September 29, 2006


Respecting all life from generation to generation

No one ever said it would be easy. It wasn’t easy for our parents. Or grandparents. Or great-grandparents. At least that’s what we hear.

So why should it be any different for our generation?

And in this case, it goes beyond the “you wouldn’t believe how hard I had it when I was growing up” that we occasionally hear from a parent or other loved ones.

Walking miles to school each morning—sometimes in knee-deep snow in the dead of winter? No problem.

Working a job or two in high school so you could afford car insurance, earn gas money and have spare cash for the latest fashions or that big date? No sweat.

As we get older, we realize there is more to life than transportation, fashion and that first crush.

Ask recent generations, and they’ll confirm there are some common denominators in life, among them how hard it is to be a Catholic and a person of faith who professes, and is called to uphold, a consistent ethic of life.

In a society and culture becoming more secularized by the minute, wearing our faith on our sleeve is by no means an easy thing to do.

As Catholics, that means standing up against violence in every form: abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, war and all conditions that undermine the dignity of life. Those conditions include poverty, racism, hunger and endemic diseases. And that list could go on and on.

October is upon us, which means Catholics around the world are observing Respect Life Month. And in the process, hopefully, making some noteworthy statements where life issues are concerned. (See our special Respect Life Supplement, pages 9-12.)

While thousands will participate in the Life Chains that will take place across the state of Indiana on Oct. 1, there are other ways to promote life causes—not only this month, but every day.

The Indiana Catholic Conference, the Church’s public policy voice in Indiana for state and national matters, is encouraging parishes and individuals to focus on the death penalty.

There have been six executions in Indiana in the past 18 months, and ICC initiated in August a pro-life education campaign, “The Death Penalty: No Justice, No Healing, No Closure,” which supports the U.S. bishops’ ongoing efforts to educate people about the inhumanity of the death penalty.

Abortion and assisted suicide continue to be at the forefront of society as well. Families can also take time to recite the rosary together, praying for respect for all human life from conception until natural death.

During October, as part of their Respect Life Month activities, individuals can fast and abstain from meat on Fridays, too.

If we are to change hearts around us, we must be examples of Christ’s message of respecting all human life in action.

And as people of faith, we know it all begins with prayer.

We encourage all Christians to take to heart the words our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, shared in St. Louis during his final pastoral visit to the United States in 1999: “The new evangelization calls us to be unconditionally pro-life: We will proclaim and celebrate and serve the Gospel of Life in every situation.”

Whether we’re seniors, baby boomers or from Generation X or Y, we must consistently tell ourselves that standing up for life won’t be easy. Nothing worth fighting for is, we’ve been told time and time again.

Every human life, born and unborn, is made in the image and likeness of God. That’s something all generations have been taught.

— Mike Krokos


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