Tuesday, January 22, Is A Day of Prayer and Penance.

Respect_Life 2019My blog is early this week – and that is because I wanted to encourage you to respond to the invitation of the Bishops of our country.

Tomorrow, January 22nd, is the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Catholics in the United States, and people of good will, are asked to observe that day as a “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.”

Many people from across our nation gathered on Thursday evening for the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. They prayed throughout the night for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life. On Friday they gathered for the “March for Life Prayer Rally” and march to Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court.

Not everyone was able to participate in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. However, all of us can join together in praying that all governments, especially our own, will seek a truly just society, in which the common good of all people, including the most vulnerable, is sought.

Tomorrow we are asked to be intentional in praying for an end of this modern day slaughter, and remembering the victims of this tragedy. As we remember their brief lives, we are also called to be mindful of the beauty and sacredness of all human life, especially the vulnerable in our midst, and their need for dignity and respect as individuals created in the image and likeness of God. Bishop Perez, in urging Catholics of our diocese to spend time in prayer confirms this by saying, “Pope Francis reminds us that all life has an inestimable value – even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor – are masterpieces of God’s creation, make in his own image, destined to live forever and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”

On that very sensitive day, we should remember that there are people all around us who are still in the process of reconciling with God and the Church because they have had an abortion. As Christians we must show compassion and God’s mercy as we work to restore all and renew all in Christ’s love and life.

Praying in this manner is rooted in a teaching that has come to be known as the “consistent ethic of life,” developed by the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. This principal has been alluded to by Pope Francis in his teaching and preaching. The main feature of the “consistent ethic of life” is its insistence on the interconnectedness of life issues across the span of life from conception to natural death. Such issues obviously include abortion and euthanasia at the beginning and end of the life, but would also include a myriad of issues between those two points along the span of life – concern for the poor and for immigrants, the death penalty and health care.

The denial of respect or even the diminishment of respect for any one aspect of life would lead adversely to a denial or diminishment of the respect for life in other aspects of life due to the fact that they are all related. In other words, since they are tied together, to pull out the thread of any one issue would lead to the unraveling of the whole cloth, hence, the “consistent ethic of life” came to be known by many as the “seamless garment” of life. It should be the foundation of our prayer for the respect of human life today and every day.

A few suggestions for your commitment to fostering a respect of all human life:

  • Attend the 7:30 am Mass tomorrow at Saint John Bosco.
  • Make a “Holy Hour” in the Adoration Chapel – making your prayer intention for that hour a respect for all of human life.
  • Attend the Annual Diocesan Mass for Life 10:00 am tomorrow at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, corner of East Ninth & Superior Avenues in Cleveland. That Mass will be streamed live on the diocesan website, www.dioceseofcleveland.org, and will be broadcast on Cleveland Catholic Radio, AM 1260 The Rock, www.am1260therock.com, for those unable to attend in person.
  • Pray for those who work in varied ministries in service of the dignity of the human person – crisis pregnancy counselors, hospice workers, medical professionals, confessors and therapists.
  • Pray for those who have been wounded by abortion.
  • Say a Rosary or the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
  • Engage in some form of fasting.
  • Visit the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and pray the final day of the “9 Days Novena for Life.” Question – What form of prayer and penance will you embrace tomorrow?

Question – What form of prayer and penance will you embrace tomorrow?

My next blog will be on February 13th.

By | January 21st, 2019 | Father Jurcak's Blog | 1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Greg breen January 21, 2019 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Fast and abstain for the day

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