Thursday, October 21, 2004

Respect Life: A Self Reflection

Reflection questions based on the following quote from Sharing Catholic Social Teaching by the US Bishops

In a world warped by materialism and declining respect for human life, the Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. Our belief in the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching.

In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and assisted suicide.
  • How can I assist pregnant teenagers, expectant single mothers, and young parents?
  • How can I assist those who are depressed and alone, especially teenagers?
  • How can I be a companion for those discerning difficult decisions?
  • Can I empathize with those who are fearful about the future?

The value of human life is being threatened by increasing use of the death penalty.

  • What hatreds do I harbor? What hurts have I allowed to fester? How have those changed me?
  • How can I live the Christian discipline of visiting the prisoner?
  • Pope John Paul II’s World Day of Peace message for 2002 was titled “No Peace Without Justice, No Justice Without Forgiveness.” What does this title mean to me?

The dignity of life is undermined when the creation of human life is reduced to the manufacture of a product, as in human cloning or proposals for genetic engineering to create "perfect" human beings.

  • How do I appreciate others’ and my own flaws?
  • How do I help others, especially young girls, recognize their natural beauty and dignity?
  • How do I contribute to the de-humanizing of persons in my work practices, in what I buy, in the TV shows I watch, and what I support with my money (or withholding of money) and with my vote (or decision not to vote)?

We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.

  • In my prayer life, do I reverence things more than people?
  • What “isms” do I hold?
  • How can my work and business practices enhance the life and dignity of the human person?
  • How do my driving habits reflect the preciousness of every life?