What a day !!
We finished out the fall 40 Days for Life yesterday at a concluding event in Sarasota, Florida, that was attended by more than 300 people (along with the local Planned Parenthood CEO, who was furious as hundreds of people gathered outside her new 40,000+ square foot abortion mega-center that is nearing the completion of construction.)
This day after 40 Days for Life has finished, there are more blessings than we can count, and I thank you for every contribution you’ve made to this largest coordinated pro-life outreach in history.
It’s a good day to look at where we’ve been — and where we’re going.
For one thing, 40 Days for Life has gotten far more media attention than it’s ever gotten before, meaning more people in more cities saw for themselves what this effort is all about. Here are a few of the many newspaper articles local teams have generated:
Washington Times: http://snipurl.com/4ymh0
Chicago Sun-Times: http://snipurl.com/4ymf6
And here’s what 40 Days for Life looked like on local TV newscasts (be sure to watch the video clips!):
WREG-TV Memphis: http://snipurl.com/4ymkn
KFSN-TV Fresno: http://snipurl.com/4ymlo
WPTY-TV Fort Wayne: http://snipurl.com/4ymnn
We’ve had numerous reports of clinics shutting their doors on days when abortions are usually scheduled.
Other abortionists apparently decided to take time off. “There’s a sign on our clinic door — closed until November 5,” wrote one vigil participant. “God is moving.”
In Oklahoma City, Karen reports that someone called the clinic and was told the abortionist won’t be back until November 6. “That’s two whole weeks plus two days of closure for the clinic,” she said. “I know our prayers had an effect on him!”
The abortion businesses expect that we will simply “go away” after 40 Days for Life is over. But they don’t know the hearts of the people who’ve stood vigil and seen the results.
“Why not 365 days for life?” asked Pablo. “We could keep the pressure on … I’m sure we can find volunteers.”
“I agree with Pablo,” wrote Ed. “Why not a perpetual vigil for life? My wife and I drove 3 1/2 hours each way to pray for two hours at an abortion clinic last Saturday. We’re going again tomorrow.”
One of the local teams has been praying for the security guard at an abortion center. They wave at him, and he waves back. This has been going on since the start of 40 Days for Life.
Just this week, he finally approached the group on the sidewalk. “I heard that you help women if they need food or clothes or anything for their babies. If I find women in need, can I send them to you?”
“How do I tell the security guard no? That 40 Days for Life is almost over, so if you find a woman in need we won’t be here anymore?” asked the local campaign director.
“It was such a clear sign that we can not stop. If he would have just quit the job we would have thought our work done, but because he wants to help us with our work it was a clear sign that we have to keep going.”
And keep going, we will. As to what form that will take, and what specific needs we’ll address — we’re already praying hard for discernment and the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
We encourage you to do likewise. The conclusion of this 40 Days for Life campaign is just the end of a chapter, not the end of the book.
“I am hearing the same thing over and over,” said Jennifer. “40 Days for Life may be over, but it is only a beginning. A volunteer told me today the clinic workers are not going away and neither are we. We will not quit until this clinic closes down.”
Here’s today’s “bonus” devotional from Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and President of the National Pro-life Religious Council…
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.
On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
– Matthew 16:18
REFLECTION by Fr. Frank Pavone:
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.
Today’s 40 Days for Life devotional can also be downloaded at: http://40daysforlife.com/docs/fall2008day41print.pdf
With just one day remaining before Americans go to the polls to decide the most critical election in recent history, here are some things that ALL of us can do to positively impact the outcome on Tuesday, November 4:
1.) PRAY AND FAST
If ever there was a time for massive, unified prayer for our nation — that time is NOW! Please commit to pray fervently, and if you feel led — fast these last two days.
2.) EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT WHAT’S AT STAKE
Here are several short, but highly effective videos that underscore what’s at stake in the elections:
For all Christians:
For Catholic Christians:
3.) EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT THE CANDIDATES
A great resource to learn about the candidates and where they stand on life issues is:
4.) GET TO THE POLLS EARLY TO CAST YOUR VOTE
Find your polling place by visiting:
Go early in the day and be willing to wait in a line, if necessary, due to likely high voter turnout.
5.) GET LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE OUT TO THE POLLS
This is not the time to argue and debate with people who do not understand the importance of protecting life. We must use every available minute to encourage pro-life friends, family members, co-workers, and fellow believers to turnout to vote.
Also, be sure to contact the offices of pro-life candidates and parties and ask what you can do to help with “Get Out the Vote” efforts. For a short video that reminds us WHY this is important, watch:
By each of us investing time and energy into these activities, we can ensure that we will wake up Wednesday knowing we did all we could to “speak up for those who could not speak for themselves.”
Yours for Life,
National Campaign Director
40 Days for Life