Growing up in New Hampshire, October was always a very special time of year. It’s when busloads of tourists came around simply to gaze upon the beauty of the mountains with their brilliant colors like an entire tapestry exhibiting the brightest of colors; the rich reds, brilliant yellows, deep orange, and everything in-between. For me it was a time to sharpen the skates, check out the hockey equipment and wax the skis. But for many of the local residents October meant getting ready for the harsh winter ahead. The turning of the leaves was the beginning of the dying process! Soon the trees would be bare, and the “dead of winter” would come upon us! It meant that for the next 6 months or so life would become a little more challenging for many of the folks.
But today I recognize how appropriate it is for October to be designated as “Respect Life Month” and “National Adoption Month,” a time when we are in the midst of the National 40 days for Life Campaign…Focusing on the sacredness of human life! The leaves and all of their magnificent beauty only serve to remind us of the immeasurable gift of life freely given to us by almighty God…Something for each of us to appreciate and treasure, particularly as autumn leaves tend to teach us that it is when we are dying to self that we are the most beautiful, most brilliant, most glorious. (Unless we turn and become like little children Jesus said, we cannot enter the kingdom of God.)… So for you and I, especially as Catholics, there must not be any lingering doubts in us that question the immense value of human life!
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Photo: Life Touch
AUTHOR: DEACON JEAN PLOURDE
Deacon Jean and his wife Kathy are founders of Gabriel’s Corner Pregnancy Counseling Center in Council Bluffs. A Non-Profit organization established in 2006 to help women faced with an unplanned pregnancy. He and his family settled in the Heartland after a distinguished career in the United States Air Force. With increased faith, they became “Daily Communicants”, and joined the Deaconate Community where in 2003, he was ordained Deacon. He is Lead Chaplain for St. Croix Hospice, having overall responsibility for end-of-life pastoral care of patients in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. Deacon Jean performs active ministry at Corpus Christi Parish in Council Bluffs.