TO THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE MOVEMENT FOR ITALIAN LIFE
Saturday, 2 February 2019
Dear brothers and sisters,
I am pleased to meet you today, and I thank you for your joyful welcome! I especially thank the President for the strong words she addressed to me - loud! - in the name of the whole Movement and for the contents it has expressed, recalling your mission at the service of life and the importance of the Day that will be celebrated tomorrow throughout Italy.
The Day for Life, established 41 years ago by the initiative of the Italian Bishops, highlights every year the primary value of human life and the absolute duty to defend it, from its conception to its natural extinction. And I would like to underline this, as a general premise. Taking care of life requires that it be done throughout life and until the end. And it also requires that attention be paid to the conditions of life: health, education, job opportunities, and so on; in short, everything that allows a person to live in a dignified way.
Therefore the defense of life is not accomplished in one way or with a single gesture, but is realized in a multiplicity of actions, attentions and initiatives; it does not concern only some people or certain professional fields, but involves every citizen and the complex interweaving of social relations. Aware of this, the Movement for Life, present throughout the Italian territory through the Centers and Services to help life and the Houses of welcome, and through its many initiatives, for 43 years strives to be a leaven to spread a style and the practices of welcoming and respecting life in all "the mixture" of society.
This should always be jealous and firm guardian of life, because "life is future", as the Bishops' message recalls. Only if you make room for it you can look ahead, and do it with confidence. This is why the defense of life has its fulcrum in welcoming those who have been born and is still kept in the womb, wrapped in the mother's bosom as in a loving embrace that unites them. I appreciated the theme chosen this year for the European competition proposed to schools: "I take care of you. The model of motherhood ». It invites us to look at conception and birth not as a mechanical or only physical fact, but in the perspective of the relationship and the communion that unites the woman and her child.
This year's Day for Life recalls a passage from the prophet Isaiah that moves us every time, recalling the marvelous work of God: "Behold I do a new thing" (Is 43.19), says the Lord, leaving leaking his heart always young and his enthusiasm in generating, every time as at the beginning, something that was not there before and brings an unexpected beauty. "Do you not see it?" Adds God through the prophet's mouth, to shake us out of our torpor. "How is it possible that you do not notice the miracle that takes place right under your gaze?". And we, how can we consider it a work of our own, until we feel entitled to dispose of it at our leisure?
In any case, turning off life voluntarily in its blossoming is, in any case, a betrayal of our vocation, as well as of the pact that links the generations, a pact that allows us to look forward with hope. Where there is life there is hope! But if life itself is violated in its arising, what remains is no longer the grateful and amazed reception of the gift, but a cold calculation of what we have and what we can dispose of. Then life also reduces itself to a consumer good, to be used and thrown, for ourselves and for others. How dramatic is this vision, unfortunately widespread and rooted, also presented as a human right, and how much suffering causes the weakest of our brothers!
But we never resign ourselves, but we continue to work, knowing our limits but also the power of God, who looks at our children every day with renewed amazement and at the efforts we make to let goodness sprout. A particular sign of consolation comes from the presence among you of many young people. Thank you. Dear boys and girls, you are a resource for the Movement for Life, for the Church and for society, and it is beautiful that you dedicate time and energy for the protection of life and the support of the most defenseless. This makes you stronger and like a flywheel of renewal even for those who are older than you.
I want to thank your Movement for its attachment, always declared and implemented, to the Catholic faith and to the Church, which makes you explicit and courageous witnesses of the Lord Jesus. And at the same time, I appreciate the secularity with which you present and work, secularity based on the truth of the good of life, which is a human and civil value and, as such, asks to be recognized by all people of good will, to any religion or creed they belong. In your cultural action you have testified frankly that those who are conceived are children of the whole society, and their killing in huge numbers, with the approval of the States, constitutes a serious problem that undermines the construction of justice, compromising the correct solution to every other human and social question.
In view of tomorrow's Day for Life, I take this opportunity to appeal to all politicians, because, regardless of everyone's beliefs of belief, they set the foundation stone of the common good as the defense of the life of those who are about to be born. and enter into society, to which they come to bring news, future, hope. Do not let themselves be conditioned by logic that aims at personal success or only immediate or partisan interests, but always look far away, and with the heart they look at everyone.
We ask with confidence to God that the Day for Life we are about to celebrate brings a breath of fresh air, allowing everyone to reflect and engage with generosity, starting with families and those working in roles of responsibility at the service of life. To each of us is given the joy of witness, in fraternal communion. I bless you with affection and I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me. Thank you.