Memorial of Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Life is precious!
Again, Pope Francis reminds us of this in his recent follow-up to Laudato Sí, the Apostolic Exhortation, Laudate Deum (October 4, 2023), for Jesus walked this earth in awe of life in all its forms “because he himself was in constant touch with nature. . . often stopping to contemplate the beauty sown by his Father” (LS, 38). In this new papal document, Pope Francis urges us, the Catholic faithful, “that authentic faith not only gives strength to the human heart but also transforms life, transfigures our goals, and sheds light on our relationship to others and with creation as a whole” (61). “The world sings of an infinite Love: how can we fail to care for it” (65).
Today, we remember in a special way how all life is precious. The memorial of any martyrdom reminds us of that. As Jesus, who embraced all in God’s creation, was tortured and gave up his life, so too did Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions.
Yesterday, we celebrated Thanksgiving here in the United States. It is a special day to celebrate all our blessings, be with family, and enjoy the foods, recipes, rituals, and traditions unique to those of us who celebrate this holiday. It’s truly a time to appreciate how precious all of life is.
As we sit in our place of prayer this day, let us pray for Christians and people of any faith being persecuted. Let us rededicate ourselves individually and as communities to be peace and love wherever we find ourselves. Let us remember that all the gifts in God’s creation are precious. Let us make a gift of ourselves to care for human life from womb to tomb as well as all living things in nature.
Let Us Pray:
Father, we praise you with all your creatures. They came forth from your all-powerful love; they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love. Praise be to you! O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, life, and beauty. Praise be to you! Amen! (Excerpted from Laudato Sí Prayer)