Today the NZ Catholic Bishops have issued a letter for Respect Life Sunday. I really like this line in the letter:
‘Deep down in the heart of every person is the knowledge that life is precious and often fragile.’
Respect Life Sunday gives us the opportunity to reflect upon this. Often when we are talking about ‘respecting life’ we just think of abortion and euthanasia. These are two big issues that need action and prayer every day. But how do people get to the point that they turn to abortion or consider euthanasia?
People often turn to abortion as they can’t do it alone and have no support, or they have been told their child is unwell and has no value in this world. Or they may be facing mental illness and it is too much for them. If each of us connects to the knowledge deep in our hearts that ‘all life is precious’ how could we help change this situation?
It all begins with having a culture of life.
When did we last reach out to a family who are struggling financially or have no family support? When did we last include that relative or friend who is a bit different or strange? When did we last get in behind a pregnant mother with prayer and practical support? A culture of life begins with our every-day actions. It begins with the way we speak. When did we last make a judgemental remark or say something unkind behind another’s back? These things contribute to an unhealthy culture of life.
As I write this I am very aware there will be people reading this who have been touched by abortion. The Bishops say in their letter ‘We stand close to those who carry heavy pain or grief of abortion’. They encourage those grieving to rest in the love of Jesus.
There will be others today who are in pain and grieving with so many other circumstances. Not being able to conceive, losing a child early, miscarriage, still birth or being estranged from your child. Today is a reminder you are loved and are called to find ‘rest for your soul.’
All people are made in the image and likeness of God – therefore all people are good. If all people knew and understood this, our world would be a different place.