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You are important to God.

That’s why there is a battle being waged over your heart. You are important to God. That’s why the evil one seeks to destroy and divide our hearts, minds, families, and even our persons. The Spirit of God, however, seeks to unify and give life. We are ultimately at the center of a spiritual battle, bigger than laws and cultural norms — bigger even than abortion. And because it is a spiritual battle, it requires a spiritual response.

Our founder, John Cardinal O’Connor, was very involved in prolife work and was a strong voice for life as the Archbishop of New York. As the years went on, he recognized that while there was lots of good work being done in the pro-life movement, something was still missing. He took all of this to prayer, and he began praying with Mark, Chapter 9, where Jesus comes down the mountain to find that the disciples cannot cast one particular demon out.

So Jesus casts it out, and the disciples ask Him, “Lord, why is it that we were not able to cast this demon out?” And the Lord says, “This kind of demon can only be cast out by prayer and fasting”(cf. Mk 9:29). Cardinal O’Connor recognized that “contempt for human life is a demon that can only be cast out by prayer and fasting.” This is a battle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers (cf. Eph 6:12).

The power of prayer and fasting:

Prayer and fasting are incredibly powerful — they realign our hearts to God, defend us against evil, and win graces for others. Choosing to open ourselves to Jesus’ love each day through prayer and the sacraments opens up a torrent of God’s life-giving grace upon the world and helps root us in the truth that we belong to Him.

Originally printed in IMPRINT Magazine Fall 2021.