Sunday, January 16, 2011

Monsignor Charles Pope contemplates "the Strength and Resilience of the Human Person"

In the wake of last week's tragic incident in Tuscon there have been reams of pages written about human nature, with one spin or another on the subject.

I haven't read anything that is as poignant and beautiful as what Monsignor Charles Pope - pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian - has composed on his blog hosted by the Archdiocese of Washington.

Here's an excerpt "Life is Worth Living: On the Strength and Resilience of the Human Person"...

One of the rights our modern age demands is the right to declare that certain lives are not worth living. In utero testing sometimes reveals the possibility or even the certainty of birth defects. Abortion is often recommended to mothers who carry "defective" children and sometimes that recommendation becomes pressure. It is said that almost 90% of families who receive a poor pre-natal diagnosis choose to abort.

And yet there are so many stories of people who have overcome enormous obstacles and who live full and rich lives. Some are missing limbs, others are blind, still others struggle with disease. Some have overcome poverty and injustice, others paralyzing accidents or great tragedies. And they are living witnesses to us that we ought never be the judge of what lives are worthwhile and what lives are “not worth” living. It is true that none of us would wish to be born missing limbs, or blind or in poverty, or with chronic conditions. But we must reverence those who are, learn to appreciate their gifts, and summon them to courage and greatness.

We must declare with great certitude that there is no such thing as a life not worth living. We say this not as some politically correct slogan but rather with firm conviction that every human life is willed by God. We were willed before we were made for the Scriptures say, "Before I ever formed you in the womb I knew and I appointed you..." (Jer 1:4). None of us is an accident nor are our gifts and apparent deficits mistakes. We exist as we are, the way we are for a purpose, a purpose for us and for others. We all have an irreplaceable role in God's kingdom and show forth aspect of His glory uniquely. Every human life is intended and is worth living because God says so by the very fact that we exist.

It's well worth reading in its entirety. Not only because of the good padre's own articulation but also for the videos he has included demonstrating several individuals who have triumphed in spite of the physical obstacles they were born with.

(Big tip o' the hat to Mike Casteel for this terrific find!)

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