August 12, 2018

August 8, 2018

From Father Jordan

My Dear Ones,

May the Grace of our Lord remain always with us!

Last week I wrote to you about the New Evangelization and what it means to hear and live the Gospel in a new way and without compromise. Today, I would like to discuss with you one of the many facets of this new and uncompromised life.

At the heart of the New Evangelization is a profound respect for the human person and every aspect of human life. Pope Francis’ modification of the Catechism concerning capital punishment, and the impact this change will have upon our Catholic lives, reflects this deep and foundational principle of our Catholic Faith. However, before we study the Holy Father’s addition to the Catechism per se, let us consider the Church’s teaching about the dignity of Human Life in a broader context.

The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae, 1995) by Saint John Paul II did not come out of a vacuum. This great encyclical is alive in the teaching of Second Vatican Council through the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes, 1965); and Concerning Human Life (Humanae Vitae 1968), the magisterial and pastoral teaching of Blessed Pope Paul VI concerning the expression of married love, and how that expression affects all of society.

While often maligned as inhibiting a married couple’s freedom, Humanae Vitae (HV), is an encyclical about how we regulate human birth, and so much more. HV stands as a key teaching of the Church not just about married sexual expression, but also about the respect, dignity, and concern we afford all of human life. The complete openness to life by a married couple not only reflects the particular purpose of their vocation, it also teaches all of society how precious is the gift of human life; how this life deserves to be cherished and nurtured; and, how the family is the source of respect for all of God’s children, His chosen people! If the message of HV was to be overlooked, or considered too difficult for people, Pope Paul prophetically expressed four effects that would take place in our lives: that a general lowering of moral standards would take place throughout society; there would be an increased occurrence of infidelity; there would be a lessening respect for women by men; and, the government would coerce couples to use reproductive technologies. HV calls us to respect ourselves as co – creators with God, and to consider all life as holy and deserving of love, respect, and nurturance.

Until we meet at the altar, O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us, who have recourse to Thee!

In the Lord,

Fr. Jordan, OP

 

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