Friday, October 30, 2015

Responding to God's call

It was my church's adopted day at the vigil.  The weather was wonderfully chilly.  As in years past, the coordinator of our church's presence at the vigil stayed the whole 12 hours. There were some surprises (i.e. not the usual suspects) who came to pray. Several people from other churches / organizations strolled to the vigil box to sign in and then quietly went to places to pray.  (I love these "40 Days" vigils... the constant trickle of those responding to God's call on any given day to "go pray".)

One of those "trickles" caught my attention.   She arrived in a wheel chair, dropped off by a fellow church member.  She is battling cancer (again)... or rather is in the pain management stage... a different kind of battle. Courage.  She had never been outside an abortion facility to pray before.  Our church coordinator met her at the car and pushed the wheel chair down the sidewalk while heavy traffic seemed to (perhaps) even slow a little.  She was lightly wrapped in a soft silver scarf which covered her head and gently drapped over her shoulders. The setting sun created a backlit golden halo-like effect. Her skin seemed to almost glow. The pallor of numerous cancer treatments seemed to all but disappear during the short time she was praying with us...  She looked so very much like a very young girl. Beautiful.

It was a 40 Days for Life day.... May God continue to be glorified and Jesus' Holy Name proclaimed in all things and in all ways in heaven and on earth.
Have you responded to the call? 
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All life has inestimable value

Even the weakest and most vulnerable,

the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor,

are masterpieces of God's creation,

made in His own image, destined to live forever,

and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.

 — Pope Francis' Day for Life greeting - 2013

 By 40 Days for Life-Dallas Team Member




I know it's making a difference

Unfortunately, in all the years I’ve been participating in 40 Days for Life I have never witnessed an actual life being saved, or even so much as a pregnant mother (or father) positively acknowledging our efforts. 

However, I always look forward to being able to participate in this event.  The prayerful, peaceful witness does my heart good, because I know that even if I don’t see the actual results, I know it is making a difference.  How could it not? 
Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have, and God is using us to reach those most in need of his mercy.  We know that it works when we read the stories of how many babies have been saved!  Although I haven’t been blessed to witness that, I feel my prayers are answered, nonetheless.

By Vigil Volunteer

Thursday, October 15, 2015

3 churches and long distances

I arrived with my 17-year-old son last night at about midnight. Another man from my church was already there. The three of us prayed and talked until 2 a.m., at which time another two men from a different church relieved us.  One had driven in all the way from Mansfield, and both were intending to stay until 4 a.m., when more people from our church would arrive. 

There was also another couple and their high school daughter who prayed with us the first half hour. They had come from Keller and were members of yet another church.  I am so impressed by these people who come so far!

It was a beautiful night and we prayed one long Joyful Mysteries rosary, with lots of readings from the first chapter of St. Luke's gospel.

So, we kept up the vigil. Praise the Lord!  May many hearts be turned inward to consider the beauty of life, from the moment of conception, and God's abundant grace for all!

By vigil volunteer

Monday, October 12, 2015

A sweet smile and big brown eyes

Richard turned one year old in August.  He’s a handsome little boy with a sweet smile and big brown eyes.  

Two years ago, his mother was planning to abort him.  

We found this out when she stopped by at this year’s  vigil after seeing all the prayer volunteers.  

We are blessed to have well-trained sidewalk counselors at the abortion facilities during killing hours, and she told her story to them.  They had already helped her two years ago when she was pregnant.  She wanted us to know how grateful she is ... how Richard has turned her life around.  He is her heart.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Where were you?

Where were you when I came to get my abortion here?

Shawn Carney -- National 40 Days for Life Campaign Director -- heard words like those at an early 40 Days for Life. They were spoken by a fellow prayer volunteer not really expecting an answer.

But those words have resonated with me. For three days in a row, I have covered 3 p.m. at the prayer vigil, the Hour of Mercy. Monday was slow, but on Tuesday, there were boyfriends, husbands and friends coming to pick up women who needed rides home after their abortions.

One young man in long shorts with a Superman logo bounced down the steps to get the car, not realizing that he had already failed his job -- to protect his girlfriend and their child.

A big, black SUV pulled out of the parking lot and into the driveway. I could see the passenger -- a dark-haired woman with an unbelievable amount of despair on her face.

I put my hand on my heart and mouthed the words, "God bless you." She never looked away from me as the car drove past, her eyes locked on mine.

Last night at the vigil, there were volunteers praying for the woman I saw and for all the other women who had scheduled appointments. Whoever they are, for whatever reason they come, the prayer volunteers were joined in love, praying that these women find they help they need.

There is always a counseling and prayer presence on "procedure days," but we -- the faithful standing vigil -- are here every day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week during 40 Days for Life.

Where were you when I came to get my abortion here?

We are here. Are you?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

5 lives in 1 hour

A record 17 lives in only 16 days have been saved at the vigil site during this campaign so far.  Praise God!!  That's more than one baby per day -- but it didn't happen that way.  Instead, the graces rained down in a flurry.  During one hour in particular, while a devoted couple supported sidewalk counselors in prayer, five lives were saved... five hearts will keep beating... five mothers escaped suffering.   In the words of one of those prayer volunteers:
My  wife and and I were praying in front of the Southwestern abortion facility on Monday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  During that time we got to see God work miracles. There were sidewalk counselors there with us, and two of them had babies in their arms.  I have to believe that God used them to soften the hearts of the mothers.   One particular mother came out of the facility with a picture in her hands.  One of the veteran sidewalk counselors asked her if that was a picture of her baby and she said that it was.  The counselor asked is she could see it.  The mother began walking towards us with a beaming smile.  We all looked at the picture and were so happy just as if it was a member of our family.  The counselor said that she felt like the grandmother. Prayer warriors and sidewalk counselors alike began shedding tears of joy.   
The mother said that her boyfriend was in the Army and had wanted her to have the baby.  I asked her to please thank her boyfriend for his service to our country.   
The counselor asked her if this was her first and she said yes, and then asked if she was going to need diapers and other baby items, and once again the answer was yes.  The counselor directed her to the nearby pregnancy resource center and away she went with the biggest smile I saw all morning.  

Monday, September 28, 2015

The First 'Save' ... because the Body of Christ was there.

On Saturday, a young mom was at the vigil praying with her two little ones.  It was getting a little past time for the next prayer volunteer to come, but there were two people from another church praying too, so she wasn’t worried.  (She found out later that the volunteers for the next hour had mistakenly gone to another facility.) 
The young mom decided to stay and cover a second hour.  She watched a car drive into the parking lot of the abortion facility.  A couple got out of the car, at first heading to the front door of the facility, but then they turned toward the volunteers.  The couple wanted to know what alternatives there were to having the abortion! 
The prayer volunteers were able to tell the couple about the nearby pregnancy resource centers -- one in the very same office complex!  The volunteers watched this new mom and dad as they walked over to the resource center to receive real help.   If the vigil had not been there, the couple would have gone into the facility and perhaps made a fatal choice.  
What a blessing for those praying on the sidewalk to be a part of the first save of our 40 Days for Life vigil ... that we know of!

**Trained sidewalk counselors are typically present on the sidewalk when abortions are being performed and available to counsel clients considering abortion. Nearby pregnancy resource centers -- in the office complex and across the street -- also offer counseling and resources for parents in need.   40 Days for Life vigil participants provide critical daily prayer support for these life-saving efforts.**