Friday, October 2, 2009

DAY 10: Defending the truth

Dear Mike,
Yesterday I visited the Toledo, Ohio 40 Days for Lifecampaign and in a few hours I'll be jumping on anairplane to Jacksonville, Florida, where I'll bejoining the 40 Days for Life volunteers on thestreets as part of their vigil.
It always amazes me to see so many people "speakingup for those who cannot speak for themselves."
While running across the country visiting 40 Days forLife locations, I have to admit that I keep thinkingabout the banner at the Planned Parenthood abortioncenter in St. Louis that I told you about earlierthis week -- the one that says "defend the truth."
I keep waiting for the day when everyone knows thetruth and there's no one left to defend what goes onat Planned Parenthood and hundreds of other abortioncenters in North America and throughout the world.
The good news is that more people are learning thetruth -- thanks to you!
In Riverside, California, people who were praying atthe 40 Days for Life vigil watched as a young womanentered the Planned Parenthood abortion center. Acouple of hours later, she came out. A pastor who waspraying with the group met her and asked if sheneeded anything.
She told him she had come for an abortion, butchanged her mind. The Planned Parenthood staff toldher they would give her a shot that would stop herbaby's heart. She said, "WHAT?"
The young woman knew right away she could not gothrough with the abortion, so she got up and left. Inher heart, she knew the truth.
In Kalispell, Montana, one of the vigil participantshad a chance to talk with a man whose companyprovided contract services for All FamiliesHealthcare. It was news to this man that All FamiliesHealthcare was in the abortion business. He said hewould have never signed a contract with the clinic ifhe had known the truth.
He thanked the people praying for taking part in 40Days for Life -- and assured them that he would notbe renewing his contract with the clinic.
The reality of abortion in most communities is thatmany people are simply unaware that it's going on intheir city. "Abortion" is somebody else's problem --or a political issue, perhaps. It doesn't seem real.
People seem to act like it's something that involvespeople you don't know and places you've never been.But of course, that isn't the truth.
That's one of the reasons why community outreach is akey component of 40 Days for Life.
In Halifax, Nova Scotia, the 40 Days for Life teamwent door-to-door to let people in their city knowabout the campaign -- and to ask them to pray.
"Most people are a little surprised at such arequest," said Julie. "And most are polite --probably thinking that if they are nice, we willleave quickly."
The volunteers offer a fact sheet about 40 Days forLife that also includes information about abortionthat people generally do not know.
"This went much better than I anticipated," she said."No one I met had even heard of the vigil or noticedit, so this really is a way to raise communityawareness of the prayer vigil and to bring theneglected issue of abortion before the public."
The truth will ALWAYS triumph over the big lie ofabortion. So let's spread more of the truth!
Here's today's devotional from Fr. Frank Pavone,National Director of Priests for Life...
-----------------------------------------------------DAY 10 INTENTION-----------------------------------------------------
Let us affirm the unborn by our language.
Anyone who says to his brother, "Raca," is answerableto the Sanhedrin; anyone who says, "You fool!" willbe 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, hecalls him names. This is a way to dehumanize thevictim, and therefore make it easier to justifyattacking him.
In this verse from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesussays that using dehumanizing language is sinful."Raca" was an Aramaic term of contempt. The respectand love we are called to have for other human livesis not limited to action alone; it also has tomanifest itself in language.
Professor William Brennan, in his book Dehumanizingthe Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives, tracesthe dehumanizing language used to oppress variousgroups of people in history, such as our African-American brothers and sisters, or our Jewish brothersand sisters in the Holocaust.
He then shows that the same kind of dehumanizinglanguage is used against the unborn, who have beencalled "parasites," "tissue," and "medical waste,"among other things.
What are we to do instead? We are to affirm oneanother, including the unborn, with ennoblinglanguage that inspires respect and love. The unbornare precious children, they are our brothers andsisters, they are the image of God. Let us multiplythe language of affirmation, as we hasten to the dayof their protection!
Lord, we ask your forgiveness for any times our wordshave dehumanized our brothers and sisters.
We also ask you to send your grace to those who speakand write in degrading terms about the children inthe womb. Convert those who do not see the dignity ofthese children. Loosen the tongues of those who donot know how to acknowledge the humanity andsacredness of these tiny lives.
Keep us all aware of the power of language, and helpus to use it rightly in the cause of life andjustice. 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

No comments: