May civic leaders work for the protection of all human life, in every stage and circumstance.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
The Holy Spirit is ‘the Lord, the Giver of Life’. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. Every one of us has a right to our life. It is not given to us by any law or government. We have it ‘as of right’, whether we are wealthy or poor, healthy or sick. It is truly shocking that our society has decided that one category of human being should be deprived of that right in our law. It effectively says that unborn children do not exist or, if they do, they do not count. It suggests that many Catholics who hold public office have forgotten about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. (See Acts of Reparation below).
The Spirit is present and active in the earthly life of Jesus from the moment of His conception: the Angel Gabriel said to Mary: “the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” St. John writes in his Gospel of how already on the day of Easter Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to His disciples, for the forgiveness of sins.
We think of Pentecost as the day when the Spirit came. There were, more than likely, many moments of out-pouring of the Spirit in those exciting days. The Apostles faced many challenges as they went about their mission: they came under extreme pressure to abandon their preaching of the Gospel. For them the Holy Spirit was the power of God’s love which gave them courage and kept them faithful to their mission to be witnesses to the ends of the earth.
We need to pray often for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our own society, and especially on those who have been elected as our leaders. On this great feast of Pentecost, we remember that it is through the Holy Spirit that each one of us, ordinary men and women, are given the courage to go out into the public square to bear witness to Jesus and His love, a love which very specifically includes the vulnerable and those who are marginalised.
Through our own prayer, witness, and civic participation, we can encourage our leaders to truly answer their call to protect the right of all people. For “there can be no true democracy without a recognition of every person’s dignity and without respect for his or her rights” (Evangelium Vitae 101).