Friday, October 10, 2014

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 17: Darkness and silence

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,

Abortion brings darkness to a community ... a darkness that needs our silence in order to survive. It brings death to the innocent. It also brings emotional, spiritual ... even physical suffering.

In 297 cities right now, volunteers are shining a light into that darkness through their prayers and presence.

We know from the gospel that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). We cannot ignore this darkness in our communities. We must trust the light of Christ to penetrate the darkest corners of our culture.
Tempe, Arizona

“The image of a young man at the Tempe Planned Parenthood is one that I will never forget,” said Lisa, the local 40 Days for Life leader in Tempe. In his grief, he bent down and prayed.

He then stopped to talk to the prayer volunteers. “How fitting that you are out here,” he said. “I’ve been through this. My girlfriend had an abortion last week. She was 15 weeks pregnant … and this was not what I wanted.”

He was looking for someone to console and encourage him. “I’m a believer,” he said, “and I said my prayer.”

“When asked if we can keep him in prayer,” Lisa said, “he said yes. So please pray for this young man to find comfort and healing. We will also continue to pray for the young women who have made their ‘choice’ without knowing the full impact.”

This young man wanted his child, but that child was taken by the violence of abortion. However, he is trying to bear this with patience and sorrow … wanting to learn how he can make sure this won't happen again.

“We never know,” said Lisa, “how the Holy Spirit will work during our time on the sidewalk.”
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

It was a somber scene outside the abortion center in Pittsburgh as an ambulance pulled up … and medical teams were called inside.

“This is the third time I have personally seen a woman taken out by stretcher during a 40 Days for Life vigil,” said Nikki, the local leader. “We prayed for her. She was alert and her face was tear-stained as she was carried out. Abortion is devastating.

Please keep this in mind the next time you’re told that abortion is “safe and legal.”
Manassas, Virginia

“We are having a great impact on the abortion clinic,” said Mike, the local 40 Days for Life coordinator in Manassas. “Last Saturday, no abortionist showed up. This is extremely rare for a Saturday. For those who were there, it was very rewarding to witness an empty parking lot.”

Mike said that in addition to prayer, a great resource for saving babies is close at hand – a pregnancy help center with counselors, who “day in and day out, try to talk to each woman as they approach the abortion clinic, offering them all the help they need.”

It's a tough job that takes tough skin and a big caring heart, he said. “But the rewards are eternal.”

Here's today's devotional from Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life.
Day 17 intention
May all understand more deeply that the pro-life message is rooted in the two basic truths of life:

     There is a God;
     He isn't me

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

— Genesis 2:7

From the beginning of the Bible until the end, the theme is echoed that God alone has dominion over human life. He made it; shared it; died to save it; will raise it up forever.

The act of creation described in Genesis 2:7, and earlier in Genesis 1:26-27, is a sovereign act. God did not have to do it, and would have been happy forever without us.

Yet without our asking for it or earning it, God brought us out of nothingness and into life, and sustains our existence at every moment. And He does so in Christ. "For by Him all things were Him all things exist" (Colossians 1:16-17).

"You are not your own," Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 6. God alone owns us. While He entrusts us to the care of one another, He does not allow any human being to own another.

A Southern California abortionist, James McMahon, once explained how he justified killing children after 20 weeks gestation by partial-birth abortion. He did not deny that this was a child, but rather asked, "Who owns the child? It's got to be the mother."

The struggle over abortion is really a struggle over the dominion of God. The Christian individual, and the Christian Church, cannot sit idly by when others declare that God is not God.

Lord, we are yours. Thank you for breathing into us the breath of life. Thank you for claiming us as your own. May our words and actions in defense of human life proclaim to all the world that you alone are Lord of life and death, Lord of our freedom and of our choices. We pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Printable devotional

To download today's devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends: 
For Life,
 Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life
PS: The next installment of “The top 5 things I know about Abby Johnson ... 5 years later” is now online.