“So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’” (John 20:21)
Happy Easter to you and your family! We hope that the joy and especially the peace of this holiday remain with you now and always. It is difficult to imagine the devastating sorrow the disciples experienced watching the suffering and death of the beloved man they believed would be their Savior. Then that sorrow transformed to immeasurable joy once they realized that truly Jesus Christ is risen and is the Savior of the world!
In each one of our lives we also experience sorrow, disappointment, frustration. Sometimes we may feel alone or part of a small, insignificant, powerless group fighting to spread truth to people who don’t want to hear or believe. It seems to me that we have much in common with that small group of followers of Jesus. According to the media, anyone who professes Christian, Biblical values is outside of the norm and out-of-step with the world’s culture. But wasn’t that what people thought about Jesus and his followers? And yet look at what that little band of “outsiders” managed to do - Start the world’s largest religion! There is no telling what you can do as long as you take the joy and peace of Easter and live it every day. Let the Risen Lord shine through you!
We must never give up spreading the truth. As God sent Jesus, so He also sends you.
**Thank you to those of you who came out for Stations of the Cross at Forest View on Good Friday. It was a beautiful witness and no abortions occurred there that day! Pictures are on our website.
News from the last two Thursdays’ Forest View vigils:
** On Thursday, March 14, we estimate that SEVEN women condemned the children in their wombs to death at Forest View Medical Center in Des Plaines.
** One brave young woman chose LIFE! She came out of the clinic with her two friends around 11:00. Although it was a bit early to be leaving after an abortion, I assumed she had gone through with it. When I tried to hand her a Project Rachel brochure, she walked right up to me and said, “I didn’t do it.” I smiled and offered her a pair of blue baby booties which she happily took. She did not want to visit the Women’s Center, but took the information, thanked me and left with her baby safe, snug and secure! Glory to God!
** On Thursday, March 21, we estimate that FIVE precious innocents lost their lives.
** Our 7:00 am counselor, Terry, approached one young man with an offer of help, but the man only said, “Don’t you have somewhere to be?” Terry just smiled and said, “Yes! Jesus said to be here.” Indeed, in Acts 20: 35, we are encouraged to work hard to help those who are weak. Many of those who enter the doors of an abortion mill do so out of weakness.
** Is Jesus calling you to be there for them? If you have never prayed outside of an abortion clinic before, maybe now is the time. You do not have to interact with the people entering or leaving. Simply standing witness in prayer is enough. Please feel free to call us (847-651-4877) if you would like more information about standing vigil. More information is on www.NorthWestFamiliesForLife.weebly.com. Also see the Pro-Life Action Leagues video, No Greater Joy
** On Thursday, March 28, we estimate that TWELVE babies were murdered by Dr. Goyal at Forest View. This is the highest number of abortions we have seen on a Thursday at Forest View since February of 2012. We mourn this increase in loss of life.
“So they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.’” (Mark 10: 49)
This verse comes from the story Jesus healing a blind man named Bartimaeus. The apostles tell Bartimaeus to have courage and go to Jesus, for Jesus is calling him. What an amazing thing for this man to hear! The One who has been called “Wonder Worker” and “Messiah” is now calling him personally to Himself. However, the apostles’ role in this story is one that cannot be overlooked. They were the ones sent to bring Bartimaeus to Jesus. Indeed, Jesus counted on the apostles to go bring this blind man to Him just like He relies on each one of us.
That is one of the main reasons we need to pray at the abortion clinics. It does take courage to stand up in front of a clinic and pray, but Jesus is depending on us to be there for those who are “blind” to LIFE and say to them, “Jesus is calling you.” We pray that their eyes will be opened to God’s love and the gift of His blessings, no matter what the circumstances.
But you don’t have to be at an abortion clinic to be like the apostles. Is there someone in your own family or circle of friends whom you have been avoiding talking to because you don’t know what to say or know they disagree with you? Maybe today you are being called to minister to that person who is blind to some aspect of their own life: a bad relationship, a hurtful habit, a lukewarm attitude towards God, misinformation about the upcoming election. “Take courage” and “stand up” for the truth. God will be with you.
And in case you’re feeling like the “blind” one today, we hope you find an “apostle” in your life whom you can talk to about God!
*The upcoming election may be difficult to discuss with friends, but we have an obligation to do so. Get the information you need by printing out the Family Research Council’s Voters Guide (http://downloads.frcaction.org/EF/EF11L04.pdf ). Share it with your friends!
*If you are Catholic, you can also share the “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics.” It does not discuss any candidates, but it explains the 5 “non-negotiables” of the faith: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and homosexual marriage. It clearly states that voting for candidates who support any of these issues is a sin. Finally, here is a link to a 3 minute video that is very powerful and should be shared with every Catholic. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=D9vQt6IXXaM&hd
UPDATE ON A RECENT BIRTH
I was blessed to meet Veronica’s little miracle, baby Eliana, last week (see attached picture!). The whole family is doing wonderful! Yet, Veronica told me that she sometimes feels guilty because of what she almost did. I assured her that God loves her for what she DID do – give her daughter LIFE! Still, this had an effect on me: If someone who did not have an abortion can still feel so guilty about the attempt, how much worse is the suffering of the post-abortive woman? Please reach out to those who have had abortions and share God’s love. Here is a phone number and website for help: 1-888-456-HOPE, www.AbortionRecovery.org
News from the last two Thursdays’ Forest View vigils:
** On Thursday, October 18, we estimate FOUR infants were killed inside a place called a “medical center.”
** One couple in their 30’s told me that they already have two children and don’t want a third. I told them about the Women’s Center and the financial assistance, but he said they have enough money. “It’s just too much work” to have another the man told me. Personal choice is the reason that 98% of women give for aborting.
** One woman chose LIFE! Felicia and her friend came out of the clinic just after the doctor arrived. They both got in the car, but then the friend got out telling me that Felicia was keeping her baby. I asked if we could help, and the friend said that Felicia was “good, very good!” I gave them information about the Women’s Center and a pair of pink hand-knit booties (Still could use some blue ones!) and they drove off smiling. Praise to God for this save brought by prayer.
** On Thursday, October 25, we estimate that FIVE women allowed a “doctor” to murder the child in their womb.
** Again, we believe there was a save! I saw the big white Cadillac SUV pull in and got to the car in time to hand the young girl (about 15) in the passenger seat a brochure. She took it, but then her mother pulled it out of her hand and hustled the girl inside. I could see the confusion in her eyes. A little while later a different woman, Gail, who was not there for an abortion came out of Forest View for a cigarette. I began talking to her, and she told me that she too is pro-life. I asked Gail to go back into the clinic and give a Rosary to the young girl. Gail went back in, Rosary-in-hand, and ten minutes later the young girl and her mother came out and left! Pray that they will never return to this place of death.
Today’s reflection is taken from the “40 Days for Life” devotionals: http://www.40daysforlife.com/getinvolved.cfm
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:12-13)
Reflection from Carmen Pate:
I am confounded to see how the battle over the issue of life is perceived more often in churches today as political rather than spiritual. Ironically, the enemy has used this twisted perception to silence many in the body of Christ. We must see the battle for what it is and if we are to be prepared to face the spiritual enemy on the issue of abortion, we must daily "put on" the armor God has given us:
*The upcoming election may be difficult to discuss with friends, but we MUST put on the armor of God and do so. Get the information you need by printing out the Family Research Council’s Voters Guide (http://downloads.frcaction.org/EF/EF11L04.pdf ). Share it with your friends!
If you are Catholic you can also share the “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics.” (click for link) It does not discuss any candidates, but it explains the 5 “non-negotiables” of our faith: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and homosexual marriage. And clearly states that voting for candidates who support any of these is a grave offense.
News from the last two Thursdays’ Forest View vigils:
** On Thursday, October 4, we estimate THREE innocent lives were lost.
** One handsome young man, Frank, brought in his fiancé to kill their unborn child. He said it was “bad timing.” How sad that this new couple is going to begin their married life by murdering their first child. Frank was also ignorant of fetal development and told me that the baby was “nothing” since she only missed her period one week ago. I gave him a fetal development brochure and he was amazed to see that at this point his 3 week-old baby already had a heartbeat and developing eyes and ears. He promised he would try to talk to his fiancé, but they did not come out until after the abortion. Please pray for this young couple.
** Keep praying for the male nurse at Forest View. He has been very friendly lately and we are so hopeful that God will bring him to a new life-affirming job.
** On Thursday, October 11, we estimate that FIVE women made a “choice” that they will never forget.
** This is the third week in a row where the number of abortions has been 5 or lower. We do not know why, but we praise God for the reduction in numbers!
** Many people driving by have been honking and waving in support of the unborn. It is such an encouragement to those of us out there praying, but we also know that our presence is encouraging to those driving by. Too often we pro-lifers can feel that the world is “against us,” but hearing those honks and seeing those friendly waves reassures everyone that we are a vast community of pro-life brothers and sisters!
Our vigil update writer: