40 Days for Life

Today begins the 40 Days for Life campaign.  There is no public observance of it in my local area that I’m aware of.  In many American cities, there will be a 40-day protest outside abortion clinics going on.  Check the website to see if there is one happening in your area

If there’s not, consider participating on a personal and spiritual level.  Make it a period  of personal prayer and fasting for the intention of greater respect for human life, in our culture and in our laws, almost a quasi-Lent direted toward the specific intention of respect for human life.  (In fact, the video introduction to it below provides an excellent argument for the appropriateness of the liturgical season of Lent in the calendar of any Christian church.)

I did this last year and found it to be very worthwhile on a spiritual level.  Obviously I have no idea of the practical consequences in the world of my prayer and fasting, but I can be sure they were there.  Was a baby saved as a result of the grace that flowed from my prayer and fasting into a frightened mother’s heart?  Did such a grace begin working in the heart of a doctor who has provided abortions or a medical student making decisions about whether he will? 

But I do know that it was good to have a sense that I was doing something concrete, one thing that’s within my power, to help the situation.  It also made me more consciously aware of the issues, more sensitive to the need for prayer and action.  As so many of us know from our Lenten experiences, giving up eating between meals or avoiding chocolate for 40 days can be a challenging thing.  When you’re doing it, perhaps especially outside of Lent, you tend to have to remind yourself repeatedly why you’re doing it and the value it has. 

Having started my day this morning reminding myself that the 40 Days starts today, I showed up at work to find two tables full of homemade cookies and other treats in the faculty room, provided by the generous parents’ club of our school.  Wow, didn’t take long to be challenged and to remind myself why I’ve decided to participate in the 40 Days for Life again this year.  “For the babies,” I thought and prayed silently.  “For the babies!”

Dang, those cookies looked good.  I wonder what the grace of my sacrifice achieved this morning?  What could the grace of yours achieve today?  Of ours together?

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