9 Days for Life – Day 1
Fact of the Day
The estimated number of babies killed in the womb in the United States since 1973 is 59 million. We have to say estimated, because not every death is accounted for. With the increase in use of the kill pill (self-aborting through medication), it will become even more difficult to know how many babies’ lives are ended prematurely in the name of “choice.”
Making a Choice for Life
Today, January 21, 2017, we begin the Novena for Life. Meanwhile, many will gather in Washington, DC, for the “Women’s March.” Organizers of the “Women’s March” have made clear that anyone who believes that unborn children deserve to live and have legal protection are not welcome. The organizers are not really for women or for choice. To be for choice would respect those who choose life. God is pro-choice. It’s called free will. Without free will, without choice, there can be no love. Love is a choice.
What is the choice that organizers of the “Women’s March” promote? The choice to kill. The choice of Cain. The choice of self. The choice of death. Concupiscence enables us to follow Eve, fooled by the deceiver, the devil. But God’s grace is greater. Death was never part of God’s plan for us. It came about through sin. God’s mercy is at the ready, and love can prevail. Love dies only to self. Love chooses life.
Further, as science and technology develop, the lie that “it’s just a blob of tissue being removed from your body” becomes more difficult to sell. That’s why, at March for Life Birmingham 2017, the heartbeats of two unborn children were played over the loudspeaker at the rally. As people who have bought the lies of the culture of death — as Eve did, when she allowed the deceiver to twist God’s words —encounter truth, seeds of conversion are planted.
Questions of the Day
- How can we build a culture that supports women & respects life?
- Am I the kind of person a woman could come to if she found out she were pregnant and needed loving support and encouragement?
Meditation of the Day: Gospel of Life #77
77. This new law also gives spirit and shape to the commandment “You shall not kill”. For the Christian it involves an absolute imperative to respect, love and promote the life of every brother and sister, in accordance with the requirements of God’s bountiful love in Jesus Christ. “He laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 Jn 3:16).
The commandment “You shall not kill”, even in its more positive aspects of respecting, loving and promoting human life, is binding on every individual human being. It resounds in the moral conscience of everyone as an irrepressible echo of the original covenant of God the Creator with mankind. It can be recognized by everyone through the light of reason and it can be observed thanks to the mysterious working of the Spirit who, blowing where he wills (cf. Jn 3:8), comes to and involves every person living in this world.
It is therefore a service of love which we are all committed to ensure to our neighbour, that his or her life may be always defended and promoted, especially when it is weak or threatened. It is not only a personal but a social concern which we must all foster: a concern to make unconditional respect for human life the foundation of a renewed society.
We are asked to love and honour the life of every man and woman and to work with perseverance and courage so that our time, marked by all too many signs of death, may at last witness the establishment of a new culture of life, the fruit of the culture of truth and of love.
— Pope Saint John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, 1995
Scriptures of the Day
Then the LORD asked Cain, Where is your brother Abel? He answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” — Genesis 4:9
Indeed for your own lifeblood I will demand an accounting: from every animal I will demand it, and from a human being, each one for the blood of another, I will demand an accounting for human life. Anyone who sheds the blood of a human being, by a human being shall that one’s blood be shed; For in the image of God have human beings been made. — Genesis 9:5–6
For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another, unlike Cain who belonged to the evil one and slaughtered his brother. Why did he slaughter him? Because his own works were evil, and those of his brother righteous. Do not be amazed, [then,] brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Whoever does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. — 1 John 3:11–18
Prayer: May every child know the Father’s love
Abba, Father. Forgive me for the times I followed Eve and fell into the devil’s trap of lies. Forgive me when I chose a lesser good, when my sin lead to death and separation from you. I beg for your mercy on me and my nation. Through the Precious Blood of Jesus, save us from the culture of death and grant us the abundant life found in your truth and which you greatly desire to give us. May all your children know and embrace your love.
Voices for Life: Stories of abortion survivors