DARE TO DO SOMETHING GREAT FOR LENT, FOR LIFE
Possibly the most public of the many faces of the prolife movement in Rockland County is the 40 Days for Life.
These are the gentle prayer warriors who take their stand not far from the Planned Parenthood office in Spring Valley and pray for an end to abortion.
The prayer and fasting go on around the clock for 40 days, continuing through the night in the chapel at St. Gregory’s Church in Garnerville. They hold vigil twice a year — in the autumn (for Respect Life Month) and in the late winter (for Lent) — and have done so for the past six years.
With their bibles, rosaries, and signs they pray through the hot days of early autumn as the sun bakes down on the little plot of their “prayer site.”
They pray through the cold rains of late October and in the snow and sleet of the winter months. They’ve prayed through Hurricane Sandy and through the Halloween storm two years ago when icy slush fell from the sky like wet cement.
Nothing stops them.
They may sound like great saints – or maybe fanatics, depending on your point of view.
But if you stop to speak with them, you’ll find they seem rather ordinary. They laugh, they get tired, they get bored, their feet hurt. They cringe at the sound of screeching brakes and beeping horns at the traffic light nearby. They wonder at the migrating birds overhead. Sometimes they sing.
But they keep praying no matter what. Because they know that the evil is out there. And the helpless unborn, the mothers with nowhere to turn, the fathers crushed by hopelessness, and the world that has turned its back will all be its victims if no one tries to resist.
The 40 Days people are not many, they’re not strong, and they don’t always know the way. But they trust in the One who does.
They’ve followed Him to a grassy little slip of land outside a strip mall in Spring Valley. And there they pray for all of us, and put everything into His hands.