Want to know one of my favorite things about 40 Days for Life? It gives us a chance to really LIVE Lent.
Sometimes our Lenten sacrifices feel like practice for the real thing. It’s as if we’re going through strength training now to prepare for the heavy lifting of building God’s kingdom later.
But what we do on the sidewalk IS the real thing! We give up things like sleep and warmth and ego–not just as an exercise to prepare ourselves for the future–but to bring peace and justice to women, men, and children in terrible circumstances RIGHT NOW.
You, too, can start LIVING Lent! Join us on the sidewalk and see firsthand what God will do with your sacrifice!
7-9 +++ Barbara and Richard
It was so good to see Diane and Tom this morning. The sidewalk was loaded with good supplies and an attractive array of handouts. Richard, Bill and I felt rich! Staff arrived. Clients arrived. It was painful to see two of the younger girls laughing as they waited in line inside. Abortion legal and brazen in our Pittsburgh downtown is so grotesque. It haunts me.Barbara
The glorious Mass and Eucharistic Procession were such a gift. The men staying overnight was outstanding! Belonging to this Pittsburgh 40 Days team makes my heart sing.
9-11 +++ Kathy and Michael
Thanks to Anthony and shift buddy Michael for accompanying me on the sidewalk today.Kathy
After reading the 40 Days devotion, Michael and I passed out literature to patrons and passersby. Some accepted lit while others declined. Anthony arrived at ten o’clock bringing an encouraging and prayerful spirit with him. We prayed for those entering the building.
Towards the end of my shift, a young man who is a student at CAPA stopped by to share his progressive ideas and opinion on our being there. As the conversation became more intense, Katie arrived and joined the conversation. She, Michael, and the young man were still speaking as I left. Hopefully, progress was made in changing minds and hearts.
11-1 +++ Katie and Elsie
Elsie, Gerard and I were joined by Anthony and some parishioners of St. Matthew’s but I didn’t get a picture of all of them because we had a very positive (and very long) interaction with a young woman who needed to get her IUD out and was planning on getting the Depo shot. I talked with her a little bit about the side effects of birth control and how when breakthrough ovulation does occur hormonal birth control can prevent the embryo from implanting. Her eyes got wide, and she seemed like she was very opposed to that. When I started talking about NFP I called Elsie over and they talked some more about birth control, NFP and her relationship. Then we began the long process of IUD-removal-wild-goose-chase with one practitioner referring us to another and a so on. Lisa K stopped by to say a quick prayer and Elsie remembered that she is an NFP promoter, and also speaks Spanish! Both of those skills came in handy, and she joined our search for a health care provider who would see “D” soon. Eventually she was able to leave a message using Lisa’s phone, and she said she’d wait for them to call her back. It should NOT be this hard to find someone to help her with this! All the poor woman wants is to be rid of a toxic and dangerous device that’s causing her pain and potentially killing her children; you would think in a city like Pittsburgh we could find a medical professional who would treat her without pushing more hormones on her! But, all in all, there was a good outcome. She has phone numbers for Elsie and me, as well as many NFP resources, and she’s better educated about what she was planning on doing to her body.Katie
1-3 +++ Elaine
Today I was joined by parishioners from St. Matthew’s Parish during the vigil. We were united in our pro-life beliefs and our love for God. There was a couple who debated us on pro-life issues. The woman told us that she wished she was aborted. We told her that God loved her and she had no words to say about that. Please pray for this couple to see the beauty of life.Elaine
3-5 +++ Christine and Marie
Marie, Bob and Ellie were faithful witnesses on the sidewalk today. We enjoyed some afternoon sun, as we prayed for Divine Mercy. Besides a fist fight that broke out in the alley way after school, it was mostly a peaceful afternoon. We were able to give a woman our new resource guide as she stopped to inquire about free ultrasound. She is 6 months along and not happy so far with her care at Magee. She gave me her contact information as well, reinforcing how important showing care and concern can be for someone. She said “I’m so glad I stopped.”Christine
5-7 +++ Pat and Bill
1 thought on “Day 3: Thanks to St. Matthew Parish, individual volunteers, and team members!”
Today while some students were praying, an older man walked by and asked them “how many children have you adopted?, I thought so” (not even wanting an answer from them), and while I have heard this question before, for the first time it occurred to me that this is the voice of the accuser. It was not asked in good faith since they were clearly too young to have adopted anyone. It was intended to make people feel bad about themselves. And the person asking it has chosen to define what is good (adoption) and what is not useful (anything else). This means that the question itself is misaligned from the truth in a subtle way and a person who is responding to it might not get all the way back to the actual truth (“did God really tell you not to eat from ANY of the trees?”). When the relationship between a parent and child is not healthy, or when a parent does not have the resources to care for a child, the first step is to try to repair that relationship or to try to get that parent the resources they need. This relationship does not always need to be severed. It would be a very good thing to save that relationship when possible, and to insist that someone needs to have adopted children in order to be respected denies this very basic fact. One might as well ask a first responder who is trying to save an accident victim’s life “Why aren’t you a kidney donor?”; what a strange question that would be (maybe they are but it is scarcely relevant). St. Paul writes that not all of the parts of the body are the same and not all have the same gifts; the enemy would prefer for people to be envious of one another, and to quarrel about who is better, and to cause division and despair.