It is a new year, we hold hopes, dreams and goals for ourselves, and for the causes we hold dear to us.
As a people of life, we know that the right to life is the first of all human rights and from which all other rights hang. In addition, Pope Saint John Paul II reminded us that “the future of humanity passes by way of the family.”
Life, marriage and family are under attack like never before and each of us has a duty, very specific to our own talents and vocation, to defend, protect and serve life and family. Here are five actions you can undertake today to kick start your efforts this year.
1. Resolve to uphold the dignity of every human person from conception through to natural death, and defend marriage and family, then turn the resolution into action, firstly turning to God in prayer.
There is much to do in this great duty to protect, defend and serve life in from its very beginning to its natural end, defend marriage between one man and one woman, protect the family and witness to the dignity of every human person made in the image and likeness of God.
On the one hand there is great reason to hope as more people become involved in defending life, most especially in resisting the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia. On the other, the anti-life and anti-family forces are gaining traction in the hearts and minds of people who have not been well formed.
Cardinal Sarah in The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise warns of the dangers becoming Martha before being Mary because “we run the risk of becoming literally bogged down in activism and agitation.” Instead, he explains that “all activity must be preceded by an intense life of prayer, contemplation, seeking and listening to God’s will.”
Let us turn to God in prayer, then in all humility, reach out to our neighbour in love, proclaiming the truth and witnessing to it by our lives.
2. Write a submission to the Justice Committee regarding David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill
Submissions must be received by the Justice Committee by midnight Tuesday 20th February.
It is imperative that everyone who made a submission to the Health Select Committee in defense of life do so again and then encourage others to do so.
Specifically about the End of Life Choice Bill, drafted by David Seymour, people are able to talk expressly about the concerns within the proposed legislation, as well as share their concerns and stories about end of life care and the dangers of euthanasia and assisted suicide in general.
FLI will be adding more resources to our website over the coming days to assist those who have not yet written a submission, or who wish to know more about the issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide. We also have just a few copies left of our publication And Now Euthanasia which presents facts and information in an easily read manner.
Finally, for those who live in the Auckland region, FLI will be hosting a Submission writing workshop on Saturday 10th February from 10am to 1pm. The workshop will include a presentation about the End of Life Choice Bill and there will be opportunities to ask questions.
3. Sign up for 40 Days for Life
It is that time again when thousands of people fast and pray for an end to abortion in their local communities. Beginning on Wednesday 14th February (Ash Wednesday) and concluding on Sunday 25th March (Palm Sunday), 40 Days for Life is an effective way to draw the public’s attention to the horror of abortion, pray for all those involved and reach out to abortion minded women at the very last possible moment.
Your presence saves lives! We know of three New Zealand babies whose lives were saved as a direct result of the 40 Days for Life prayer vigils in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. When you contemplate the prayer and witness efforts of the last 40 plus years by dedicated pro-lifers as they have stood vigil outside abortion facilities throughout the country, the number of lives saved is extraordinary.
The benefits far outweigh the discomfort we all feel in standing on the street. Lives are saved, women are spared the trauma of abortion, abortion workers are made to think about what it is they are doing and those in the community must pause and give thought to the issue of abortion.
Please consider making a commitment to be outside AMAC, Wellington Hospital or Christchurch Hospital on at least one occasion this Lent (at least once a week would be even better)! Your presence, though possibly unknown to you, will save lives!
4. Mark these dates in your calendar today!
This year is an exciting year as we host some very important and inspirational speakers from around the world for a very timely and needed Conference – Living the Splendour of Truth.
Join us Friday 5th to Sunday 7th October, 2018 for an unforgettable time of formation in life, faith and family issues. Leave informed, equipped and inspired to be strong and courageous witnesses to life and family in your community.
Start planning for your young people to attend LifeFest, a pro-life youth conference for youth aged 13 to 18 will be held on Thursday 4th October.
Other events and training opportunities will occur on either side of these dates.
- His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke, former Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura
- Gianna Emmanuela Molla, the daughter of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
- Father Shenan Boquet, President of Human Life International
- Dr Brian Clowes, Director of Education and Research at Human Life International
- Dr Colin Harte, Board Chair of Care Not Killing
Do not miss this exciting and vital opportunity. Mark your diaries now and make a plan to be in Auckland the first week of October!
5. Truly live these wise words of Saint Teresa of Calcutta
“Spread love everywhere you go; first of all in your house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbour. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
For if we are going to have a lasting impact, all of our efforts, no matter how big or small will mean naught if we have not succeeded in truly loving those closest to us. A true culture of life and love begins with each one of us, in our own hearts, in our own lives.
This year holds great promise. May we not be afraid to courageously proclaim the truth about the dignity of the human person, and marriage and the family. Let us be joyful witnesses to the hope that we hold!