I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial. An elderly lady has fallen down the steps in her home, is seriously injured and unable to move to the telephone when she cries out, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” The commercial promotes Life Alert Emergency Response, a medical alert pendant that’s used to notify dispatchers about someone’s health emergency.
Pope Francis has frequently used the phrase “throwaway culture” to lament the very casual way in which we dispose of unwanted members of the human family when they’re deemed burdensome, inconvenient or useless. While the Holy Father has applied this theme to a number of situations, it seems especially fitting to consider its relevance to abortion, particularly as our nation observes the 42nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the horrible Supreme Court decision that rendered abortion legal in our nation.
You probably know that just before Christmas Pope Francis had a rather serious talk with members of the Roman Curia, the Vatican bureaucracy, in which he challenged some of their attitudes and behaviors. The Pope listed 15 “diseases,” temptations to sin, which sometimes afflict members of the Curia. He encouraged the cardinals, bishops and priests to undertake an end-of-the-year examination of conscience so that their service to Christ and the Church would be purified.
If you’re a sports fan above a certain age, or a sports fan at all, you’re probably familiar with the iconic question that ABC broadcaster Al Michaels asked during an epic hockey game at the Winter Olympics of 1980. It occurred when Team USA, made up entirely of young amateurs, defeated the heavily favored Soviet Union team stacked with hardened, experienced professionals. As the final seconds of the game ran out and it became clear that the Americans were about to grasp a totally improbable victory, Al Michaels captured the excitement of the moment and the pride of a nation when he asked, “Do you believe in miracles?”
Along with the Catholic Church around the world, the Diocese of Providence has now begun its observance of the “Year of Consecrated Life.” At the invitation of Pope Francis, during the fourteen months to follow, the Church is called upon to promote the vocation of the consecrated life, to celebrate the many contributions of religious women and men, and to thank all those who have served so faithfully as religious priests, brothers and sisters.
“We have often noted that we do not become a Christian on our own, but by being born and nurtured in the faith in the midst of the People of God, that is the Church. She is a true mother who gives us life in Christ.” (Pope Francis)
The Gospel of life must be
proclaimed, and human life
defended in all places and all times. The arena for moral
not only the halls of government, but the voting booth as well.
“Living the Gospel of Life”)