Our Dignity, Our Identity

On the first Sunday of October, the Catholic Church begins the celebration of Respect Life Month. This is a month to help remind us of our sacred identity, that God created us out of love in, his image and likeness. This God‐given sacred identity imbues within us a dignity that makes every human life sacred from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.

For this reason, the life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition. The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights that leads Catholics to actively work for a world of greater respect for human life and greater commitment to justice and peace. This sacred identity and dignity of the human person is the very essence of what motivates the members of the Catholics Church to be champion defenders in upholding and fighting for the many human rights that we enjoy today.

What is worrisome and disturbing is that in our society the respect for human life, that we have worked so hard to obtain, is slowly being eroded. Every time I watch the news or read the newspaper, I see a growing trend of a culture of death within our society – abortion on demand, euthanasia, senseless acts of violence and killings, human trafficking, unlawful organ harvesting, drugs, poverty, wars… the list can go on, but the bottom line is that more and more people are losing sight of the dignity of the human person.

These senseless acts of violence and hatred are a product of a culture that takes God and religion out of the picture. It saddens me to see the youth of America falling into this ‘social’ trend of the devaluation of the core Christian moral and ethical values that formed the solid foundation of our beloved country. It saddens me to see that when a society starts losing sight of God and these core Christian moral values, the respect, and dignity of the human person are compromised. This respect and dignity are founded on the fact that God created us wonderfully in his image and likeness. Pope Frances stated this so well: “Things have a price and can be for sale, but people have a
a dignity that is priceless and worth far more than things.”

May this Respect Life Month motivate us to be a part of the “Trend Changers” and unite with Catholics throughout the world praying for a return to the respect and dignity of human life, never forgetting that the most basic human right is the right to life itself. And because we believe that all human life is sacred, it must be protected for all persons, from conception to natural death.

That’s why we must maintain the same respect and honor for all human beings: the unborn, the handicapped, the elderly, criminals, foreigners, enemies, immigrants, everyone. This may be a challenging principle for some and a radical stance for others, but it’s what sets us apart as Christians. It’s a principle as basic and wonderful as God telling us, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. John