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40 Days for Life – What You Can Do

The Scripture readings for this week remind us of the value of life. Psalm 54 emphasizes “The Lord upholds my life.” God is the author and provider of life. Without God, our heart would never pulse a single beat nor would we ever take a single breath. He alone has the right to choose when we come into this world and when we move on to the next world. That is why we must respect and defend life from conception until natural death.

In the Gospel (Mk 9:30-37), Jesus teaches, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.” Each child is a gift from God, regardless of the circumstances of his or her conception. Each child has a God-given right to live.

It is fitting that we have these readings to reflect on as this year’s fall 40 Days for Life campaign begins this week. Running from September 26th until November 4th, 40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life effort that consists of 40 days of prayer and fasting, 40 days of peaceful vigil and 40 days of community outreach.

What can you do to help this effort? This fall, there are 316 individual campaigns taking place. To find one near you, please visit the 40 Days for Life website at http://www.40daysforlife.com. If you are interested, you can connect with your local campaign in order to take part in peaceful vigils and work to bear pro-life witness in your community.

Not all of us are able to become actively involved in the vigils, but two things each one of us can do to help this effort are to fast and pray. I personally tend to think of this campaign as a second Lent. In this case, instead of being focused on our own spiritual growth and repentance for sin, it is focused on offering up our sacrifice and prayers for a larger cause. We join our prayers and sacrifices with others in order to help bring about important change in our world.

It can be impossible to know the difference our prayers and efforts make in the world, but there have been tangible results from past 40 Days for Life campaigns. There have been ten campaigns since the movement began in 2007. During that time, 5,928 lives that have been spared from abortion (and those are just the ones we know about), 69 abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the abortion industry  and 24 abortion facilities have completely shut down following local 40 Days for Life campaigns.

Being pro-life matters. Won’t you please consider how you can join with others during these 40 Days for Life in prayer, fasting, and vigil to help change hearts and save lives?


Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur has a Master of Arts degree in Applied Theology from Elms College. A former Senior Editor at Catholic Lane, she is now the editor of Today's Catholic Homeschooling. She is also the author of The Catholic Baby Name Book and Letters to Mary from a Young Mother. She has two biological sons and one adopted daughter. Visit her blog at http://spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com.


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  • Noel Fitzpatrick

    Can being pro-life allow you to vote for one who claims?

    “I am not going to change our pro choice laws in Massachusetts in any
    way,”

    “I will preserve and protect a woman’s
    right to choose.”

    “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country”.

    “We should support and preserve Roe v
    Wade”

    “in 1994, he had declared himself a supporter of a
    woman’s right to choose on abortion, and claimed he would do more for gay
    rights than Kennedy.”

    It is no excuse to say he has flipflopped. Would this non-Christian be better than a Christian?

    He is not even going to get rid of Obamacare if elected.

    Even his running mate Paul Ryan is getting wobbly, as he supports Romney’s views on choice.

    People are getting to know Romney now. The middle classes will support him he thinks, those earning $200000 to $250000, while the average Wage is less than $40000.

    Many of the moochers and deadbeats fought for freedom and their country, they have entitlements. Even the Jewish atheist friend of Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, lived on Medicare and Social Security,

    • Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

      While I appreciate your concern, this particular article isn’t about the upcoming election, but rather praying and fasting and working to end abortion, which is a cause all pro-life people can support.

      • Noel Fitzpatrick

        Thank you Patrice.
        It was naive of me to think that an anti-abortion campaigh running from Sep 26 to Nov 4 had anything to do with an election on Nov 6.

        • Noel – 40 Days for Life is a non-political organization focused mainly on praying at abortion facilities and supporting crisis pregnancy centers. They have a Fall campaign beginning in September and ending in November every year, whether there is an election or not. This year’s campaign just happens to fall right before a major election…which we should also be praying about, of course.

        • GuitarGramma

          Hi Noel — The “40 Days For Life” Campaign runs twice a year, and has so for a handful of years. It is true that this “round” is falling just before an election, but the vast majority of times, the 40-day campaign falls no where near any election.

          • Noel Fitzpatrick

            Hi GG,
            of course I agree with you that the fact that “40 Days for Life” ends just before the election is a coincidence, especially as both candidates are pro-choice.

            Even Paul Ryan now is. It seems Republicans flip-flop on issue. He used to base his philosophy on the Jewish atheist Ayn Rand, but he has flip-flopped there also.

            Ryan was solidly pro-life, but now he accepts Romney’s position.

            Romney is pro-choice, being against abortion except… That is he accepts abortion. Isn’t Romneycare in Massachusetts definitely pro-choice? Wasn’t this Romney’s most significant political contribution?

            Will Romney campaign to get Roe v Wade reversed now when the majority of supreme court judges are Catholic? Did he say he will “support and sustain” Roe v Wade and respects the “right of a woman to make that choice”?

  • goral

    Of course you’re going to press the issue, Noel, as the important thing for you is to find any inconsistency on the part of the Rep. candidate to smear and second guess him.
    There is plenty to find as any politician in the current climate has to always order “surf and turf” to satisfy national schizophrenia..
    I have to vote for a pro-abortion candidate as my pro-life candidate is not on the ticket. How do we mitigate this Hobson’s choice? Speaking for myself, I reason this way – If the nation were to go decidedly and insistently pro-life, which prez. would follow suit?
    The answer is Romney! He would flip flop and accommodate the will of the people.
    Obama would dig in his heels or issue an executive order to keep abortion the law of the land.
    I won’t ask you for your reasoning as I already know it.
    What I do resent is you taking cheap shots at Paul Ryan, an upstanding Catholic man and a tribute to Romney’s good political and at least in this case,moral sense..