Respect Life Mass Greeting

 

Archbishop Timothy Dolan

 
  10/14/2009
 

I’m Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York. Usually I have the joy of celebrating this 10:15 am Mass here in Saint Patrick’s. This morning I cannot, due to another promise . . . but I did at least want to welcome you . . .and to remind you that October is Respect Life Month in our Catholic calendar.

October 4 is also the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, who would literally, we are told, genuflect in front of a pregnant woman. Genuflect . . .because he believed that woman carried the spark of the Divine, a tiny baby made in the creator’s image and likeness. For Francis, human life was divine, worthy of unquestioned protection, respect, dignity.
 
We are all Franciscans when it comes to life. From the fragile baby in the womb to grandma in a hospice; from incipient life in an embryonic stem cell to dad in a coma; from the helpless refugee and immigrant to those hiding from terrorists -- all life is sacred.
 
Whenever we presume divine prerogatives and choose for ourselves the right to consider any human life on that sacred continuum from conception to natural death as less that worthy of protection, dignity, and respect . . . we’re in grave peril.
 
Every Mass, you know, renews the epic battle of Calvary between
 
                                      life/death
                                      light/darknes
                                      good/evil
                                      love/hate
                                      grace/sin
 
Jesus won that conflict . . . and gives us here the grace to win that same struggle in our own lives and in our culture and society.
 
So we do not give up.
 
Thanks for defending life!