Today is the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the supreme court decision which ruled that a woman's constitutional right to privacy includes her right to have an abortion. The annual March for Life in D.C. is underway, where the estimated half-million marchers will no doubt magically diminish into "thousands" on the evening news. 

As massive as the crowds of pro-lifers are, there are even more of us at home, commemorating this dreadful anniversary in various ways.

The USCCB has called for a day of fasting and abstinence from meat today, and has laid out a nine-day schedule of prayers and suggestions for acts of reparation. Today, which is day six, the focus is on "each person suffering from the loss of a child through abortion," that they may "find hope & healing in Christ."

The site suggests prayers and reflections for each of the nine days, and also recommends that today we find time to visit an adoration chapel, go to confession, learn about Divine Mercy, or pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. It also offers resources for people searching for hope and healing after an abortion. 

How else can we participate, wherever we are?

If we cannot fast from food, because of physical needs or the demands of our jobs, we can fast from food we enjoy, or from amusements or entertainment. 

We can offer up any irritations, frustrations, pains, deprivations, and fears for the sake of the unborn and their mothers. 

We can take special care to respond with love to the people around us, including our family and anyone else we happen to meet -- and that includes online!

We can recommit to praying for the guilty. Will Duquette has some practical suggestions for how to teach ourselves to love our enemies, as Jesus commanded.

Today would be an excellent day to plan some kind of donation to your local crisis pregnancy center, or to some other charity which serves the vulnerable of any age.

And just the other day, this Reading Rainbow video was posted of Patrick Stewart reading On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier.

 

It's short, nice to watch with very young kids. It's a wonderful reminder that, as host Lavar Burton says in the introduction, "The day you were born . . . is also an important day for the rest of the world." 

Today is a day for sorrow and grieving, but also for hope and action, and for a reaffirmation that every life -- including the guilty, the innocent, the old, the young, the strong, the weak, and the oblivious -- was planned by God.