A Reflection on Respect Life Month
by Gary Tester, Executive Director

Have you ever watched the news and said how can things be this bad, or, is it possible that the problems and violence of the world could get any worse? This is exactly what the Prophet Habakkuk says, “How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen!” (Habakkuk 1:2) The prophets of the Old Testament, like those of us in today’s culture, continue to ask the eternal question of why do bad things continue to happen. As God informs Habakkuk, he has a “vision” and plan for good and wholeness for the entire human family. Through God’s mercy on a sinful and broken world, we all have the choice to draw closer to him so that we may be God’s mercy to those who suffer.

Respect Life Month is designated by the United States Bishops as an opportunity to reflect on the sacredness and dignity of human life, in the face of startling statistics such as; over 50 million children dying from abortions since 1973 and 22,000 children dying each year, globally, due to poverty. Started in 1972, the Respect Life program begins on the first weekend of October and continues throughout the year. This year’s theme: “Moved by Mercy,” reflects the Holy Year of Mercy called by Pope Francis. Our Holy Father affirms that human beings possess “a particular dignity above other creatures” and share a distinct responsibility for the world entrusted to us.

Respect Life materials are designed each year to help Catholics and others understand, value and become engaged in supporting the dignity of every person, especially by cherishing God’s gift of life and creation.

You can download all the Respect Life Program information and materials at: www.usccb.org/respectlife.