Friday, October 9, 2015

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 17: What's in your neighborhood?

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John, 

Abortion is often accepted because it seems so distant. 

It can be distant, as a political issue that doesn’t really impact us ... or distant, as a private moral issue we can’t control ... or distant, as something that’s just debated on TV.    

Even the baby in the womb seems distant to so many in our culture. But abortion is anything but distant – it is local

More than 3,000 abortions happen every day in the United States alone. Those abortions do not take place in the White House or in the Supreme Court. They take place down the street from where we live and work. 

40 Days for Life prayer volunteers – especially at first-time campaigns – are constantly asked, “What are you doing out here?” 

When they explain that they’re praying for an end to abortion – because abortions are done inside the building they standing next to – many people finally begin to realize that abortion is not so distant. 

Manhattan, New York

“Since the start of our first Manhattan 40 Days for Life campaign … we are already making a huge impact in the neighborhood,” said Jill, the local leader. 

Many passersby see people praying on the corner … and learn for the first time that Planned Parenthood is there. “We had one man stop and tell us that he’s walked down that street every day for years on his way to work and never realized that building was an abortion clinic,” she said. 

“Not only are we saving lives, but we are bringing awareness about the local abortion crisis to everyone who lives and works in the area.”

Jill says those who regularly stand and pray are also seeing the heartbreaking reality of abortion. Each Monday morning, for instance, a medical waste truck arrives to collect several boxes – the bodies of aborted babies.

Volunteers also watched as a young man waited outside the building. This man was the father of a 5-year-old daughter. But his girlfriend was inside having an abortion. He couldn’t convince her to spare the child’s life.

“Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do,” he told one of the vigil participants. It seemed like he had given up. 

“I wish I could say that this story had a happy ending,” Jill said, “but I don’t think it did. Let us pray for all fathers to have the courage to protect their children, inside the womb and out.”

Dallas, Texas 

A young mom was at the 40 Days for Life vigil in Dallas, praying with her two small children. It was getting a little past time for the next prayer volunteer to come, but she wasn’t worried.

So she decided to stay and cover a second hour. 

She watched a car drive into the parking lot of the abortion facility. A couple got out of the car, at first heading to the front door of the building. But then they turned toward the volunteers. The couple wanted to know whatalternatives there were to having the abortion.

The prayer volunteers were able to tell the couple about the nearby pregnancy help centers … including one in the very same office complex. They watched this new mom and dad as they walked over to the resource center to receive real help.  

If the people had not been there praying, the couple could have gone into the abortion facility. But they did not – those prayers were answered!

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: 

     1. There is a God 
     2. 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 

Reflection from Fr. Frank Pavone 

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