Wednesday, November 09, 2011
We started our trip on Monday, November 6, 2011. Instead of traveling south, we headed north to Michigan.
Of course, we had to pick up a copy of Glen's birth certificate, and out marriage license; but the best parts of this leg of the journey was Whitey's Restaurant, an old favorite of ours, where they sang "Happy Birthday" to Dad...
...a night with my love at the Comfort Inn in Davison, where we have spent Christmas times in recent years when we have been able to get home for the holidays...
...and most of all, of course, a night at Tom and Ginny's for Dad, and a sweet visit with Tom and Dick for Glen.
Monday, December 06, 2010
Christmas, 1988, N Train
A young woman we know writes: It was the gilt-edged pages that gave him away. Most people who read the Bible on the subway have a small pocket edition and keep it to themselves. This young man looked as if he had come away with the family King James. Otherwise, he was ordinary-looking; gray jacket, plaid scarf, blue jeans, white sneakers, bristly brown hair; a gold wedding band. He waited until the N train had pulled out of the Queensboro Plaza station and was under the East River, and then he read aloud, "In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus…" A groan went out from my fellow-passengers.
Talk about a captive audience. The train was too crowded for people to switch cars. And New Yorkers will put up with all sorts of things rather than give up their seats on the subway. I couldn’t help thinking that the young man was lucky there were no maniacs aboard and no piles of stones at hand. But no matter how you feel about being force-fed the gospel under the East River it holds up better than the Times or the Post or the subway ads for Dr. Zizmor, dermatologist. Anyway, no one moved. No one said, "Oh, shut up." No one wanted to be identified as an irreligious loner at Christmastime.
I found myself criticizing the young man’s intonation. He had a good strong voice, but the words rocked up and back unvaryingly: "…to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child." When he was done, and the shepherds had rejoiced, he changed--thank goodness--his rhythm. He started singing "Joy to the World." He sang two full verses of it, again in a good, strong voice. But no one joined in. I was tempted, partly because I felt sorry for him--singing in the face of so much hostility--and also because I’m a sucker for actual human voices raised in song, as opposed to canned carols such as one hears in Doubleday (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) and in Barnes & Noble (gloh-o-o-o-o-oh-o-o-o-o-oh-o-o-o-o-oh-ria). But I was sitting next to a man rigid with pain and fury at having his subway meditations interrupted, and I felt sorry for him, too. Especially when the young man finished singing and began to preach, reminding us that we were all God’s creatures on the N train and that for each of us He had a plan. God’s creature next to me was probably thinking that he didn’t take the subway to fall in with God’s plan--he took the subway to get to Fifty-ninth and Lexington.
(“The Talk of the Town” in The New Yorker, Dec. 26, 1988.)
So go out and light yourself on fire! What have you got to lose?
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Sometimes we begin to think that our words, tone, mannerisms and techniques are essential for this work. I learned again with Pablo and Kim a week before Thanksgiving, as I hoped in my compelling speech and despaired in what seemed to be a lack of response; only to rejoice in God's great mercy and power to save.
I don't remember speaking in particular to this couple as they went in. Suddenly, though, they came out. It was too early for them to come out after an abortion. They didn't seem to be coming out for a smoke. As they came away from the door, the man put his arm all the way around the woman and snuggled her, almost protectively in his body. I thought he intended to protect her from us, because he looked at us, then walked through the gathering of guard and escorts. As they walked the length of the parking lot to their car, they walked with a peculiar spring in their step.
Ginger said that she thought he sneered at the escorts as he went by, while I thought he sneered at us. Ginger thought they changed their minds, while I was skeptical.
As they drove past us, we intended to try to get them to roll down their window, but it was already down. The man, grinning from ear to ear was hanging out the window as he came to a stop near us. I said, "You guys didn't..." He said, "We are not going to do it!" We gave him our pamphlet anyways, and said if they need anything, to give us a call, and they drove away!
We don't know how or why; we don't know their names or circumstances. God did what He does, and showed us His power and glory.
Pray that this couple will humble themselves before God, that they will seek Him, and that He will draw them to Himself, granting them repentance and faith.
Friday, November 19, 2010
The man came there, not sure if this was his child, and therefore unwilling to protect it. God put him in the position of father to this fatherless child.
Unwilling to speak a word of defense for this child, God convinced him to give the child a chance, and yes, the ultrasound revealed to him, that God indeed made him this child's father. The family walked away: mother, father, and this little woman's fourth child.
Alive, and together; thank God, they have a long row to hoe.
They know they don't have to go through it alone.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I have gotten many birthday cards over the years, but I was most delighted with a couple that I got from Lydia this year. She made them herself, and here they are:
This one was such a delight to me, and told me so much! I says, "Mom! You're always there when I need you..." When I opened the card, I saw illustrated many things I have told Lydia repeated, because I thought she didn't hear me.
The inside caption, "and when I don't need you!" tells me that she heard me. She heard me say these superficial tidbits that she included in this card, and she heard also other things.
This card, said one of those things, that this mother needed to hear. Yes, I needed to hear this. Thanks, Lydia.
Father, I thank you for the blessing of daughters. I thank you for your mercy. Thank you that you remember not the sins of my youth. Thank you for making me a happy mother of children. Thank you for being Strength in my weakness. Thank you that you are sufficient to redeem the years that the locusts have eaten. Thank you, Father, thank you.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
She wrote this above the prayer:
Please read this!!
The reason I am writing this is because I love you and I don'[t want any misunderstanding to separate our friendship. I am asking you to read this prayer that we pray so you will have a better understanding why we pray to Jesus through His Mother (a human being). I ask you to pray for me a human being why not with Mary a human being. A Mother's prayer is always powerful remember she is the spouse of the Holy Spirit and a child of God the Father as we also are. Thank you I love you!!!
Here is the prayer:
Consecration of the fight against Planned Parehthood to Jesus through Mary
NOTE: It is intended that this prayer should be said by the group fighting PP in their community together at some public gathering - perhaps in a church or outside Planned Parenthood. It would be said once and then repeated on an annual basis.
O most Holy Mother of God, "who bore in your womb the very One who the heavens cannot contain," *to you we consecrate our efforts to stop Planned Parenthood's evil attacks upon humanity.
Since God ordained to bring His son, Jesus, into the world through you, so we humbly ask that, through you, we will bring Jesus to the very doors of Planned Parenthood and into the hearts of all who work or enter there.
With full confinece in you, we consecrate all our efforts, through you, to your Devine Son. Through your Immaculate Heart, we ask that you bring love and peace to all communities.
Banish, we beg you, Planned Parenthood and its progeny from the face of the earth. Crush, once and for all, the head of the serpent that schemes and strikes every day, taking the lives and souls of our children.
Holy Spirit, spouse of Mary, breathe forth a new and profound spirit of wisdom and respect for every human being's life upon those individuals who are employed by or volunteer their time or provide financial support for Planned Parenthood's efforts. Grant a softening of the cold, steely hearts that deny dignity and legal protection to all people, and grant that, from the first moment of biological development, the personhood of every human being be proclaimed and protected by law, respected by all, and honored as a unique and sacred gift from God.
Blessed Mary, who has been granted power by God to assist those on earth, by that power may Planned Parenthood, its progeny, and all like-minded entities that exist to destroy the human person be permanently driven out of our communities, our country and our world, and may those who commit and promote these heinous crimes against humanity open themselves to a profound conversion of heart.
Prayer approved by Bishop Emeritus John W. Yanta
*St. Louis De Montfort's Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Bay Shore, NY: Montfort Publications, 1980) p. 176-179.
There are so many things to say about this, that it is overwhelming. I will say just a few things now, and maybe come back to it again later.
Marcella I don't want a such a misunderstanding of the person and work and sufficiency of Jesus Christ to separate you from Christ.
Mary was the wife of Joseph, not of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit miraculously created life in Mary's womb, out of wedlock. The Bible speaks briefly, and matter-of-factly of Mary's other children, conceived through normal marital relations with her husband, Joseph.
While the title of the prayer indicates that the pro-life efforts are consecrated to Jesus, through Mary, the first paragraph says, "to you we consecrate our efforts to stop Planned Parenthood..." In contrast, then the third paragraph says "With full confidence in you, we consecrate all our efforts, through you, to your Divine Son."
The fourth paragraph begs Mary to banish Planned Parenthood et al. Here the prayer also speaks of Mary's work of crushing the head of the serpent, (this particular serpent being the one that schemes to kill children's lives and souls). This work was clearly spoken of as Christ's (the progeny of Eve) in Genesis.
Any work of the Holy Spirit in this prayer seems to be strengthened by His relationship with Mary, not because He is God.
Marcelle had told me that Mary was granted power by Christ on the cross to help mankind. The final paragraph in this prayer speaks of this power, but I cannot find this granting of power to Mary in Scripture.
Saturday, July 03, 2010
This Thursday, I prayed that God would make His servant's mouth true, his feet firm and beautiful, and his hands holy. I prayed that He would give ears to hear to those who came and listened.
This prayer was intended for myself at Planned Parenthood (and any other servant God sent there), and also for Glen, who I hoped would have opportunity to continue conversations with family.
At Planned Parenthood, of course, my intention was to reach the woman who would kill her child, the lover or mother who brought her, and the cheery escorts who attend the approach to the chamber.
The Holy Spirit of God, takes my prayers before the Father and makes them perfect. (Romans 8:26)
When I got there, there were no protestants, however, the Catholics, who normally are gone when I get there were there in abundance. They were not standing around chatting as if they were done and getting ready to leave. They were kneeling and chanting. They had a friar, and a large picture. They were there for a while.
I had to go around the block again, and park way down the street. This was God's answer to the prayer for firm feet. I, who would have been tempted to stay in my car, could not, and still say that I was there. I had to leave, by God's initiative, my car and put my feet on the pavement around Planned Parenthood.
As I walked past, trying not to disturb their rituals, and present a friendly countenance to the young ones, I greeted Marcele, who always is friendly to us.
I had little or no interaction with people involved in the killing at Planned Parenthood Thursday. I felt like my words were bouncing around the parking lot like rubber balls, but I took courage in Ezekiel 3:10 and Isaiah 55:5-11 and continued.
The Catholics wrapped it up and began to disburse. Marcelle came over to greet me. She commented that she hadn't seen me in a while. I vaguely told her that I had lost my courage. I was ashamed when she said that she is never afraid. I was thinking that I do not need to fear when God is with me (Psalm 56:11), instead, I should fear God when I refuse to go where He sends me (Luke 12:5)
She began to tell me that she fights that old devil all the time, and then she made a spitting sound like the mother in "Fiddler on the Roof". Then she told me to come with her and she would show me a new prayer they have. As we approached the dwindling group, a couple of them were wrapping up the large, ornately framed picture in a patted case. She said that many had been healed by this thing, or the statue in Mexico that it represented. I tried to tell her that it had no power, and she told me that she had seen many miracles, many miracles, but it was already wrapped up, so she couldn't show it to me.
She asked someone for that new prayer to show me, and a young boy gave her a laminated card. She showed me the prayer, and it started out addressing Mary. I told her that I was sorry, but I just couldn't pray to Mary. She asked me why not, Jesus honored her. She told me that Jesus gave the world to her when He was on the cross. I told her that I didn't think so, but that He gave John the responsibility to care for Mary while He was on the cross. I asked her to show me next time.
She told me that the Catholic church goes back to Peter. They have had many good and bad popes since then, but that they go back to Peter.
She covered the introduction to the prayer with her hand, and showed me the third paragraph, which said that we implore you, who dispels heresies, to ... What she wanted me to see was something about protecting teenage girls. I asked her, who it was that they were praying to who dispels heresies. She passed it on to someone who was looking over her shoulder, and he said, yes, Mary does dispel heresies.
She said, firmly that Jesus honored his mother, and we should to. I said that I agree that Jesus did (look at the wedding incident, and His care for her on the cross), but that Jesus saved her. Jesus intercedes for us. Jesus, alone is our saviour.
These are the ears that God sent to hear. I hope that God was glorified. I think I showed her that I love her. I hope that God will give her ears to hear.
Oh God, make your servant's mouth true, his feet firm and beautiful, and his hands holy. Give those who come ears to hear. In Jesus' Holy Name, Amen.