Day 30: Fruit Seen and Unseen
Thursday, October 23. Three young people came over to our vigilers today when Glenda was present. They said they were “pro-choice.” Glenda said they had a little exchange, and they were not hostile. Who knows how God might use little encounters like this.
We are getting close to the home stretch now, only 10 days left to go! For me it’s been one of the best pro-life activities of my life - and I’ve had a few!
Meeting so many good people, and to see God’s hand in so many ways through those who attend, those who unite with us in prayer and fasting from near and far, and the reactions of those exposed to our witness (like the women who changed their minds about abortion!)- it’s all been such a marvellous gift. Thank you, Lord, and all those who’ve lovingly sacrificed to be part of it.
But beyond the fruit I can see, what stirs deep within me is this sense of how God is working unseen through this campaign, in ways we cannot grasp, upon people we may never meet - those who pass by and are touched somehow we may never know. The choicest fruit may well be known to God alone - yet we have had some wonderful part in the mystery of it all.
For the fruit we see, and fruit we don’t see, we praise you, Lord.
Yours for the God of life,
Day 29: The empire strikes backWednesday, October 21. Yesterday was such a good day for life (see report for Day 28). As if to confirm how good it really was, today the empire of death strikes back, for its power has been undone (in part, at least) and it is unnerved.
The folks at the “clinic” are angry with us! One way they showed this is by putting up three “Stop” signs in their front window: “Stop the Intimidation,” “Stop the Blame,” “Stop the Shame.” Those signs are aimed at us!
In addition, their manager once again exhibited weird behaviour. As Georgina was in the Prayer Zone (located across the street from the abortuary), quietly reciting the rosary with her eyes closed, she opened them to see the manager suddenly standing right in front of her along with a colleague. What was she up to? Trying to spook us? Showing her defiance? Who knows? Without a word she turned around and went back into her building.
Our people have trouble even understanding the language on those signs. They know we’re there not to blame or shame or intimidate. But those beholden to the power of death cannot see our faith, nor can they see our love for all including them, just as they cannot see the unborn as a precious child of God, nor see the evil of abortion. And because they cannot see, they have to reduce us and our activity to something familiar to them: hence the language of blame, intimidation, shame. They think we are there to reprove aborted women and them, to pressure them. They think we are just “religious protesters.” The very notion of a “prayer vigil” - what we are truly about - is foreign to them.
The spiritual poverty of these poor folks is revealed. We continue to pray, for their blindness to be removed, their hearts to be healed. This is something only the grace of God can do. From Day 28 we know the reality of that grace. Today we rededicate our cause - and all those we pray for - to the Throne of that grace. For it is a Throne of mercy.
In His love,
Day 28: God moves!
Tuesday, October 20. Tuesday is abortion day at the “clinic.” Last night, as I prayed, I found myself wondering if the Lord might move today upon this temple of death (see our report for Day 27). Today, He did! We were able to witness some of the fruits of our spiritual campaign, thanks be to Him.
There was a good turnout for our vigil today, as many as 13 of us in the morning. Among them a contingent of 6 from
A woman approached along the street this morning, getting ready to go in for her scheduled abortion. She later told us that, seeing our signs, she just could not go through with it. She came in our pro-life house and asked to speak to someone. She had a long session with Martha. She has decided to have the baby and is exploring adoption! She cancelled her abortion appointment. Thanks be to the God of life! Please do support her in prayer, if you would. It’s a very difficult situation including medical issues for the mother.
She wasn’t the only one who changed her mind! Two other women entered the “clinic”, apparently for abortions. But they left without having them!
I watched as two young women entered around 7:30 a.m. The abortionist arrived shortly after 8 a.m. Soon after that the two young women emerged and left! They would not have had time for an abortion. The procedure takes 15 minutes or so, and then the woman spends time in the recovery area. So it usually takes about an hour and a half for the whole process. They just weren’t there anywhere near that long. Moreover, a woman who’s had an abortion usually moves slowly as she walks. These two were walking at normal speed, another sign no procedure had taken place. It appears to me a mind was changed and a baby’s life spared!
I saw this young couple enter the “clinic” a little while after the above pair. They were in there a good while, as if for an abortion, but they too came out earlier than expected and moved along at a good pace walking back up the street. I am quite certain they did not have an abortion! Colleen - another prayer warrior - was beside me, the two of us rejoiced.
It appears as though the lives of three children were spared! We have never seen anything like this before, in all our years of observing days of death. Amazing! Our God is an awesome God.
There were yet other signs that something spiritually was getting through the normal shield of death that envelops pregnant mothers. Leo noticed a young woman waiting a long time in a car before finally approaching the abortuary. Her face showed real emotion and reluctance, something you don’t usually see with abortion-bound women. Unfortunately, she did enter and apparently underwent the procedure. Pray for her, and the 8 others we noticed going in for abortions (besides the two mentioned above).
As I was fixing something by the House, I noticed one woman going up the street, another woman putting her arm around her shoulder. Thaddée said this woman was in fact crying as she left the abortuary. You don’t always see this, it was evident to me that on this special day something out of the ordinary- grace! - was bringing the tragic reality of abortion to light to a number of the mothers.
These events should encourage us. Our prayers are being answered. Through signs God is revealing that the spiritual battle is indeed real, He is truly at work in our midst, and He very much wants us to persevere in this kind of campaign.
In His love and truth,
Day 27: Dialogue with the Lord about the "clinic"
Monday, October 19. A woman, evidently pregnant, seemed to stop, park, and come over expressly to talk to somebody at out vigil. Glenda was on hand. The woman commented how she had had more than one miscarriage and was concerned about keeping this one. She queried how some women could just discard their pregnancy via abortion. Glenda says they had quite a chat.
Fr. Peter phoned to say he was sick, and could not do the weekly Mass for life (during the 40 days) at the Mother and Child House. So many folks are sick these days.
One of our vigilers, Berthe, told me how a friend she knew was fasting from all food 7pm to 5pm each day during the 40 days. It made me realize how there are people here, there, and everywhere who are joining us in various ways through this campaign. How wonderful! If it had not been for this 40 Days initiative this vast spiritual wave for life would not be taking place like this.
In the evening, thinking ahead to tomorrow being "abortion day" at the "clinic", I found myself conversing with the Lord along these lines: "Lord, you see this vast wave of prayer throughout these 40 days to date. Is there any chance that tomorrow we might see some fruit from that?" By fruit I meant in terms of what takes place at Morgentaler's. I tried to pose this question in a respectful way, not trying to twist God's arm as sometimes I am prone to do (i.e. " Lord, you've got to do something! Please!"), but rather honestly asking Him if he might be thinking of intervening, trying to respect His sovereign will. I went through a list of various possibilities with Him: "How about the abortionist? How about the escorts? How about the mothers?" etc.
Then I waited in case He might want to respond. Soon a response came: "I will be there." I had a feeling that meant something. I looked forward to Day 28.
In His love,
Day 26: Evil Speaks
Sunday, October 18. It seemed to be a day when evil spoke. “Thank God for abortion!” was the message someone left on Suzie’s windshield while she prayed at the vigil. Such blasphemy.
“Leave Morgentaler alone, let him make his money!” exclaimed a driver after he’d slowed down to see what we were all about. Such cynicism about human bloodshed.
“God is fake,” yelled a girl from a carload of young people driving by. As Scripture says, the fool says “there is no God.”
I sensed the evil spirit taunting us behind all these words. As someone said, maybe the fact the evil one is stirred up is a good sign that we are threatening his power.
On this same day the word of truth and love spoke as well, as I heard a church congregation pray unexpectedly for our 40 Days for Life campaign. Up to now, to my knowledge, there has been only silence regarding 40 Days at this particular church. Music to my ears.
The spiritual battle continues. Exactly two weeks to go.
Your servant for life,
Day 25: The issue is abortion
Saturday, October. 17. I added up the number of people that have attended our vigil in
We heard a sad story from one vigiler how a mother and father walked by with two young children, maybe 5 and 6 years old. The mother shouts out, “I agree with abortion! I had an abortion!” Can you imagine? Saying that in the presence of these little ones! You can just imagine one of them asking, “Mommy, what’s an abortion?” What would the answer be? The father just seemed to hang his head down, as they walked on.
This was a poignant reminder that despite all the rhetoric from the “pro-choice” crowd how the real issue is “choice”, not abortion, the real issue really is abortion. This is what women have to live with for the rest of their days. This poor woman may think she’s got some kind of handle on it, but the truth is abortion has got a hold of her. Lord, as you hold her aborted child close in your arms, have mercy on this mother and her family.
Day 24: The unending pain of abortion.
Friday, October 15. A large group of Catholic homeschoolers - 19 in all! - joined our vigil for 2 hours. How our God must smile to see all these children praising Him for the gift of life. Each child, born or unborn, is a joy unto the Lord.
Rosalie was there when a young woman, aged 19, came be shared how she had had an abortion at age 15. She said not a day goes by but she regrets the abortion. The pain just does not go away. She seemed, however, not to quite get what we’re doing. Looking at the signs, she asked, “Isn’t that unkind” to hold such a sign? Until she receives the peace of Christ’s forgiveness, she won’t be able to see how we are there not to reprove but to be a sign of God’s love for all.
Mary and Norm have come frequently with their family to pray at our vigil. Out for a Friday night date without the kids, they happened to drive by, saw our people and said to themselves, “Sure, why not?” They stopped and prayed the rosary a while, in the bitter cold. How beautiful.
Rosalie shared how a little group again prayed this morning across from the
In the love of Christ,
Day 23: Folks in need of prayer
Thursday, October 15. Today Suzie decided to probe public reaction to 40 Days. She greeted each person walking by our Prayer Zone. She found the vast majority - perhaps 80% - returned her greeting. But a significant minority - maybe 20% - did not; by their body language they showed they do not like us being there.
It sounds about right. Most people are either with us or respect our point of view. But a certain significant number are not well enough disposed to even respect us. How sad. Those are the people that really need our prayer, that’s where the big spiritual resistance is.
I’m pretty sure it’s worse in
And you can’t always tell just looking at someone. A young woman who looked like a “street person” came by this evening, asking what’s this all about? I said, “We’re praying for unborn babies and moms.” I was half-waiting for some lippy put-down. Instead she says, “That’s nice. I’ll say a pray for this too.” You never know.
Please pray for our Elaine, who has been coordinating our vigil schedule these past few weeks. She has pneumonia, poor thing! It’s going to be a challenge now to keep our vigil running. But it’s God work, I’m sure He’ll help us along.
Pray also for a woman named “J.” who works at the “clinic.” She’s a grandmother who according to someone who knows her may be doing it for the money. Lord, shine your light, bring her out of that.
In the love of Christ
Day 22: Your witnesses, Lord.
Wednesday, October 14. We’re getting noticed. Today 7 students from Our Lady of
Our 40 Days colleagues in
“An elderly couple called from their car, ’Good job!’ A bus driver gave us the thumbs up. Two Native women walking by, stopped to read Lise's sign and chatted about their respective miscarriages. Many purposely slow down so they can read all the signs. Patients and relatives coming out to smoke in front of the hospital seem to be engaging in conversations regarding our presence, looking back and forth. Staff in uniform coming by us to cross at the crosswalk try hard to hold their head high and ignore us! Only the Good Lord knows which one of the onlookers will be touched. There is a good bit of continuous traffic.”
Three good women came from
Such a beautiful chorus of prayer and witness for you, Lord.
Yours for life,
Day 21: “Arise, O God, plead thy cause”
Tuesday, October 13. A bit of topsy turvy day. Suzie, always on the first (7-8 am) shift, and the one to open our House, had a flat tire. Concerned no one would be at the Prayer Zone, she arrived very late - only to find Thaddée and Estelle had been there all along; they just came out of the blue!
Meanwhile I made my way to the Court House, summoned for jury duty; it took a while, but I ended up being excused - because, since I work for Right to Life, the judge thought I’d be biased! (I was relieved to be excused)
It turned out to be a d-day (d=death) again at the “clinic,” as we had feared (see Day 19). It was hard to know how many, I had the impression it was a “normal” type of day, i.e. 10-12.
In the face of the death of innocents, carried out by personnel who seem not to fear God, what can we do but continue to plead, more than ever, with the God of life, He who Himself came among us as an innocent child.
“Remember, this O Lord, how the enemy scoffs, and an impious people reviles thy name.
Do not deliver the soul of thy dove to the wild beasts; do not forget the life of thy poor forever.
Have regard for thy covenant; for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
Let not the downtrodden be put to shame; let the poor and needy praise thy name.
Arise, O God, plead thy cause...” (Ps. 74:18-22)