Welcome to Holy Week! Here is a challenge to finish strong!
Have you ever given up something for the good of someone else? Have you ever voluntarily made a sacrifice in reparation for the fault of yourself or another person? When you do surrender such things, the Church calls these acts of penance.
Did you know you are commanded to practice penance by Christ Himself?
HERE IS MY CHALLENGE TO YOU
Would you be willing to sacrifice something in reparation for the sins of abortion and contraception? If you have never been asked to do that, please consider this your invitation to do so.
We have less than a week to go until we celebrate the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Whether we have had a good Lent thus far or not, I hereby challenge you to step it up one more notch over these last few days of Lent for the babies.
Please consider giving up something extra, adding an additional prayer each day, or giving a monetary gift or some other contribution to the pro-life movement. By making such small sacrifices, God will see our faith and our sorrow, and have pity on us.
Obviously, whether it is Lent or not, we can continue to make such sacrifices. Maybe for the rest of this week, we can give up coffee altogether. Or maybe we can make a donation here before Easter to our local crisis pregnancy center. Or we can add a Divine Mercy Chaplet each day for the intention of the conversion of the abortion mill workers. Pick something and do it.
Then for the month of May do something else on the list. For the month of June consider taking cold showers and other the discomfort as a prayer for at least one baby to be saved that month. And on and on you can go.
CHRIST COMMANDS US TO PRACTICE PENANCE
Jesus commands His followers to practice penance (Luke 13:3). He repeats the command two verses later: “I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
There you have it, Christ telling us that we must offer sacrifice in reparation for our sins and those of others. In fact, St. Matthew records Jesus being unable to perform miracles, due to people’s unwillingness to repent for their sins (Matt 11:20).
Elsewhere in the New Testament, we are commanded to practice penance as well (Matthew 3:8, and Revelation 2:5).
Clearly, demonic influences are at work within the abortion industry and the culture. In order to combat the evil, Christ tells us that some demons can be driven out only by prayer (Mark 9:29), while still others can be driven out only by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21).
PERHAPS OUR PRAYERS ARE NOT ENOUGH
So often we speak to God with a laundry list of requests, as if He is our genie, there to grant our every wish. We so often throw out our request, wait a couple days, and if we don’t see results, then we become discouraged. We wait on God, but then seemingly nothing happens.
Have you ever considered that maybe God is actually the one waiting on us?
He may be wondering how serious we are about the petitions we make. He may be testing our sincerity. He may also be withholding a consolation so that we will better appreciate it, once it does come.
God may also be waiting on us to take action. We can talk a good game, but we also need to walk the walk.
When it comes to overcoming the abortion industry, for instance, the task can seem so daunting that it doesn’t seem like we will do any good. But remember Mother Teresa’s advice: “We are not called to be successful, only to be faithful.”
Let us pray as if everything depends on God, and let us act as if everything depends on us. In other words, let take action and give God something to work with, and leave the results up to Him.
After all, Christ said we could move mountains, if we had only the faith of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20; Luke 17:6). We need to act on the faith we do have, and let God take it from there.
We can take action by giving up something for the intention of saving babies from death by abortion and abortifacients.
OUR MODELS TO FOLLOW FOR MAKING SACRIFICES
As Catholics, the Church asks us to pray, to fast, and to give alms for Lent. This is not a passive time, but a season to be intentional about growing closer to our Lord. We are to cut out something that is holding us back from a deeper union with Christ, in the hopes of building a good habit for the rest of our lives.
Why do we pray? Because Christ commands us to. He says, “When you pray” to do it alone, and not as a showboat (Matthew 6:5-6). “When,” not “if.”
Why are we to fast? Again, Christ requires us to. He says, “When you fast,” do it in secret, so as not to be prideful (Matthew 6:16-18). Again, this is not an optional “if” statement.
Finally, for what reason do we give alms? You got it, because Jesus expects us to. “When you give alms,” do it in secret, Christ commands, lest we do it to gain the honor of men, rather than God (Matthew 6:2-5). Once again, He says “when,” not “if.”
Please sound off below to let us know if you’re willing to accept the challenge.
What are you willing to give up, or what are you willing to do between now and Easter for the intention of saving babies?
I do not necessarily expect you to name the sacrifice you intend to make, but if you could just leave a comment nonetheless, so that you can be assured of extra prayers for you.
We are in this together.
Just imagine what God could do, if our entire nation, or even if just all the Catholics, would repent of the sins of abortion and contraception and practice penance?
Let us do our part, for the rest of Lent, and for as long as it takes.