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Celebrate Life in October

by Cathy Donovan

In honor of Respect Life month, annually held in October, the Church calls us in a special way to celebrate the unique dignity of the human person. The Book of Genesis reminds us that we are all created in God’s own image and likeness, and that all God has made is good. From this, the Church teaches that every person has the right to a life of dignity and respect. Below are some ways to honor God’s gift of life every day — in our homes and families, in our neighborhoods and communities, even throughout the world!

Week One: "Bless This Home"

Travel around to each room in your house and ask God’s blessing on the life and activity that takes place in each room. For example, ask God’s blessing on the bedrooms that refresh our lives with sweet slumber. In this way we acknowledge that humanity is essentially good; even our most mundane human activities are infused with the divine.

Week Two: "It's All About You!"

Take turns celebrating each person in your family by naming a special gift or ability each person possesses. Each family member writes a family member's name and special gift on a slip of paper and places it in a bowl, one for each person. Continue the celebration by sharing a special dinner together and reading the slips of paper. This activity helps us to remember that each of us has different gifts and abilities, but we are all created in God's own image and likeness.

Week Three: "Happy Birthday to You!"

Instead of donating regular canned goods to your local food shelf or pantry, this week create and donate “Birthday Bags” for all ages. These simple bags provide the makings for a special birthday celebration for families who are struggling with a job loss or other economic hardship. Buy a regular cake mix, frosting and cake decorations and place them in a gift bag. Add festive paper plates and napkins, a drink mix and noisemaker. You have created a party-in-a-bag! Don’t forget the candles. In this way, we reveal that the gift of human life is something to cherish and celebrate. We are all equal no matter our life circumstances.

Week Four: "You Are Special"

Find directions for a simple beaded bracelet on a website, in a craft book or at the library. Once made, give the bracelets to people to let them know you are thankful for their life. Find at least one person who might need to hear that message more than other’s – the kid who sits alone during lunch, the teacher that made a difference in your day, or the neighbor who seems to be alone. As Christians we are called to not only celebrate life, but also to practice justice and charity in our words and deeds.

Throughout October: "Thanks A Million"

Write “Thank you” notes to the public servants in your community such as police officers, postal carriers and city officials.

This article comes to you from Grace In Action (Our Sunday Visitor) courtesy of your parish or diocese.


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