Marriage, Family and Respect Life: Get Involved
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What is urgently called for is a general mobilization of consciences and a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support of life. All together, we must build a new culture of life.
- Pope Saint John Paul the Great
(The Gospel of Life #95)
Pope John Paul II boldly described the battle to protect human life and dignity as ‘a dramatic conflict between the ‘culture of death’ and the ‘culture of life’’ (The Gospel of Life, 50). In contrast to the culture of death, John Paul called for the proclamation of a new culture of life focused which he saw as an necessary aspect of the proclamation of the Gospel:
"The Church, faithfully contemplating the mystery of the Redemption, acknowledges this value [i.e., the value of every human person] with ever new wonder. She feels called to proclaim to the people of all times this ‘Gospel’, the source of invincible hope and true joy for every period of history. The Gospel of God’s love for man, the Gospel of the dignity of the person and the Gospel of life are a single and indivisible Gospel" (The Gospel of Life, 2).
In the pope’s vision, the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is not a doctrine related only to some distant reality of the soul after death. Rather it is a message of life and hope that touches every aspect of the human person, and is the source for creating a genuine culture of life and a civilization of truth and love.
Although the building of the culture of life described by John Paul is a daunting task, especially given the dominance of the culture of death, it is a task in which the entire Church is called to participate. Just as every Christian is called to be an evangelist, (see Evangelization in the Modern World, 14) spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ, Pope John Paul II taught that every Christian has a part to play in building the culture of life.
Each of us is called to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, including efforts to promote human life and dignity. Whether we are clergy, religious, married or single, each of us has a part to play.
What can you do to build the culture of life in your families, parishes and communities? Here are a few suggestions...
1) Commit to prayer.
Determine to pray regularly (even daily) for the end of abortion and the coming of the culture of life. Praying the Rosary is especially recommended.
2) Love your family.
Building a society that respects and cherishes human dignity begins in the home. Make your home a place of love, forgiveness and joy. Make your family a true sanctuary of life, where each human person is received as a gift from God.
3) Get informed.
Find out what the Church teaches about life issues (abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, contraception, etc) from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other Church documents. Keep up to date on current events related to the culture of life. (See our RESPECT LIFE page to read about various life issues.)
4) Get involved.
Participate in activities in your parish and community that promote the culture of life and assist those in need.
5) Start something.
Establish a Respect Life Committee in your parish, a Pro-Life Club in your school or Crisis Pregnancy Center your community. Great works begin with one person who has a passion to help others.
6) Witness for life.
Share your pro-life convictions with others. Use pro-life bumper stickers and yard signs. Find ways to get the pro-life message out into your community.
7) Abstain from meat and fast on Fridays.
The US Bishops have invited Catholics to offer up sacrifices in reparation for sins against human life and dignity.
8) Give what God has given you!
Donate money to organizations and activities that are promoting the Culture of Life.
God is doing amazing things to build the culture of life!
Each of us is called to participate in this great movement.
Everyone can do something.
What are you doing?