We embrace the vision to respect all human life. We work to protect the lives of people no matter who they are or how bad they may be. It is the way of our Franciscan love. True christian love cannot be choosey. It is universal as We try to imitate the God who loves all people. For the same reason, we work to create conditions of life worthy of people redeemed by Christ (SFO Rule #13). All life is precious and we will live by that belief. We know how impossible this can be without the power of the Holy Spirit. Hence We are a prayerful people.
God is the Living One; Jesus brings us the life of God; the Holy Spirit gives and keeps us in our new life as true sons and daughters of God. But all too often, people do not choose life, they do not accept the “Gospel of Life” but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others. It is the eternal dream of wanting to build the city of man without God, without God’s life and love – a new Tower of Babel. It is the idea that rejecting God, the message of Christ, the Gospel of Life, will somehow lead to freedom, to complete human fulfillment As a result, the Living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death. The wisdom of the Psalmist says: “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Ps 19:8).
As Francis indicated in his Admonitions, the heart must not turn away from God under “pretexts” of occupations. Too often today in our busy world we hear complaints of “I do not have enough time” to pray, or “I am too busy to pray.” We are burdened by appointments, commitments, responsibilities or simply overloaded with the demands of daily life, journeying through life in the fast lane of a complex culture. When we arrive at “burnout” and wonder why life is so empty, we may recall Francis’ admonition that our hearts may turn from God under the disguise of being “too busy.”
~ Ilia Delio, Franciscan Prayer
I would therefore like us all to make the serious commitment to respect and care for creation, to pay attention to every person, to combat the culture of waste and of throwing out so as to foster a culture of solidarity and encounter.
~ Pope Francis, quoted in “Pope Francis’ guide to avoiding a ‘throwaway culture‘” (Our Sunday Visitor website)
Parents are the most fundamental defenders of life; they will die for their children’s sakes. Disrupt the family and you disrupt life, but not death. Death goes on. Our increasingly secular society sanctions abortion and euthanasia and battles to celebrate sterile unions that cannot naturally populate the world. We are in dissolution, so lonely that we are killing ourselves, so earth-bound in our thinking that we throw people away.
~ Elizabeth Scalia, “If Women Ran the World” via First Things.