9 Days for Life Novena- Day 4

9 Days for Life

Intention

May expectant fathers lovingly support the mothers of their children in welcoming new life.

Prayers

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection

Fatherhood has its origins in God, who chose to reveal Himself to us as Our Father, sending his only Son for the sake of our salvation. Fathers, therefore, have a special role “in revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God” (Familiaris consortio 25). Pope Saint John Paul II said fathers are called to exhibit “generous responsibility for the life conceived under the heart of the mother” (FC 25). They are uniquely entrusted with the protection and defense of both mother and child and, in this way, in safeguarding the sanctity of human life.

As evidenced in our world today, the role of the father “is of unique and irreplaceable importance” (FC 25). Often women choose abortion because they do not have the support of the child’s father, or—even worse—the father of the child pressures her to make the decision to abort. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge with compassion that men can also be overwhelmed by an unexpected pregnancy and that society increasingly tells them that they should have no say in their children’s lives. In the face of these false messages, we pray that expectant fathers will find courage in the example of St. Joseph—who embraced the role of father amid difficult circumstances—and offer loving, life-affirming support to the mothers of their children.

Acts of Reparation

(Choose one.)

  • Give up sleeping on your pillow—or even your bed—tonight. Offer this small sacrifice for the intention that expectant fathers would courageously answer their call to support both mother and child.

  • Pray a decade of the Rosary for all expectant fathers, that through her intercession, Our Lady may inspire in them the virtues of St. Joseph.

  • Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

One Step Further

Research continues to show that one of the top reasons a woman chooses abortion is due to a lack of financial resources. Read “Poverty and Abortion: A Vicious Cycle,” which explores the connections between abortion and poverty, and how the absence of fathers contributes to this ongoing cycle.

 

9 Days for Life Novena- Day 3

9 Days for Life

 

Intention

May every expectant mother receive compassionate care and support as she nurtures the life in her womb.

Prayers

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, she opened her heart to receive his message that she would conceive the Son of God in her womb. As a young, betrothed, but an unmarried woman, Mary knew that her pregnancy presented many challenges. Despite this knowledge, she faithfully responded, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

Like the Blessed Mother, women who unexpectedly become pregnant often face significant challenges. They, too, are called to place their trust in God and faithfully respond to His gift of new life. And we are called to walk with them in their time of need. As Jesus taught us, when we love and serve others, we are loving and serving Him.

May all expectant mothers be encouraged by Mary’s example and receive support and grace in lovingly welcoming their children into the world.

Acts of Reparation
(Choose one.)

Abstain from snacking today. Eat three meals only.

Pray the Angelus today. You might also consider saying it every day for the next week—on awakening, at noon, or at 6 p.m. (or all three times).

Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

One Step Further
When a woman is facing an unexpected pregnancy, the reaction of the first person she tells tends to set the tone for her decision-making. Pregnancy can be difficult and frightening, but no matter the circumstances, it’s important for an expectant mother to feel supported and loved. Read “10 Ways to Support Her When She’s Unexpectedly Expecting” for simple tips on how to provide loving, life-affirming support for a friend who is unexpectedly pregnant. Your support may be the only support she receives.

9 Days for Life Novena- Day 2

9 Days for Life

Intention

May all unborn children be protected in law and welcomed in love.

Prayers

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection

Today, on this 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we mourn the many children’s lives ended by abortion and remember in prayer those who suffer the aftermath. The Church comes together today to pray for the protection of all unborn children and to make reparation for abortion, trusting that the Lord hears our prayers.

Pope Saint John Paul II wrote, “A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer” (Evangelium vitae, 100). May that prayer arise in our hearts today and each day forward until every human being is protected in law and welcomed in love.

Acts of Reparation
(Choose one.)

Fast from one meal today.

Offer this brief “Prayer for Life” for all unborn children whose lives are at risk.

Father and maker of all,
you adorn all creation
with splendor and beauty,
and fashion human lives
in your image and likeness.
Awaken in every heart
reverence for the work of your hands,
and renew among your people
a readiness to nurture and sustain
your precious gift of life.

Grant this through our Lord
Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in
the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever.
Amen

Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

One Step Further
More women and girls consider abortion than we may realize. They are our relatives and friends, people who work with us or for us. Even if someone identifies as being pro-life, the shock of an unexpected pregnancy, the devastation of a difficult prenatal diagnosis, shame, pressures, or fears may influence her to consider abortion.

If someone shared with you that she was pregnant and hadn’t ruled out having an abortion, would you know how to respond in a loving way that is life-affirming for both her and her baby? Learn about the four steps of the L.O.V.E. Approach™*: Listen and Learn, Open Options, Vision and Value, and Extend and Empower.

Going to the March for Life? Staying in D.C. for the Weekend? Here are some events before and after and things you can do.

In a previous post, I shared about things to do if in D.C. for the weekend.

Recently, I discovered events from many pro-life groups national and local. One group is Priests for Life who will have events planned in D.C. and on the West Coast to coincide with Walk for Life in San Francisco.

Here is a list of additional events happening after the March, if you plan to stay for the night or make a weekend out of the largest peaceful demonstration of the country.

  1. Vigil for Life
    1. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will have a night-long vigil for life. Here is information on adoration, night prayer, and the opening and closing masses
  2. Nellie Gray Mass
    1. A mass in the extraordinary form will be celebrated by the community of St. Mary, Mother of God Parish in downtown Washington D.C. This mass has been celebrated in memory of Nellie Gray for the last 8 years.
  3. Pro-Life Karaoke
    1. Rehumanize International and Secular Pro-Life will be hosting an epic karaoke party the night of the March for Life.
    2. This event is a fundraiser. $20 suggested donation at the door for adults. $10 suggested donation for students. $1-5 suggested donations to get on the song-request list. There will also be prizes and a raffle to win some limited edition pro-life merch! Light snacks, beer, wine, and soda will be provided! Email herb@rehumanizeintl.org  for further details.
  4. Students for Life of America Summit
    1. Dr. Monique Ruberu and Richara Krajewski are slated to speak at the annual summit in Washington, D.C. which is expecting 2,000 in attendance.

What to bring and pack

It’s January. It will be cold, so be sure to bundle up, wear layers, and keep warm as best as possible.

Also bear in mind that you will encounter some homeless people living on the streets. Here is what to do.

  1. Give them your leftovers
  2. Give them toiletries (toothbrush, hand sanitizers,
  3. Help them get to a homeless shelter
  4. Give them your pocket change
  5. Give them clothes, gloves, a hat, scarf, and even your time.
  6. Give them a gift card to a fast-food chain.

To me, being Pro-Life does not have to limit us to defending the unborn. Rather, we care about all life. That is from the unborn child in the mother’s womb to the elderly person and everyone in between.

Join us in Praying the 9 Day Novena for Life

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will once again launch the annual novena for life. This year it runs from January 21st to the 29th.

Voices for Life will have each day of the novena posted to our blog and in turn our social media accounts. You are encouraged to participate and share each reflection of the novena to others.

Learn more about the novena here