Day 8…Thanks to our Amazing Team and dedicated volunteers!

And seeing His disciples laboring in rowing (for the wind was against them), and about the fourth watch at the night, He cometh to them walking upon the sea.

Mark 6

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with struggling! I mean, I know that if I don’t force myself to struggle on a daily basis, I will get weak and soft and turn into a blubbering blob of selfish worries and conceits…but I don’t like to struggle! So, when I read this verse from Saturday’s Gospel (traditional readings), I was struck by the word “Laboring“. It seemed to me that seeing his disciples struggling…but not giving up…is what made Jesus go to them. And then I was also struck by the second verse, which says:

He would have passed by them. But they, seeing Him walking upon the sea, thought it was an apparition, and they cried out.”

I thought about the strangeness of Jesus planning to walk right past his disciples. What if they hadn’t noticed him? What if all of their attention and focus had been on rowing and trying to keep the boat from sinking? Would Jesus have passed them by and not helped them?

Reflecting on this Gospel passage made me think about our difficult (and sometimes threatening), work on the sidewalk. It helped me to realize that we have to struggle in this spiritual battle against abortionbut we can never give up! At the same time…we cannot allow ourselves to become so consumed with the struggle (the WORK)…that we forget to keep our eyes on Christ! We have to always be looking for Him! If we do that…work AND pray…He will come to our aid for sure!

So, we need to WORK & WATCH…but what about the “staying humble” thing?

Well, the following day (Sunday), the Gospel reading spoke to me again. It was the temptation of Christ, where Satan took Jesus and set Him upon the pinnacle of the temple and tempted Jesus to display His “trust” in God by flinging Himself off. Satan practically “dared” Jesus into doing it. He said:

If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down. For it is written: That He hath given His Angels charge over Thee, and in their hands shall they bear Thee up. lest perhaps Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.

Matt. 4

Can’t we all relate to this temptation? We can desire that our pro-life work be done in a grandiose way…when the more effective way is the way that Jesus exemplified. Small. Un-noticed. Disdained and disregarded.

40 Days for Life sure sounds like it fits the bill, doesn’t it? I tell you…if you struggle with pride, come to the sidewalk! It is sure to humble you!

In closing this reflection, and on the subject of humility…I just have to share a beautiful prayer that I just discovered last week while reading from a book entitled, “The Soul of the Apostolate“, by Jean-Baptiste Chautard, O.C.S.O. It so resonated with me that I typed it up and printed it out, and taped it in my little prayer corner in my room, and I try to pray it every day. Here it is:

My God, here I am before You, poor, little, stripped of everything.

Here I am at Your feet, sunk in the depth of my own nothingness.

I wish I had something to offer You, but I am nothing but wretchedness!  You, are everything.  You are my wealth.

My God, I thank You for having willed that I should be nothing in Your sight.  I love my humiliation and my nothingness.  I thank you for having taken away from me a few satisfactions of self-love, a few consolations of the heart.  I thank You for every deception that has befallen me, every ingratitude, every humiliation.  I see that they were necessary:  The goods of which they deprived me might have kept me far from You.

O my God, I bless You when You give me trials.  I love to be used up, broken to pieces, destroyed by You.  Crush me more and more.  Let me be in the building not as a stone worked and polished by the hand of the mason, but like an insignificant grain of sand, gathered from the dust of the road.

My God, I thank You for having let me catch a glimpse of the sweetness of Your consolations, and I thank You for having taken that glimpse away.  Everything that You do is just and good.  I bless You in my abject poverty.  I regret nothing except that I have not loved You enough.  I desire nothing but that Your will be done.

You are my owner.  I am Your property.  Turn me this way or that way. Break me up.  Work on me however you like.  I want to be reduced to nothing for love of You. O Jesus, how good is Your hand, even at the most terrible intensity of my trial.  Let me be crucified but crucified by you.  Amen

General de Sonis (1825-1887)

Blessed with the presence and prayers of Anton and Claudia. Light morning, a few, too many, went in, lots of workers. We pray for them all. A passerby said we should leave these people alone. Peg said “God bless you.” She said she did not believe in God.   😔 All the more reason to ask God to bless her.

Cathy, Mary & Peggy

Today’s weather was warmer than last week. We had one visitor, a young man, who took pictures of the display and picked up some information. Unfortunately there were several women who went into the facility. Conrad and Mary reached out and we all said prayers for all.

Susan

Today’s shift 9 to 11 was similar to last weeks shift. The number of women going in was steady probably every 10-15 minutes. Again, Mary Lawrence stayed for the entire two hours so there were three of us on.
   I apologize that I did not get a picture. There were no incidents, thank God just a very quiet Sidewalk, except for the abortion minded women.

Conrad

Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and passing out donuts!

Maggie

A sunny, pleasant day on the sidewalk- several “God Bless Yous” from passersby and no negative comments, and a possibility of a save.    I was joined in prayer by my shift buddy, Elaine, from Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Kevin from Regina Coeli parish, and Dan from Holy Family in Steubenville- we prayed multiple Rosaries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, several Chaplets of Divine Mercy, and the Loreto Litanies.  Sidewalk Advocates Maggie, from Most Precious Blood, and Judy, from St. Joseph the Worker, were vigilant during the shift, doing their best to hand out pamphlets and free local-help cards to those entering PP and to passersby. 

Chris

Eileen made it the whole 2 hours, thanks be to God! Also had Meg for a Divine Mercy Chaplet with us, and Elsie advocated from 4-5. Thanks also to another sidewalk advocate from 3-4, but I forget her name! Hope I get better at this shift leader thing before the end of Lent. Beautiful, sunny day- Pittsburgh in February!

Steve

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