Bishop Ricken

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The Most Rev. David L. Ricken is the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.

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Our new game plan for life

By | January 20, 2011

• 23 abortion deaths occur each day in Wisconsin.

• The total number of abortions reported in 2009 was 8,542, up from 8,229.

• Women ages 20-24 accounted for 34 percent of abortions. Women 35 and older, 11 percent, and children, those less than 18 years of age, had 11 percent of abortions in 2009 in our state.

• Of the 495 minors who had abortions, written consent (usually by a parent) was provided in 429 cases.

• Of Wisconsin residents, 72 percent of abortions were surgical, 27 percent were chemically induced and almost 1 percent was a surgical procedure following a failed abortion. (This information is from the Department of Health Services Web site, at www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/stats/ITOP.htm.)

These are just a few of the statistics. We need to help our neighbors and stop this insanity of killing innocent children. Even children are having abortions. There is an increase in surgical and chemical abortions (RU-486 emergency contraception) and adults writing consents for their children to have abortions.

Why are we allowing this in our state? Each of us is affected in some way by these abortions; medical personnel, grandparents, husbands, clergy, friends and especially mothers. In most cases, women have no support and they just need a hand, a way out of their panic, to realize that God is with them and will help them. We are God’s hands. We are the help that God is sending to transform this culture to a culture that values his creation of human life.

The challenge is to become familiar with the teachings of the church on abortion, contraception, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, cloning and death penalty. Then there would not be any Catholics supporting or partaking in this destruction of life. We must awaken our minds and hearts to fear the apathy of what has become a norm in our society. We have to realize that each of us is accountable in our own vocation to positively affect change. We are obliged to step forward with a new game plan that guarantees a victory. So, our new course of action is this: adoration, action, accountability.

In addition to Sunday Mass, adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament is life-giving. Go to our Lord and receive the power to defend our position for life. Our Lord wants to hear all of your prayers for an increase in the respect for human life. More importantly, Jesus wants your heart. Plead for his mercy and love to fill the void that exists in the hearts of those supporting this evil. Pray for the transformation of our culture to value life in all of its stages.

Action is using our will to fulfill the will of God. We must have a plan of action, or we will be defeated by our own indifference, selfishness and fear. Pope John Paul II, soon to be Blessed John Paul, told us, “Be not afraid.” If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, then we cannot fail.

If we hope to accomplish great things in God’s name we will, but we must take the first step. Write to legislators or the newspaper, walk in the Marches for Life or 40 Days, support parishes and our diocese in respect life efforts. Teach our children that contraception, abortion and euthanasia are against the teachings of the church. Study “The Gospel of Life” by John Paul II and the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” about life issues. As Nike says, “Just do it.”

Accountability is vital in the role that God has given us. We are accountable for our actions and lack of action. We are accountable to our family to teach them the truth and live it. We are accountable to our neighbor and parish to help and participate in making a difference for life. We have the obligation from God to be a people of life. This is our game as much as anybody else’s. Don’t remain silent. Pray for wisdom and charity to help explain and defend truth.

If we begin this new game plan: adoration, action and accountability, we will be the catalyst for a world that truly follows the way, the truth and the life, without hesitation. We will become a nation that values people and allows each new life to be born, loved and cared for as God intends. We will be strengthened and prepared for the ultimate game day, at the end of time.

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