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40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign that takes a determined, peaceful approach to show the consequences of abortion in our own neighborhoods, our own friends and families, by drawing attention to the evils of abortion through:  prayer/fasting, constant vigil and community outreach.  The mission:  to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life. The campaign tracks Biblical history where God used 40-day periods to transform individuals, communities, the entire world.  From Noah in the flood, to Moses on the mountain, to the disciples after Christ’s resurrection, it is clear that God sees the transformative value of His people accepting and meeting a 40-day challenge.

      When people think of the abortion issue, they think of confrontation, and we must change that. Instead of confrontation, seek conversation—and ultimately conversion. The pro-life message is one of hope and love. We are called to share that message and present it in a spirit of peace.  As Christians, we turn to Christ as our model. The Gospel stories of the woman caught in adultery (Jn. 8) and the Samaritan woman at the well (Jn. 4) are just two examples of how Christ demonstrated love and compassion towards those he encountered. He did not back away from proclaiming the truth, but he was not harsh or hateful in presenting it. We are called to imitate Christ; to allow God to work through us to touch the hearts of those around us – to be the instruments through which He can spread His message – of love, not hate.

Reflection:  Living a life of integrity is costly.  But at the end of the day, there is great satisfaction in the knowledge that we have done our best no matter what the cost.  In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, there are no cheap graces. [Day by Day with St. Joseph] “...Silence in the face of evil is evil itself.  God will not hold us guiltless.  Not to speak is to speak.  Not to act is to act.”