Friday, November 06, 2009

40 Days for Life Reflection

This Sunday ended the national campaign 40 Days for Life.  It was 40 days of prayer, fasting, vigil, and outreach for the pro-life cause.  The awesome thing about this campaign is that it is truly grounded on God’s grace and power.  The people who participated in this allowed themselves to be used as God’s instruments, and that is why there have been amazing results.  Since the first 40 Days in 2004, 2,000 babies have been saved!  In this fall campaign alone, at least 534 lives have been saved from abortion…which also means 534 moms have been spared the pain of abortion.

For the past couple years, I have participated in 40 Days by prayer and fasting, but I was never able to make it to an actual vigil site because of transportation issues at college.  However, now that I am back home and own a car, I was able to physically participate in the vigil.  I committed to praying for at least one hour per week at Robinson’s Abortion Clinic in downtown Dallas.  I have to say that it was not the easiest thing to make myself go out there.  I would usually attend after I got off work at 7 p.m., so standing out in the cold and darkness was the last thing I wanted to do.  The selfish part of me would have preferred going home, eating a delicious dinner, and relaxing.  But I sure am glad I made myself go there every week.  I know that God needed me there, the other vigil participants needed me there, and the babies needed me there.

A couple times, I prayed in the morning before work.  One of those times, I witnessed a painful event.  A young woman was brought out in a wheelchair, pushed by a nurse.  She obviously just had an abortion and looked like she was in pain.  Her boyfriend/husband/partner pulled up his car (through the nearly-full parking lot), and she got in.  As they were driving away, a vigil participant tried giving them a pamphlet for post-abortive counseling, but they did not roll down their window.  It was heart-wrenching to know that the young woman had walked into that building with a live baby inside her…and now he was dead because his mother didn’t want him.  Seeing women walk in or out of an abortion clinic is one of the most painful and sad things to witness.

However, there is hope!  While I was driving to my last vigil slot, I tuned into our Catholic radio channel, and “Life on the Rock” was on.  Father Frank Pavone, of Priests for Life, was the guest.  I can’t repeat exactly what he said, because he said it so wonderfully.  But his basic point was that we need to remember that we are working FROM victory, because Jesus has risen from the dead and has conquered death!  No matter what awful things we may witness, we need to remember that we ARE winning, because of Jesus’ Resurrection.  God IS on our side, and we are going to fight until no more babies die.  It is heart-warming times like these that I truly feel the effect of our work; at times like these, I feel especially proud to have been called to fight for these vulnerable babies’ lives.

I have to end with the inspirational quote from Congressman Henry Hyde, a great pro-life advocate:

“When the time comes, as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I’ve often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God—and a terror will rip your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there’ll be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world—and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, ‘Spare him, because he loved us!’”

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