Lent is upon us and once again we pray and fast and offer ourselves, united to our Crucified Lord, as a sacrifice in reparation for the scourging and destruction of the innocents. On Ash Wednesday, Father spoke of our Lenten journey and the path to Sanctification, by vigils, by prayer, by fasting, and almsgiving. I was struck by one line in his homily in particular. He said that in the not-so-distant past no one would say, “What are you giving up for Lent?” It was understood that it was a forty day fast and the goal of sanctification required forty days of penance, fasting and prayer. I have thought about that a great deal in the past few days and thought how insignificant my giving up a particular food or beverage would be compared to the penance done by the Saints and Holy Men and Women that went before us in faith.
However, the faithful that I know who work this holy apostolate for life have given as much as tradition would ask. It sometimes seems that there are so few who choose the narrow way at the foot of the cross on Liberty Avenue, where Christians are mocked and cursed, woman are harmed to their very soul, and the innocents are discarded like refuse.
From the first reading on Sunday, GN 3:4-6 And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death. For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat. This is the deification that occurs when we stand in the place of the Almighty and run in the way of a woke culture that puts the individual in the place of God much as our first parents at the fall. And in this place, they decide to destroy what the Almighty has created. The deceiver speaks today as he did in the garden.
Father, in his Sunday homily, spoke of ancient Rome where wax was used to cover up flaws in sculpture and pottery. It was also used by the actors of that time for masks to hide their true identity. People would ask, are you sincera (without wax)? From this we get the word “sincere”. Are you being yourself–sincere–or are you sincera, hiding behind a mask? There are so many masks and deceptions in society, from politicians hiding an agenda, and churchmen hiding for fear, to the made up and make believe of social media, to the ultimate deception, the lie that a simple surgical procedure will take away the worry, confusion and heartache. Deception: the act of causing someone to accept as true or valid what is false.
In our life-saving efforts, we know that there is no substitute for truth, all else ends in a life of never-ending hiding behind a mask.
Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice.
John 14:6 Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.
John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Fellow parishioners of St. Pete’s in Steubenville, Shawn, Beth, and Valerie, made the trip into the city with me early this morning. Bill and I went to retrieve the materials. Thank goodness the rain had stopped, so the items weren’t getting drenched today. Shawn had a Bluetooth speaker which played monks chanting the psalms. It had a middle eastern vibe to it. Nice touch! Jackie showed up later because she’d intercepted a mom and daughter in the parking garage, even bringing Regina into the conversation via speakerphone. Mom wanted her daughter to have the baby, and daughter was rigidly opposed. Sadly, they eventually made their way into PP. Two other couples went in and a few single clients. The single ones came out with paper bags a little later on. We are seeing a lot more of that these days.
God help us!
PP was so sad today with a steady stream of clients. But we thrive on rejection, so each client heard an offer of help, whether going in or coming out. Bill and Jackie had everything set up, a new arrangement, easy to use. Great friends from Steubenville, Sean, Beth and Valerie, joined Tuesday morning regular, Tracy, for a cold, damp four hours. Glenn and Linda kept praying with little break in the line of people going in to PP. For the past few weeks, we’ve seen more Hispanic clients and, luckily, Beth handled the Spanish. Does anyone have handouts explaining PP, why it’s not a good place for any service? Any help would be appreciated. Such terrible things happening inside, but wonderful volunteers outside at 933 Liberty Avenue
It was a cold, windy day but the group of Glenn, Ken, Rose, Jenna and Sandy brought the warmth of prayer, joy, hope and love to the sidewalk today in a variety of ways. Sadly, many went into PP, even a few who took a flyer. Although there were some “God bless you’s” uttered, overall the tone was negative and hostile. One person’s putdown was “No one cares about what you people do here,” which I took to mean we were wasting our time. My response was that she was actually quite wrong. There are many who are really grateful for our presence. May we continue to be his humble earthen vessels. P.S.–Thank you to Tony our security guard for taking the picture.
Mike and I had a peaceful vigil from 1-3. Unfortunately, a lot of traffic in and out of Planned Parenthood. We were expecting to be alone during our shift, but Jenna and Ed stayed to pray with us the beginning of our shift. Got to hear about the miracles God is working in Jenna’s life– it was great to have a young mother of two praying with us! Then at two o’clock God sent Bob to pray with us (he showed up an hour early for his regularly scheduled shift.) So we were never alone when we expected to be all alone! In addition, two little girls and their older sister passed by us twice and the little girls kept asking their older sister to stop and listen to us, who told them “No, we don’t have time.” So I overheard this and asked them if they wanted to pray an Our Father with us–they said yes excitedly with the permission of older sister, and all three girls prayed with us. They were so joyful. I gave them a free resources brochure and they were on their way! Then another random stranger just stopped and prayed an Our Father with us then proceeded on his way. It was really a hope and grace filled two hours! And I know God answered our prayers in ways we can’t even imagine!
Virginia, Bill, Bob, John and John from St. Ann, St. Phillip, and St. Matthew prayed from 3-5. We had a lot of women and couples in and out of the clinic. We had a lady pledge to the abortion clinic per picketer while we prayed the Rosary. We prayed the Rosary, Chaplet and Stations for a change of heart of all the people who came in and out of the clinic. A lady in our church, Pat, gave me a bag of Rosaries to hand out to people. God bless her. May God bless you all and keep you close to His Sacred Heart and Her Immaculate Heart.
2 thoughts on “Day 7: Thanks to St. Peter Parish, St. Matthew Parish, and All Volunteers!”
Beth- Human Life Alliance has a GREAT booklet about PP, and also lots of resources in Spanish!
Thanks, Katie, I’ll check it out