By Caitlin Thomas
January 13, 2017
The Christmasseason, filled with joy and color, also often brings compassion and concern for
others to the forefront of our minds. As we return to our routines after the
holidays, January can seem like a dreary time of year in comparison. We may even
begin to lose our focus on prayer and reaching out to others. But our Catholic
faith teaches us to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, and that in all that
we do, every act should be done with love (1 Thess. 5:16-17, 1 Cor.
As we resume the
celebration of Ordinary Time in this new year, we remember that celebrating the
liturgy inside church walls goes hand in hand with celebrating God's gifts of
life, mercy, and love out in the world—including the digital world.
At the end of
January, many people across the
country will participate in liturgies, prayer vigils, marches, or rallies
to peacefully stand up for the protection of life. But whether or not you plan
to attend one of these events, "all together, we must build a new culture of
life," as Pope Saint John Paul II noted in his encyclical The Gospel of Life (EV 95).
That's where social media can step in.
The U.S. bishops invite
the faithful to participate in 9
Days for Life, an annual period of prayer and action cherishing the gift of
life. We are encouraged to "pray, gather, and share" during this novena, and social
media can help us make a "digital pilgrimage" together.
As we thank God
for the gift of all human life and pray for its protection in our society, it
helps to know that none of us is alone in doing so—quite the contrary! Today we
can connect with Catholics and others across the country as we share our faith,
and we can take comfort from our solidarity in prayer, too.
There are lots
of creative ways to share that you're praying for life. Join the Facebook event,
add a new profile picture or cover photo, post a selfie or video with a sign explaining
what being pro-life means to you, or share prayers
and inspiring images on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Be sure to use the
hashtag #9DaysForLife, and tag us @USCCB (we might feature your post)!
So don't be afraid
to pray, gather, and share. Instead, rejoice and bear witness to God's gift of
life! As Bishop William J. Waltersheid, Auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburgh, says,
"Human life is a sacred gift from God. I encourage everyone to join in
praying and witnessing during the 9 Days for Life, January 21-29, 2017. We
can change hearts and our culture so all life will be cherished and protected."
Join today at www.9daysforlife.com!
Caitlin Thomas is a staff assistant for the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities
of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. For more on the bishops' 9 Days for
Life novena, visit www.9daysforlife.com