Oct. 21, 2015
Bishop LaValley’s message for Respect Life Month
On June 18th, Pope Francis shared with the world his encyclical, Laudato Si.
The Holy Father concluded with this prayer: “God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth, for not one of them is forgotten in your sight. Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live. The poor and the earth are crying out. O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty. Praise be to you! Amen.”
These words capture well the message of Respect Life Month which we observe every October and whose theme this year is “Every life is Worth Living.”
The Pope’s prayer reminds us that every human life from conception to natural death has a place in God’s plan. A person’s life, is not a commodity in the marketplace, valued according to one’s ability to produce nor is it disposable when deemed too burdensome.
The dignity of every human person stems not from wholeness of physical health nor does it depend upon one’s personal virtue. Rather, our inestimable value is irrevocably linked to our bedrock belief that each and every one of us is created in God’s image and likeness and called to an eternal destiny with God!
It is this destiny, then, that should shape our behavior towards God’s ultimate creation, man and woman. Whether it lasts for a brief moment or a hundred years, each of our lives is a beautiful and precious gift of God destined for “a future full of hope” (Jer. 29:11).
In this context lies Jesus’ great commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn. 13:34).
Particularly, the unborn, the poor, the elderly, all the vulnerable have a claim on our care, love and support.
May God enlighten our minds and open our hearts to the precious gift of life that surrounds us and help us to leave behind any attitudes of indifference towards the vulnerable.
Let us embrace each life for as long as it is given and continue to announce in our words and deeds: “Every life is worth living!”