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Life Issues Forum: You Are a Masterpiece

 

You Are a Masterpiece

By Anne McGuire

 

October 10, 2014

The U.S. bishops set aside October as Respect Life Month, kicking off the year-long Respect Life Program, celebrated with special Masses, liturgies, Holy Hours and other initiatives and events. The bishops call upon Catholics and all people of goodwill across the nation to reflect on the sanctity of all human life and to work toward its protection.

This year’s theme is “Each of us is a masterpiece of God’s creation,” adapted from Pope Francis’ 2013 Day for Life greeting. This year’s Respect Life Program flyer explores the idea that each of us is a treasured work of art made by God’s hands:

Imagine yourself pausing in front of a design of great beauty. Your soul quiets and is filled with wonder and awe.

If art, created by man, can evoke such a response within us, how much more is the same wonder, reverence and respect due to each person we encounter, who was handcrafted by the very God who spoke the world into being?

Now think of an artist stepping back from a great work of art and admiring his or her creation.

When God created each of us, He did so with precision and purpose, and He looks on each of us with love that cannot be outdone in intensity or tenderness.

Moreover, the Lord invites each of us to behold ourselves and each other with the same wonder and awe.

No matter how the world might view us or others, let us treat each person as the masterpiece that he or she is.

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” (Pope Francis’ Day for Life Greeting).

God creates us, his masterpieces, with incredible care and attention. He knows and loves each of us deeply and intimately, and He looks on each of us tenderly, with arms open to hold us, not only in times of celebration but also in times of suffering.

The 2014-15 Respect Life Program articles explore the theme of God’s boundless love for us and the value of each of our lives. In “An Adoption Love Story,” Jenny* writes about her and her husband’s journey struggling with infertility and the adoption of their son, Andrew.* The challenges, concerns, and fears were real, but Jenny shares, “God reminded us […] that He is always in control and that we could trust him.” “Healing within Marriage from an Abortion,” reminds us that God’s transformative grace has the power to heal relationships broken by sin. And in “Solace and Strength in the Sorrow of Miscarriage,” we learn some practical ways that we ourselves can be the hands and feet of Christ to those who are suffering from this tragic loss.

These and other articles, as well as materials like the flyer, liturgical resources, and mini-posters, are available to download or order at www.usccb.org/respectlife.

God carefully created each of us with specific gifts, talents, and abilities to love others. Some examples of how Pope Francis has done this are illustrated in a one-minute video at www.usccb.org/respectlife. (Hover over the image at the top of the webpage to make the “Play” button visible). How we might we follow Pope Francis’ example and give others the love of Jesus in our own daily lives?



*Names changed to protect privacy.

Anne McGuire is Assistant Director of Education and Outreach for the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. Please visit www.usccb.org/respectlife to learn more about this year’s Respect Life Program.


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