And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent, that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Almighty God, our Father, you who have given us life and intended us to have it forever, grant us your blessings. Enlighten our minds to an awareness and to a renewed conviction that all human life is sacred because it is created in your image and likeness. Help us to teach by word and the example of our lives that life occupies the first place, that human life is precious because it is the gift of God whose love is infinite. Give us the strength to defend human life against every influence or action that threatens or weakens it, as well as the strength to make every life more human in all its aspects.
Give us the grace…
When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, to stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life.
When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, to stand up and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God, a gift of God with a right to a loving and united family.
When the institution of marriage is abandoned to human selfishness or reduced to a temporary conditional arrangement that can easily be terminated, to stand up and affirm the indissolubility of the marriage bond.
When the value of the family is threatened because of social and economic pressure, to stand up and reaffirm that the family is necessary not only for the private good of every person, but also for the common good of every society, nation and state.
When freedom is used to dominate the weak, to squander natural resources and energy, to deny basic necessities to people, to stand up and affirm the demands of justice and social love.
Almighty Father, give us courage to proclaim the supreme dignity of all human life and to demand that society itself give its protection. We ask this in your name, through the redemptive act of your Son and in the Holy Spirit.
(Adapted from St. Pope John Paul II’s homily of October 7, 1979)