I have an idea for next year’s Day for Life: “ALLOTMENTS.” That’s it: people who keep allotments and grow their own vegetables do all sorts of things for life, they keep the planet cool, probably eat their five a day and encourage others to do so and be healthy. There would be plenty of scriptural quotations to encourage people to grow their allotments for the glory of God.
“Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.” (Prov 15.17)or
“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.” (Dan 1.12)Another one might be “PUBLIC TRANSPORT.” Take the bus for the glory of God, save the planet, be healthy, have a new lifestyle.
“You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.” (Ps 65.11)
“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” (Ex 13.21)Or again, what about “FLOSSING”? Plenty of scripture there:
“thou dost break the teeth of the wicked” (Ps 3.8)
“In those days people will no longer say, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’(Jer 31.29)and of course, the famous
“I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth” (Job 19.20)Each of the themes also needs to have ten Bidding Prayers, a model sermon ("A few years ago, when I was visiting an ashram, a weather-beaten but sprightly old man said to me ..." etc.) a Eucharistic Dimension, and a specially composed prayer (with sense lines) for us to use at meetings.
I offer these suggestions since it seems that the theme for the Day for Life in England and Wales is to be about anything except what Blessed Pope John Paul called for when he proposed a Day for Life in his encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae:
Its primary purpose should be to foster in individual consciences, in families, in the Church and in civil society a recognition of the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. Particular attention should be drawn to the seriousness of abortion and euthanasia, without neglecting other aspects of life which from time to time deserve to be given careful consideration, as occasion and circumstances demand. (n.85)The theme for this year’s Day for Life in England and Wales is “Use your body for the glory of God.” The front cover of the leaflet has a lady swimming – the theme ties in with the Olympics, you see. (The back cover has a close-up of Holy Communion in the hand, the photo chosen to illustrate the Eucharistic Dimension of the theme.)
Last year the theme was “Happiness.” As you might have guessed, I’m not happy. Many priests and active pro-life lay people are not happy either. It is estimated that by the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act, nine million children will have been killed before birth in our country. We pioneered the legalisation of embryo research and we are giving the Dutch lessons in how to do euthanasia more politely by means of continuous sedation.
In our particular cultural sitz im leben, would it be too much to ask that on one Sunday in the year we focus on pro-life issues related to abortion and euthanasia “without neglecting other aspects of life which from time to time deserve to be given careful consideration” such as embryo research and IVF?