Today, the Bishops of the United States, have asked that the Mass offered today be for the specific intention of the protection of unborn children.
In a statement from the Bishops, they note:
“Over 56 million abortions since the 1973 decision of “Roe vs. Wade reflect the heartbreaking magnitude of what Pope Francis means by a “throwaway culture”.
Just days ago, the Holy Father affirmed the right to life as being inalienable and noted that the right to life as beginning with the unborn and extending to all stages of life. He testified that the Church should be a sanctuary of respect for life, proclaiming the sacredness of every human life from conception to natural death.
Today, the Bishops ask the faithful to offer prayers and acts of reparation for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.
Christians are asked to examine their consciences in regards to their own responsibility for a culture that so often meets the needs of women, children, and families with a hardened heart. What have we done or failed to do to contribute to a culture where human life is so often treated with contempt or indifference. Human life is most vulnerable at its earliest stages and if life has little value at this stage, what real value will it have at later stages? Is human life only valuable to us when it is healthy? Affluent? Independent? Is human life only valuable to us when it is a commodity, when it is convenient?
An examination of conscience is not only meant to engender in us sorrow for sin but also a desire to live differently. How will each of us live differently so that we might manifest for others respect for the dignity of every person, from the moment of their conception until natural death?
In what ways will this parish offer concrete assistance to those who are in need, those who care for those who are vulnerable? What will inevitably be asked of us will be more than just a monetary contribution to a cause, but direct and immediate assistance to people in need. When that opportunity presents itself, will this parish be ready? Better said, how will this parish prepare itself to seek out those who are vulnerable and offer them the help that they need- and do so without hesitation or complaint?
Christians cannot withdraw from their responsibility in regards to participating in the culture. Christ insists that we are his lights, and often it is only our light that holds the darkness at bay. A culture of death can only be countered by a living, active, public culture of life.
The transformation of culture often begins, not with grandiose speeches or political strategies- these types of things are usually swallowed up and rendered ineffectual by bureaucracy and ideological posturing. Instead, the transformation of culture commences with the demand of love being fulfilled in the immediacy of the circumstances of life. Sacrifices made on behalf of kindness and love. Vulnerable life is not protected simply by statements, but by our will to love those who need our help. Someone needs your help, if you they cannot find you, you go out and find them.