Contemplation

9 Days for Life: Day 1

I will be sharing the materials provided by the USCCB on the prayers, reflections, and call to action for each day on this blog. If you would like to download the PDF that includes all  9 days you can download it at the USCCB.

From the USCCB Novena 9 Days 2017 Full Color PDF:

Day One: Saturday, January 21, 2017

Intercession: For the conversion of all hearts and the end to abortion.

Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection: Pope Saint John Paul II described the “culture of life” as “the fruit of the culture of truth and of love” in his encyclical The Gospel of Life (no. 77). Do we build up the culture of life by living in truth and in love? Are we the kind of people whom a woman could and would come to if she found out she were pregnant and needed loving support and encouragement? How can we help those who suffer from the pain of abortion to experience God’s tender mercy? The brief articles in today’s “One Step Further” give suggestions for extending God’s merciful love to others.

Acts of Reparation (choose one):

  • Go to an abortion clinic and pray, or set aside an hour today to pray for those who are struggling with a decision of life or death for their unborn child.
  • Spend some time reflecting upon no. 77 of The Gospel of Life.
  • Use the Respect Life social media toolkit (goo.gl/i8msnP) to build up a culture of life on social media.

One Step Further: If a woman who was unexpectedly pregnant came to you for support, would you know what to do? “10 Ways to Support Her When She’s Unexpectedly Expecting” (www.goo.gl/MkBfb9) provides simple, concrete tips for loving, life-affirming support. In “Bridges of Mercy for Post-Abortion Healing,” (www.goo.gl/MpC7RG) learn how you can be a bridge of God’s mercy for people suffering after abortion.

My own addition: no. 77 of Evangelium vitae

You can read the entire encylical Evangelium vitae here, but if you would just like to reflect on no. 77 of the encyclical I’ve provided that text for you below:

“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.”

Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life), no.77 © 1995, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2016, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.

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