Day 26: Love is the Way

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I often take for granted the fact that my blog may be “preaching to the choir” in many aspects so make the assumption that many who read are supporters and/or participants of the 40 Days for Life Campaign.

For those not familiar with 40 Days for Life…this fruitful prayer campaign against abortion sends out emails (blog posts) with updates, encouraging  words and devotionals during every day of the campaign. I am touched by the stories of love and life in each one of the emails I receive but wanted to share one today that found an even more special place in my heart:

The 40 Days for Life team in El Paso, Texas recently shared Cristina’s story about a very special woman. Simply put, Cristina said her friend Espy “is one of the best sidewalk counselors that I have ever met. I have seen miracles happen through Espy’s work outside of the abortion clinic.”

In 12 years of serving as a sidewalk counselor, Espy always seemed to have exactly the right thing to say in any situation … whether she was speaking to a woman seeking an abortion, to someone suffering in the wake of an abortion — or to a member of the abortion center staff.

In regard to the abortion workers, Espy learned how powerful love is. “Love is the way,” she would say.

“She has given a smile to abortion clinic workers and even hugs,” Cristina said. “Not just that, but she has been there to listen to the clinic workers as they shared their personal problems.” These people know that Espy loves them and prays for them. “She has given her life to the pro-life ministry,” Cristina said.

But Espy hadn’t been seen on the sidewalk for quite a while. About a year ago, she had a stroke. She uses a wheel chair and has difficulty speaking now, but in spite of the challenges she will tell you, “God is good.”

Staff members at the facility have noticed Espy’s absence and have told prayer vigil participants that they were worried about her. Just last week, Espy asked Cristina to take her to the abortion center so she could say hi.

“I called the clinic administrator and let her know that Espy was outside waiting to see all of them,” said Cristina. “To my surprise, the workers walked outside to meet us! Espy with all her heart wanted to give them a hug and a kiss, so she did — and they did, too! Espy was crying — and they were crying, too.”

They gave her many hugs of love and respect. The director, the one that used to confront Espy and the one that used to tell her, “Go home!” now told her, “Espy we miss you. When are we going to see you outside again?”

“This was a miracle,” said Cristina; “a miracle of love. Espy is still working; God is still using Espy to show His love, His mercy, His power. Espy is an example to all of us that want to follow God’s plan.

“She is an example that God is working. God is teaching. God is transforming. God is converting. God is alive inside those places of death. God is alive in Espy! May God bless Espy and the abortion providers that they together with us see Jesus one day, face to face!”

By the way, Espy’s full name is Esperanza. The English translation of this beautiful Spanish name — Hope!

Today’s devotional is from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.

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DAY 26 INTENTION
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Pray that we fully recognize in the unborn child our brother, our sister, and we recommit ourselves to care for them.

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SCRIPTURE
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Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”

– Genesis 4:8-10

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REFLECTION
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After Cain committed the first murder in human history, God asked him, “Where is your brother?”

He replied by saying, “I don’t know.”

In 1973, the Supreme Court was asked the same question, and gave the same answer.

Unable to admit that the unborn children are our brothers and sisters, the Supreme Court said in its Roe v. Wade ruling, “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins.”

Boil all that down to three words, and it’s, “I don’t know.”

The question, “Where is your brother?” will be asked at the final judgment. Each person will answer it and be judged by it. May we be judged to have recognized and loved all our brothers and sisters, born and unborn.

By participating in the 40 Days for Life, we have been answering that question each day, going to where our brothers and sisters are killed, and proclaiming that we have a responsibility to them.

By all the pro-life work we will continue to do, we likewise answer that question which reaches from one end of human history to the other.

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PRAYER
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Father, today we hear your voice, and we respond to the question you ask each of us: “Where is your brother?”

We recognize in the unborn child our brother, our sister, and we recommit ourselves today to care for them.

Yes, Father, you have entrusted us to the care of one another. We rejoice that you have given us the grace to respond.

As we work to renew our culture, we look forward to the great day of the coming of your Son, when every eye will see him, even of those who pierced him, and every knee shall bend, and every tongue confess, to the glory of God the Father, that Jesus Christ is Lord! Amen.

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PRINTABLE DEVOTIONAL
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To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:

http://40daysforlife.com/docs/spring2010day26print.pdf

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Have a blessed Sunday, and know how much I appreciate you!

Yours for Life,

David Bereit
National Director
40 Days for Life

This group does awesome work. Won’t you include them in your prayer intentions today? If you are able, join a local group, I am sure they are always in need of volunteers.

God bless and enjoy Mass!
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