Next Sunday we celebrate Respect Life Sunday. We are invited to join with people throughout the nation in proclaiming our appreciation for the precious gift of life. There will be a series of “Life Chains” which will be conducted throughout the Archdiocese of Atlanta. We are invited to participate in the one that will be held between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Old Alabama Road in an area which will include the space in front of our Church. The “Life Chain” will be a peaceful, public, and prayerful witness concerning the dignity of all life, especially the lives of the unborn. We will pray for our nation and its people and we will be exercising our responsibility to speak out on behalf of the value of life.
Pope Francis often speaks about the value and dignity of all human life. He has strongly criticized a “throwaway culture” that places too little value on human life. He stated, “Unfortunately what is thrown away is not only food and disposable objects but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as unnecessary.” He has recently spoken out clearly against the death penalty since he believes it does not allow the opportunity for redemption. He has also stressed the need to respect the most vulnerable and marginalized in our society, including the unborn, the elderly, and the physically and mentally challenged. He continues to promote the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death.
The following “PRAYER FOR RESPECT OF LIFE” provided by “Catholics Online” reflects the sentiments of Our Holy Father:
HEAVENLY FATHER, THE BEAUTY AND DIGNITY OF HUMAN LIFE WAS THE CROWNING OF YOUR CREATION.
YOU FURTHER ENNOBLED THAT LIFE WHEN YOUR SON BECAME ONE WITH US IN HIS INCARNATION.
HELP US TO REALIZE THE SACREDNESS OF HUMAN LIFE AND TO RESPECT IT
FROM THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT OF DEATH.
GIVE US COURAGE TO SPEAK WITH TRUTH AND LOVE AND WITH CONVICTION IN DEFENSE OF LIFE.
HELP US TO EXTEND THE GENTLE HAND OF MERCY AND FORGIVENESS
TO THOSE WHO DO NOT REVERENCE YOUR GIFT OF LIFE.
TO ALL, GRANT PARDON FOR THE TIMES WE HAVE FAILED TO BE
GRATEFUL FOR YOUR PRECIOUS GIFT OF LIFE OR TO RESPECT IT IN OTHERS. WE ASK THIS IN JESUS’ NAME.
As we reflect on this prayer, we are challenged to commit ourselves publicly to the protection of all human life. If we cannot be at the “Life Chain” in Johns Creek next Sunday, we are invited to speak for the most vulnerable in prayer in the silence of our hearts. Please continue to pray for a strengthening of a culture of life in our nation.