Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.1 Corinithians 9
Our 40 Days for Life RACE begins soon! On Tuesday, September 27th we will join together for prayer and Holy Mass at Divine Mercy Parish, Epiphany Church at 6:30 pm. After Mass we will have a Eucharistic Procession to Planned Parenthood to ask our Lord to guide and protect us throughout these 40 days of intense prayer, fasting and public vigil outside of Planned Parenthood. CLICK HERE for the event flyer.
At 7 am on Wednesday, September 28th the first two runners in this marathon relay race will take their marks and set off towards the goal, which we will reach (with God’s help) on November 6th. Will you join us?
You can run this race with us by….
HELPING US TO FILL THE VIGIL AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD!!!
Contact Fran Morrow at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up your church group for a time slot, or Donna Goss at email@example.com to sign yourself up as an individual. Take a look at the pdf “church schedule” that is posted on the bottom right of our site at www.40daysforlife.com/pittsburgh to see where we need the most help. The time slots in red are the most critical (only one person), but there are MANY “yellow” slots that have only the shift manager & buddy…and a third person is needed! Thanks in advance for your help!
JOINING OUR 40-DAY FAST FROM FOOD!!!
to help us fight this battle spiritually…whether or not you are able to come to sidewalk…if you are able to help us keep our 40 days covered with at least 3 people fasting from food, you can select the days you plan to fast on our fasting calendar HERE.
IF YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO COME TO THE VIGIL…BE SOMEONE’S “OTHER SELF”!
If you are not physically, mentally or emotionally able to come to the vigil but would like to help us to finish this race spiritually, you can volunteer to be an “other self” for one of our team members. You would be teamed up with a shift manager or buddy and would offer your prayers and sufferings for that person while they are ministering on the sidewalk. They in turn will offer their works for you. Reply to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be assigned to your “other self”.
WHY MUST WE “RUN”???
If you have a nature like mine that likes comfort, pleasure and ease…it can be difficult to force yourself to strive…or as St. Paul says in today’s epistle…“to drive my body and train it”. So why should we do it? St. Paul gives us the answer in the verse right before this one. He says:
Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the Gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.1 Corinthians 9
Personally, I am safe. I am not in danger of being killed by abortion, and I am not in danger of losing my soul by taking part in one. So why should I give up my own comfort and ease in order to pray at Planned Parenthood? I guess it’s because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just about saving OURSELVES. It is about helping OTHERS to receive salvation. Like St. Paul says, if we are only concerned with ourselves winning the race, we take the risk of being disqualified. We need to help our brothers and sisters to run towards the same finish line of eternal salvation.
I was given two great examples of the importance of our willingness to pray at Planned Parenthood last month at the 40 Days for Life leader symposium last month in Houston, which I attended with two other ladies from our Pittsburgh team. There were two former Planned Parenthood directors who spoke. The first was Mayra Rodriguez who managed a Planned Parenthood in Arizona and gave an amazingly inspiring talk about how she used to think those who prayed in front of her clinic as being crazy. She spoke about how much those prayers affected those inside the clinic, and how many clients never showed up for their abortion appointments when “the crazies” were outside praying. You can watch her talk HERE.
The second reminder of the importance of our prayerful presence on the sidewalk came from Ramona Trevino. She managed a Planned Parenthood in Sherman Texas before the 40 Days for Life volunteers helped her to get up the courage to leave Planned Parenthood and go back to her Catholic faith. She has an amazingly inspiring testimony in her book entitled “Redeemed by Grace: A Catholic Woman’s Journey to Planned Parenthood and Back”. You can order this short and easy to read book at Redeemed by Grace: A Catholic Woman’s Journey to Planned Parenthood and Back: Treviño, Ramona, Salonen, Roxane: 9781586179144: Amazon.com: Books
I was very blessed to get to know Ramona personally when she offered to give me a ride from the closing event at the 40 Days for Life headquarters in College Station, TX to near the Oklahoma border, where I was heading for a week-long visit with my daughter. During the 2 hour drive we joyfully shared how God used the pro-life movement to rescue us from darkness and to strengthen and deepen our faith. I am almost finished reading her book now and have a hard time putting it down each night. I highly recommend it!
If the “saved” Christians in Mayra’s and Ramona’s towns had been unwilling to give up their own comforts and to set aside their fears and head out to the sidewalks in front of their Planned Parenthoods…where would they be right now? We never know how God is going to use our sacrifices to inspire others to do the same. God will use us in ways we can’t imagine and may never even know about. But we do it anyway. We press on towards that prize.
Thank you for running with me in this up-coming 40-day race. We need your help! Out of 240 2-hour shifts, we still have 127 shifts that need a third person or a church group to sign up! Here is the schedule at a glance (as of right now):
Thank you and God bless you!