Sunday, 26 July 2015
Homily On The Day For Life
My apologies for emails and comments getting late responses recently. I have gone on with a cataract in one eye for two years but then this year one developed in my other eye, which made all sorts of reading all but impossible. I have not read a book for months, and not been able to read my post unless enlarged to A3 size; computer work has been difficult because of the back-light. I have just this week had the worst one done which has helped amazingly. If anyone out there has cataracts don’t be afraid to get them done. Although my recovery will go on for a while and complications are always possible, what I am experiencing so far is brilliant and the procedure was absolutely painless. Go get them done! Now to the homily for today...
Today we begin a series of readings on the Bread of Life from St John’s Gospel. We call bread the ‘staff of life’ because it’s so basic to life, so it’s fitting that today the Church asks us to celebrate the Day for Life, and asks us to contact our MP to have him or her vote against the ASSISTED SUICIDE BILL which is being read soon (Friday 11 September). We can telephone our MP, or send an email to our MP via the Catholic Bishops’ Conference website, or send a letter by post.
Yet Assisted Suicide is but one aspect of what St. John-Paul II called the Culture of Death, and we as Catholics must be a People of Life because God is Life: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”, says the Lord, we are meant to be a people who celebrate life; people who value, promote, protect and seek to enhance human life -which is made in the very image of God- in all circumstances. The world in which we live today lives by the Culture of Death. We don’t notice it because we have cultured it over the last few decades bit by bit. It’s a bit like putting a frog in a pan of water and bringing it to the boil: it stays there which proves fatal. A frog put in when the water is already boiling jumps out; we haven’t, we have sat in the pan and got used to it. As Catholics, we must reject all that is anti-life: contraception, abortion, and euthanasia, which are all anti-life (anti-God) acts. And it begins with contraception.
Contraception is always a ‘no’ to life: even if it is a temporary ‘No, not yet’, it remains a ‘no’ to God at that moment in time. And that can never be good. It’s promoted as an issue of women’s health, but all it promotes is their economic status. In fact, if you read the literature that comes with the chemical contraceptives (pill, implant etc) you will see that they can cause blood clots; pulmonary embolism, stroke and heart attack. The World Health Organisation lists it as a grade 1 Carcinogen. It’s anything but health–promoting. In fact, because its hormones are actually artificial, whenever we encourage women to use them we are encouraging them to engage in chemical warfare against their own body. And we don’t want to be in favour of chemical warfare. Barrier methods spread the papiloma virus which is also linked to carcinoma, so contraceptives are at the root of much ill-health. They are unacceptable, and enough is enough.
As for abortion, that is clearly anti-life. We told women their babies were just a bunch of cells and called that bunch of cells a zygote, but it was a baby. It has its own DNA sequence from fertilisation; its own heart beat from around day 20 (three weeks after it was fertilised) and its fingers and toes by week 8. It’s a baby. Yet the Culture of Death sees some babies as a problem and allows us to take their lives. It’s unacceptable. Enough is enough.
Its not that the Church says we must have as many babies as possible, it's that we shouldn't refuse what God sends. You know, we often ask where our young people are. And yes, 95 % of them are lapsing when they leave school and never see the inside of a Church, and we have to do something about that, but there are fewer young people around because we have contracepted and aborted them out of existence. They never had a chance to get here. It’s anti-life, and it’s unacceptable.
The end of life is the same. Rather than help the sick overcome their pain and distress we seek to kill them. It’s unacceptable. We may as well get rid of Doctors and Nurses and have executioners. The sick need care, not killing; we need carers, not killers.
In essence, the fundamental difference between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death is this: the Culture of Death eliminates persons (by contraception, abortion and euthanasia); the Culture of Life seeks to promote, protect and enhance life. We don’t want the Culture of Death.
So do write to your MP or phone them; tell them we have had enough of the culture of death: enough is enough. We want to celebrate life, we want to promote, protect and enhance it, not take it. No more of the Culture of Death. Enough is enough.