The Tree Planted in 1732 still Grows

The Campaign

Picture a teeter-totter. On one side sits the bully taunting a pleasant-mannered but frightened person on the other end. At the moment, everything is going the bully’s way — on the rise and having attracted a rude circle of supporters. To their chagrin, however, a small group of partisans “for the other side” begins to form, encouraging the pleasant-mannered one to stay calm and keep a firm grip. Slowly, the face loses its fearful expression and is replaced by a look of determination. The trip back to the top has begun! The bully’s name is Violence. The revitalized rival is known as Values.

The preceding vignette is brought to you courtesy of the Catholic Women’s League of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Thunder Bay in order to bring to your attention our Raise Values Above Violence Campaign.

After much study of the issue of violence and its impact on society, the Catholic Women’s League concluded that we had to act and do so in a positive, energetic fashion. Convinced that Values can have an adverse effect on violence, the Thunder Bay Diocesan Council of the Catholic Women’s League initiated a successful campaign in 1996 to Raise Values Above Violence. This slogan can be envisioned as a teeter-totter with Values and Violence at opposite ends. The goal, of course, is to keep Violence down and put Values back on top.

What are Values?

Moral and spiritual values are the intentions, actions, factors, and good of life that enable us to fulfill our capacities as individuals and as members of society, furnishing a standard that we must meet. A person cannot be regarded as faithful to moral values if they lie, abuse power or fail their friends. The person of moral values is expected to be temperate in their desires, sensible and practical in their decisions and courageous in performing their tasks, even under trying conditions. Moral values are embodied in a moral ideal or norm, while spiritual values draw us closer to God as our supreme good and happiness.

When we incorporate values into our everyday living we are able to live happier and healthier lives, in turn, contributing to happier and healthier families and communities.

The Best Gift is Love ~ Meditations by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

But just as love and peace begin at home, so do disturbance and sadness also begin at home, when a family is not united. The family that prays together, stays together. But more and more we see that families are not staying together, and this is the greatest destroyer of peace in the world.

If there is so much disturbance in the world today, if there is so much sadness, so much killing and anxiety, it is because the family is no longer united — father against mother, children against children.

If today there is so much suffering in the world, so much pain, it is because the child — the unborn child, the innocent child — is unwanted, unloved, uncared for.

I think the best gift we can give to any child is to make that child feel wanted, loved, cared for; because that child is the greatest gift of God to the family, to the nation, to the world. Because that child is the life of God, created for greater things, in the image of God, to love and to be loved.

Prayer for the Campaign

O Holy Spirit, along with your seven precious gifts, please give us continued direction for our Catholic Women’s League Diocesan Campaign to Raise Values Above Violence. Help our Catholic Women League members, through shared leadership, to install justice and peace into the hearts of children and adults throughout Canada and the world. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.