It is sometimes difficult to extricate one’s self from the daily struggle of defending babies long enough to see the glory and wonder of the many gifts God has given us. But at this time of year we naturally do—and should—focus on those blessings, especially when we consider what it means to be pro-life in America today.

The single defining characteristic we all hold in common is our love of family and our love of God, who is the Author of Life and who created each and every one of us. Without Him there would be no family; without Him there would be no opportunity to love others for His sake.

We recall how each individual human life was defined so clearly by St. John Paul II with these words: “The life which God gives man is quite different from the life of all other living creatures, inasmuch as man, although formed from the dust of the earth is a manifestation of God in the world, a sign of his presence, a trace of his glory.”

We thank You, Lord, for the gift of life—for our lives and the lives of those we love.

We recognize that, in this battle to defend the most defenseless among our brothers and sisters in Christ, the babies we represent and defend do not know us. Yet we are given this awesome responsibility of being their voice when we witness to the expectant mother considering abortion, at the local clinic where these babies are killed, and amidst the lawmakers and others in the public arena who need to hear the truth.

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We thank You, Lord, for the gifts of fortitude and counsel which motivate us to discern what is right and to take the actions necessary to remind others of this even when it is extremely difficult or uncomfortable to do so.

We understand the many challenges that confront our fellow human beings on a daily basis and the temptations that abound to stray from what is right and at times to do so without realizing the consequences of their actions.

Thank You Lord for the gift of compassion that helps us reach out to others in times of great pain or suffering. We know that in You, Lord, all that we do bears fruit as long as we entrust our actions to You with a sincere and humble heart.

We thank You, Lord, for this special time of togetherness with our loved ones and the opportunities we have to be with family members, to embrace those we love, cherishing moments of peace and joy that accompany the celebration of Thanksgiving.

And so we pray:

Thank You, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank You for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for Your comfort in our sadness, Your companionship in our loneliness. Thank You for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank You for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us. Amen.

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We wish you, your families, and loved ones a very happy and joyous Thanksgiving.