Today around the world, Christians gather for prayer, recalling God’s mercy and the reality that our lives are limited. This morning in receiving the ashes, Father reminded each of us, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Amen!
And so begins our walk in the desert, our 40 days of fasting, prayer, and giving alms (charity). Some of my friends – a large number of them – are fasting from social media, tv, or video games. But this morning, Father Hebda asked, “Fasting is a good thing. But what are you filling that void with? Giving up an hour on the computer a day? What will you do with that hour?” He goes on to suggest good things, like spending it with your kids; helping a neighbor; or spending it in prayer with the Lord. But there is something else that many of my media savvy friends are doing this Lent, that has been making a world of difference.
40 Days for Life has started its Spring campaign in the fight against the abortion industry in the United States. Campaign Director, Shawn Carney writes:
“Today is the beginning of a somber season — when we are reminded of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. But we are filled with joy! As we prepare to commemorate God’s victory over death with Christ’s resurrection, we look forward to the lifesaving results of this spring’s 40 Days for Life campaign … with 247 locations participating.”
What if each of us took an hour away from our recreational internet use, and went to pray in front of an abortion clinic? Experience shows this to be effective prayer. Some of the results listed on the website include:
During these unified efforts, participants witnessed countless blessings from God:
- 1,085 individual campaigns have taken place in 337 cities
- More than 400,000 have joined together in an historic display of unity to pray and fast for an end to abortion
- More than 13,000 church congregations have participated in the 40 Days for Life campaigns
- Reports document 3,599 lives that have been spared from abortion — and those are just the ones we know about
- 43 abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the abortion industry
- Nine abortion facilities completely shut down following local 40 Days for Life campaigns
- Hundreds of women and men have been spared from the tragic effects of abortion, including a lifetime of regrets
- More than 1,200 news stories have been featured in newspapers, magazines, radio shows and TV programs from coast to coast … and overseas
- Many people with past abortion experiences have stepped forward to begin post-abortion healing and recovery
In my own experience, I have met some of the nicest, most compassionate people, who really are just trying to live out their faith, and by their conscience, to protect the unborn. It is heart-wrenching to be in front of an abortion clinic praying, watching women go in, and come out an hour or so later…
A friend of mine sent this series of pictures to me this morning, and I thought it conveyed some nice thoughts as we start our Lenten journey, and the 40 days of prayer for the unborn and their mothers. The below use of the word ‘believe’ is not in the expression of tenets of our faith, but in an attitude of living that comes as a fruit of our prayer. They are attitudes, or a code of conduct, that come from loving life and having a respect for others. Enjoy!
note: no copy-write infringement is intended.
Blessed Lent Everyone! May it bring us to a deeper love for the Lord, and a new appreciation of God’s gift of life. Amen.