The Masses and the Vigil invite us in a special way to recommit ourselves to the dignity and value of all human life. Our Holy Father Pope Francis invites us and challenges us to reaffirm our commitment to welcome the joy of new life as a gift from God, and to support this life from conception until natural death. He also invites us to bear witness not only to the value and sacredness of the unborn, but also to the elderly, and the physically and mentally ill. As we have said previously, we are urged to treat our brothers and sisters, young and old, with the dignity we ourselves expect. They join us as the people of God. They are God’s children, too, and deserve our love and support. We pray that where people fail to value this gift of life, God may change their hearts and minds.
The following prayer is taken from “PRAYER BOOK”, a Catholic religious site, reflects the call to truly appreciate the gift of life:
LOVING GOD, I THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT OF LIFE YOU GAVE AND CONTINUE TO GIVE TO ME AND TO ALL OF US. MERCIFUL GOD, I ASK YOUR PARDON AND FORGIVENESS FOR MY OWN FAILURE AND THE FAILURE OF ALL PEOPLE TO RESPECT AND FOSTER ALL FORMS OF LIFE IN OUR UNIVERSE.
GRACIOUS GOD, I PRAY THAT WITH YOUR GRACE, I AND ALL PEOPLE WILL REVERENCE, PROTECT, AND PROMOTE ALL LIFE, AND THAT WE WILL BE ESPECIALLY SENSITIVE TO THE LIFE OF THE UNBORN, THE ABUSED, NEGLECTED, DISABLED, AND THE ELDERLY. I PRAY, TOO, THAT ALL WHO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT LIFE IN ANY FORM WILL DO SO WITH WISDOM, LOVE, AND COURAGE.
LIVING GOD, I PRAISE AND GLORIFY YOU AS FATHER, SOURCE OF ALL LIFE, AS SON, SAVIOR OF OUR LIVES, AND AS SPIRIT, SANCTIFIER OF OUR LIVES. AMEN.
I hope you will prayerfully consider joining us for our Vigil on Wednesday or joining Archbishop Gregory for the Mass on Thursday as we strive to bear witness to the sacredness of all life.
Fr. Neil Herlihy