Have you heard that the US Catholic bishops are asking us to pray for life from January 21-29, 2017, a special period of prayer, penance, and pilgrimage? A novena, easily accessible by computer, phone, or by download, will unite us in the days surrounding the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion throughout pregnancy.
An end to abortion is not the only intention. We’ll also be praying for people at all stages: those near the end of their lives, children in need of adoptive homes, those mourning the loss of a child through abortion, and many others.
Need more reasons to sign up at www.9daysforlife.com? Prayerfully consider these 9 reasons to participate in #9DaysforLife:
1. It’s important. Abortion has been legal for 44 years. Children need life-long families. An increasing number of states are considering legalizing doctor-assisted suicide. Men, women, and children are suffering in a variety of ways and need our prayers.
2. It’s an age-old tradition. For centuries, Catholics have made the commitment to pray for nine days for special intentions. This is a way to practice perseverance, setting aside time each day to spend with God.
3. It’s “unforgettable.” You can download and print the prayers for each day or, so that you don’t forget to participate, you can sign up to receive them daily through emails, text messages, or an app that allows you to customize the time of your reminders!
4. It raises awareness. Does the world know that so many of us value and respect every human life from conception to natural death? You can share the intentions on social media, as well as a number of other eye-catching and relevant graphics, and even download a special Facebook cover photo and profile picture to spread the word.
5. It unites us with other participants. One mark of the Catholic Church is its universality. This is an opportunity to gather in prayer with thousands of people for a united, prayerful purpose.
6. It unites us with those suffering. Prayer is a way to recognize our solidarity with those who are suffering. We are called to support one another in prayer and in action.
7. It is spiritually enriching. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will send out not only prayer intentions for each day but also short reflections, actions, and articles. Nine days later you’ll be more informed about issues related to valuing all human life.
8. It calls us to action. Different actions are suggested each day as a way of offering reparation for the ways our country has not respected God’s gift of life. Additionally, the novena may end after 9 days but the need to protect life never will. Throughout these 9 days you may find a specific aspect or stage of life that you feel called to particularly advocate for.
9. It will bless us! Remember that whatever we give to God, he gives back to us a hundred-fold. By offering nine days of prayer to him, we are not only allowing him to work through us in the lives of others, we are opening our hearts to receive his love and grace in our own lives as well.