Tuesday 10-04-2022 Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, Confessor
Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace
Today I have it in my mind that those who brave the wrath of the world, the flesh and the devil, by praying at the gates of hell, very much imitate “The Seraphic Saint.” Saint Francis of Assisi was known as the Seraphic Saint because of his burning love of God and his great zeal to do God’s work. We find this love and zeal in the actions, prayers and sacrifices of 40 Days participants. The 40 Days Statement of Peace: I will pursue only peaceful, prayerful solutions…I will show compassion, etc.. The words seem to be inspired by the Holy Saint. If you have come to be a part of this saving work then when you read his prayer you will think of the images from so many campaigns, the reports, the blogs and reflections and postings over these past years. Read these words and look at the images posted from the opening Mass and procession, and especially the faithful kneeling on the sidewalk in a total commitment and surrender to our Crucified Lord.
Prayer of Saint Francis:
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace,
that where there is hatred, I may bring love;
that where there is wrong,
I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;
that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
that where there is error, I may bring truth;
that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
that where there is despair, I may bring hope;
that where there are shadows, I may bring light;
that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to
comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.
The Introit and the Gradual from today’s Mass speaks to a life of self-giving and sacrificial love and glory for God lived out by Saint Francis and the faithful in Christ.
Introit Gal 6: But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Ps 141: I cried to the Lord with my voice: with my voice I made supplication to the Lord.
Gradual Ps 36: The mouth of the just shall mediate wisdom: and his tongue shall speak judgment. The law of his God is in his heart, and his steps shall not be supplanted.
Supplanted: stay the course, no turning back, the gates of hell will not prevail. We will not yield. The truth will be proclaimed. We will lay down our lives for the lives of the unborn.
7:00 – 9:00AM
Our morning was filled with prayer. Ken, Bill and I took positions around the arch and prayed our rosaries. Anthony came along and prayed until he had to head off to work. Greg brought along all the gear and set up everything before starting his morning sidewalk advocating. Bill H. made his usual quick stop-off to bless 933 Liberty Ave before heading out to his other AM errands. Not too much biz going into PP, but not zero, so NOT good.
I noticed a car with Ohio plates and struck up a short conversation with the people in it since I, too, come from Ohio. They were a young foreign couple with a little boy. They’d come from Reynoldsburg! Sheesh! We were chatting at 7:45AM. Reynoldsburg is two hours west of Steubenville! They had to leave very early to get to PP around 7:30. Although they were polite when I offered our help and they did take my literature, she still went in at 8AM. And, I had assured them I had resources for Ohio, as well! It was so sad. Prayers for the little family possibly missing one of its members tonight.
9:00 – 11:00AM Elizabeth’s report:
Today was one of the busiest days that Claudia and I have seen. When Nikki came, she explained that PP did few abortions last Saturday. They made up for it today with clients lined up to the door at one point. And the clients must have been coached to hurry and not even make eye contact . Very consistent behavior, even Stacey the security guard wasn’t up for conversation. Let’s hope that the rest of the day was empty.
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Nikki’s report:
I was very blessed to have many prayer volunteers with me during my shift today. Mary Ann and her friend from Saint Teresa of Kolkata Parish and Glenn from Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish were there for the entire two hour shift. John and Janine also came to pray for most of the shift. We filled the first hour and a half with all four mysteries of the rosary and then finished with a Divine Mercy chaplet and a emergency novena prayer for somebody to change their mind. Sadly, it was an extremely busy abortion day. Beth and Claudia during the shift before me said so many women went in that they were lined up out the door. It was a steady stream while I was there, probably six or seven couples, sadly, many very young girls, teenagers. Everyone was prayed for and offered help and alternatives. We give it to God. We are being obedient and faithful, that is all we can do and that is what we must do.
1:00 – 3:00PM
Firstly a thank you goes out to the prayer warriors from Divine Mercy parish who prayed with us. Kim and I had a peaceful shift with no negative comments or hecklers. At the beginning we sprinkled exorcism salt on the sidewalk. We were blessed to pray four Rosaries and a chaplet of Divine Mercy during our time in front of Planned Parenthood for all who entered and those walking in front of us. Elsie was very busy and spoke with a number of people and provided information on the options that are available. We trust in God that our prayers were heard and effective. God always keeps his promises.. Blessings to all that read this.
3:00 – 5:00 PM
There were no Church groups on this shift. Lisa partnered with me from 3-4:15 and then Elsie returned and was there till 5 PM. There were men and women going by who seemed to be headed to buses and eating places, but very few individuals took any cards. The school “traffic” (young, approximately 6th graders) came by in small groups and a football game took place in the Garrison Place (alley) next to the Gyro restaurant. There were friendly greetings, a small amount of literature was taken. A little after 4 PM, 3 individuals left PP, appeared to be a mother, very young girl and a young man (boy) in a baseball cap. They refused any literature and were clear they didn’t want to talk. Lisa had approached the mother and young man a little earlier when they entered PP, and they refused any literature. The 5 PM shift was prompt, so our time was over.
Thanks to Virginia for allowing me to share this story as part of her blog report. Today I was able to pray with Virginia during the 3:00 hour. While I was there, I had the first-time experience of being approached and questioned by a child. He was a boy of about 10 years old who saw me with my rosary as he was walking to the bus stop after school. He stopped and asked me, “Why you prayin’?” I smiled and had to think fast, because I wasn’t sure how to explain the situation to a child I didn’t know. I said, “We’re praying that moms will have their babies.” He asked. “Why you prayin’ for that?” I said, “Because we want women to have their babies so they can have happy lives.” He looked puzzled and asked, “Are there some women who DON’T want to have their babies?” I sadly said yes. He asked why, and I said, “I don’t really know.” Then he said, “Why wouldn’t moms want to have their babies? I mean, babies are the future.” I was so touched by his answer! I just smiled and said, “You’re right! You’re really smart.” And he walked away. What an amazing encounter. Just wanted to share that.
5:00 – 7:00 PM
Larry ‘s report:
I showed up for the 5 to 7 shift, and Elsie was still there from the 3 to 5 shift. What a trooper she is. God bless her.
Also met Bill, my new prayer partner for 5 to 7 Tuesdays. I had a great conversation with Bill and was inspired by his life and stories. I look forward to next Tuesday and all Tuesday’s during the fall campaign praying with Bill.
We did have a girl and her father stop by and chat with us. They were from Wisconsin, and here in Pittsburgh to check out Duquesne University, as a possible school for the daughter. The daughter walked right up to us and proudly stated that she was the right to life committee president at her high school. How wonderful it was to see young people so passionate about right to life. We also had a family come by with four children, and they were really interested in the literature and the models of the babies inside the womb. The mother was quick to point out that this is what the children looked like when they were in her womb, and the kids were really interested. The kids were happy to have the fetal models. There were a lot of young women who came out of Planned Parenthood after five. Elsie told us that there were a lot of ladies who went in during the day, and I imagine these were the same girls leaving after recovery. Bill and I prayed the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy for them.