By Fr. Ron Will
The Catholic Church has celebrated October as “Respect Life Month” for many years. Each year we are asked to raise our awareness to another level of what it means to respect life as a gift from God. The standard by which we choose how to respect life is God’s standard, the creator of all life, including human life.
Although God says in Isaiah 55:8 “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,” God’s ways can become our ways when we put on the mind of Christ. St. Paul exhorts us in his Letter to the Colossians (3:12-17) that we should put on the mind of Christ. That means put on his attitude, his way of looking at situations, making judgments as Christ would make them as we look at various people and situations. We have Christ within us because we are baptized, therefore we already have the mind of Christ. We must engage it and decide to treat all people as Christ would treat them.
October calls us to intensify our choosing to look at life through the eyes of Jesus Christ. October is a month to reflect on how all life is precious, to recognize anew that every person is as precious as the blood of Christ.
Precious Blood Renewal Center is hosting a series of discussions on the five Saturdays of October with aim of broadening our view of “respect for life.”
The discussions will be in person and live-streamed 10-11:30 a.m. central time. You must register to attend.
We will meet (Oct. 2) individuals who have experienced abuse as the elderly and we will learn how to look for warning signs in our own homes and our local care facilities.
We will meet (Oct. 9) mothers who lost children through violent homicide, and learn how Precious Blood Sisters are ministering to them. It will help us appreciate the preciousness of life.
We will meet (Oct. 16) individuals who are working toward alternatives to the death penalty. We will learn why they believe so strongly that all life must be treated with respect, including the guilty.
Gun violence is a growing concern in our country. We will meet (Oct. 23) two priests who addressed that situation in their parish ministry. We will learn what they did and why.
We will meet (Oct. 30) mothers who have lost a child through a miscarriage or given birth to a stillborn. We will visit with them about how they were helped through that grieving situation and how they continue to find support.
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Our goal in each discussion is to have more than a philosophical discussion about an area where we are called to respect life more attentively. We hope to move to some practical, do-able action steps, so that participants will go away saying “I can do that.”
There are many areas of life calling for greater respect. As Missionaries of the Precious Blood the “cry of the blood,” challenges us to not only listen, but also to respond. We cannot honestly call ourselves “Christians” if we do not believe and put into practice the teachings of Jesus.
We hope you can join us for these important and life-giving discussions.
[Fr. Ron Will, a Precious Blood priest and spiritual director, is a graduate of Catholic Theological Union and Creighton University’s School of Christian Spirituality. He has a special interest in helping form intentional disciples of Jesus, encouraging others to go spiritually deep-sea diving to explore a deeper relationship with God, and walking with people as they dive into the ocean of God’s mystery actually experiencing God rather than simply dipping one’s toe into the water.]
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