21 January 2014

9 Days for Life: Day IV

For each day of 9 Days for Life, I want to write down some of my thoughts in each stage. Here is what Day Four looks like.

IntercessionToday's intercession is for doctors, nurses and counselors who cooperated in abortion. We pray that they will come to Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation for love and healing.

As I wrote for Day II, too often, pro-abortion arguments are scripted as if abortion only affects women, when it instead affects fathers, grandparents, society and, obviously, unborn children. The affect of abortion is much larger than is immediately obvious. So as we pray for mothers and fathers, we should also pray for grandmothers and grandfathers who knowingly or unknowingly motivated the mother's decision to abort. May they seek forgiveness and healing from God.

Reflection: Today's reflection is on St. Agnes whose feast is 21 January.

St. Agnes was a virgin martyr who died in 304 when she was young (twelve or thirteen, by most accounts). Agnes vowed she would remain celibate, despite the interests of many suitors, who supposedly submitted her name as a Christian to authorities who brought about her death. There are various stories of authorities' attempts to kill her from which she was protected (the wood around her at the stake would not burn, men who attempted to rape her would be struck blind). Eventually she died by sword (she was either stabbed in the neck or beheaded). St. Agnes is the patron of young girls, engaged couples, rape victims and virgins.

Holy cow, right? I first heard of St. Agnes when we read Keat's poem "The Eve of St. Agnes," in which a girl prays on that night to glimpse her future husband. A man comes to the girl's room and convinces her to run away and marry him the same night (it's actually totally sketchy sounding and I felt bad for the girl in the end because the man's intentions don't seem completely pure, but anyway...). There's certainly more to St. Agnes than this evening poem and her history is insane to think of for a girl of that young age.

Act of Reparation: Go to an abortion clinic and pray, or set aside an hour today to pray for those who are struggling with a decision of life or death for their unborn child.

We don't have an abortion clinic in my town (awesome!) so I was pleased with the second part of this option. Imagine if a third of the people who pray these novenas pray for people considering abortion. How much of an impact we could all make!

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