Last Wednesday, as I prayed in front of Planned Parenthood, I believe that God gave me an insight into the importance of our public, prayerful witness which I would like to share with you. Cathy and I have the early morning shift every Wednesday and are there to see the kids as they walk past us on their way to school. They recognize us and many of them smile and wave. It is especially sweet to see the very small ones look up at us and smile.
As I stood there praying, I had a glimpse into what the world must look like to this generation. Imagine growing up knowing that that your life is expendable. The only value you have as a human being is what other, bigger and more important human beings, decide to give you. You most likely have siblings that weren’t allowed to be born. You are only here because your mother decided to let you live. You are growing up in the care of paid caregivers and even during the rare hours when you are home with your family, everyone’s eyes are glued to a screen…each person in his own world of social media or YouTube videos. You don’t know anything about God and chances are, you have never even been on the inside of a church. You have never been baptized. You attend a charter school downtown and every day you walk past the various establishments: Here is the place you can get a Gyro for lunch. Next to it is the bookstore where you can browse for something to read. Across the street is the driver’s center where you hope to get a driver’s license someday…and here is the abortion clinic. The place where unwanted babies are “gotten rid of”. This is the landscape of your reality. This is the landscape that forms your mind, intellect and soul. Is it any wonder that our youth are despairing and hopeless?
It is true that if this were the end of the description of the landscape that our youth are living in, it would truly be hopeless. But thanks be to God, there is a glimmer of hope on the sidewalk. As these little ones walk past every day, past the abortion clinic, on their way to day care or school….they see us. They see us PRAYING! It must surely register in their little minds that SOME PEOPLE believe that it is wrong to kill innocent human life! It must occur to them that SOME PEOPLE actually believe in God!
Our presence there is so important! Not only for the chance to save a life from abortion…but to plant seeds of faith, hope and love in the hearts of the young children who walk by. Imagine growing up in a world like ours and never seeing a different way of living and believing? It truly would be a hopeless scenario.
As we anxiously await the Dobbs decision from the Supreme Court, we pray that God will continue to use us in this new “post-Roe” world. It will shake the foundations of our society…but I hope that after everything settles, it will result in a more hopeful landscape for these little ones to grow up in.
This reflection has made me think about the world in which I grew up in…during the late 70’s and 80’s. My reality was very warped by what I saw all around me. I was formed by Saturday Night Life skits about one-night stands, and articles in Cosmo Magazine about different ways to do impure actions. I was brainwashed into thinking that everything revolved around sex…and that as a woman, that was where my power was…in the ability to control and seduce men. What a lie! What a soul-destroying lie! It is sad for me to see so many of my peers aging badly. So many of us grew up in a narcissistic culture where we thought the only point to life was to satisfy ourselves. The majority of us have been divorced and have seen our children experience their own problems…due to our mistakes. And now that we are getting old, it is sad to see so many trying desperately to cling to youth and still trying to attain whatever pleasures they can continue to scrape up.
I wonder if this could be the beginning of the end of this self-centered culture? I was formed in the wake of the sexual revolution and the falling apart of the family. This was all due to the availability of contraception and abortion…which I didn’t realize was a brand new reality! We were like kids in a candy store…permitted to eat all the sugar our immature palates desired. And boy, oh boy, did we get sick from it! If Roe is overtured, (Please God!), even though abortion will still be legal and available in the states that choose to keep it legal and available…the landscape of our nation will begin to change. No longer will abortion be a so-called “right”. People will begin to change their perspective about the value of human life. If there is a spiritual awakening and revival to go along with this…we could be entering into a new world of faith, hope and love where human life has intrinsic value because it is made in the image of God! No longer will we see children killing other children for sport. People will have families…larger families...and so will not have time to obsess about their own pleasure and comfort. We will be forced to think about others before ourselves. We will be happier. We will be fulfilled. We will have real purpose and meaning to our lives.
Please God…let it be so!
This is the time of year when many of our year-round 40 Days for Life 365/Sidewalk Advocates for Life volunteers are taking vacations, and so we have many times that need filled this week and next on the sidewalk! If you can help, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know!
One last thought…if Roe is overturned, it will be more important than ever to support our local crisis pregnancy centers…as there will surely be an increase in need to support women facing unplanned pregnancies! Women’s Choice Network, Choices Pregnancy Center and Birthright of Pittsburgh are all wonderful organizations that we rely on to refer women to when we meet them in front of Planned Parenthood. These loving Christian organizations are sure to face hostile attacks from angry pro-abortion advocates if the Supreme Court decision goes our way. Please pray about how you can help them! Right now, Women’s Choice Network is asking for donations to help with remodeling one of their centers to equip them to offer more medical services. Here is the link if you would like to donate:
Finally, I want to share an invitation to participate in a Eucharistic Procession through Oakland on Father’s Day, (Feast of Corpus Christi). This is a wonderful opportunity to publicly proclaim our belief in Jesus Christ! Here are the details…I hope to see you there!
Invitation to Diocesan Kick-off of Eucharistic Revival on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi
All of the lay faithful, priests, deacons, and religious of the Diocese of Pittsburgh are invited to participate in the noon Mass and Procession on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 19 at St. Paul Cathedral, 108 North Dithridge Street, Pittsburgh. Bishop David Zubik will be celebrant and homilist at the Mass, and afterwards will lead the Procession with the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Oakland. The celebration will initiate the National Eucharistic Revival in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Young people from 2nd to 12th grade are especially encouraged to participate. First Holy Communicants are invited to wear their First Holy Communion attire. All who will attend are asked to be in the Cathedral by 11:30 AM.
There is also Eucharistic Adoration during the Octave of Corpus Christi, which needs help filling. Here is the link to sign up:
There is also an exciting prayer event at Heinz Field on Sunday, July 10th from 2-4pm. Called “Pittsburgh Prays”, the goal is to FILL HEINZ FIELD with the Body of Christ as we pray for revival in Pittsburgh! The event is FREE and many worship bands from many churches will be there to help us pray and worship. Click these two links below to find out more and to register to attend (FREE):
Your sister in Christ,