May each and every person marching in the National March for Life under this year's theme, "Let Them Live," reaffirm his or her personal commitment to give even the tiniest and earliest life the chance it needs and deserves! Each child is a gift for humanity, a miracle. How can we as a society embrace and truly welcome children?
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, life seems so full of promise. Daily, scientists are unravelling many of life's mysteries. Truly, our lives have been turned upside down by countless scientific discoveries and technological innovations. The advances are so rapid and varied that it is difficult for ethical reflection to keep pace.
It is critical that we grasp the challenges underlying these scientific breakthroughs; only if our decisions as a society firmly target respect for life and human dignity will we affirm the inviolability of life at all stages of development. A human life is a human life: any attack on its integrity is a direct attack on our humanity.
Nurture Life in the Family
Life is fragile within a family where both parents have to work in order to put food on the table. New life is equally fragile. Financial uncertainty, lack of support and isolation can wear down today's families. Even if they decide to live simply, couples have great difficulty finding a balance between caring for their children, earning a living and providing a stable and peaceful home environment. And yet, it is their very love that enables couples to set up and develop the most favourable environment in which to welcome a child: a family. Within a family, the men and women of tomorrow's society grow, become socialized and learn how to love.
How, then, can we respond to the many challenges in today's culture regarding the value and meaning of life itself and of each human life? How can we as a community best support today's couples who are ready to welcome new life? How do we navigate the individual, collective and political options in our path?
We must make ethical choices and political decisions to protect the family, the "sanctuary" where life is nurtured. We require concrete social and financial commitments if we are to value and support the fundamental role of the family for society. The life that the family shelters is a gift beyond all measure, the most precious gift that is given to us. It is our duty to love this gift of life, to respect it and to keep it from harm.
Let Life Live!
As members of the human family, we have to affirm, loudly and clearly, that all human life is priceless and that every person is endowed with a dignity that must be upheld. We must also proclaim that each human being, created in the image of God, has incalculable worth and dignity.
In recognizing and promoting the value inherent in each human life, we need to realize that a new life today is a very special manifestation of both our past and our future. We are connected; we are of the same flesh. It is the awareness of this intimate link between each new life and each of us that humanizes our society. Children are our hope and our future. Let them live!
The Catholic Organization was founded by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Knights of Columbus to promote respect for human life and dignity and the essential role of the family.