graces.

But mostly  GRATEFUL … all the TIME, HARD WORK and SACRIFICE OUR

LEADERS PUT IN TO KEEP THIS GOING. 

I feel so FORTUNATE, in my journey to CHRIST, to reap the abundant Fruit of this ministry. Your example truly brings out the good in me (yes it’s hard to find).

My inclination was to watch tv, however the beads ended up in my hands with the Word (7 penitential Psalms) thanks to all of you, MY FRIENDS.

See ya’ll in the fall.

ALL FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD!!!

Shift Manager Joe with 4 Friends, Faithful Witnesses

And God saw that it was good.

Day 32 : Things this Pandemic teaches Us . . .

THIS WONDERFUL REFLECTION is adapted from thoughts from writer Paul Tripp:

This pandemic confronts the delusion of human independence and self-sufficiency.

We like to think, as human beings, that we are so advanced and capable. But look around – all it takes is a single virus to shut down the entire world. Let this time remind you that you were created to be dependent on the Creator.

This pandemic reminds us that there is a greater, darker, and more dangerous pandemic – SIN !!

Not everyone will test positive for the coronavirus, but everyone has been infected by sin, from birth. “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5)

This pandemic makes God’s sovereign power and amazing grace shine even brighter.

Sin is eternally more destructive than the coronavirus will ever be, but there is a known cure. God looked at his world in awesome mercy and love and decided he would not let us perish from this disease (John 3:16).

This pandemic makes us long for our final destination.

Hope in heaven is not some faint, dreamy wish, for those who are embracing some religious delusion. The final promise of the gospel is this: There will be a day when such things will end forever, and we will be in a place where there will be no more sickness and no more suffering (Revelation 21:4).


Today’s message from Shawn Carney:


Musings from today’s prayer warriors:

Shift Manager Tim Reports:

The downtown streets were quiet today yet sadly PP was open. However, there was a prayer warrior on his knees making a powerful witness to life.  Surely God heard his prayers. I was not on the streets this morning.  I was in my home kneeling in prayer on the comfort on my carpet. I watched the Mass on EWTN, the ultimate prayer. I know Heaven heard my prayers to change hearts and minds and end abortion. Jesus I trust in You! Tim

Dean, praying from home today

Shift Manager Dean Reflects:

My daily reading from Our Daily Bread is currently in the Book of Judges. I can’t think of a more appropriate verse for society’s state than Judges 21:25, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes”.
Please May God bring us back from this mindset to a willingness and dedication to follow His ways.
I spent the first half hour of my shift on my knees, with the aid of a pillow. Frankly, I don’t think that I could have managed that on the sidewalk. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to give everyone a conviction of the sanctity of life. This is God’s precious gift to us.
I prayed for our legislators to make abortion more difficult to get, if not abolish it all together. Abortion thrives in an atmosphere where it is condoned.
I firmly believe that God will use the current pandemic to reach the unsaved. In closing I leave you with one of my favorite passages, Phil. 4: 6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. Dean

Shift Manager Melissa Writes:

Today as the rain falls I see the sunshine through at times. It’s a reminder to me that no matter how much the darkness tries to cover it cannot cover the Light. The Light of this world is Jesus and His love and sacrifice shines through all of this. I continue to pray the prayer I wrote believing God will answer our prayer to close the abortion industry down. Join me in this prayer if you wish.  Heavenly Father, thank you for opportunity to gather together to pray and share your message with all who are willing to hear. We pray for your guidance and protection in this area where we know evil lurks. We ask you to be with us. Cover us and protect us. In Isaiah 54:17  No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord. We surrender this to you. Knowing fully that you are in control of everything. We find comfort in your Word and rest at Jesus feet listening for guidance and direction.  In 2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and keep you safe from the Evil One. And in Psalm 138:7  Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. Help us Lord. Give us courage and boldness to reach those within the enemy’s grasp. Give us the words to reach their hearts and open their minds to your Truth.  Sustain us when we feel weak. Knowing fully our strength comes from you.   In Isaiah you remind us of this Isaiah 41:10  Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Bring healing and comfort to this area.  Bind the evil that resides here and send it back to where it belongs. Fill this area with your love and your comfort. Restore your people.  Unveil their eyes so they can see what the enemy has stolen from them and draw them to you Lord to join us in this fight for your children. All your children have value and matter.   Remind us victory is already ours through your son Jesus Christ as in Romans 8:37-39  No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord. I pray for the body of Christ to come together to rid this city and county and world of the thought of abortion.  Bring this evil fortress Planned Parenthood and all places who perform abortions down!  Let their doors close forever.   Open the eyes of the hearts of all those that participate in this act of violence against the most innocent precious ones so they may seek repentance.  Guide us. Protect us. Heal us. Comfort us. Praise you for creating us and giving us purpose to do your Will. In Jesus name we Pray, Amen.  God bless you all and may he keep you safe.

And shift manager Katie sent a prayer that she finds inspiring:

Orthodox Prayer for Victims of Abortion O most merciful, all gracious and compassionate Lord Jesus Christ our Savior, Son of God: we entreat Thee, most gracious Master: look with compassion upon Thy children who have been condemned to death by the unjust judgment of men. And as Thou hast promised to bestow the heavenly kingdom on them born of water and the Spirit, and who in blamelessness of life have been translated unto Thee; and Who said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven”—we humbly pray, according to Thy unfailing promise: Grant the inheritance of Thy kingdom to the multitude of spotless infants who have been cruelly murdered in the abortuaries of this land; for Thou art the resurrection and the life and the repose of all Thy servants and of these innocents, O Christ our God. Turn the hearts of those who seek to destroy Thy little ones. We beseech Thee to pour forth Thy healing grace upon them, that they may be convicted in their hearts and turn from their evil ways. Remember all of them that kill our children as on the altars of Moloch, and render not unto them according to their deeds, but according to Thy great mercy convert them—the unbelieving to true faith and piety, and the believing that they may turn from evil and do good. O Holy Master, Almighty Father and pre-eternal God, Who alone made and directs all things; Who rises up quickly against the evil of the impious ones; Who, by providence, teaches Thy people preservation of justice and the obliteration of evil on earth; Who condescends to raise up warriors for the protection of the people of God: we entreat Thee with compunction, that as Thou didst give David power to defeat Goliath, and as Thou didst condescend through Judas Maccabeus, to seize victory from the arrogant pagans who would not call on Thy Name; so too, grant protection to us, Thy servants against the enemies rising against us as we go forth to do spiritual battle against the evil one and those who do his will rather than Thine. For Thou art a merciful God, and lovest mankind, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Day 31: This Is My Beloved Son…Listen to Him

While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.”
-Matt 17:5

I have the privilege of helping with Liturgy of the Word with Children at my parish, St. Philip. It’s truly been a blessing to me, in no small part because it gives me reason to research and reflect on the Gospel beforehand.

Several weeks ago, the Gospel reading for Mass was the account of Jesus’ Transfiguration. As I researched the passage in preparation, something stood out: the Transfiguration happened just a short time before Jesus’ passion and death.

God knew that the Apostles’ world would soon be turned upside down…faith tested, hopes crushed, hearts broken. Before they had to endure that, God wanted to reassure them that Jesus was truly worthy of their faith. While witnessing the Transfiguration did not stop the Apostles from feeling fear and confusion when our Lord was crucified and died, I would imagine that the memory of God’s own voice from the shining cloud helped them hold on to at least a shred of hope.

Last Sunday, standing outside of PP for what would turn out to be the last public day of this vigil, it hit me: God gave us the same encouragement, allowing us to hear that Gospel reading proclaimed just before OUR world was turned upside down by the current pandemic. We are feeling fear and confusion, no doubt; but the reminder that Jesus IS worthy of all our faith can help us to hold on to hope. Let’s accept God’s encouragement and stay united in prayer, asking Jesus in His mercy to heal our world of this virus and of our sin!

-Jen


Here is Shawn Carney’s message for Day 31:

And here are reports from our faithful prayer warriors:

Today we witnessed for life from 7-9 at home instead of on the sidewalk in front of PP downtown. Our children, Gillian, Jennifer, Monica, Mary Clare, John Paul and David, passionately request that we stay home! We got up early to be ready. Setting the stage were our Bible, the little Scriptural Rosary book, and the Little Black Book  provided by Father Tony, Christ Our Savior Pastor.  Being home was fruitful.    
The EWTN  daily Mass was celebrated in memory of Mother Angelica, Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, the Poor Clare nun who founded EWTN. Today is the anniversary of her death, 2016. She died on Easter Sunday.  That had long been her hope.We learned about Bishop Untener on whose writings our parish Lenten booklet is based. He died on this day in 2004.
Some of our parishioners Donna, Johanna, Mark, Mary Ann, and Susie (alphabetical order!) contacted us to let us know they joined us in prayer during our shift.It is such a blessing that my brothers and sisters at Pittsburgh 40 Days decided to continue our blog. Peace.

Barbara

I am keeping a 2 hour vigil for the protection of ALL life AND closing of Planned Parenthood.  May God see our hearts and hear our prayers!

Rose

Kim, Mark, and I prayed from our homes this morning from 8:30-11:00. In these unsettled times, Psalm 104 stood out to me about God’s power and the control He has over the earth and every living creature.  Please read.
Be blessed.

Kathy

Today is a day of prayer and rosaries in and around St. Gregory’s in Zelienople.
I asked my friends from the St. Greg’s mens prayer group to pray today and they are praying in quiet and I heard from our group leader that he is devoting his daily rosary to Mary.
I prayed for an hour at home and then walked over to St Gregory’s. I stood at the 40 Days for Life banner which is on the corner in front of the church and prayed the rosary and then in front of the statue of Mary.
Rt. 68 was somewhat quiet , but cars went by and there were many glances, truckers waved and Sister Patrice from the church drove by with a nice wave.
Spring is here and the birds were in abundance as I prayed. It was nice and quiet and I looked up and it was good.
Thanks and many Blessings to all!!

Mark

The remodeling of Holy Sepulcher church did not stop their prayer warriors from keeping their vigil today from about 12-2:30.  They gathered in their temporary prayer chapel but kept their social distance.  We started praying the Rosary of the Unborn with pro-life meditations.  Then we read the 40 Days devotion for the day, prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet with song, and sang a few songs.  We ended praying the Stations of the Cross from the Medjugorje Pilgrimage Handbook.  It was a beautiful way to lift our prayers to God…pleading to God.  The statue of Jesus with his sacred heart and outstretched hands reminded me of His love, care, omnipresence and His Mercy.

Cecilia

Is it right to combine a walk on a nice day with your vigil prayer time?  I’m still not sure.  But that’s what I did today.  I took a walk of about 1:55 minutes, praying first the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and then the Joyful, Luminous, and Sorrowful mysteries of the rosary.  I walked from my home to the to the neighborhood in which I grew up.  
I received an email earlier in the week from Shift Buddies, Val and Mike, that they were going to be praying from 3-5 as well, walking to their church which is fairly close by and was expected to be open for private prayer.  

Pat

I haven’t been downtown since last Friday’s vigil.  This was certainly different as I’m sure it is for most of us. I prayed for two hours on my back deck.  It was certainly easier to pray and hear myself and not have the distractions of the noisy buses, bar patrons and pedestrians that could offer up anything good or bad.  And so this evening’s prayers, which I prayed with my wife Ursula, came easier for the unborn, their mothers and all those involved and concerned for the children.  I know many others were praying and I also thought of Mary and Claudia who would have been sharing this shift.  God Bless all!

Bill