near to my heart: 40 Days for Life
I’ve written many times about the 40 Days for Life campaign, but I still wanted to feature them in this month’s Near To My Heart series.
I first learned about 40 Days for Life in 2007. An announcement was made after Mass about a pro-life rally to be held later that week. Rosario and I decided to attend. The gathering turned out to be the mid-point rally for the 40 Days for Life – Fall Campaign. It was the first year of the national campaign, and Grand Rapids was one of over eighty cities to participate.
Rosario and I were ready to sign-up by the end of the night. It had been a while since either of us had been involved with the pro-life movement, and 40 Days allowed us the opportunity do something about an issue toward which we felt a strong conviction.
One of the things I love about 40 Days for Life is its approach. The focus on prayer, fasting and peaceful vigil nurtures an environment of compassion instead of condemnation. It isn’t about proving who is right and who is wrong. It is about praying for women who are too numb to pray for themselves; it is about fasting for those involved in the abortion industry; it is about remembering the innocent and keeping watch at their grave sites.
This philosophy has not only had a profound impact on the abortion industry and those it serves, it has also changed the hearts of many pro-lifers. Hearts that were once hardened with judgment now weep out of love. Walls that divided various Christian faiths have crumbled and given way to a unified mission field. Picket signs have been replaced by prayer books, bibles and rosaries. Through 40 Days for Life, God’s love is present.
It is now 2010 and the 40 Days for Life Spring Campaign begins tomorrow in conjunction with the start of Lent. I am confident that grace will abound, lives will change, babies will be saved and women will find healing as faithful prayer warriors in over 165 cities and 4 countries come together for 40 days to implore the Lord for mercy.
I’ve linked several of my past reflections regarding 40 Days for Life here:
Close To My Heart: I think I’ve finally figured out why this year’s 40 Days for Life is so close to my heart. The end to abortion and restoration of the dignity of life has always been at the top of my prayer list, and participating last year was a moving experience, but not like this year.
The reason this year’s campaign has had a profound impact on me can be summed up in three words: Samuel Santonio Benedict. Three small words, one amazing little man… (read more )
All Fired Up!: Last night I was deeply moved by words spoken and the passion behind them. I was reminded of my rich heritage. I was inspired to answer the call – after all, to whom much is given much is expected. And now, I am all fired up! Allow me to explain… (read more)
40 Days: Creating Hope: Not very far away and still within the perimeter of ArtPrize, there is another celebration of life that began this morning, one that will go unnoticed by many, but one that could change the lives of a few. The 40 Days for Life 2009 Fall Campaign was kicked off on Sunday, and the vigil started early this morning at midnight. For the next forty days, people will be standing at the abortuary on Fulton Street in peaceful, prayerful vigil.
Their presence is not a protest, but a gentle reminder of truth – truth that three days every week little creative works of art are destroyed… (read more)
For more 40 Days for Life posts, lick on the Right to Life category in the sidebar.