Are we losing our personhood?

The word “personhood” has been constantly rolling around in my head lately. I even looked it up on Dictionary.com:

per·son·hood1. the state or fact of being a person. 2.the state or fact of being an individual or having human characteristics and feelings: a harsh prison system that deprives prisoners of their personhood.

-n
chiefly ( US ) the condition of being a person who is an individual with inalienable rights, esp under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

Hmm…okay. And here’s what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

“The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God; it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude. It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment. By his deliberate actions, the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience. Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth. With help of grace they grow in virtue, avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son to the mercy of our Father in heaven. In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.” (CCC 1700)

Whew. That’s a lot to chew on, and I think we all should – chew on it, I mean.

You know I’m going somewhere with this, or I wouldn’t have posted it. Although I’m staunchly pro-life, that’s not exclusively what this thread is about. It’s about the way we treat one another, recognize one another as children of God, protect, respect, and reflect one another as uniquely formed beings, created and loved by God. It’s about wars, technology, society, and the day-to-day living during which we encounter other persons in their personhood. It’s about looking at life and asking ourselves, ‘Are we losing our personhood?”

More to come…

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