My dear Friends in Christ,
Since 1972 the month of October has been designated as Respect Life Month by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is especially during this month that we recall the precious gift of life that is ours, a gift given to each of us freely by our God — a God who loves us beyond measure.
We are living in especially violent times — across the globe and on our own soil. Senseless violence in the form of wars, unrest, killings and the taking of one’s own life by assisted suicide being sanctioned by some states is rampant. What is the answer? Where do we turn?
Respect. This is by and large the answer. Seems like a simple answer, perhaps not complicated or intricate enough for some. Yet, think about it. If indeed we respected life — all life, beginning with our own — there would be no violence, no war, no killing, no unrest. All that would vanish, disappear. Respect for all life — from conception to natural death. Respect.
The theme of Respect Life Month this year is Moved by Mercy. In this extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy we are asked to consider, to meditate upon, to make our own the mercy shown to us by our extraordinarily merciful God. We are called upon to make the mercy, the compassion, the forgiveness, the love of God our own. How merciful God is to each of us! How compassionate! How forgiving! Can we be otherwise in our own lives, in our dealings with our brothers and sisters? If we were, imagine what the world would look like! But what can we realistically do about this? After all, each of us is just one person among so very, very many. Well, it’s starts with one person and, please God, through that one person spreads to another and soon we are many reflecting God’s mercy and compassion and forgiveness. Soon we are making a difference!
In this jubilee Year of Mercy may we all reflect the very mercy of our God. May we be as forgiving, as compassionate and as merciful to each other as our God is to us!
Be assured of my prayers for each of you and for those you love. Please, pray for me.
Yours devotedly in our merciful and loving God,
Most Rev. Roger J. Foys, D.D.
Bishop of Covington