Friday, February 24, 2023
Day 3 – 40 Days for Life, spring vigil
St. Mathias, Apostle
Today’s vigil saw solitude and fellowship.
Until Patrick arrived shortly after ten, I spent the first three ours alone. Normally I don’t mind, passing this time in prayer, greeting pedestrians while observing the traffic going into and out of the abortion facility. Today it was different; I struggled with the cold. Surprisingly I wore the same clothing that kept me comfortable the previous day during the heavy winds and blowing snow. Today however, the cold gnarled at my feet and hands, and then my entire body. It was particularly penitential.
It was also a good Lenten exercise. Many graces surely were had, particularly for the different prayer intentions people have asked me to pray for.
The fellowship portion began with the arrival of Patrick sand continued for the balance of the day. Teresa, Jerome, Charlotte, Johanne joined in the front lines. Also, many strangers acknowledged me expressing support and bringing joy.
The cold persisted yet did not have the same sting. Cold took a back seat to the greeters, the bright sun, and the heat pads, those thermal chemical pockets that once removed from their plastic wrap emit heat for many hours. Placed in my boots and gloves, these provided me with comfort.
Greeting strangers was facilitated, I believe, by my having brought a stool and using it. Seated with sign the “Pray for the End of Abortion” sign on my chest, I drew many reactions – from grimaces to words of affirmation.
A final blessing was had at day’s end. I was invited by Andreas and Karin who care for the homeless in the area to attend their closing prayer. It was a simple gathering of the members from the two teams of volunteers who comb the area to give sandwiches and welcomed the vulnerable. The fifteen-minute prayer in the local chapel was a blessing and a fitting way to end the day.