Drawing Back?

You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised. For, after just a brief moment, he who is to come shall come; he shall not delay. But my just one shall live by faith, and if he draws back I take no pleasure in him. We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and will possess life.

Hebrews 10

This scripture from today’s Mass readings tell us that we need to have ENDURANCE to do the will of God. So how do we endure the difficult spiritual battle to end abortion here in Pittsburgh? I always worry that we will give in to the temptation to “draw back“. Look at the photo above. We see our valiant priests…our Generals…leading us into battle. We advance into enemy territory when we bring the Blessed Sacrament to the doors of Planned Parenthood. The devil loses ground each time we do it. We can’t see it, but I believe it is happening. The territory he has claimed as his own is slipping away from him…and it is because Jesus is with us! We trust in Him, and we will be doing it again in just a few weeks!

We invite ALL PRIESTS and FAITHFUL LAY PEOPLE to join us on Tuesday, February 21st as we kick-off our Lenten 40 Days for Life with Mass and a Eucharistic Procession to Planned Parenthood. (CLICK HERE FOR THE FLYER) By the power of our faith in Jesus, we will once again push back the darkness at 933 Liberty Avenue. We will not draw back. We will continue to gain spiritual ground in our city. Thanks to Fr. Chris Donley, Pastor of Divine Mercy Parish for not drawing back!

The reason that I worry about us “drawing back”, is because it can be a little frightening when we take our faith into the public arena, by processing with the Eucharist through the streets of our city. There are always unknown factors when we go into the heart of downtown Pittsburgh. Anything can potentially happen. Last fall, at our kick-off procession, we had a group of drum-banging, megaphone-shouting, banner-waving counter-protesters trying to block our path. We witnessed a miracle when, after we arrived at PP and dropped to our knees in prayer, their megaphone suddenly stopped working and they had to pack it up and left us to pray in peace. At our closing procession in November, a poor, hurting post abortive woman followed us, screaming at the top of her lungs: “I’m so glad I killed my baby!”...over and over again…while she lifted her shirt to expose her breasts and the words “pro-choice” scrawled over them. She exposed more than her breasts however. She exposed her pain to us, and our hearts went out to her. I am sure many prayers went up to Heaven for her that night.

It can be scary and intimidating to bring our faith into downtown. We might feel vulnerable…and truthfully, we are. But if we don’t ever do anything challenging and difficult, how will we know if our faith would hold up under persecution? As an example, I have trained in karate for over 20 years…but I don’t know if I could actually defend myself in a real situation. I train in a safe environment, with an instructor and classmates that I know and trust. The same can be said for our faith. We worship inside of a comfortable church building, with our brothers and sisters around us. We are safe. My analogy breaks down here, because I do not want to ever find out if my karate training would work in a real situation. But when it comes to our faith…don’t we want to know? Don’t we want to have the confidence that God gives us…when we step out and do something scary for Him? He truly DOES strengthen our faith in Him when we step out of our comfort zone for love of Him.

If my blog reflection seems a little scattered today, I am sorry. I guess the thing that I am trying to get across is this:

Our city needs Jesus. It needs Him in the FLESH! If we don’t bring Him there, who will?

Please be a part of this spiritual battle to end abortion…to save lives and SOULS from abortion. Here is my prayer, which I offer through the intercession of St. Teresa of Kolkata every day:

Dear St. Teresa, please pray that our pro-life community in Pittsburgh will remain FAITHFUL, FRUITFUL and UNITED. Pray that God will keep His Hand of Protection upon all of our volunteers on the sidewalk and that a life and a soul will saved from abortion today. Pray that all our empty hours will be filled…that NO abortions will happen without someone praying outside on the sidewalk. Pray for all those who have and will choose life, despite difficute circumstances. Pray that they will receive all the love and support they need from our pro-life community. Pray that many faithful priests and lay people will take part in our kick-off event, and pray that Planned Parenthood will close permanently, according to God’s will. Amen.

Here is how YOU can be a part of ending abortion in Pittsburgh:

  • Sign up for a time slot at our vigil at Planned Parenthood! If possible, make it a weekly commitment from Feb. 22nd – April 2nd. Email me at nbruni@40daysforlifepgh.com to get signed up, or go to www.40daysforlife.com/pittsburgh to add yourself to the calendar.
  • Sign up to fast (bread & water or liquids only) on certain days during the 40 days by going to: Prayer and Fasting 40 Days Lent 2023 — Signup Sheet | SignUp.com Our goal is to have at least one person fasting every day.
  • Help us to fund 8 hours of professional security at the vigil by donating any amount. Checks payable to 40 Days for Life Pittsburgh, mailed to 411 School St., Verona PA 15147, or if you need a tax receipt the check should be made out to PA Foundation for Life (with 40 Days security written in the memo), mailed to PCUC, 3050 Pioneer Ave., Pittsburgh 15226
  • Bring a package of diapers to the kick-off, to donate to our local crisis pregnancy centers.
  • Consider donating to the Red Door, to help feed the many homeless in downtown Pittsburgh. Go to About – Divine Mercy Parish – Pittsburgh, PA (divinemercypgh.org) to donate.

Finally, Bishop Waltersheid is helping to bring a wonderful spiritual retreat for women to Pittsburgh! Johnnette Williams, from EWTN’s Women of Grace is coming to Pittsburgh! For more details, go to: Pittsburgh Women of Grace Retreat: “The Holy Duet: Mary and the Holy Spirit” March 24-26, 2023 (constantcontact.com) .

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