(Here is a gem I came across in my travels across the diocese. It is dated, yet timeless.)
EVERY LIFE IS WORTH LIVING: Let no one tell you otherwise
By Bishop Leonard J. Crowley (1921-2003)
Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal
Pope John Paul II has issued a new encyclical letter entitled Evangelium vitae. The directives that he focuses upon, regarding the sanctity and inviolability of human life, are not something new; they are at the very heart of our identity as children of God. For we have always taught and have been taught that God alone is the author and dispenser of life. The pope has taken on the very difficult issues of abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia because these increasingly popular means of terminating life are fast becoming part and parcel of the legislative domain of many generations.
There is no question that many convincing emotional arguments can be made for the termination of hopelessly painful or unwanted life. But each of these pleas for understanding fails to understand that there is a God who initiates, sustains and brings life to its fulfilment. That initiation is a mystery of God’s creative grace; its sustenance is a mystery of his paternal love, and its fulfilment is an integral part of his providential wisdom – all of which are beyond the scope and understanding of medical science, genetic engineering and government control.
Publicity of high-profile cases of assisted suicide, and persuasive arguments on television talk-shows and popular serial dramas do not take away from the fact that our society has lost its basic respect for life. Our young people treat life as an expendable commodity for both their own (witness the high rate of teenage suicide in Quebec) and that of others (witness the extraordinary number of abortions performed upon teenagers, and the very recent horrendous murder of an elderly minister and his wife by three young teen). We have no one to blame for this cavalier attitude towards the termination of life but ourselves and our attempts to justify, on whatever emotional grounds, the direct termination of an innocent life or even one’s own. We are not masters of our own destiny! We are children of a providential God, who has placed us in the “vale of tears” to work out our salvation, to learn the mystery and the wonder of love and to serve humanity by being faithful to the beatitudes. It is the responsibility of each of us, whether we are liberal or conservative in our political and philosophical views, to instill these values in our youth. And there is no better way to instill these precious ideals than by sustaining them in our won outlook on life and living.
The horribly painful suffering and death of the Son of God were not part of the plan of a perverse God who enjoys agony. Jesus’ destiny was and is intended as a model for all of us to recognize the suffering brought on by our sinful condition. We cannot escape that condition in this. But we can try to embrace the saving grace of a God who will always provide for us, even in the darkest, the most lonely and the most agonizing of moments.
Indeed the advances and technological wonders of science and medicine have done much to alleviate the painful conditions suffered by humanity. That is as it should be. But neither science nor government will ever have the right or responsibility to rip away the rights of divine providence. How paradoxical it is that we condemned with justifiable horror the agonizing genetic experiments of Nazis who sought the ubermensch, - the superman, but we condone the governments that have no more respect for life with their abortion legislation, their euthanasia proposals and their discussions supporting legislation for assisted suicide. Whatever the motivation, be it selfish or humanitarian, the termination of innocent life is morally abhorrent. It is this immutable truth that the Holy Father heroically addresses in his most recent appeal to the moral dignity of mankind. We need the voice of spiritual reason to remind us that, left tour own devices, we are far more inclined to selfish destruction than to selfless creation.
My dear friends, life is all we have. We cannot ever justify or support anyone who would systematically find ways of throwing away the one means we have of proving ourselves worthy of the kingdom that the Father has prepared for us, that this Son has died to open to us and that his spirit continuously leads us towards. However strong or weak we are – however rich or poor, however healthy or sick – our life is worth living. Let no one seductively lead us to think otherwise.
p.s. The Rosary Walk is set for this Saturday morning, July 11, 2015. Meeting after the 10 am mass at Saint-Joseph's Oratory - 3800 Queen Mary road, we will leave there and walk towards and end at the cathedral Mary Queen of the World on René-Lévesque blvd, where a community pic-nic will be held. Bring a hat or a parasol as sunny skies are forecasted. JMJ