Annual Day for Life 2012

        The First Reading comes from the Creation Account in Genesis 2-3. This provides an ideal context in which to speak of the beauty and sanctity of human life as part of the gift of God’s creation. In marriage a man and woman become ‘one flesh’ and cooperate in the creative action of God in the marvellous gift of bringing forth new life. In chapter 1 of Genesis, God has already proclaimed that he is author of the life of every person, who is formed in his image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26-28). Every human life therefore has a sacred and inviolable character and no one can, in any circumstance, claim the right to directly destroy an innocent human being.

        The Response to the Psalm is ‘May the Lord bless us all the days of our Life’. As we celebrate our annual Day for Life, we ask the Lord to bless us with a sense of the wonder and preciousness of our life and the life of others, from the first of moment of conception, to natural death.

        From the moment of conception, every human life is beautiful, every human life is precious and every human life is sacred. From the first moment of conception a new, unique and genetically complete human being comes into existence. From that moment onwards, we did not grow and develop into a human being, but grew and developed as a human being.

        The Gospel shows Jesus welcoming the little children to him; today we place all children, including those waiting to be born into the loving care of Jesus.

        Any mother or father who has gazed in wonder at an ultrasound scan of their baby, or heard his or her heart beating for the first time, will know how rapid and beautiful is the development of their baby in the womb. They will know that their baby does not suddenly become a human being at birth. And they will know that the daughter or son now present before them as an infant or teenager is the same human life, the same human child they saw in that first scan.

        The child in the womb is not a ‘potential’ life, but a human life with potential – a precious and God-given potential that all of us, whether as parents, nurses, midwives, doctors, politicians, lawyers, citizens or voters, are called to respect and protect.

        International research shows that Ireland, without legislating for abortion, is consistently one of the safest countries in the world for a mother who is expecting a baby.

        Legislating for abortion denies the humanity and dignity of the child in the womb and violates the most basic human right of all – the right to life.

        It is never necessary to directly target the life of the baby in the womb to save the life of the mother. Both can be treated as individual persons with an equal right to life.

        The Irish Government does not have to provide for abortion in Ireland to comply with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the 2010 case known as ‘A,B & C vs Ireland’.

        On the contrary our Government could chose to protect the life of the unborn baby in the womb, while upholding the equal right to life of the mother, by introducing laws or a Constitutional amendment that would set aside the Supreme Court ruling in the ‘X-case’, which allowed for abortion in a potentially wide range of circumstances.

        International experience shows that once abortion is legalised, even in apparently very limited situations, it becomes more widespread than was first intended.

        Many women who have had abortions speak of their deep regret, and research also confirms the harm that abortion can cause women.

        As a Christian community we must reach out with great compassion and care to those who find themselves faced with difficult circumstances in pregnancy and those who have had an abortion and may now live with the regret.

        We ask everyone to pray the ‘Choose Life: prayer for the unborn child in the womb’ during this special month of prayer from the Day for Life to the Feast of All the Saints of Ireland on 6th November.

        We ask everyone to read the special Day for Life message, to visit the special ‘Choose Life 2012’ web site and to watch the videos there. We ask you to consider signing up to the dedicated 'Choose Life 2012’ Twitter account to receive regular messages on the theme of respect for human life and you are also encourage, as active citizens, to raise these issue with our elected representatives.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Fr. John for your sermon. I am delighted to say that this prayer for Life is being prayed each morning after Holy Mass at the Monastery where I live near. It is important that we protect all life from conception to natural death. God bless you.