January 29, 2020
God has carefully, tenderly created every person in His own image and likeness, to be in a loving relationship with Himself. From each tiny child knit within a mother’s womb, to every person approaching death, all are loved perfectly and completely by God. “It is therefore a service of love,” Pope Saint John Paul II explains, “which we are all committed to ensure to our neighbor, that his or her life may be always defended and promoted, especially when it is weak or threatened [emphasis added]” (Evangelium vitae 77).
In a world in which the most vulnerable are so often overlooked and disregarded, Christ calls us to embrace and uphold the unconditional dignity of every human life. In answering this call, we help to build “a new culture of life, the fruit of the culture of truth and of love” (EV 77). May the Holy Spirit continually renew us as we strive to faithfully defend God’s gift of life.
Acts of Reparation
Do you love your cup of tea or coffee? Abstain from caffeine today, or try your coffee black.
“Unplug” for some time, and reflect on how God may be asking you to help build a culture of life in your home, workplace, or Church community.
Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.
One Step Further
Watching the news and reading headlines, we may often feel helpless in the face of heartbreaking lack of respect for human life. When our efforts to make a difference feel small, it’s important to remember that changing the culture is a process of conversion that begins in our own hearts. It includes a willingness to be instructed by the Holy Spirit and a desire to be close to Jesus—the source of joy and love.
“How to Build a Culture of Life” briefly explains where to start.
Image: A mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe decorates a side altar in the Church of Santa Maria della Famiglia at the Vatican. Dec. 15. (CNS photo/Paul Haring.)
Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life), no.77 © 1995, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Models used for illustrative purposes only. iStock.com/SergeyIT. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2019, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.