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Dear Friends,
We continue with the second part of the talk the Pope gave to the General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life on June 25, 2018.

Second, within a holistic vision of the person, there is a need to express with greater clarity all the connections and concrete differences present in our universal human condition that involves us – beginning with our own bodies. Indeed, “our body itself places us in a direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings. The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different.” (Laudato Si, 155).

It is necessary to undertake a careful discernment of the complex fundamental differences present in human life: between man and woman, fatherhood and motherhood, filiation
and fraternity, various social factors and the different ages of life. Then, too, between all the difficult conditions and all the delicate or dangerous situations that call for particular ethical wisdom and courageous moral resistance: sexuality and the transmission of life, sickness and old age, limitation and disability, poverty and exclusion, violence and war. “The defense of the unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor who are already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 101).

In the texts and instruction given in Christian and ecclesiastical programmes of formation, these themes of the ethics of human life will need to be given their proper place within a global anthropology, and not be confined to the limitquestions of morality and law. It is my hope that a conversion to the centrality of an integral human ecology, that is, of a harmonious and comprehensive understanding of the human condition, will find strong support and positive resonance in your work in the areas of intellectual, civic and religious life.

A global bioethics calls us to engage with wisdom in a profound and objective discernment of the value of individual and community life, which must be protected and promoted even in the most difficult circumstances. We also state strongly that, without the adequate support of a responsible human closeness, purely legal regulations and technical support cannot, by themselves, ensure conditions and relationships consonant with the dignity of the person. A vision of globalization that, left to its own devices, tends to increase and deepen inequalities, calls for an ethical response that promotes justice. Attention to social, economic, cultural and environmental factors that affect health is part of this commitment, and becomes a concrete way to implement the right of every people “to share, on a basis of equality and solidarity, in the enjoyment of goods intended for all” (St. John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 21).

Finally, the culture of life must look more deeply into the “serious question” of life’s “Ultimate destination.” This means highlighting with greater clarity whatever directs Man’s existence towards a horizon that surpasses him: each person is freely called “as a daughter or son to intimacy with God and a share in his happiness… The Church teaches that hope in a life to come does not take away from the importance of the duties of this life on earth, but rather adds to it by giving new motives to fulfill those duties” (Gaudium et Spes, 21). We need to question more deeply the ultimate purpose of life, in a way that makes us capable of restoring dignity and meaning to the
mystery of its deepest and most sacred affections. Human life, beautiful beyond words yet frightfully fragile, points us beyond ourselves. We are infinitely more than what we can do by ourselves. Yet human life is also incredibly tenacious, certainly due to some mysterious grace from on high, in its bold invocation of justice and the final victory of love. And capable, too – as it hopes against all hope – of sacrificing for life to the very end. Acknowledging and appreciating this faithfulness and dedication to life gives rise in us to gratitude and a sense of responsibility, and it encourages us to offer our knowledge and our experience generously to the whole human community.
Christian wisdom must re-propose, with passion and boldness, that the human race is destined to life in God, who has promised to the love of life, beyond death, the infinite horizon of loving bodies of light, where tears will be no more. And to amaze them eternally with the unfading beauty of all those “visible and invisible” things hidden in the womb of the Creator. Thank you.
- Pope Francis.

God Bless,
Fr. Ron

PS. Thanks to all who brought something for Ridgewood Social Services. I’ve never seen the volume of contributions a s last weekend. You are truly generous.
God Bless,
Fr. Ron

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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