The Day for Life is the day in the Church's calendar dedicated to celebrating the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.
This year Day for Life, which takes place Sunday 19 June, focuses on the wonder of the gift of human life and the gift of our common home which is God’s creation.
Bishop John Sherrington explains: 'This year the Day for Life message invites us to open our hearts to the capacity to experience wonder. Wonder evokes a sense of awe and empathy, drawing forth a response of love to care for people and our common home. We gaze with wonder at God’s creation which we are called to share with our brothers and sisters who inhabit our common home with us.'
Today tragically, men, women and children are sometimes viewed as commodities which can be bought and sold.
In Laudato Si', Pope Francis explains the interconnectedness of human life and the environment: 'Neglecting to monitor the harm done to nature and the environmental impact of our decisions is only the most striking sign of a disregard for the message contained in the structures of nature itself. When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected.'
As the Holy Father has powerfully articulated, there is a real need to rediscover a spirit of wonder and awe at the gift of human life so that all life may be properly respected and a new heart created for the home in which we live.
Bishop John continues: 'The Day for Life is an opportunity to give prayerful thanks for the wonderful gift of life from God and to raise awareness about how best to care for and build communities where every human person is given the possibility to reach their full potential.
'Awe and empathy are brought about by a sense of wonder at life, ushering in a fresh approach to many vital issues of our time, from migration to climate change to abortion. We are called to value the dignity of every human life as well as the planet on which we all live.'
To help us deepen our sense of wonder at the gift of life, we pray with Pope Francis:
All powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
That we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
For learn more about Day for Life please visit dayforlife.org