CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 1 December 2018

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All life is sacred

Unless we take a stand for life, death will overwhelm us. That is the challenge that greets every one of us who has seen someone that we cared for and loved pass from this life. It is the memory of that person that draws us back to the place where we felt their genuine love. 
 
In our imagination, we can be with them again where we shared life and happiness with them. It is not the cold imperious presence of death in the cemetery among the silent tombs where we will relive those feelings of belonging to someone and having been loved by them. It is where we experienced them in life that we can be with them in death. Find the place on this earth where you shared joy and happiness with that person or persons. Then your life will be renewed and valued.
 
If the memories bring back the pain of loss, then find a secluded place with a friend and have a good cry, and release that pain and find comfort in the release. Then you will be free of the pain of loss and happy with your memories. 
 
The first week of November is when we are reminded of life and death. Every day we should be thinking and working to preserve and celebrate life in every way we can. Starting with our own selves, “Doctor, heal yourself.”
 
We should take on a sustaining lifestyle, eat natural, healthy food, and reject all processed meats and other sugary eats and drinks. If we eat vegetables, fish and fruits, and exercise we will live a long healthy life, we will avoid diabetes and will not be a burden to another person, as we grow old. Then we can celebrate our life and leaving it peacefully will be as good as living it.
 
To promote life we could visit the sick and be with them in their struggle for life. We could join a procession and carry a candle and a banner proclaiming that all life is scared. We could then declare that all humans are of value, that life is sacred and precious and that it is a serious crime to kill a human being, or support anyone who does. 
 
We could reach out in solidarity and help those whose relatives have been killed violently, brutally and unjustly. We should speak about the value of human life and dignity. We must also call out to protect the environment and the ecosystem that is being damaged and destroyed, and slowly dying because of uncaring humans. 
 
We can act to protect the creatures we share this planet with that humans are killing and driving to extinction. In the tropics extinction of hundreds of species is “imminent” says a scientific study. Human activity like deforestation, over-fishing and climate change are the causes 
 
Life is beautiful and wondrous but many humans have lost that sensitivity and the meaning of being one with nature, and being a dependent part of our planet and bound in brotherhood and sisterhood with every human.
 
Instead we pillage, kill and destroy each other and fill the cemeteries with the dead, victims all, mostly women and children.
 
We the species with the big brains and so-called intelligence have rejoiced in being overwhelmed by our basic instincts of avarice and greed. So cutting down a forest, destroying a river, shooting wild animals or waging a brutal, unforgivable war of mass murder is considered as nothing. 
 
It is becoming the new normal, the acceptable face of modern human existence, a culture of death. It will be a dictatorship of the powerful where all must bow before the mighty ruling elite. These are the billionaires who dictate the way most will struggle to live and try to defeat death in order to survive. 
 
In Yemen, Syria and Myanmar (where the Rohingya have been killed in their hundreds of thousands). Thousands more have been driven from their homes and left to struggle for survival in hovels and camps not fit for humans. The so-called civilised world looks away. 
 
So what life do they have in Yemen where famine and disease is ravaging a million people? They die at the hands of the coalition led by Saudi Arabians and allies. They are armed to the teeth with American, British, French and German weapons, rockets, bombs and missiles to kill the children and the hungry. The involvement of Iran in Yemen is despicable fomenting war. 
 
The survival of the living—dead the sick and unhealthy people that live in unhygienic disease rife communities. The planet is smothered in a smog of death from toxic fumes pumped into the air day and night, endlessly endangering our children, men and women choking on the polluted air we breathe. 
 
The World Health Organisation recently said that 90 per cent of children worldwide are breathing toxic poison in the air and it is killing thousands of them and damaging millions more intellectually and physically. The numbers are staggering. There are as many as 1.8 billion children choking on toxic air that endangers the entire next generation.
 
The pesticides in the food, chemicals in the air, on the plants, in our lungs are causing multiple cancers. Eating is not a celebration of life but becomes a cause of death. 
 
We have to change our society, to protect our children, to live in a way where life is sacred to all. 
                           
Father Shay Cullen
www.preda.org