October is Respect Life month. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has labeled the theme for the month as “Every life: cherished, chosen and sent.” We are cherished by God, created in His image; chosen by God to be in relationship with Him; and sent by God to spread his love. The bishops are using the appearance of Mary, Mother of God to St. Juan Diego in 1531 as the backdrop for the month. If you recall, near present day Mexico City, Juan Diego encountered Mary who, in the form of Our Lady of Guadalupe, instructed him to ask the bishop to build a church for her and her son. This church, now the New Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City displays his cloak with Mary's glorious image.
Abortion is the main issue of Pro-life activities, with others being assisted suicide, issues at the end of life, contraception, persons with disabilities and healing from abortion. There are others.
In response to the encyclical of St. John Paul II called The Gospel of Life, the US bishops wrote in 1998, Living the Gospel of Life. Here they suggest that opposing abortion and euthanasia, “does not excuse indifference to those who suffer from poverty, violence and injustice. Any politics of human life must work to resist the violence of war and the scandal of capital punishment. Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing and health issues.” My view of Pro-life includes these many issues that impact Godly living. Let us this month, pray for and cherish the life of the unborn, the elderly, the disabled, the poor, the war torn, the victims of racism, the hungry, the homeless, the imprisoned, the uneducated and those suffering for lack of health care. God asks us, I believe, to go against all suffering and injustice.