I saw an image a few days ago that has haunted me. Wanting to know more about what was happening in Afghanistan, I watched a news clip that showed the desperate people crowding around the airport, trying to escape. There was a young mother holding her small child up in the air, begging a soldier to take her child over the wall to safety. The child dangled helplessly…not knowing what was happening…as the mother let go. She let go of her child. My eyes are tearing up now as I type this. She loved her child so much that she was willing to let her child go into the arms of a stranger, in the hopes that she would be saved. Not knowing if she would ever see her again. I have prayed daily for this child and her mother ever since I watched that clip. I hope that they are reunited some day. I hope that the child and family survive. I couldn’t help but think about my own three year old grandchildren, and the heartbreak I would feel if I had to let them go. The confusion that they would feel in such a situation. Just thinking about it breaks my heart. It almost made me despair and lose hope, feeling so helpless to help those who are suffering so much in that distant land. There is nothing I can do to help them, other than to pray.
Isn’t that how many of us feel? Helpless?
That is how the devil WANTS us to feel! He wants us to despair and to throw our hands up in defeat…to bury our heads in distractions and give up. But the truth is…there is as much suffering taking place here in our own city as there is in Afghanistan. We don’t see it on the news, but it is happening just the same. In 2020 Pittsburgh’s Planned Parenthood killed 3,452 preborn babies. 3,452 mothers who desperately let go of their child…not into the hands of someone who will save them, but someone who will kill them.
But the pain is the same. Probably even worse.
Last week, while on vacation in Virginia Beach, my husband and I spent hours sitting on the edge of the ocean, watching the families all around us. There were mothers and fathers of all cultures and nationalities there, and children of all ages. I was struck by the realization of how important the parent/child bond really is! There were families of Indian, Spanish, African, European and many other nationalities. But family bonds are the same everywhere. For all time, everywhere and forever, there is no bond as strong as the love between a child and mother and father.
This is why abortion is so evil. It takes that natural love…that fierce protective instinct that every parent feels for their child…and it twists it to the opposite instinct of self-preservation. A verse from Exodus 23 comes to my mind. “Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.” Why would God care about cooking methods? Because the mother’s milk is meant to bring LIFE to the young goat…not death. It is an abomination to take something good and life-giving and twist it to cause destruction.
So, my point in this blog post is to say that we should not feel helpless because of our inability to help those who are suffering thousands of miles away in distant lands…because we have an opportunity to help those who are suffering right here in our own city!
40 Days for Life’s fall campaign will begin on Wednesday, September 22nd and will end on Sunday, October 31st.
For forty days, we will have a constant prayer vigil in front of Planned Parenthood, from 7 am to 7 pm daily! Lives will be saved and hearts will be changed! Mothers and fathers who might otherwise let go of their children out of fear will instead choose to hold onto them! YOU have the opportunity to save a life! It’s very likely that you will never know about it, but it could happen just the same. We currently have 40 faithful “shift managers” and 35 “shift buddies” who have committed to weekly time slots, to ensure that there are always at least two people on the sidewalk at all times. There are still a few gaps that still need filled where we only have one person. They are:
Saturdays from 5-7 with Jeff. Sundays 1-3 with Lindsay. Sundays 5-7 with Andy. There are also two Mondays from 3-5pm (9/27 & 10/11) that Dan needs a partner.
And of course, we strive to have MORE than two people per hour…so we still need YOU to make an appointment with God to come to the sidewalk as often as possible during the 40 days! If you can make a weekly commitment of an hour or two, that would be a huge help! Go to 40 Days for Life to sign yourself up for hours, or contact Donna Goss at email@example.com to have her sign you up.
Please also help to spread the word at your church using these flyers:
fall_21_flyer_full_size-2.pdf Full-size campaign flyer
BULLETIN_ANNOUNCEMENT_fall_2021_40_Days_for_Life-2.pdf Bulletin Announcement
kick_off_Mass_and_Eucharistic_Procession_flyer_fall_21-2.pdf Kick-off Mass & Eucharistic Procession Flyer
There are 11 priests so far who will help celebrate the opening Mass on Tuesday, Sept. 21st and lead the Eucharistic Procession to Planned Parenthood, but are hoping many more will join! Please personally ask your parish priest to join us! Send this flyer to him!
Finally, please ask your pastor if your church can help us to fill the vigil with church coverage by adopting a time slot! Check out the schedule on our website and then email Fran Morrow to get signed up at firstname.lastname@example.org
So you now have your marching orders! You don’t need to feel helpless anymore! There IS something YOU can do to help those who are suffering here in Pittsburgh! Thank you for joining us!
Your sister in Christ,