The fall campaign of “40 Days for Life” has kicked off! Every fall it runs for 40 days encompassing October (Life month) from the last Wednesday in September to the first Sunday of November. Here in the Treasure Valley surrounding Boise Idaho, we held a Pro-life Fair. We had over 30 booths set up representing many different pro-life organizations and projects. There are so many ways to act out your pro-life faith! 40DfL is just one; one that I find particularly powerful, open to anyone that is willing to pray peacefully, and free!
I was honored to be able to give a two minute pep talk to the over 100 people in attendance. As I pondered what little two minute tidbit I could share, I was tempted to use the gist of my “Spirtual Earwax” blog post, asking folks to first pray that they may clearly hear what God is calling them to do. But, I was inspired the week before the event by a song from a children’s CD we got from the library for the kids. The song started like this, “Are you a rabbit, or are you a statue of a rabbit?” That got me thinking!
Personally, I came out of the womb pro-life as perhaps many cradle Catholics do. But, despite my rock solid pro-life stance I had very few things to show for it. There was never any conscious inaction. But I believe my subconscious bought into the myth that there just isn’t much a person like me could do about a problem as big as abortion. Sure you can always pray at home, but looking back to where I was 3 ½ years ago, I was so out of touch with the issue of abortion that my prayers lacked luster. When I first read about 40DfL in my church bulletin back in 2011, there was a spark that this was something I could do. I wanted my actions to speak louder.
All along I thought I was a rabbit, but really I was more like a statue of a rabbit, a statue of a pro-lifer. 40DfL literally brought me to life. Even when having babies prevented me from keeping vigil on-site, I participated from home with daily prayers and devotionals that invigorated not just my passion for life issues, but my prayer life in general. It has brought me closer to God, and also new friends!
Like the Edmund Burke quote says, “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Consider joining one of the 297 prayer vigils going on right now across the country and the world! If praying outside of an abortion facility isn’t for you, you can still sign up to receive the daily devotionals via email for these 40 days, visit www.40daysforlife.com. Otherwise, there are many other ways to live your pro-life faith! This is not just a political issue! Politics are just one front of this war. Our Pro-life Fair highlighted supporting local pregnancy resource centers, chastity programs, homeless shelters, prison ministry, adoption services, PR campaigns, and pro-life clubs as just a few of the other things you can get involved with.
Wait . . . homeless shelters, prison ministry, how is that pro-life? Father Frank Pavone, had a great reflection in one of the 40DfL daily devotionals last spring. Referencing Luke 16: 19-31, he reflected that the rich man was not condemned because he was rich. He said, “He was condemned because he ignored the other man, he thought that because Lazarus had less he was worth less. He failed to recognize that Lazarus was his brother.” Clearly, we have to recognize the dignity of all life, this includes the unborn the most vulnerable. We cannot in our pride think ourselves above anyone else, not the unborn, not the poor, not the imprisoned, not the woman on the brink of a bad decision is less than our equal in the eyes of Christ.
The kids’ music group, Lunch Money wrote the, “Are You a Rabbit?” song. (They also wrote a song called, “A Cookie As Big As My Head,” but this one didn’t seem so applicable). This is a good question that applies to living out any aspect of one’s faith. Do my actions reflect my beliefs? If you truly believe something, they should. Sometimes Catholics get criticized for a perceived emphasis on “good works,” but it is really just this concept. Just as James 2:17 says, “Faith without works is dead.” Let 40DfL bring you to life!