The month of October is “Respect Life” month, a call for all Catholics to pray, fast, sacrifice, and to take action in defending the gift of life from conception to natural death. How appropriate it is that this Respect Life month falls during this Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, who urges us to be “moved by mercy” to respect life. Our Bishop David M. O’Connell, CM, wrote in the September 22nd edition of The Monitor the following: “It is tragic enough that disregard for human life is so blatantly widespread and commonplace everywhere we turn but the fact that it has been justified by and chiseled into our country’s laws is beyond comprehension. What kind of nation have we become? Thomas Jefferson, one of the architects of our democracy, wrote, ‘The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.’ There can be no reasonable doubt, as Pope Francis affirmed, that ‘the right to life is the first among human rights.’”
We need to cultivate within ourselves “an attitude of the heart, one which appreciates life with serene attentiveness, which is capable of being fully present to someone without thinking of what comes next” (Pope Francis, Laudato Si, no. 226). With this attitude, as we draw closer to God and to each other, we will become more attuned to God’s call.
“Keep a clear eye toward life’s end. Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God’s creature. What you are in his sight is what you are and nothing more. Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take nothing that you have received…but only what you have given; a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage” (St. Francis). Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Joyfully in the Lord
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish