This Sunday we celebrate Respect Life Sunday. As Catholics, we are encouraged to promote the dignity of all human life from conception until natural death. Archbishop Hartmayer has encouraged us to promote the Gospel of Life, and protect and cherish the lives of the elderly, the physically and mentally challenged, and the unborn. He recently stated, “Laws alone cannot establish a culture of life in our nation. Catholics and people of goodwill must dedicate themselves to this work. All human life is sacred. No civil law can counter this truth.” He also noted, “…we will never stop working to protect women and their babies.”
The following “Respect for Life Prayer” provided by “Catholics Online” asks St. Francis to help us truly embrace a reverence for life:
Gentle St. Francis, you were devoted to the humanity of Christ.
Your heart burst with appreciation toward God for taking on human life. You saw beauty and goodness in all living things – in birds that sing, the fish that fill our waters, and all that lives in nature.
Help us to imitate your reverence for life wherever it may be. Especially, humble Francis of Assisi, help us to help others to see the worth of every living, unborn baby sheltered in its mother’s womb.
May all mankind have the grace to understand that these tiny, budding lives have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer and on the profound words of Archbishop Hartmayer, this Sunday we are invited to reaffirm 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 “Life Chain” that will be held between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 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.
Our bishops have encouraged us to be voices for the voiceless, to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. We are challenged to commit ourselves publicly to the protection of all human life as we strive to enhance the moral integrity of our great nation. If we cannot be at the “Life Chain” in Johns Creek this Sunday, we are invited to speak for the most vulnerable through prayer in the silence of our hearts.
May God continue to bless you and your families for all you do to embrace and promote a culture of life.