The month of October is Respect Life month. As such we are called to draw our attention and prayer to the issues that attack the dignity of life and pray for an increase in the respect for life at all stages. These include abortion, assisted suicide, capital punishment, human cloning, contraception, embryo/fetal stem cell research, euthanasia, sex trafficking, war, poverty, immigration, suicide, and end-of-life issues.
Today, we are a beacon of light striving for the transformation of our culture of death to become a culture of life. I am very proud of our Church. For all of our struggles with personalities, our teachings uphold the high standard of care with a special preference for the poor. We have ordered some prayer cards with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on them. She is not only the patron of the Americas, but also the patroness of the unborn. Why is she the patroness of the unborn? Well, if one looks carefully at the image, it becomes clear that she is pregnant. In horrible circumstances, she still chose to bear the weight of potential shame and ridicule for the sake of the life of her child, Jesus. No other image carries this significance. Because of her fiat, we have salvation.
I urge you to educate yourself on these issues. They are many for sure. But don’t let their number scare you. Take one at a time and reflect on how you may be called to ministry in any of these areas. In order to learn more, go to the U.S. Bishop’s website’s Pro-Life Activities page where you can view, download, and print various materials covering many of the issues: http://www.usccb.org/profile/programs/rlp/2010/ All of the materials are also available in Spanish.
May God protect our weak and vulnerable and help us to be- come agents for changing the landscape of our culture that is so bent on death. May we all be willing to stand for the dignity of life and put into practice the teachings of our amazing Church.
Fr. William Holtzinger