God is in the DETAILS…
Most people in the world believe in God, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, it takes a whole lot of faith to be an atheist! In order to be a card-carrying atheist, one needs to have to have a lot of confidence one’s own all-encompassing wisdom and knowledge of all that exists, ever has existed and ever will exist…here and in every corner of the universe and infinitely expanding galaxies. Not many people have that much arrogance to claim to know for certain that there definitively is NO God!
Sadly, though, even though most people believe in God…they fall short in their understanding of how intimately God is present to each one of us, and how completely we are all known by Him. I understand that sort of lukewarm faith…because that was me before God lovingly showed me that He knows me, inside and out…every last detail and every cell of my body.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.Luke 12:6-8
Like most people, I always believed that there was a god who created the universe, and who created me. I just didn’t think he was personally involved in my life, and didn’t think he cared that much about what I did on a daily basis. I didn’t often pray, because I remember thinking that would be “presumptuous” of me, to think that he would want to hear about my petty little problems. Surely, he was too busy, off somewhere far away…doing his “god business“…to care about little old me.
I won’t go into all the details of the specific signs and graces that He gave me, which showed me that He knows me, loves me and cares about me, because it would make this post too lengthy. But I do remember, during that period of my life (around 2005), walking into my kitchen one sunny morning, and being struck by the beautiful sight of a large cut sunflower, which was in a jar of water on my kitchen window sill. Back then my eyes were much better than they are now, and I could see all the intricate details of the flower, as the sun illuminated all the petals and tiny hairs on the stem and the details of the center of the flower. My eyes filled with tears as I gazed at the beauty of God’s creation…just this flower!!! As an artist who used to sculpt and paint, I thought to myself that even if I spent an entire year, just trying to re-create this flower…a sculpture of it…I would not be able to reproduce the perfection that God created with just a thought or a Word, with which that flower came to exist. That flower, which was soon to die and disappear…was intimately created and known by God. But it was just a flower. It had no eternal soul, and was not made in His image. Understanding how much God cares about the details…even of nature…should help us to see how important every human person that He creates is to Him. Compare the details of this flower; every vein in each leaf and petal; each tiny seed in the center; the innumerable hairs on the stem… compare that with the details of a newly formed child in the womb; the intricate system of blood vessels and organs; the detailed fingers and toes (including the nails) ; the heart beating and blood circulating; the brain functioning (dreaming and awake); the senses reacting to stimulus; the mouth yawning and the diaphragm hiccupping; the arms and legs extending and stretching.
Once we come to understand how present and personal God is to each one of us, how can we be brazen and arrogant enough to say that any one of us is undeserving of human dignity and respect? How can we say that a human person, no matter how tiny…has less dignity than that of an insect? I wonder, are there abortionists who don’t like to squash bugs? Maybe they rescue spiders inside of a jar and then release them outdoors? But somehow, ending the life of a unique human being, created by almighty God…that they can do?
The motivation for writing this post was a tragedy that happened last week at my parish. My Christian Mothers group sends out prayer requests for other mothers when they go into labor…so we can all pray for a safe delivery. Last week, I got an email asking for prayers for a young mom named Stephanie as she was in labor. Sadly, the next morning, I got an email announcing the tragic news that her full term son, Jude Gabriel, was stillborn. When I saw the beautiful obituary, it brought tears to my eyes because THIS, dear friends…THIS is the proper way to honor the dignity of every human life…and it is such a contrast to what happens with abortion:
Jude Gabriel never took a breath of air into his lungs. He never cried. According to the law of our land, he was not even a person with human rights, and it would have been perfectly legal to kill him, through an injection into his heart, or by gruesome dismemberment and extraction. His body would have been discarded without ceremony as simple “medical waste”. His parents would not have had the luxury of being able to grieve properly, with the comfort of condolences from family, friends and the sacraments. He would not have been given a name, or a tombstone. This obituary is a light for us in the pro-life movement! It should inspire us to hope that one day soon, every human life will once again be valued and respected. Please remember little Jude Gabriel’s family in your prayers.
When we pray at Planned Parenthood, we are there to mourn and grieve for the children whose lives are ended there. They won’t be named and no one will write an obituary for them…and so if we are not there for them…they will truly be forgotten. A blog report from last week has been on my mind, where a woman had stopped in front of Planned Parenthood to drop off a friend who was there for an abortion. While this woman was holding her young child in her arms…she screamed to the vigil participants that she was also pregnant and would be aborting her baby as well. I think about that little child in her arms, hearing her mother scream that she was going to abort his sibling…and am horrified to think about what that knowledge would do to the psyche of a little child. Even if that child didn’t understand the conversation at that time…some day they will come to know that the only reason they are alive is because their mother “chose” to “let” them live. It has nothing to do with their God-given worth. They are alive because of the whim, emotion or feelings of their mother. If she was having a bad day…they could easily have been aborted…as their siblings were. It is truly tragic that our culture has come to this. That is why I take such consolation and hope in this beautiful testimony of Jude Gabriel.
Next week, there will be two important events in Pittsburgh which will bring to light the terrible desecration of human fetal bodies which is happening at the University of Pittsburgh. I am sure that you are already aware that Pitt has been harvesting organs from late term abortions at Magee (sometimes while the baby’s hearts are still beating!) They have even gone so far as to graft baby scalps onto rodents, to “humanize” them, and the baby hair is actually growing on the backs of these rodents. This abomination must be resisted and protested! Mark your calendars to attend the following two events if you can:
Rally at Magee Hospital on Monday, October 11 at 3:30 (followed by prayer walk around the hospital)
Discussion Panel with David Daleidan on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 10am at First Trinity Lutheran Church in Oakland:
Also mark your calendars to attend a Pro-Life Mass, offered by Bishop Zubik at St. Paul Cathedral on Tuesday, October 19th at 7:00pm. The rosary will be prayed prior to the Mass in reparation for offenses committed against human life.
Read on for today’s shift reports from the vigil:
Peggy, Charlene & Beth 7-9
It was an amazing day on the sidewalk!! Peggy was back…our fearless leader! Beth could not come and sent her husband Randy…they switch off now and we love them both. Cathy is like a rover this campaign and we are so happy she landed with us today. It did not appear to be an abortion day although we knew it was. Perfect weather…perfect company…perfect day for prayer!! “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.” Psalm 40:5 God Bless, Charlene
Terri & Elsie 9-11
Elsie and I were met by Cathy who remained with us until 10:00. It was quiet at first, but unfortunately that changed later with more going through those horrible doors. I noticed a white van pull up next to me with writing on the side that was from the Department of Corrections. It left and went down the alley. About fifteen minutes later two security guards came around the corner with a young lady, They quickly ushered her in the doors, but not before Elsie and I tried to reach out to her. I can’t help thinking of the trauma that she is experiencing. Who will comfort her tonight or tomorrow or the following days? Many jails have not permitted outsiders, including clergy, to visit due to the pandemic and I would bet that no one inside encouraged her to give birth to her child. We were joined by Father John from Guardian Angels Parish at 10:00. What a wonderful prolife example he is to his parishioners. Faithful Dan from Steubenville also came during our shift and stood quietly with his sign.
Katie & Sharon 11-1
It was a pretty busy day again unfortunately. We were able to get literature to some people going in and some coming out, and many passersby (who seemed very supportive today), but we weren’t able to have any conversations. Thank you to Fr. Brennan, Dan, Tim, Joyce and Sharon, and I’m sorry i didn’t take your picture! I had thought about it early on but then it totally slipped my mind!
Conrad & Katie, 1-3
It was very, very busy with women coming in from all sides of the sidewalk, down the sidewalk, from across the street. We tried to give them information.
The 3 to 5 shift will have many exiting who will need to be offered information on healing from abortion.
I think that it is important that we offer them information when leaving after an abortion even if many turn it down. They will need healing in the future whether they realize it or not.
Thank God Katie was there.
Virginia & Eileen, 3-5
The 3-5 PM shift had its usual school and work pedestrian traffic. Curtis, the sidewalk sweeper, cheerfully told Eileen that he felt today would be a good day and we would save someone’s life. A Port Authority bus driver gave Eileen a big wave. Our fellow prayer warriors were from Greensburg diocese, St John’s of Delmont and St Mary’s of Export. Their “young” pastor, Fr Dan, led us in a rosary and several prayers. Toward the end of the shift, a passing man stopped when he saw Fr Dan’s collar and loudly exclaimed, “I have been looking for a priest!!! Will you please hear my confession?” He and Fr. went a ways beyond us and Fr. heard his confession. Charlie and Joe were our replacements. Tom D stopped by and we helped put the “equipment” in his car.
Joe, Charlie & Amy 5-7…check back soon