Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.
But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day,
I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.
Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed;
they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
When you speak all these words to them,
they will not listen to you either;
when you call to them, they will not answer you.
Say to them:
This is the nation that does not listen
to the voice of the LORD, its God,
or take correction.
Faithfulness has disappeared;
the word itself is banished from their speech.
Jeremiah 7: 23-28
Let us consider the young woman in the above image. If we were to describe what she is doing, many of us would probably say that she is listening. But I argue that she instead is blocking out what she should be listening to. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom. But I imagine this young woman’s mom trying to talk to her, only to be met with both ears and eyes covered, in an attempt to block everything out. There are obvious times when we need that “escape” from the distractions of the world. But sometimes the distractions become our world in themselves.
I couldn’t help but notice that this young woman is surrounded by the color that used to be seen as feminine…. but now Planned Parenthood thinks they have “taken over” that color. And young women, who may not even fully know who they are yet, can so easily get drawn in by the false promises that this fake feminism holds out to them. The realities of the world, the goodness of the world, their mother’s voice….. these all become the “distractions” instead of the real world. And this is just a tiny portion of what has been causing the “nation that does not listen,” which the Lord explains to Jeremiah in the passage above. Let us turn to the Lord– and not away from Him. Let us listen to Him and His heart. His truth will always set us free.
Reports from the Sidewalk
It was a very pleasant, prayerful time on the sidewalk this morning. It was a blessing to be surrounded with people who love the Lord! Peggy and I were joined by prayer volunteers David and Clare. We prayed the first hour and a half away. Thursday mornings are a good time to pray because there are no customers going into Planned Parenthood, just employees. We included in our prayers two young women who are working with a local pro-life organization, who both desperately want to keep their babies but who are being pressured by their boyfriends to abort and they are both wavering in their decision. Please say a prayer for these two young women. Before I knew it my two hours were over and beautiful Meredith and Karen arrived for the next shift, along with Ken, and Barb who was on her way. Thank you Lord for this beautiful tapestry of pro life brothers and sisters that you’re knitting together!
I can’t lie! I did a little woo-hooing when I heard on the weather report last night that the temperatures weren’t going to drop much overnight! We got some light rain, but nothing we couldn’t handle.
Karen and I arrived to find my old sidewalk counseling buddy David praying with Nikki! A short time later another longtime pro-life friend John joined us. What a delight! Both of these men have been praying and actively pro-life for over 30 years. We were also visited by our buddy and my personal friend Bill. Ken came to take a couple of hours, and when a young woman we had not seen go into PP came out with a brown paper bag, Ken kindly offered her an information card. She told him she was ok. Our prayer is that she is “ok” and not in the middle of the worst day of her life. Barbara spent the first hour with us, and we were delighted to have four missionaries from The Culture Project (thecultureproject.org) come to pray. These college grads raise their own support to give a year of their lives to participate in projects in many cities in the U.S., including Pittsburgh!
“The Culture Project is an initiative of young people set out to restore culture through the experience of virtue.We proclaim the dignity of the human person and the richness of living sexual integrity, inviting our culture to become fully alive.”
Therese stopped to pray as well.
As usual, I am so grateful to those who came to pray during this shift. Thank you to Ken, Beth Ann, Tony, Bob, and the stranger who stopped to pray in front of the Planned Parenthood window. That was a beautiful scene to witness.
We had a very quiet shift for the most part. One exception to that was a woman “preacher” of some kind who was very loud- for a very long time- across the street. We weren’t sure what was going on with her, but eventually she left. If she had come over to us, our plan was to ignore. That’s usually the best plan in such cases.
One thing I wanted to share was about my prayer time. During my praying of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary, I was somehow aware that I was imagining the scene from each mystery as taking place within the hallways and rooms of Planned Parenthood itself. And as I meditated upon each scene, I prayed that the PP workers would be able to sense the presence of Jesus there with them. That they would recognize Him, and that that recognition would make them sort of “rethink their career choice.”
May it be so. Amen.
Lots of prayers today. So thankful Fr. Jim was there to lead us. A few girls and a couple men went in. I got material into the hands of some people passing by. Some said they would share it with those they know…. They are helping to create a Culture of Life!
HOUR OF MERCY
Thanks to Fr. Jim for praying at the hour of mercy today!
Today, a group of six parishioners from St Mary’s in Export joined Christine and myself for our full 2 hour shift. We prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet, two rosaries and two litanies. Amy and Vince from Mt. Pleasant joined us for our second hour. Amy gave a powerful witness praying on her knees and passing out literature to those who would take it. There is something to be said for strength in numbers. Our shift was peaceful with several thumbs-ups and positive comments from passersby.
In a world where darkness is everywhere and lies to women abound… may we stand up for women, so that all of them- those born and those yet to be born- may turn from the distractions and lies of the world and open their hearts to God, so they may know that their womanhood matters, it is beautiful, and it is made by God to glorify Him.