By ZOE CANNON
GRATITUDE FOR THE GIFT OF FAITH
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10).
I love the universal Catholic Church! We believe that God created us in His image and likeness to know, love and serve Him! We are blessed with daily reminders of the purpose of celebrating each unrepeatable life created. We honor the witness of faithful, holy, people on designated feast days, memorials and solemnities. The Liturgical calendar cycles through the Scriptures at daily Mass with Old and New Testament readings. We are strengthened with grace in Sacrament and knowledge of Truth through the Teachings of Christ. So why is there confusion about what it means to be Catholic?
I have been reading and researching the issues of the upcoming presidential election. Sifting through the information is overwhelming! I began instead reading treatises from Doctors of the Church like St. Teresa of Avila, St. Thomas Aquinas and, most recently, a book from Luisa Piccarreta — “Little Daughter of the Divine Will: The 24 Hours of the Passion Of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” These writings clarify the meaning of suffering and Christ’s unconditional love for us. Do you look for these models in your life?
A plaque hangs on the wall beside our kitchen table. It caught my eye one morning, as I felt depleted from the challenges in our society. There is a story behind the creation of this masterpiece. My dad had a bread machine, and he loved baking bread to share with an elderly couple in the apartment next door. One evening in 2007, he took out a warm loaf of bread and cut it in half for sharing. Tuesday was bread day, and this generous offer was more than food; it was an opportunity for visiting. The neighbor walked over to get his treat and found my dad in trouble with chest pains, so he called 911 and then called me.
My dad could not be revived that evening. I found the cut bread on the kitchen counter later that night, and I believed it was prophetic that his last task on this earth was making bread to nourish his friends, just as we have the bread from heaven as spiritual nourishment. I sliced the loaf into five equal pieces and shellacked each slice to create a keepsake for my siblings. I attached it to a wooden tray with this scripture verse: “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst’” (John 6:35).
Life created as a Temple of the Holy Spirit is scripturally based. And we know how to prepare our souls for eternal life. To those who believe, the value of human life is not just a concern every four years at election time; it is the responsibility of every baptized Christian to protect life at every moment!
Paragraph 2442 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, “It is not the role of the Pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens (CCC 2442). It goes on to say that lay believers are on the frontlines; radical secularism is a great threat at every level of ecclesial life.
The teachings of Christ are very clear about life and the gravity of sin. We need to hear truth! Civil laws and policies can be changed by our vote, but should never take priority over God’s Laws in the Ten Commandments. Pray for God’s Divine Will and stand for life! Amen!