Day of Prayer
for the Legal Protection of
Unborn Children

“David’s servants said to him, “This is the day about which the LORD said to you: I will deliver your enemy into your hand; do with him as you see fit.” So David moved up and stealthily cut off an end of Saul’s robe.” (1 Samuel 24:5.)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (part 2 of the background of Saint Gregory of Nyssa is found here) offers the following insight on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“When, therefore, he was alone and had removed his robe and laid it down somewhere beside him, the light from the mouth of the cave made him visible to those hidden within the darkness. All of David’s companions wanted to rush upon the enemy and avenge themselves on the one who had come to kill them, since God had given the enemy into the hands of those who were being pursued for slaughter. But David forbade them to attack, considering an assault against their king unlawful. He drew his own sword from its sheath and imperceptibly stood behind Saul. There was no witness to his undertaking against Saul, for the darkness in the cave concealed his appearance and prevented scrutiny of what was happening. When, then, he could have driven his whole sword through Saul’s heart from behind with one blow, he neither touched his body nor was he about to. But he secretly cut off the end of his robe with his sword, so that the garment might be a witness later of his clemency toward Saul and prove the power that he had had to strike a blow against Saul’s body by means of the cut at its end.

By this it became obvious that David had been trained in forbearance. When he held the bare sword in his palm, and the body of his enemy lay under his hand, he had the power to kill him, but he conquered his anger with reason, and his power to strike the blow with the fear of God. Not only did he become superior to his own anger, but he also restrained his shield bearer who was eager to murder Saul, addressing him with that saying famous in song, “Destroy not the anointed of the Lord.” (On the Inscriptions of the Psalms, 2.)

God our Creator,
we give thanks to You,
Who alone have the power
to impart the breath of life
as you form each of us in our mother’s womb;
grant, we pray,
that we, whom You have made stewards of creation,
may remain faithful to this sacred trust
and constant in safeguarding
the dignity of every human life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen