Sunday, March 15, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 26: They don't like you ... at first

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
We are a month into this 40 Days for Life campaign and something is starting to resonate. The abortion center workers realize that you’re not going away.

At first, abortion workers view the prayer vigil volunteers as a little weird and dismiss your presence with a rolling of the eyes or a little mockery.

After a week or two, they see you as a nuisance or simply religious.

But after a month, that view changes ... as they begin to see you as dedicated. By now there has been rain, sleet, snow or perhaps all three at your vigil site. They can’t ignore you.

Many of the workers begin to see that you may really be there for the reason you say you are: love.

That’s when the Holy Spirit can get His foot in the door. Most of the 107 abortion workers who have had a change of heart and quit their jobs during 40 Days for Life have done so in the last two weeks of a campaign.

Yes, in the beginning they can’t stand you. But by the end, some will rethink – perhaps for the first time – the work that they are part of. As we enter the final two weeks of the campaign, now is the time to pray that more abortion workers follow that same path.

Sydney, Australia

“This year we have an organised opposition to our prayer vigils,” said Paul in Sydney. “They call themselves 40 Days for Annoying Anti-Choicers. They have some interesting ideas, to say the least.”

This group even has its own Facebook page. “Every year, these jerks coordinate globally to picket womens’ health clinics and harass women on the street,” reads one Facebook post, which ridicules the idea of praying to end abortion. “Given how archaic these views are, they're beyond sad – they're funny. So we’re going to make fun of them.”

Occasionally, a few will show up outside the vigil location with signs. One has an arrow that points to vigil participants with the message, “Weird hobby.” Another reads, “Pro-choice, pro-unicorns.” And there was “40 Days for Life – harassing women outside abortion clinics since 2007.”

Someone painted “Surry Hills is pro-choice” on the pavement outside the vigil location. Surry Hills is the section of Sydney where the vigil takes place.
Volunteers tried to remove the paint, but it was a tough job.
“All they have is graffiti and screaming,” one volunteer said in regard to the pro-abortion group. “Pray for their conversion! They are running out of ideas.

Southfield, Michigan

In Southfield, the 40 Days for Life vigil has a special guest. Volunteers have never seen the person they call the stealth note poster, but he or she leaves behind calling cards on car windshields.

The notes are different, but with the same general message. They accuse the vigil participants of being judgmental.

The volunteers, of course, know that 40 Days for Life judges no one.
“The Church is called to send forth her members to offer Christ’s mercy and love outside these places of despair,” said one of the Southfield team members. “We have 13 abortion centers in the metro Detroit area. We can blanket these places in prayer.”

Today’s devotional is from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.

Day 26 intention

Pray that we fully recognize in the unborn child our brother, our sister, and we recommit ourselves to care for them.


Cain said to his brother Abel, Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the Lord said to Cain, Where is your brother Abel?

I dont know, he replied. Am I my brothers keeper?

The Lord said, What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground.

— Genesis 4:8-10

Reflection by Fr. Frank Pavone

After Cain committed the first murder in human history, God asked him, “Where is your brother?

He replied by saying, I dont know.

In 1973, the Supreme Court was asked the same question, and gave the same answer.

Unable to admit that the unborn children are our brothers and sisters, the Supreme Court said in its Roe v. Wade ruling, We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins.

Boil all that down to three words, and its, I dont know.

The question, Where is your brother? will be asked at the final judgment. Each person will answer it and be judged by it. May we be judged to have recognized and loved all our brothers and sisters, born and unborn.

By participating in the 40 Days for Life, we have been answering that question each day, going to where our brothers and sisters are killed, and proclaiming that we have a responsibility to them.

By all the pro-life work we will continue to do, we likewise answer that question which reaches from one end of human history to the other.


Father, today we hear your voice, and we respond to the question you ask each of us: Where is your brother?

We recognize in the unborn child our brother, our sister, and we recommit ourselves today to care for them.

Yes, Father, you have entrusted us to the care of one another. We rejoice that you have given us the grace to respond.

As we work to renew our culture, we look forward to the great day of the coming of your Son, when every eye will see him, even of those who pierced him, and every knee shall bend, and every tongue confess, to the glory of God the Father, that Jesus Christ is Lord! Amen.

Printable devotional

To download todays devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share:
For life,
 Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life