Saturday, March 21, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 32: The lengths they'll go to

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,

Your prayer presence is effective – but not everyone is happy about it. 

Some will go to great lengths to try to shut down a 40 Days for Life vigil. But this is hard to do when vigil participants are peaceful volunteers ... including moms with small kids, college students and retired veterans. 

Tactics range from demonstrators trying to shout over the prayers to abortion center staff calling the police with complaints about “aggressive protesters.” The irony is that the police get frustrated ... once they see the peaceful nature of the vigil. 

In other places, opponents post official-looking signs that try to intimidate participants. That’s happening right now in Milwaukee. Here’s the story. 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

It seems that at some expense, a business near the 40 Days for Life vigil site in Milwaukee has had a sign professionally painted as a way to discourage peaceful prayer volunteers. 

Patrick, the local leader, said the sign cites two local ordinances one dealing with disorderly conduct and the other with trespassing. 

Vigil participants are warned against “bullying” (the sign’s word) the clients of Wisconsin’s largest abortion center…  or even inadvertently wandering onto the business owner’s property with any “protest signage or paraphernalia.” 

“They do have video cameras – pointed in many different directions,” Patrick observed. He described this as just the “latest attempt to dissuade us from our work for our wee little brothers and sisters.” 

Las Cruces, New Mexico 

As part of their outreach, the 40 Days for Life team in Las Cruces staged theMarch of the Crosses. More than 100 people gathered to walk and hold crosses, as well as signs with life-affirming messages. 

Bishop Oscar Cantu spoke to the group, telling them “the 40 Days for Life campaign is an international movement. It’s a prayerful, peaceful demonstration of support for life in the womb. It’s an effort to open the conscience of people in our society to the reality that we’re dealing with a distinct human life in the womb, and it deserves to be respected.” 

“We don’t feel like this is a protest,” local leader Mark Cavaliere explained to a reporter from the Las Cruces Sun-News. “This is a prayer vigil. We came up with this particular event in tribute to our city, Las Cruces, the city of the crosses.” 
One of the rally participants told the newspaper, “We pray for the clinic workers, the owner of the clinic and every person going in there.” 

The March of the Crosses ended with prayer in front of the abortion center.

Today’s devotional is from Rev. Paul Stallsworth, president of Lifewatch (United Methodist Church). 

Day 32 intention 

May we come to know that divine life, in relationship, creates human life. 


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 

— John 1:1-3

Reflection by Rev. Paul Stallsworth 

“In the beginning” was God. 

Always, before all times, there was God

This particular God — the God of the Bible, the God of St. John’s Gospel — is different from all other gods. This God is alive and full of life. 

This God is not the picture of deadness and death, aloneness and isolation. 
This God is the picture of life, relationship, and unity. For within this God, within this one God, there are three divine persons who live, who love, and who work — together. This is the glorious mystery of the Trinity. 

The Trinity means divine life. The Trinity means three, living Persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — who relate to each other. The Trinity means mutual love and service among three Persons. 

The Word was always with God the Father. This Word was, is, and will be the Trinity's second person. The Word is also the Son of God or, as revealed in time, Jesus Christ. 

God the Father and God the Son live, love, and work for each other. As one, they create "all things" together: the Father creates all things, including all human life, through the Son. 

So the Father, through the Son, creates all human lives. The little one swimming in his mother's womb, the infant smiling in his father's arms, the child crying in pain in a hospital bed, the energetic teen running another mile, the old man gasping for his last breath — all were created, at their beginning, by the Father through the Son. 

No exceptions. Divine life creates human life. 


O God, may we always be quick to call you Father. And when we call you father, let your Spirit remind us that we, and all people, from their beginning to their last day, are your children. 

We praise you, Father, that you sent your Son to reveal to the world that all people are His brothers and sisters, that all people are your children. Through Jesus Christ we pray, Amen. 

Printable devotional 

To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share:

For life,

 Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life
PS: Today is World Down Syndrome Day. This is an important area needing prayer, because tragically, more than 85% of parents receiving a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome abort their special needs child. To directly combat this crisis in the womb, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation created this moving video 2.5 minute video called “Dear Future Mom” (keep a box of tissue nearby!). To see the video, go to: