HLS 201 Summary of the Gospel of Life Introduction Jesus' message of the Gospel of Life shows that in "new" and "eternal" life human life achieves its full significance. Every human person has greatness and inestimable value. The Gospel encompasses God's love for man, the dignity of the person, and the Gospel of life. Every individual is entrusted to the maternal care of the Church. Thus the Church feels all threats to life. Whatever opposes life poisons human society and is a supreme dishonor to the Creator.
The threats to human life are expanding. Crimes against life have taken a more sinister character. Choices against life and morality are becoming socially and political acceptable. This makes it more difficult to distinguish between good and evil in the value of human life. Pope John Paul II wrote the Gospel of Life in communion with all the bishops. It is a reaffirmation in the Church of the value of human life and the need for all to respect, protect, love, and serve every life.
Pope John Paul II wants all to be people of life and to mediate upon and proclaim the Gospel of life. With this a new civilization of truth and love will flourish. Chapter I: The Voice of Your Brother's Blood Cries to Me from the Ground God created man for incorruption; only through the devil's envy did death enter the world. Violent death entered through Cain's anger and envy of Abel. Man was not predestined to evil. Murder is a violation of the "spiritual" kinship uniting mankind.
People must accept responsibility for their brothers and sisters, though they rarely do today. There is great indifference. Life belongs to God. When it is attacked, it attacks God himself.
God cannot leave crime unpunished. However not even a murderer loses his personal dignity, this is the mystery of God's justice. God wants people to realize the extent and gravity of the attacks against life, for them to discover the causes and consequences. Some are from nature, made worse by inattention; others are the result of violence, hatred, and conflicting interest, leading to murder, war, slaughter, and genocide. There are incalculable threats to human life today, both explicit and hidden. There are attacks against the natural rights of humans by the crimes against them.
There is a crisis of culture. The structure of sin causes the culture of death. There is a war of the powerful against the weak. Scientific research is now profiting from abortion. The culture that brought forth abortion was started with contraception. Techniques of artificial reproduction are evil because it reduces the human person to a mere biological material.
The culture of death is leading up to demise of the elderly and ill, or dying. Population control measures cannot be in forced, even when a country is poor. The threats against life are taking vast proportions. They are systemically programmed.
18. Legitimate expressions of individual freedom to be acknowledged and protected as actual rights 19. This focus on human rights (legislation) has degraded human nature by carrying the concept of subjectivity to an extreme. It diminishes the need for the unborn and the sick and dying by putting importance on those useful. It also places importance on those who can communicate making those who can't seem worthless to society.
Freedom in which is based on choice takes freedom away from the weak and gives it to the strong. This type of freedom is not based on truth. It is based on rights. Because this freedom is not based on the universal truths, the person's decision of good and evil is now based on political opinion. 20. This type of freedom establishes a nation made of individuals fighting for themselves.
There is no bond to tie them. It reduces truth to relativism. To claim a right to abortion is a perverse claim in which human nature is reduced to the choice of the stronger. 21. When this freedom takes over there is a tendency for the "sense of God" and the "sense of man" to be lost. 22.
The only way man sees himself different from the rest of creation, is because of God. Without God we are not mysteriously different. " By living as if God doesn't exist, man not only loses sight of the mystery of God, but also the mystery of the world and the mystery of his own being." 23. Practical materialism breeds individualism, utilitarianism and hedonism.
A striving for material things replaces the value of being. In this context the idea of suffering is repressed and viewed as evil. The body (human) is seen in biological terms or purely physical (material). Sexuality is seen as a bodily functions only.
It becomes the place for proving self assurance. "Procreation becomes the enemy to be avoided in sexual activity." 24. Moral consciences are not being formed well. We are greatly influenced by the media. We rely completely on our own conscience and not God.
25. The blood that flows forth from Christ's side was spilled to heal Cain's sin. This same blood gives meaning to life for us. He shows us how precious life is.
Christ's sacrifice is the ultimate example of self-sacrifice. 26. Even though we live in a culture of death there are a few good signs: married couples who love and honor each other and enjoy children; those who fight for the defenseless; groups of volunteers; developments in medical sciences that help unborn 27. Because of Euthanasia, people are becoming aware of how wrong abortion is. Many people are offering daily sacrifices and openness to the unborn and the elderly. There is becoming a greater opposition to the death penalty.
The quality of life increases with this knowledge. 28. This struggle between the culture of life vs. the culture of death is evidence of the fight between good and evil. To encourage the good to win the church must proclaim, celebrate, and serve the Gospel of life. Chapter II: I Came That They May Have Life 29.
Even though it seems like a very dark world we can find hope in the very person of Jesus. In Him we find the value of life and complete truth. 30. In Jesus' life we find the "Words of life." In Him we find eternal life.
31. The coming of the gospel of life (Jesus) became with the Old Testament. Jesus came to Israel as their savior. And savior for the rest of the world.
Jesus is the fulfillment of the Jewish faith. 32. Jesus is the savior to the weak and threatened, ie the poor. He brings them the Fathers love. The church continues His mission on earth of reaching out the helpless. 33.
Jesus came into the world to save it. He was rejected. He lived a life of poverty to show how materialism is not important. We are called to do the same 34.
Life is good. It is good because God created it. In human life there is the Gift of God himself. 35. Sixth day of creation is to be a day of reverence and honor for the Lord for creating us. 36.
Through sin we are worshiping the creation and not the Creator. In Jesus we see the image of God. We also see a man with out see, thus seeing what we were suppose to be (and what we were before the fall). In Jesus we see the image of God which show forth the Fullness of life. In Jesus we know this life. 37.
To know this life we must believe in Jesus and commit ourselves to his will. In Jesus we come to know the truth and the life. 38. The life He gives is also the life of the children of God.
This life is more than a feeling, it is the place where God lives. 39. Human life is given from God. Life and death are in the hands of God. He cares for his creatures, there for does not threaten us with death. 40.
Sacredness of life is written on the heart of man. Therefore murder is always wrong. We must love our neighbor as our self. 41.
Jesus combines all the commandments into one: love your neighbor. Thou shalt not kill is also summed up in this. We must love everyone even our enemy. 42. God demands that everyone promote and defend life.
He is in charge of world he lives in, the creatures other humans, and his environment. 43. Gods involvement with the human procreation is very different from his involvement with the rest of creation. He is a part of the fatherhood and motherhood of the human child. God transmits his image to the child. The marital act of procreation is acting in Gods divine will.
They are accepting his will. They have agreed to protect the weakest. 44. The word of God calls all to care for the weakest: the elderly, sick, and the unborn.
The ability to have children was a blessing in the Old Testament. There is no specific place in the old testament where it commands to protect life from the beginning. 45. In the New testament it tells us to defend life from the beginning. Descriptions of the small child in the wombs of Elizabeth and Mary were indications of life beginning at conception. 46.
Old age is something beautiful and should be reverent. 47. Jesus is the Physician of the body and spirit. The body is not an absolute good, because sometimes believers are called to give up their life to gain eternal life. Only God has the right to choose who will live or die. 48.
Human life is marked with an indelible mark of truth. This truth is also revealed in the ten commandments. This law serves to protect life, because it reveals that truth in which life finds its full meaning. In obeying Gods law we find true happiness. 49. Israel's history shows how difficult it is to stay faithful.
It is easier to sin and turn your back on God. Prophets condemn offenses against life, they want to awaken anew hope for a new principle of life. The law is fulfilled with the coming of Jesus. 50.
The Gospel of life is brought to fulfillment on the tree of the Cross. "Looking at the spectacle of the cross we shall discover in this glorious tree the fulfillment and complete revelation of the whole gospel of life." 51. Jesus died like everyone else, but in his death he has ransomed us from death and opens before us a new life. The cross is the source of life. Chapter III: You Shall Not Kill 52. We are called to keep God's commandments.
The first precept is thou shalt not kill. His commands are attached very closely with His love. Man is called to be the minister of God's will on earth because he is made in His image. 53. Because God is involved with human creation from the beginning, human life is sacred.
Because of this the commandment -thou shalt not kill-is a divine command. God has decreed himself Lord of all man because man is in His likeness. 54. Thou shalt not kill is a strong negative to illustrate how it cant be exceeded. The church has taught from the beginning -Thou Shalt not kill. 55.
Christians seek a deeper understanding of God's commandments. 56. Death penalty is wrong. Punishment of crimes is necessary but bloodless punishments are best. 57. The command-Thou shall not kill-is also applied to criminals, i.
e. death penalty is should be avoided at all cost. The killing of innocent beings is gravely evil. All beings are equal and have the equal right to life.
58. Procured abortions: contraception or taking life of the unborn baby is gravely immoral. There is no justifying the killing of innocent human beings. 59.
If the father allows for the abortion, or encourages it, he is also to blame. Responsibility also falls upon those in legislation positions. Also placed upon those who encourage sexual permissiveness. We are living in a culture based on a structure of sin, which opposes human life not yet born. 60. You can not justify abortion saying it is only a couple days old.
If it were not a human from the moment the ovum was fertilized then it will never be a human. It is no longer part of the mother nor the father but a new person. Embryos are also human beings that have to be protected. 61. Even though scripture doesn't specifically deal with abortion, it says-thou shalt not kill. Human life is sacred from the moment of conception and proceeding.
"He who shall be a human someday is a human already. 62. The church still holds that abortion is a most serious and dangerous crime. Those who have an abortion is excommunicated. There are two types of abortions: direct and indirect. Direct is gravely evil because the intention is to end the life of the child.
63. Condemnations to those who do things to danger the embryo. The killing of the helpless to help someone else is still evil. 64. "When the prevailing tendency is to value life only to the extent that it brings pleasure and will being suffering seems like a n unbearable setback something from which one must be freed at all cost." 65. Euthanasia is the action or omission which of itself and by intention causes death with the purpose of eliminating all suffering.
This is different from aggressive medical treatment in which death comes but it was not the intention. Euthanasia is gravely a violation of the law of God. 66. Suicide is murder. It is a gravely immoral act. Euthanasia becomes more serious when it takes the form of a murder committed on a person who has no way requested or consented to it.
67. Jesus offers something different than our culture offers: He offers truth, mercy, and love. 'Even though it is guaranteed that we will sing He offers us redemption and a chance of salvation. 68. Human life has been reduced to rights.
The disabled or the helpless person's life has been weighed in accordance to the inconvenience they bring to those in their charge. 69. Legal systems judge what is to be moral by their standards and not the morality of the majority. 70. These tendencies are based on the philosophical idea of relativism.
Democracy can never take the place of morality. Moral law is written on the heart. 71. There needs to be a rebirth or combination of the civil law and the moral law.
The problem with this is that civil laws are limited and can limit moral law. 72. The church has always encouraged the combining of moral and civil laws. "Consequently a civil law authorizing abortion or euthanasia cease by that very fact to be a true morally binding civil law. 73.
Abortion and Euthanasia are crimes that should never be legitimized. The is no obligations to follow such laws and a moral law that requires us to oppose such laws. 74. "To refuse to take part in committing an injustice is not only a moral duty; it is a basic human right"75. God's commands are written in a negative precept form. This is such so that we can see what we are not to do; thus limiting sin; and not limiting moral behavior.
76. "The creator has entrusted mans life to his responsible concern not to make arbitrary use of it but to preserve it with wisdom and to care for it with loving fidelity. 77. The new law of the Spirit causes Christians to respect, love, and promote the life of every human individual. We are committed to a service of love. Chapter IV: You Did It to Me 78.
The churches heart is evangelization. She lives to reach out to mankind. Her mission is to spread the Gospel of life. 79. We are the people of life because God has sent the Gospel of life to us. We are thus sent to spread this life to everyone.
80. To proclaim Jesus is to proclaim life. Because of our gratitude we share this Gospel with everyone with joy. 81. Jesus is the core of this gospel we share.
82. To be truly a people at the service of life we must propose these truths constantly and courageously from the first proclamation for the gospel and thereafter in catechesis in various forms of preaching in personal dialogue and in all educational activities. We must not be afraid to preach the gospel at all times. 83.
We have been sent as a people of life so our proclamation is a genuine celebration of the Gospel of life. 84. To celebrate life is to celebrate the one who gave us life. 85. The Gospel celebrates all cultures that encourage life. 86.
In this Gospel we celebrate each other. We honor heroism, like a mother who takes care of her family. 87. We are called to serve with in this Gospel. We serve through charity. Where life is involved charity must be profoundly consistent.
88. The way this is brought about is though education. Many must develop this skill. 89. Centers for services for life need to exist but they need to be run by a charitable person.
90. Volunteers have a specific role they make valuable contributions to the serve of life when they combine professional ability and generous selfless love. 91. Population control cannot be enforced to take the responsibility away from the married couple.
No single person can promote life; it must be a group effort. 92. With in the people of life the family is very important. As the domestic church the family is summoned to proclaim celebrate and serve the gospel of life. 93. The family celebrates through daily prayer 94.
Special attention must be given to the elderly. They are sources of wisdom and witnesses of hope and love. The family must be helped and supported in order to further the Gospel of Life. 95.
We must build a new culture of life by teaching a renewal within Christian communities. 96. The first step is forming consciences to re-establish the essential connection between life and freedom and truth. 97.
The next step is education, training married couples in responsible pro-creation. 98. A new life-style must be adopted, with the primacy of people over things. 99. Women have a special role. They are encouraged to promote feminism that does not imitate the model of male.
100. In this endeavor to create a new culture of life we are inspired and sustained by the confidence that comes from knowing that the gospel of life like the kingdom of god itself is growing and producing abundant fruit. 101. The gospel is not just for believers but for everyone. Jesus came to save everyone. It is to be actively pro-life and is to contribute to the renewal of society.
Conclusion 102. We look to Lord Jesus, the source of new life. Mary is also part of the Gospel of life. She is the mother of all who are reborn to life. She is the incomparable model of how life should be treated. 103.
The relationship between Mary and the Church is a great mystery. Mary is the Mother of God and shows a pure vocation to motherhood. The Church has a spiritual motherhood. 104. Mary helps the Church to realize that life is the center of the great struggle between good and evil.
The rejection of human life is a rejection of Christ. 105. Mary's life is protected by God. Mary is a comfort for the Church in her struggle against death. Mary is "a sign of sure hope and solace.".