RESPECT FOR LIFE
Preciousness of life
Human life is sacred because from its beginning it
involves 'the creative action of God' and it remains
forever in a special relationship with the Creator,
who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from
its beginning until its end: no one can, in any circumstance,
claim for himself the right to destroy directly an innocent
Donum Vitae sets forth the central content of God's
revelation on the sacredness and inviolability of human
Why is so much importance attached to human
God proclaims that He is absolute Lord of the life
of man, who is formed in His image and likeness (Gen
1: 26-28). Human life is thus given a sacred and inviolable
character, which reflects the inviolability of the Creator
himself. Precisely for this reason, God will severely
judge every violation of the commandment "You shall
not kill", the commandment which is at the basis
of all life together in society.
God has plans for every human being even before the
foundation of the earth. Ps139:134 "For Thou didst
form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in
my mother's womb."
Eph 1:4 Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation
of the earth.
God is the sole proprietor of life and no one can destroy
it. Do we own our lives? No! we are only caretakers
of our life and the lives of others who are dependent
Present day threats to human life
Today there is a culture of death prevailing, a careless
attitude towards life, opposing the attitude that upholds
life. The Gospel of life, proclaimed in the beginning
when man was created in the image of God for a destiny
of a full and perfect life (Gen 2:7, Wis 9:2-3) is contradicted
by the painful experience of death which enters the
world and casts it's shadow of meaninglessness over
man's entire existence. Death came into the world as
a result of the devil's envy Gen 3:1, 4-5 and the sin
of our first parents Gen 2:17, 3:17-19. And death entered
it in a violent way, through the killing of Abel by
his brother Cain: "And when they were in the field,
Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him"
Gen 4:8. The first murder is presented with singular
eloquence in a page of the Book of Genesis Gen 4: 2-16
which has universal significance: it is a page rewritten
daily, with inexorable and degrading frequency, in the
book of human history.
Threats to human life today
Infanticide, Euthanasia, Suicide, Abortion, Murder,
Contraception, Techniques of Artificial Reproduction.
Infanticide: Killing an infant, prevalent
in primitive cultures, was also included as a part of
human sacrifices. In modern times unwanted children
are sometimes eliminated. The most basic care, even
nourishment, is denied to babies born with serious handicaps
or illnesses because their parents do not want them.
They choose death for their babies in place of the God-given
Euthanasia: It is also termed as "mercy
killing". Euthanasia may be voluntary, involuntary
or compulsory. If voluntarily administered by oneself,
it is a form of suicide. If administered by another
in an involuntary or compulsory way, it is a form of
murder. If administered by another with the victim's
consent or co-operation, it is both suicide and murder.
Active (positive) euthanasia is merely a longer term
of euthanasia as we already understand it; i.e. it is
the moral equivalent of suicide or murder. It entails
a direct intervention, a direct killing of a person,
with or without his knowledge or consent. It is the
administration of a lethal dose or the deliberate refusal
to use even the ordinary means of preserving life. It
is a patient-killer, not a pain-killer. Passive (negative)
euthanasia is not euthanasia (mercy killing) at all,
but merely the avoidance or discontinuation of extraordinary
means of preserving life. It usually refers to removing
supportive equipment or drug treatment when a patient
has irrevocably entered the process of dying.
Most of the terminally ill people do not necessarily
want to be killed and no doctor can, for certain, say
a patient may not recover at all. What the ailing patient
requires is TLC (tender loving care) and the person
will never nurture the negative thoughts of wanting
Suicide: We are no owners of our own
life, therefore, we have no right to take our life,
no matter what the circumstances may be. Suicide is
always as morally objectionable as murder. The Church's
tradition has always rejected it as a grave evil choice.
When viewed objectively, it is a grave immoral act.
In its deepest reality, suicide represents a rejection
of God's absolute sovereignty over life and death, as
proclaimed in the prayer of the ancient sage of Israel.
Wis 16:13, Tob 13:2 "You have power over life and
death; you lead men down to the gates of Hades and back
Abortion: Any interference with human
life after its conception to birth in order to terminate
it, is called abortion; more so because it is innocent
life. The womb, supposed to be the safest place for
human life to be nurtured and nourished in its early
stages is turned into a tomb.
Murder: Ex 20:13 "Thou shall
not kill" includes the young, old, children and
the unborn. Man cannot give life and therefore, has
no right to take it either.
Prov 6:16-19 There are six things which the LORD hates,
seven which are an abomination to him: haughty eyes,
a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste
to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies,
and a man who sows discord among brothers.
(The most innocent blood is that of the child in the
Contraception: Most contraceptives
lead to early abortions, in that they are responsible
for the death of innumerable babies, most often even
without the knowledge of the mother.
Techniques of Artificial Reproduction:
The various techniques of artificial reproduction, which
would seem to be at the service of life and which are
frequently used with this intention, actually open the
door to new threats against life. These techniques have
a high rate of failure, not just failure in relation
to fertilization, but with regard to the subsequent
development of the embryo, which is exposed to the risk
of death, generally within a very short space of time.
Furthermore, the number of embryos produced is often
greater than that needed for implantation in the woman's
womb, and these so called "spare embryos"
are then destroyed or used for research which, under
the pretext of scientific or medical progress, is in
fact reducing human life to the level of simple "biological
material" to be freely disposed off.
Not only direct killing, but acts that degrade, dehumanize
or destroy one's dignity and self respect, kill his
or her inner person so much so that they reduce the
person to a living corpse, are against the culture of
life, e.g. prostitution, drug addition, alcoholism,
rape, child abuse and the like. Those who respect life
promote the culture of life as the Author of Life does.
All human life is good from conception to the last breath,
life is good even with burdens and difficulties and
therefore, we need to respect life.
If society shows a tendency to choose death
what responsibility does the church have? To compromise?
Ezekiel 3:17-21 After seven
days the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows:
"Son of man, I have appointed you as sentry to
the House of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from Me,
warn them in My Name. If I say to a wicked man: You
are to die and you do not warn him; if you do not speak
and warn him to renounce his evil ways and so live,
then he shall die for his sin, but I will hold you responsible
for his death. If, however, you do warn a wicked man
and he does not renounce his wickedness and his evil
ways, then he shall die for his sin, but you yourself
will have saved your life. When the upright man renounces
his integrity to do evil and I set a trap for him, he
too shall die; since you failed to warn him, he shall
die for his sin and the integrity he practiced will
no longer be remembered; but I will hold you responsible
for his death. If however, you warn the upright man
not to sin and he abstains from sinning, he shall live,
thanks to your warning, and you too will have saved
John 10:9-16 I am the gate.
Anyone who enters through Me will be safe, He will go
freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture. The
thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have
come so that they may have life and have it to the full.
I am the Good Shepherd, the good shepherd is one who
lays down His life for His sheep. The hired man, since
he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to
him, abandons the sheep and runs away as soon as he
sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters
the sheep; this is because he is only a hired man and
has no concern for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd.
I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father
knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life
for My sheep. And there are other sheep I have that
are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well.
They too will listen to My voice and there will be only
one flock and One Shepherd.
It is important to uphold the culture of life and in
doing so gently lead the people to embrace it too. Condemning
no one but in love leading them to repent for their
sins and accept the forgiveness and grace of Christ
2 Chronicles 7:14 "If
My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves,
and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked
ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive
their sins and heal their land."