This is the first of all of the themes and the foundation of all Seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching. All of the others are inseparable from it – from our understanding of human life and dignity. St John Paul II once said: Human persons are willed by God; they are imprinted with God’s image. Their dignity does not come from the work they do, but from the persons they are.
In other words, Every human being is created in the image of God and redeemed by Jesus Christ, and therefore is invaluable and worthy of respect as a member of the human family. Every person, from the moment of conception to natural death, has inherent dignity and a right to life consistent with that dignity. Human dignity comes from God, not from any human quality or accomplishment. The Church’s efforts to protect and defend all human life at every stage and in every condition are inseparable from its belief in the dignity of the human person.
Here are some excellent resources for you and your family:
Here is an excellent Video by Catholic Relief Services on this teaching
The Way of Human Dignity (Loyola Press)
This article calls us to consider who we are in relation to God and others.
Here are some more resources related to this very important principle.
Ideas for Teaching the Sanctity of Life
Tricia Goyer offers not only a number of activities but also some good background for parents about the life issues.
How to Teach Children about Cultural Awareness and Diversity (PBS)
Tips to help children understand and respect similarities and differences, while helping them appreciate that they are wonderfully unique!
5 Saints Who Lived the Gospel of Life
Live Mercy: In the Marketplace (CRS)
A faith-sharing resource for small groups that forms, inspires and prepares communities, as consumers in a global economy, to show Christ’s compassionate love to others.
Pro-Life Activities (USCCB)
Pro-life Coloring Prayer Log (Paper Dali)