Saturday, September 26, 2009

DAY 4: Unexpected blessings

Dear Mike,
One of the unexpected blessings of this 40 Days forLife campaign thus far is the unprecedented number ofmedia stories about local campaigns -- and it's notjust the number of stories but the tone of thosereports. Many of them have been highly positive!
An extremely favorable article about the 40 Days forLife kickoff appeared in the Journal Star, the dailynewspaper in Peoria, Illinois. Here's the first partof that story:
Cathy Trowbridge had an abortion and lived to tell about it. Not overnight, mind you. But after 34 soul-searching years, the Princeton resident is silent no more.
"Not everybody can do this," Trowbridge said Tuesday night at a rally at Riverfront Park to launch the 40 Days for Life campaign. "Not everyone that has had an abortion can stand here and be able to face a crowd. But that courage comes from Him who selects those that can do it."
Trowbridge told a crowd of about 80 how she paid no attention 34 years ago to those praying in front of a clinic at 7405 N. University St. in Peoria and entered what is now National Health Care and had her pregnancy terminated.
"I didn't know what they were there for," Trowbridge said of the group whose successors intend to be in front of the clinic around the clock from Wednesday through Nov. 1. "I didn't allow myself to look at their signs and figure out what they said.
"I just knew that I was full of fear and desperation," Trowbridge continued. "And the people that counseled me told me that this is what I should do and this is where I should go. And because it was legal and lawful and because I usually did what I was told, I did. It wasn't until much later that I found out the truth."
Read the whole story at:
What a powerful account -- and in a secularnewspaper! It's a valuable insight into the mind ofthe woman who seeks abortion, and something to keepin mind as you pray.
Abortion clearly leaves a lasting negative impact.
You even may meet someone at the 40 Days for Lifevigil in your own community who has a story similarto Cathy's. The 40 Days for Life team in Bakersfield,California knows it is more common than you mightthink. Here's a posting from their blog:
During Saturday's kickoff rally, a volunteer noticed a forlorn woman standing near the vigil signup sheets. "I sensed that God wanted me to talk to her," the volunteer said.
"Can I help you sign up for a time to pray at the vigil?" the volunteer asked. The woman seemed reluctant at first. As the volunteer continued to talk to her, eventually she opened up to share the internal struggle she was experiencing.
"Twenty-five years ago," she began, "I aborted my baby. Maybe if people like you had been there, my baby's life could have been saved."
During this 40 day prayer vigil, as you meet newpeople joining you in prayer along the sidewalksoutside abortion facilities and Planned Parenthoodoffices, remember that some of the vigil participantsthemselves are still struggling with their ownprivate pain, and pray that they will experience thefullness of God's healing grace.
Just this morning, at the 40 Days for Life vigil Iwas visiting in Lexington, Kentucky, two differentwomen told me that 40 Days for Life was the vehiclethat helped them to begin the healing process fromtheir past abortions. One lady even told me that40 Days for Life saved her from committing suicide.
Wow. We never know how God can work through ourprayers and faithful participation in this effort.
Please take time to pray at the nearest 40 Days forLife vigil. To find the one nearest to you, visit:
Your prayers and presence DO make a difference!
Here's your devotional from Fr. Frank Pavone,national director of Priests for Life...
-----------------------------------------------------DAY 4 INTENTION-----------------------------------------------------
We ask God that we may understand the concept ofjustice, as a gift he gives and as a responsibilitythat shapes our work.
Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness likea never-failing stream!
-- Amos 5:24
-----------------------------------------------------REFLECTION by Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life-----------------------------------------------------
Justice, a key theme of the Scriptures, is somethingGod does and that we too must do.
When God intervenes to save his people when they arehelpless and in slavery in Egypt, he "does justice."He manifested his justice in the plagues that weresent upon Egypt, whereby Pharaoh was convinced thathe must let the people go. Justice is manifested as,in awe and wonder, God's people see the Red Sea openbefore them, allow them to pass without even gettingtheir feet wet, and then close again to drown theirpowerful enemies.
God is a God of Justice; he rescues us when we cannotsave ourselves. His justice, above all, is seen inJesus Christ, who, when we could not save ourselves,rescued us from the kingdom of sin, Satan, death, andhell. The mighty work of Christ on the cross and inthe resurrection is the perfect manifestation of Godas the God of justice.
We, then, are to be the people of justice; we are to"do justice" by intervening to save the helpless inthe name and by the power of the God who saves us whoare helpless ourselves. That's why we have a pro-lifemovement; that's why we have a 40 Days for LifeCampaign; that's why saving the unborn is ourbusiness.
God of Justice, you heard the cry of your people whenthey were being oppressed in Egypt, and you provedyourself to be the God of justice, who rescues thehelpless. You likewise rescued us from the kingdom ofdarkness, and brought us into the Kingdom of yourBeloved Son, Jesus Christ, who saves us from thepower of Satan, sin, death, and hell.
Make us people of justice, ready to intervene to savethe helpless. Indeed, as your prophets haveannounced, let justice roll on like a mighty river,to save all who are in need, especially the unborn.We pray through Christ our Lord, Amen.
-----------------------------------------------------PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL-----------------------------------------------------
To download today's devotional as a formatted,printable PDF to share with friends:
For Life,
David BereitNational Director40 Days for Life

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