Here is a brief video made to visualize and accompany a recorded part of the Roe v. Wade case.

The idea is clear and, as with other polemic subjects such as euthanasia and homosexuality, the fundamental question is: “Who are we? What does it mean to be a human person?”

To illuminate the importance of this subject I would suggest reading Pope Benedict XVI’s message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, January 2007. There he expands upon the absolute necessity of understanding and respecting the meaning and dignity inherent to each human being.

He ends his message with the following:

“Finally, I wish to make an urgent appeal to the People of God: let every Christian be committed to tireless peace-making and strenuous defense of the dignity of the human person and his inalienable rights… With gratitude to the Lord for having called him to belong to his Church, which is ‘the sign and safeguard of the transcendental dimension of the human person’ in the world, the Christian will tirelessly implore from God the fundamental good of peace, which is of such primary importance in the life of each person…Jesus has revealed to us that “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8) and that the highest vocation of every person is love. In Christ we can find the ultimate reason for becoming staunch champions of human dignity and courageous builders of peace.”

How, then, are we responding to this mission? Defending the rights of the human person goes way beyond political battles. It starts in our day-to-day lives, beginning with how we treat ourselves and those around us. Blessed John Paul II was a “champion of human dignity” not just because he studied, wrote, and spoke of it – and he did it exceptionally well– but because when he looked at a person, he saw something– or better said, someone– marvelous, someone that was worth living for and dying for.

Relate to others according to who they are, not who you want them to be. Give without asking for anything back. Serve without demanding a useful reason. Love your enemies for no other reason than the fact that they too have been created by our loving Father and bought by the blood of Christ. When doing these things, then those around us will begin to understand what it means to be a person. Only then will the words “dignity of the human person” take life before their eyes and so change both their hearts and their laws.