With just a few days remaining in this 40 Days for Life A few days ago I spoke at Cornell University and then took questions from the students. I also met many of the 40 Days for Life volunteers from Ithaca, New York, where Cornell is located.
ITHACA, NEW YORK
I know what you’re thinking — Ivy League schools are not typically known for their pro-life stance.
While this is true, I was encouraged to see such an active pro-life group on campus that is not only growing the efforts on campus but also participating in the local 40 Days for Life campaign!
Volunteers say it’s very difficult to talk to women entering the abortion center where the first 40 Days for Life vigil in Tampa is being held. Women are escorted to the back door, and there is loud music directed at the people praying on the sidewalk.
But vigil participants did get to speak to a mother and daughter as they were leaving the abortion facility’s parking lot. They rolled down their window and said, “We didn’t do it!”
Volunteers asked them to pull over to a quieter spot, where the two women were offered information about a local pregnancy center and other helpful resources. They were also able to pray with them.
“All this happened while they were still in their car,” said one of the 40 Days for Life team members. “Prayer presence is powerful. And more importantly, our God is powerful — in spite of escorts and blaring music.”
The volunteer said the loud music was meant to dissuade the volunteers. “But what really happened is that the music turned the patrons away from the abortion facility. Not many entered that day.”
BRYAN / COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS
Finally today … a story and a couple of pictures from the place where 40 Days for Life began — and is stronger now than ever.
The pictures show children praying outside Planned Parenthood. Ordinary pictures, perhaps, said Karen in Bryan. “But what is extraordinary if the beautiful witness of faithfulness and passion these families share in their commitment to life. They are the reason we are able to continue this mission, and we are so grateful for all that they do!”
One of the 40 Days for Life volunteers was able to talk to a high school girl — let’s call her Sarah — who was entering Planned Parenthood.
She was not there for an abortion, but to pick up birth control pills.
The volunteer struck up a conversation with Sarah, who was curious about why there were people praying. Sarah took an information package that explains why Planned Parenthood is not the benevolent organization it pretends to be.
“I think God was using this young woman to show me that the women who enter these clinics, for whatever reason, sometimes just need a friendly wave and someone to listen to them or let them know that they are loved,” said the volunteer.
The conversation showed her that the women who patronize these abortion clinics are people — just like we are. “I think it is easy to forget that as we fight this battle each day. Although we most likely will not change every person’s mind,” she said, “we can always show them great love in the short interactions we are given.”
Here’s today’s devotional from Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life.
DAY 38 INTENTION
Pray that we become vessels of hope to all around us, especially to those who minister in the pro-life movement.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
– Luke 24:1-5
REFLECTION by Fr. Frank Pavone
This meditation, based on a sermon I once heard, is adapted for pro-life concerns.
It’s Friday. Jesus is on the cross. He has been killed by his enemies; he is off the scene. But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!
It’s Friday. Abortionists continue their work 3,300 times a day, tearing off the arms and legs of little babies and crushing their heads. But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’! It’s Friday. Pro-abortion groups receive blood money from billionaires who are as deceived as they are. But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!
It’s Friday. Liars attempt to speak for all women and hide the pain of abortion, and ignore the evidence of how it harms women, and call abortion a blessing. But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’! It’s Friday. People of hardened hearts guard the clinics and usher desperate women in to have their abortions, while keeping them from the pro-life people who want to give them hope. But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!
Hope does not mean that we ignore or minimize the evils around us. It means, rather, that we see the whole picture, which is that evil is conquered because of what happened one Sunday morning. The power of sin and death has been broken by the Resurrection of Christ. We are called to proclaim, celebrate, and serve that victory, waiting in joyful hope for Christ’s return and the full flowering of the Culture of Life! Indeed, Sunday’s comin’!
Lord, fill your people with new hope. Make us vessels of hope to all around us, especially to those who minister in the pro-life movement, that as we engage in the difficult work ahead, we may experience the peace and joy that come only from you and that nobody can take away from us. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:
Yours for Life,
40 Days for Life
PS: What’s new with 40 Days for Life where you are? Please let everyone know by leaving a comment below.