The Happy Priest On Independence Day: The Gift of Life
the new civil war is now a culture war between the culture of life and the culture of death
Why is the right to life the first of these God given rights?
Life is a gift from God. The first pages of the Holy Bible direct our gaze to the awesome gift of life. "And now, from the clay of the ground, the Lord God formed man, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and made man a living person" (Genesis 2: 7). Life is entrusted to man as a gift. Thus, man has a responsibility to this gift.
In his encyclical letter The Gospel of Life, Blessed Pope John Paul II reminds us that this responsibility is carried out in three ways: love life, respect life and promote life.
Regarding the love for life, Mrs. Lucille Dippolito provides an amazing example of someone who is committed to life. She is a nurse and the mother of twenty children. The youngest is twenty-two, the eldest forty-three. She says, "The more children, the more love". When the incredulous question how she and her husband can afford to have a large family, she responds, "For every little mouth that God sends, he sends the little bit that is needed. I had faith in God that as he had sent me each child, he was going to feed that child. We have lived better than some families with two or three kids. Our kids started doing things! It's not how many kids you have; it's your faith in God."
Lucille goes on to say, "Everybody is going to have a dark side; we're not here to have heaven on earth. What are people afraid of today? People that don't have kids have worse crosses than those who do! People need to start reading books on the joys of children. They are going to miss out on a lifetime of happiness. A baby is joy! Having children makes you healthy. After each child I got stronger; couldn't wait for the next one to get here! God gives you these things. You never have a dull moment.always something that you can look forward to. If you are always around young children, you will always be young at heart."
Aside from a love for life, we are to respect life as well. My grandmother spent her last years in a nursing home because she was unable to care for herself. Alzheimer's completely sapped her joyful vitality and totally changed her personality.
Every time I went home to visit my parents, we always spent time with my grandmother. The visits were always very sad. After my mother briefly reminded her whom we were, my grandmother would be delighted by our visits. Our sadness was caused by our loss: what the illness had done to the once lovely, vibrant woman, my grandmother.
The nurses at the nursing home were extraordinary women. In their own simple way, they attended to every detail of patient care. There were many other patients there in worse shape than my grandmother. I often wondered how the nurses could be so cheerful and so loving in such a difficult environment.
One day during one of our family visits, the nurse who always took care of my grandmother told me that she could not wait to retire so that she could come back every day to the nursing home and spend her entire day with the patients at no charge to the home. She was so excited about the possibility of generously giving of herself without any restrictions.
Many people and many organizations are committed to the promotion of life. The country is filled with millions of unsung heroes who each day work to promote life. Locally, in the city of Corpus Christi, there are many who continue to do sidewalk counseling at the only remaining abortion clinic, and there are the hardworking individuals who are committed to the important work of Hope House, Birth Right, the Gabriel Project, the Society of the Body of Christ and Rachel's Vineyard. Each year, Celebration for Life draws supporters to an evening of fine dining and entertainment and raises the much needed funding to support pro-life activities here in South Texas.
The Founding Fathers got it right. They understood that there is a relationship between life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom and happiness are impossible without the fundamental right to life. Why is this so?
Let us remember that no matter how small a little baby may be in the ...
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