I have begun reading Scott Hahn’s new book, “It is Right and Just“, which is about humanity’s duty to God…and how the future of civilization depends on true religion. I am only on the second chapter, so I can’t say much about it yet…but the idea that we actually have a DUTY to worship and adore our creator is such a contradiction to the modern mind…yet it is so true! So many Christians believe that God doesn’t care if we make the effort to go to church on Sundays, and that it is no big deal if we break a few of His commandments. Everyone goes to heaven anyway (except for Hitler)…so just relax and stop being so “legalistic“.
Another thing that I have been thinking about is the sermon that I linked in my blog last week. (Linked again here). It was by a priest in Arizona who spoke of touring Auschwitz and being amazed that such an atrocity was permitted to happen un-challenged by the nearby townspeople…who actually witnessed it “snowing“…only it wasn’t snow, but the ashes of the victims who were being cremated in the very furnaces pictured above. Imagine…living in that town, looking outside your window to see white ashes of people falling from the sky. The priest who gave this homily was angry that we Americans are doing the same thing as the Germans. As millions of tiny Americans are being killed by abortion…we are going about our lives as if it is normal.
To be fair, the Germans had an excuse to try to ignore what was happening in their neighborhoods. Those few who courageously spoke out, such as the young college students Sophie and Hans Scholl, (as Bishop Waltersheid spoke about in his homily during our kick-off Mass last Tuesday) were killed.
But what is our excuse in America? Over 3,000 pre-born babies are put to death behind the doors located at 933 Liberty Avenue each year, and that is not counting those who are killed at Allegheny Reproductive in East Liberty and Magee Hospital! What risk do we face by opposing this evil? Will we be arrested? Starved? Beaten and tortured? Gassed?
Maybe we will be cold. And there might be a chance we will slip on the ice and scrape our knee. Maybe someone will scream obscenities at us or tell us to go to hell. There is even the slight chance that we will face physical harm from an angry pro-abort. But what if we do nothing to oppose this evil? What if we stay warm and dry in our comfortable homes, while pre-born babies, up to 24 weeks gestation, are painfully and cruelly dismembered and disposed of as medical waste? What will we say when we stand at our personal judgement before God? He placed us here, at this time in history…of all the times that He could have brought us into existence…He chose that we should be born at this time, when babies are being slaughtered by the millions. If we do nothing, how will we answer to Him?
Just as it is “right and just…our duty and our salvation“…to give God His due…by worshipping Him and obeying His commandments (which are all for OUR OWN GOOD and given to us because of His kindness)…I believe that it is also our duty to oppose IN A VISIBLE AND PUBLIC WAY…the killing that is happening right here in Pittsburgh.
We do it lovingly and peacefully. We hope that God uses us to touch hearts and save souls and lives. But even if we never see a single life saved or a single conversion…we have a duty to do this. If for no other reason, so that when we die and stand before God, and He asks us the question, “What did you do for these little ones who were being led to the slaughter?” We will have an answer.
The president of 40 Days for Life, Shawn Carney, has recently stated in one of his video blogs that there are two groups of people who are exempt from praying and witnessing at abortion clinics: those who have been wounded personally by abortion and are caused too much pain by going….and those who have trouble controlling their anger. But for all the rest of us…we have no excuse.
The weather is getting better. I hope to see more of you on the sidewalk in the coming weeks! I am grateful for all of our faithful 40 Days for Life team members for braving the bitter cold, as well as wonderful volunteers and church groups who have faithfully come out during these first 8 days! May God continue to protect and guide us throughout these 40 days…and may He use us as a light in these dark days.
If you didn’t catch Shawn Carney’s email yesterday, he featured Pittsburgh in his daily blog and a great picture from our kick off! You can read it HERE.
Now, for today’s stories from the sidewalk…
Charlene & Peggy 7-9
“We’re having a heat wave!!!” What a difference a week makes!! Sadly the weather does not change where we are and why we are here. Our little threesome has a nice routine: bless the building, say our daily inspiration, a rosary together…and then pray, pray and pray!! Shawn Carney in ” The Beginning of the End of Abortion ” says ,”Abortion will end if we persevere–persevere in prayer…in fortitude…and in reminding ourselves what a great evil abortion is. We must know who our enemy is and not forget that it is evil that we are battling.” No matter the weather…we will persevere.Charlene
Katie & Sharon 9-11
It actually felt like the spring campaign today! Thank you to Sharon, Terri and Denise for praying and reaching out to those in need this morning! While the weather was beautiful, the dark cloud of death was still with us at 933. Some people accepted literature, but we don’t know if anything came of it. Towards the end of the shift we did meet a woman, “R”, who was crying because she was hungry. I gave her the bag of granola and protein bars I keep with me and we prayed with her but she was still crying and I wanted to do more so we went over to Burger King to get her something to eat and we had a nice conversation. She’s experiencing homelessness and after all she did for her family she doesn’t have anyone who will help her. It was good to see the smiles on her face when we were talking!!! You never know what will happen when you’re on the sidewalk, you may not save a baby on a given day but you might have the opportunity to feed the hungry or clothe the naked (pro tip: an extra hoodie and pairs of gloves are good to keep with you too in case you meet someone whose coat was stolen, etc.!) Thank you especially to Terri for staying with Barbara while I was with “R”! (Please pray for her to find a permanent place to live and have food security and reunification with her family!)Katie
Barbara & Katie 11-1
Shift Manager Terri and Sharon were praying and watching as we arrived. Shift Buddy Katie arrived moments later from her errand of mercy. In a very few moments, Marcy and Pete, new to the sidewalk, and Bonnie, also new to the sidewalk, joined Katie and me. Later, Megan arrived and noted that she came to pray for an hour. Among quite a few others, two girls stopped to talk with Katie. They accepted literature. All three shared ideas. Passersby accepted and returned the favor as we greeted them, “God bless you!” It is hard to see the women as they keep their abortion appointments. It is hard to watch them leave after their appointments. We pray that they will remember that people were praying for them. We pray that they will remember that God loves them before and after. God watches for their return to His loving embrace.Barbara & Katie
Today’s Hour of Mercy was covered by Fr. Thomas More from St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe. We are very grateful that he answered the call to pray the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet during this 3:00 hour at Planned Parenthood today! Thank you Fr. Thomas More!
Chris & Elsie 1-3
After the recent cold weather, it was a Spring day in the ‘Burgh. I was joined by Katie, completing a 5-hour shift, and ever-vigilant Elsie, with both women handing life-saving literature to passersby and those entering PP. Later, Eileen from St. Philip in Crafton and Father Thomas More, a teacher at St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, added their prayers to our witness for Life. The highlight of the shift was a conversation with a father of five children. His fifth child, Jacob, is 23 days old today. When his wife was pregnant with Jacob, doctors told the couple that there was a high probability that their son would be born with Down’s Syndrome. He was not. However, Jacob does have two small holes in his heart that will need to be closed with surgery when he turns six months old. Please pray for Jacob and his family.Chris
Virginia & Claudia
It was a good day, it barely rained. Please pray for Brandon, who was looking for baby-development material for his brother. Today his brother found out his wife was going to have a baby after just having one. Brandon is also getting back on his feet and could use of our prayers for him. Also, prayers for another young man who approached us for money, but really needs more prayers than money.Claudia
Joe K & Steve
A warm and soppy Wednesday evening, but back in the saddle…Very quiet / uneventful downtown this evening – motor and foot traffic. I was joined by Steve (Bob N.’s favorite son-in-law). I was pleasantly surprised with how many resource cards passersby accepted today. Steve and I prayed and shared throughout the evening until faithful Tom and Diane packed it all away for the next prayer / hope-filled day.Joe K