Every day we witness pain and suffering across the globe, whether from natural disasters, personal tragedies, armed conflicts or political oppression. Even in our own neighborhoods there can be anguish over crime, substance abuse and loneliness, all of which impact the quality of life. We wonder whether anyone can help ease the despair.
But there is an anchor of hope we can cling to. With words that echo through thousands of years into the corners of our hearts, God says to us, “Do not fear: I am with you.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Once again, we mark the month of October as Respect Life Month. This year’s theme is “Be Not Afraid.”
Pope Francis tells us that all life has inestimable value; even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.
I encourage everyone to pray that the world grows in its respect for life, from conception to natural death, and to build awareness to reaffirm the Gospel teaching about the gift of life.
I urge you to “Be Not Afraid” and to visit http://ccdocle.org/office-human-life/respect-life-month for resource materials that will help us walk with each other in solidarity in the support and protection of human life.
+Nelson J. Perez
Bishop of Cleveland