Called to Action: YourMost Powerful Contribution (en español)
By Anne McGuire
February 15, 2013
On January 19, 2013, a
blogger (I'll call her "Rachel") wrote that she'd awakened that day with the
memory of her abortion fresh in her mind. But that morning the experience was
different: [I]nstead of feeling hopelessly lost in that old dark
abyss something different came over me. … It was a comforting feeling. Like a
hundred people praying for me right at that exact moment. Then I checked my
email and I realized that they were.
Like many people, I've often been struck by injustices in our society
and have felt the desire to do something to make a difference. I've also
felt helpless, as though there was nothing I could do to make any
significant difference. I believe in the power of prayer, but I sometimes find
myself almost brushing it into the background, wanting to do something else
that will "really" have an impact.
However, Rachel's story is a powerful reminder of the very real impact
of prayer. It was not a coincidence that she felt as if hundreds of people were
praying for her at the same time. January 19th was the first day of the
bishops' novena marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage, and the day's intention emailed to subscribers that morning was for "the mother who awakens
each morning with the memory of abortion fresh in her mind."
Rachel continued: "…if it had not been for that email I might have
been swallowed whole by despair. If you are currently participating in the nine
days of prayer and happened to pray today for post-abortive women to find
healing I want to extend my thanks to you. Your prayers were felt and very much
The rest of her post is a
heartbreaking reminder of the suffering caused by abortion. It is also a call
to action. It reminds us that we are being sold a bill of goods which promises
freedom and happiness, but is as deceptive as it is tragic. Instead of
liberated women, we find many women who feel trapped, as though there is no way
out. We must act now.
In this Year of Faith, the
U.S. Catholic bishops have called for a focused time of prayer from the feast
of the Holy Family (December 30, 2012) until the feast of Christ the King
(November 24, 2013) for the sake of renewing a culture of life, marriage, and
religious liberty in our country. The five components of the Call to Prayer (www.usccb.org/life-marriage-liberty) include monthly Holy Hours, a daily rosary, special
Prayers of the Faithful, abstinence from meat and fasting on Fridays, and a Fortnight
for Freedom in June/July. Like the Nine Days prayer campaign, you can sign up
to receive email or text messages with a new intention, reflection, and "Did
you know?" section each week. Text "fast" to 99000 or visit www.usccb.org/fast (where you can also
pledge to fast for life, marriage, and religious liberty).
consider how you, your family and friends can participate in the bishops' Call
to Prayer, and encourage others to do the same. It is an opportunity to respond
in solidarity as the Body of Christ to the threats we face. It is a chance to
fight for Rachel and all who have been so hurt by false and empty promises of happiness.
It is a time to stand together.
never forget the power of prayer, the most effective thing we can do. For in prayer, we remember and acknowledge
our dependence on God. He is bigger than anything we face.
Anne McGuire is a staff
assistant for the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of
if you or someone you know has been affected by an abortion. For more
information on the bishops' pro-life activities, please visit www.usccb.org/prolife.