REFLECTIONS, Extracts from Daily Thoughts for August

Aug 25, 2020

August 27.  Everyone accepts the uniqueness of parent-child relationships. Lucia shared, “I think that mothers never stop worrying about their daughters or sons.  The widows in our parish have formed a support group and named St Monica as their patron. She was a mother who never stopped praying for her son to change his wicked way of life and her prayers were answered. Her son, Augustine, eventually became a great teacher and an early African saint. We don’t all have problem children but without fathers they are often more inclined to go off the rails.” Fr George saw the post and added, “I was shocked when I visited the jail to find a few of my former altar servers now serving time there.  One was convicted of rape and armed robbery another of drug dealing.  I’m quite sure there is a connection there too.“   

A selection from Daily Thoughts for families is an opportunity for family faith sharing

A man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother and she was a widow. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said, “Do not weep.” And he touched the bier and he said, “Young man arise.”  Luke 7:11-17  Pope Francis: God sets the father in the family  so that by the gifts of his masculinity he can be close to his wife and share everything, joy and sorrow, hope and hardship.  And to be close to his children as they grow – when they play and when they work when they are carefree and when they are distressed; to be a father who is always present and not controlling.  AL 177

August 28.  After Andrew had a virtual meeting with the team to evaluate he posted, “We hope that everyone will have gained knowledge and wisdom from these reflections in the whole area of sexuality even anywhere in creation. We understand that genuine relationships cannot be built only on feelings and yet love is almost irrational.  Attraction is a very real factor also in the area of sexual orientation.”  Mrs Alexander thought to herself, “It is about acceptance too, especially with differences and sexual orientation. Why did God make my son that way?”

Male gay couple with adopted baby girl, outdoors

The foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  1 Cor 1:25. Pope Francis:    We would like to reaffirm that every person, regardless of sexual orientation ought to be respected in his or her dignity, while every sign of unjust discrimination is to be carefully avoided.  Families should be given respectful pastoral guidance so that those who manifest a homosexual orientation can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will. AL250. 

August 30.  Sunday 22A.  Fr Joseph had thought a lot about his homily for their facebook group.  “On this last Sunday of when we have used the daily readings to look particularly at aspects of family life and sexuality I must say I have learned from your stories. I have read and listened and shared and come to realise how many marginalised people there are among us. Call them “irregular situations,” but how do you, those who are not married, or have been married and are now widowed or divorced and not remarried feel about your sexuality?  How do you young  people feel?  Are you stronger in the knowledge of who you are, or God’s plan for you?  Pope Francis includes a beautiful idea in his letter, that of gradualness. We’re all on a journey, all growing, into who we are and who we believe God sees us becoming. That is the gift of sexuality to families and to all of creation.  Thank you to the team and those who participated this month. Let’s listen to the words of today’s gospel,

“When you give a dinner or a banquet do not invite your friends or your brothers or neighbours lest they repay you and invite you in return.  Invite the poor, the maimed, the law, the blind, (the marginalised, the different, homosexuals, those with HIV, prostitutes)  and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you. Luke 14:7-14.  Pope Francis: This letter represents an invitation to Christian families to value the gifts of marriage and the family and to persevere in a love strengthened by the virtues of generosity, commitment, fidelity and patience.  It seeks to encourage everyone to be a sign of mercy and closeness wherever family life remains imperfect or lacks peace and joy. AL5.  

August 31.  Andrew wrote to the participants at the end of the programme. “How many of you feel criticised by your own family or group when you come up with a new idea or your own way of seeing things?   Every group of people, big or small, needs unity and a degree of conformity but we also need to recognise and value our right to be unique and different, or autonomous as some like to say. Maybe interdependent is also a good word. All that is not easy issue to deal with but important as we have found this month. I hope that our project has been helpful and fruitful for you all.” 

Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. From Luke 4:16-30.    Pope Francis:  Individual conscience needs to be better incorporated into the Church’s praxis in certain situations which do not objectively embody our understanding of marriage.  Every effort should be made towards the development of an enlightened conscience. Yet conscience can do more than recognise that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel.  It can also recognise with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response that can be given to God and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amide the concrete complexity of one’s limits. AL303   We have been called to form consciences not to replace them. AL37.

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