If you’ve ever been to a graduation ceremony, you may have heard the event referred to as “commencement exercises.” Yes, the day marks the end of a period in the graduate’s life — but most importantly, it marks a beginning. Such is also the case with 40 Days for Life.
You may have heard me say that 40 Days for Life campaigns could well mark the beginning of the end of abortion in the communities where those campaigns are held — and across the nation and around the world.
There have been many, many, many blessings that God has given us during these 40 days. Go ahead, take a deep breath, and rejoice in the marvelous things the Lord has done!
But the truth is, this is just the start.
“The beginning of the end of abortion” means that seeds have been planted. When will the seeds sprout? When will they begin to grow and develop? When will they bear fruit?
The answer is God’s alone, of course. But who will water the seeds? Who will keep the garden free of weeds? Who will take the next steps to see that these seeds don’t wither and die — or simply lie dormant waiting for something to happen?
The answer, of course, is — YOU!
There are many things you can do to keep the momentum rolling. For one thing … please keep praying!
At a 40 Days for Life rally in Hagerstown, Maryland, a man told of going to pray at the abortion facility with his wife and eight children. While they were there, a woman canceled her abortion appointment and decided to keep her child.
Some days later, the man’s 4-year-old son said, “Daddy we saved a baby. When are going again?”
Any day when abortions are scheduled is an appropriate day to go and pray.
What else can you do?
- Train to be a sidewalk counselor outside the abortion facility.
- Support — and volunteer for — a pro-life pregnancy resource center.
- Start a pro-life group at your church or school.
- Promote the pro-life viewpoint in letters to the editor or calls to radio talk shows.
- Speak up for the babies in this year’s political discussions.
- And those are just a few of the many possibilities!
If you have not yet had a 40 Days for Life campaign in your community, please think and pray about bringing this prayerful outreach to your city. The dates for the next campaign are September 22 – October 31. We’ll begin taking applications this summer.
“The campaign is growing,” said Mary Anne in Ithaca, New York, which just wrapped up its second 40 Days for Life effort. “If anyone out there hears the Lord calling you to start 40 Days for Life in your area, please respond to that call. You are not alone. We are with you! What an awesome God we have!”
Were you able to attend the closing rally for your 40 Days for Life campaign? I hope you were! But if you were not able to join the celebration, I have a special “end of campaign bonus” for you.
David Brandao, our communications director of 40 Days for Life, attended the closing rally for the Virginia Beach, Virginia campaign.
Here are some pictures of their unique vigil location, followed by a powerful, moving 8-minute audio wrap-up of the closing event in Virginia Beach.
Listen to the audio report online (click arrow to start):
Download MP3 (right-click to save file to your computer):
As a second bonus … here is one final 40 Days for Life devotional from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.
DAY 41 INTENTION
Pray that the witness of 40 Days for Life bears abundant fruit, and that we begin again each day to storm the gates of hell until God welcomes us into the gates of heaven.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. On this rock I will build my church; the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
– Matthew 16:18
REFLECTION by Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
When we read this verse, we usually think that the Lord is promising that the church, which is His Body, will withstand all the attacks launched against it.
Of course, that is true. But when we think about it more carefully, we realize that in a battle, the gates do not run out into the battlefield to attack the enemy. Rather, they stand still to defend the city from the enemy attacking it.
So when the Lord says that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church, who is doing the attacking?
It is the church storming the gates!
The church, all of God’s people in Christ, is called to take the offensive, to run into enemy territory, and to gain ground for Jesus Christ.
We do not wait for an invitation; we already have a command.
We prepare, but we do not wait for circumstances to be perfect; we already have one who has gone before us.
During these 40 days, we have stormed the gates. We have taken the offensive. We have pushed forward the boundaries of the kingdom. And we must keep doing so, in numerous ways.
Indeed, the gates of hell will not prevail. The gates of falsehood will flee in the presence of truth. The gates of sin will melt in the presence of grace. The gates of death will fall in the presence of the church, the People of Life!
Father, we praise you. We have heard the voice of your Son, and therefore we can make our voices heard.
We have done battle with the power of evil, and therefore we can have compassion on those still within its grip. We have been freed from the kingdom of darkness, and therefore we can bear witness to your Kingdom of Light.
May the witness of all your people through these 40 Days for Life bear abundant fruit, and may we begin again each day to storm the gates of hell until You welcome us into the gates of heaven.
We pray in the victorious name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:
There’s no way I can really express the appreciation I have for everything you’ve done during this campaign — your prayers, your participation, your persistence.
You provide tremendous HOPE for our future!
40 Days for Life