Today, record numbers of believers across our nation are taking to the streets and sidewalks of their towns, holding coordinated prayer vigils outside of Planned Parenthood centers and other abortion facilities.
Tomorrow, the 40 Days for Life campaign draws to a close, with events and celebrations in many cities.
So where do we go from here?
The abortion industry believes that we are going to simply fade away. They fully expect us to settle back into complacency, leaving them free to continue their deadly business without hindrance.
After all of the miracles we’ve seen God accomplish throughout 40 Days for Life, are we going to allow that to happen?
Last night I spoke to a large gathering of enthusiastic 40 Days for Life participants from across the state of Washington in their capital, Olympia, and I addressed that exact question.
The intensity in the room was electrifying.
I want you to take a few minutes — right now, or before 40 Days for Life ends tomorrow — to listen to the audio recording of that event:
Listen online (click “Play” button):
Download MP3 (right-click to save to your computer):
You’ll hear inspiring stories of some of the local heroes of 40 Days for Life…
…You’ll learn about many of the amazing victories God has accomplished during this initiative — including some that have never been publicly shared before…
…And you’ll have an opportunity to prayerfully discern how God can use YOU to make a lifesaving impact on days 41 and beyond.
Even if you’ve never done anything else I’ve ever asked, please listen to this recording as a personal favor for me today.
Many, many pro-life leaders around the country have shared with me their belief that 40 Days for Life is just the tip of the iceberg, and that America is about to experience a revolutionary breakthrough for life.
I completely agree.
I have never been more hopeful about the future than I am today, and I truly believe the seeds that have been planted during 40 Days for Life will lead to tremendous revival across our land.
And I am deeply honored — and humbled — to be working side-by-side with you in this vital cause.
Thank you for taking this amazing journey with me.
Here’s your daily devotional by Fr. Frank Pavone…
Pray for those who work in the abortion industry, and for those who have repented of committing abortions and have resolved to defend life.
Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. — Luke 23:46-48
“The Centurion who stood at the foot of the cross of Christ suddenly became horrified at the crucifixion he was ordered to carry out. When Christ died, this Centurion dropped his sword and fell to his knees exclaiming, ‘Surely, this was an innocent man!’
“Those of us who have participated in the killing of unborn children are the Centurions of today. We have dropped our swords against the unborn child. Now we must recognize the depth of our guilt and deal with the ramifications…To revitalize our humanity we need to forgive and be forgiven, to reconcile and be healed.”
These words come from a brochure of the “Society of Centurions,” an organization for former abortion providers. These words convey in a beautiful and moving way what is happening across the nation as hundreds of abortionists and their staff experience repentance, conversion, and healing.
The former abortionists you may already know -– like Bernard Nathanson, Carol Everett, and Tony Levatino –- are only the “tip of the iceberg.” There are so many others, and more continue to come to the light of Christ each day.
Priests for Life, which operates the world’s largest abortion recovery program, Rachel’s Vineyard, likewise assists former abortionists in their journey of repentance.
I (Fr. Frank) will never forget sitting with a group of these men and women for a period of several days one Holy Week, and listening to them resolve that when they got back home, they would attempt to contact every woman on whom they had ever performed an abortion, and apologize to her.
I also heard them tell of how, after their conversion, they would dedicate each passing day to another of the children they had killed. They would name those children, write them letters, and pray a profound prayer of apology.
How does this conversion begin?
My experience confirms what Dr. Philip Ney has also found. He writes, “The factors that changed their opinion on performing abortions, in the following order of frequency, were: evidence of the infant’s humanity, a spiritual experience, personal distress, evidence of the mother’s distress, scientific articles, being accepted as a person, a personal relationship with a pro-lifer, pro-life pickets. For most…there was more than one factor” (The Centurion’s Pathway, p. 77).
The journey is not easy. There is so much pain and guilt to deal with and so many rationalizations to undo that the Centurion will be tempted to say, “Everything is OK now; Jesus has healed me, and I’m just going to forget the past.”
But the Jesus who heals us calls us to face the truth of what we’ve done, make restitution where possible, and engage in the hard work of mending relationships.
Let’s pray for the Centurions, and may their numbers increase!
Lord, we thank you for those who have repented of committing abortions and have resolved to defend life.
We too repent and resolve.
We repent of every instance in which fear has made us silent when we should have spoken.
We repent of the ongoing bloodshed in our land, and for thinking that we can deprive the unborn of protection but keep it for ourselves.
We resolve that we will work more generously to advance your Kingdom.
We resolve that we will advance the cause of righteous candidates for public office, and that we will be more afraid of offending you by our silence than of offending others by our speech.
We resolve that we will serve you faithfully in the pro-life cause all the days of our lives, and proclaim your name to the nations, through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN.