Today I am in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of thousands of faithful Americans marching for the most forgotten Americans--the unborn.
The marches around our nation this month are inspiring but must lead to lasting change where you live. Where you live is where abortion takes place. Where you live is where you can build a culture of life in your family, church, and neighborhood everyday. Your joys, crosses, duties, and time management are very powerful in ending abortion.
As we march for life this weekend I want to share a chapter from my new book, To the Heart of the Matter: The 40 Day Companion to Live a Culture of Life. This chapter focuses on the inevitable battle that occurs when the marches end and we go home to restore our culture.
The devil was arrogant enough to tempt Jesus.
He tempted Him in the desert, in the agony in the garden, and through the Pharisees who were constantly trying to trap and humiliate Christ. In following Him, we know that temptations come with the territory. Spiritual warfare is part of our citizenship in this world. Our temptations, whether they be big or small, occur every day. We should never be too busy or too numb to recognize we are at war. However, we need to know who it is we are up against, and it is not those who hate us or disagree with us or who are actively working to destroy life.
We live in a label-happy society. By labeling someone--a bigot, sexist, racist, chauvinist, liberal, deplorable, homophobe, or anything else--we risk putting that person in a category and make the person the enemy rather than who we know the real enemy to be. Our focus in this fight should always be on the ultimate force of opposition: the devil. This does not mean that we call our tipsy uncle a tool of the devil as he defends abortion at Thanksgiving. Nor does it mean we should be discouraged or paralyzed by fear, seeing temptations around every corner of our day.
It does mean we keep in perspective who the true enemy of this world is but with the confidence that Christ’s grace is always victorious. Every morning when we wake up, we are tempted to worry about something, to feel behind, or to dread a task or even a person. Whether at work, with our kids, at the doctor, or stuck in traffic, we will be tempted to have our peace disturbed during the day. In his practical guide The Spiritual Combat, Lorenzo Scupoli writes, “The Lord will build up within your soul a city of peace, and your heart shall be a house of pleasures and delights. This He asks of you: that, when you feel agitated, you should begin again to quiet and calm yourself in all your actions and thoughts.”
The calm that comes from God is evident in the battle for life. This gentleness of spirit that comes from facing and overcoming temptation, or repenting when we give in to temptation, is powerful in our families. But it is also powerful when praying at an abortion facility or when defending life in our daily lives. Agitation crushes calmness in our noisy world. Our willingness to know who our real enemy is and to trust God in moments of temptation will keep us focused on Christ, who defeated that enemy on Calvary.
Daily Scripture: For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. — Ephesians 6:12
Daily Intention: Knowing the Lord walks ahead of me, I will call upon His name in the small or large temptations I face today. I will be confident He will not allow a temptation that I cannot overcome with His grace.
To the Heart of the Matter is the pro-life devotional for busy people. This 150-page book serves as a practical guide to how our small daily activities can build a culture of life in a time when attacks on the unborn--and the family--are at an all-time high.
You can get an exclusive signed book, free shipping, and download free chapters and the foreword from Mother Agnes, Superior General of the Sisters of Life, here:
This book gets to the heart of the matter of our culture war by highlighting the small and large ways we can build a culture of life in the life we live every day.