I’ve heard from numerous 40 Days for Life vigil coordinators that on certain days, every one of the abortion center’s patients left without having an abortion. Every one!
How did they know for sure? Because the clinic was CLOSED! Locked tight — nobody home!
Pat in Jacksonville, Florida tells me that on a typical Saturday, there are 50 people on the sidewalk praying outside the Planned Parenthood location. “Many cars will drive in, make a U-turn — and keep going out,” she said.
Pat knows 40 Days for Life is having an effect, because on one recent Saturday, three women had appointments at Planned Parenthood, but because of “something called 40 Days for Life,” they didn’t want to drive past that crowd.
Because of the pro-life presence at Planned Parenthood, these women went someplace else — a pro-life pregnancy center — where they saw ultrasound images of their children and chose life for their babies instead of abortion.
But this story gets even better.
The next Saturday, there were 50 people out praying again. And another group of women came for their appointments. But this time, the doors were locked!
The clients were perplexed — and the people praying on the sidewalk were ecstatic. “Many of these people don’t know Jacksonville so they didn’t know to drive two miles to the next abortionist, they just went home,” Pat said.
This is giving folks in Jacksonville incentive to pack the sidewalk EVERY Saturday. “We already know we will return to honor Planned Parenthood with our presence in the fall,” she said. “They are definitely unhappy. I think their profits may be down. I know our spirits are up!”
There’s an abortion center in Austin, Texas that I’ve mentioned before. It does abortions on Sunday — which makes an incredible mockery of the Lord’s Day.
But one recent Sunday, it was closed. And then on the following Sunday, it was closed AGAIN!
“With the clinic not opening its gates for clients at all last Sunday,” said Elizabeth, the local 40 Days for Life coordinator, “that makes two Sundays that the clinic did not harm women and abort children! Even though we do not need to see the fruits of our labor to know we are doing what God wants, it sure is unbelievably encouraging to so clearly see the Holy Spirit working through us. Amen!”
Elizabeth said more than 450 Christians are taking part in Austin’s 40 Days for Life campaign. “Four hundred and fifty! What momentum 40 Days for Life has gained here in Austin!”
I know I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again and again: being there makes a difference — a BIG difference.
Being there on a regular basis makes a bigger difference.
Being there on a regular basis in large numbers makes an incredible difference.
Thanks again to all of you who are helping to make an incredible difference!
Today’s devotional was prepared for you by Fr. Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life…
DAY 33 INTENTION
Let us affirm the unborn children by our language.
Anyone who says to his brother, “Raca,” is answerable to the Sanhedrin… anyone who says, “You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell.
– Matthew 5:22
REFLECTION by Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
Before the schoolyard bully beats up his victim, he calls him names. This is a way to dehumanize the victim, and therefore make it easier to justify attacking him.
In this verse from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that using dehumanizing language is sinful. “Raca” was an Aramaic term of contempt.
The respect and love we are called to have for other human lives is not limited to action alone; it also has to manifest itself in language.
Professor William Brennan, in his book “Dehumanizing the Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives,” traces the dehumanizing language used to oppress various groups of people in history, such as our African-American brothers and sisters, or our Jewish brothers and sisters in the Holocaust.
He then shows that the same kind of dehumanizing language is used against the unborn, who have been called “parasites,” “tissue,” and “medical waste,” among other things.
What are we to do instead? We are to affirm one another, including the unborn, with ennobling language that inspires respect and love.
The unborn are precious children, they are our brothers and sisters, they are the image of God. Let us multiply the language of affirmation, as we hasten to the day of their protection!
Lord, we ask your forgiveness for any times our words have dehumanized our brothers and sisters.
We also ask you to send your grace to those who speak and write in degrading terms about the children in the womb. Convert those who do not see the dignity of these children.
Loosen the tongues of those who do not know how to acknowledge the humanity and sacredness of these tiny lives.
Keep us all aware of the power of language, and help us to use it rightly in the cause of life and justice. We pray through Christ our Lord, Amen.
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Yours In Christ,
Spring Campaign Director
40 Days for Life