Sunday, February 21, 2016

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 12: Be a sign of mercy

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
Many moms turn around and choose life at an abortion facility ... but many more do not.
The reality is that your prayerful presence is the last sign of hope for the baby before  the abortion ...
... and your presence is also the first sign of mercy to the woman after the abortion.
 40 Days for Life is a campaign of love and mercy. In fact, typically 25% of all campaigns are led by women who have an abortion in their past.
While the baby’s life is in urgent need of saving, it can’t be forgotten that abortion has lifelong, negative effects on mothers, fathers and extended families.
In this short video Robert Colquhoun, our international campaign director, notes, “You could be the person leading somebody to the very first step of healing through your listening, through your support and through your encouragement.”
You can see this quick video by clicking the image above ... or going to:
Cardiff, Wales

A 40 Days for Life campaign can indeed be a vehicle of forgiveness and healing.
Vigil participants in Cardiff say a man showed up to say he was sorry … for being one of the protesters who harassed prayer volunteers at an earlier vigil a couple of years ago.
He said he now realizes he’d been wrong … and is now trying to find his way to God.
The man said three of his children have been aborted, and his aggressive behavior was a reaction to the hurt he felt over those abortions.
He has since returned to the vigil site … stopping to speak to the current group of pro-abortion protesters. He is still in close contact with one of the women who comes to protest and shout abuse at the prayer volunteers, but was trying to dissuade her from coming.
This is a conversion story and an answer to prayer,” said one of the Cardiff volunteers. “We have directed him towards post-abortion counselling services. May God bless him and give him the courage to persevere down this road.”
St. Louis, Missouri
Two were people praying at the 40 Days for Life vigil in St. Louis when a middle-aged man pulled up at the adjacent stop light and rolled down his window. 
In a grateful voice, he called out, “Thank you for what you’re doing! God bless you!” The two thanked him for the kind words, but he had more to say.
“I brought a woman here once many years ago. It is one of the greatest regrets of my entire life.”

As he was about to drive away, the volunteers reminded him of God’s abundant mercy. The man thanked them again and drove away, a peaceful smile resting on his face.

“God’s mercy is new every day,” said Brian, the local 40 Days for Life coordinator in St. Louis, “and it is a mercy that is bigger than any of our hurts, worries or regrets. It is a mercy bigger, even, than the devastation of abortion. May our presence on the sidewalk continue to be an outward sign of the hopeful promise that unites us all in the Heart and mercy of God.”

Here's today's devotional from Kevin Burke, executive director of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries.
Day 12 intention

May the King of the Universe, who entered this world as a helpless infant, give us the humility to be healed.

My power is made perfect in weakness.

—2 Corinthians 12:9
Reflection from Kevin Burke

The great mystery of the Humility of God is very near and dear to the mission of those serving in pro life and in a special way, post abortion ministries across this nation.

For those wounded by their participation in abortion, the door to healing often feels like crossing an abyss of great fear: fear of judgment, fear of being torn apart by the pain, by self hatred and rage at those who hurt and abandoned you, and manipulated you in your time of temptation.

For men in particular, entering the unknown waters of emotional vulnerability, so necessary to healing calls for a different kind of courage that feels deceptively like weakness.

The door to healing is humility. It is born in the inability to no longer control the pain, to live with the consequences of that tragic decision to reject life. The hearts cries out, "I have committed a grave offense against my Creator and I am consumed by regret, grief and sorrow!"

During these forty days let us pray for all who have participated in abortion and with love call them to healing and reconciliation. With healing these women and men can become as John Paul II proclaimed in the Gospel of Life, "the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life."

Jesus proclaimed, "I am the Vine, you are the branches" (John 15:5). To bear the greatest fruit, the branches must be pruned. Each level of pruning of the vine requires a deeper level of humility so that we can abandon ourselves to His will.

This is not a lofty theological concept as much as it is an earthy experience of pulling weeds, tilling rocky soil, pruning and healing the vines. "If a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and begin to follow in my footsteps" (Matthew 16:24).

Lord, during these forty days, we ask that with each day of this sacred vigil, everything in us that separates us from your perfect will would be pruned from our hearts and souls.

In this blessed freedom may we experience a powerful anointing of your Holy Spirit. Filled with confidence and trust may we proclaim with the mother of Jesus, "Let it be done to me, according to your Word."
Printable devotional

To download today's devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends: 
For life,
 Shawn Carney
40 Days for Life