October 25, 2013


31 days, 40 days … let’s pray for life each and every day

It’s been 30 days for one observation, 25 days for the other.

So, how are you doing?

As in years past, we continue to storm heaven with prayers in October during Respect Life Month.

Despite inclement weather, we had hundreds turn out for the annual Respect Life Mass and Life Chain on Oct. 6 in Indianapolis, with countless others gathering that day throughout the state and nation to offer prayers to end abortion and other threats to the sanctity of human life.

Bishop Christopher J. Coyne encouraged the congregation gathered at the Respect Life Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis “to see the moments when charity or patience is being tested not so much as a trial to overcome, but an opportunity to embrace.

“If we want to move mountains—like moving the culture of death in which we find our country to a culture of life—then we better move molehills too, like the small moments of our everyday lives.

“If we start with the little hills … the small moments,” said Bishop Coyne, “to be loving and kind and patient and faith-filled, and [if we] are, as Blessed Teresa [of Calcutta] said, faithful in small things, we will find that the mountains may not be so hard to move after all.”

The fall “40 Days for Life” campaign, which started on Sept. 25 and ends on Nov. 3, has again resulted in an outpouring of prayers and the conversion of many hearts—thanks be to God.

“40 Days for Life” is a focused pro-life campaign with a vision to access God’s power through prayer, fasting and peaceful vigil to end abortion.

According to its website, the mission of the campaign is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40-day campaign of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s favor to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion.

As we reflect on this effort, statistics compiled through the years continue to reveal a story worth sharing.

Since the national campaign started in 2007, there have been approximately 575,000 participants; 16,000 churches have taken part; 2,480 total campaigns have occurred in 501 cities and 19 countries. Approximately 7,536 lives have been saved, 83 abortion workers have quit their jobs, and 41 abortion clinics have closed.

Those numbers were on the home page for the “40 Days for Life” campaign website, and we praise God for all who have stood up for life across the globe in recent years not only at rallies, but outside abortion centers, churches, adoration chapels and other places where Christ has called them to pray in support for the gift of life.

Though the statistics for the current “40 Days for Life’ campaign change by the day, we can report there have been 323 saves (where women have had a change a heart about getting an abortion) as of Oct. 22. We thank God for that affirming news.

As we reflect on this encouraging statistic, we can count Catholics, Protestants and people of various faith traditions among the prayer warriors.

And a spectrum of nationalities and races has been represented, too.

What we are learning is that people from all walks of life—young and old, rich and poor, black and white and Latino, to name a few—are standing up for the voiceless.

As we spend these last few days of October marking Respect Life Month and the next week observing the fall “40 Days for Life” campaign, we continue to pray for the conversion of so many who fail to comprehend that every human life is a gift from God.

If you can’t pray outside an abortion center or Planned Parenthood office near your community in the next few days, stop by your church, visit an adoration chapel or spend a quiet moment in your home or car to offer more petitions to change hearts.

Though we have these two observances every fall, our charge as Catholics is to work to build a culture of life each and every day.

As our culture continues to try and limit our lives of faith to our homes and churches, let us never forget that God asks more of us—not only this month and these 40 days—but each and every day.

—Mike Krokos

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