REFLECTIONS. Extracts from OCTOBER 2020 introduction and DAILY THOUGHTS.

Sep 30, 2020

OCTOBER THEME : FAMILY ON MISSION

Overview. Every single family of any description, from a human one-parent family, to the ancient colossuses of trees in our forests, and the tiniest of creatures in the sea, has a role to play to sustain our world, as a family of families.  We, the human family, uniquely have the power to deliberately choose our sense of mission. We cannot afford selfish greed, or hurtful violence but are called to adopt God’s mission of love, love of creation and of all creatures. It is a massive mission, demanding all our resources but it alone has the potential for the ultimate salvation of the whole world. 

Pope Francis: Evangelisation would not be complete if it did not take account of the unceasing interplay of the Gospel and of man’s concrete life, both personal and social.  Our mandate is to go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.  EG181.    The family is an agent of pastoral activity through the explicit proclamation of the Gospel, their witness, namely solidarity with the poor, openness to diversity of people, protection of creation, moral and material solidarity with other families and commitment to the common good.  AL 290

A PRAYER FOR OUR EARTH.   Taken from LAUDATO SI’.

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.   You embrace with tenderness all that exists. Pour out on us the power of you love that we protect life and beauty. Fill us with peace that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one. O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth so precious in your eyes.  Bring healing to our lives that we may protect the world and not cause it harm, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.  Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. Teach us to discover the worth of every thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light. We thank you for being with us each day.  Encourage us in our struggle for justice, love and peace.   Amen.                                                                                                                                   

Setting the scene. Pope Francis in his Message for Mission month issues an invitation, “Whom shall I send,” and request a response our individual and collective response, “Here I am, send me.”  But for what, to do what, where and to whom?  Pope Francis also made a suggestion recently as an agenda to promote Laudato Si’. “The call to mission, the invitation to step out of ourselves for love of God and neighbour presents itself as an opportunity for sharing, service and intercessory prayer. The mission that God entrusts to each one of us leads us from fear and introspection to a renewed realization that we find ourselves precisely when we give ourselves to others.”      

This applies well to OUR WORLD, A FAMILY OF FAMILIES and can be our mission in October, starting at home in imaginary families used in these reflections. Day by day families share about different ideas and plans, in our current reality, with the Covid-19 restrictions eased considerably.  While churches are beginning to open up again for liturgical celebrations Fr Brian and the PPC had decided to continue to focus on the mission of families and the little church of the home which was having a growing following and could accommodate the many families that included members of various faith communities.  God loves every area of creation and so should we, but especially those in any kind of need.

The simple SEE-JUDGE-ACT method is suggested for family faith sharing, following the steps.        

  1. What is going on? (See, explore the issue or situation.)
  2. What does God say about this?  (Judge,  using scripture and Pope Francis quotes) 
  3. What can I/we do about this? (Choose an appropriate action.)
  4. End with a time of prayer, spontaneous or set.   The Prayer for Our Earth given below can also be used.

DAILY THOUGHTS.

October 1. Sunday 26A   St Therese. Manual asked his daughter, Therese, to find out more about her name-saint. Why is St Therese called “The Little Flower?”  “It’s really about creation too,” Therese explained. “She was a sickly person and not able to be a missionary in faraway places as she had always wanted to be.  She died of TB when she was only 24, living as a Carmelite nun.  So she found her own special way to show her love for God.  Therese wrote in her diaries,  ”I will seek out a means of getting to Heaven by a little way – a very short and very straight little way, that is wholly new.  We live in an age of inventions; nowadays the rich need not trouble to climb the stairs, they have lifts instead.  Well I mean to try and find a lift by which I may be raised to God, for I am too tiny to climb the steep stairway to perfection.  Thine arms, then O Jesus, are the lift which must raise me up to Heaven. She believed that it was not necessary to accomplish great deeds and wrote, “Love proves itself by deeds.  Great deeds are forbidden for me.  The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.” We call it, ‘St Therese’s little way.’ I want to share that with any other girls that have her name so we can be like her. 

Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.   Whoever humbles himself like this child he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Mat 18:4.   Pope Francis:  The Psalms frequently exhort us to praise God the Creator.  We do not only exist by God’s mighty power; we also live with him and beside him.  This is why we adore him. LS 72

October 2.  Guardian Angels.  Audrey explained, “There is a long tradition in the church of devotion to our guardian angels. But as that devotion has rather faded in recent years an interest in angels in general seems to have grown. Sometimes they are portrayed as cute cuddly little creatures, sometimes as avengers at the gate of heaven or hell. Angels’ real function is being messengers from God and even our own guardian angels bring a personal message of God’s care and love.  This can be a real source of comfort sometimes, especially to children. We families can pray the prayer with little ones and you might find that as they grow up they still often use the prayers they learned as children together with any of their own special prayers.”   Prayer: Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide.  Amen.   “See that you do not despise these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.”Matt 18:10. Pope Francis. Each of us has a Guardian Angel acting on behalf of God to advise and protects us from evil, if we only listen to him. Oct 2015

October 4. Sunday 27A. St Francis. Fr Brian was very happy with the reading from the prophet Isaiah,  as he explained it could apply very well to St Francis.  “Let me sing for my beloved a love song concerning his vineyard. He had a vineyard on a very fertile hill, dug it, cleared it of stones and planted it with choice vines. He looked for it to yield grapes but it yielded wild grapes.”  Is 5:1-7.  Equally it could apply in our own day where the wine industry is not only a major source of revenue but also a source of pride.  Quality wine is a treasure of the earth and producing high quality is a value.  Could some form of neglect or other unexplained reason result in inferior quality? Abuse of wine as something good, is also a major problem and like any disease, including the coronavirus pandemic is can be a mystery.  Science has taught us much but we humans do not have absolute control over nature.   The race for a Covid-19 vaccine has become a battle between nations for control in our time, for selfish reasons. Are values of humility in the face of creation and the common good still relevant?  What would St Francis say about our behaviour today?   Pope Francis.  St Francis, faithful to Scripture invites us to see nature as a magnificent book in which God speaks to us and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness.  LS 12.    Today is the ending of the Season of Creation yet the need for ecological conversion continues.    Pray the PRAY FOR OUR EARTH or google the CANTICLE OF THE CREATURES.

Read all about THE SOUTHERN CROSS monthly magazine. http://www.scross.co.za

FAMILY MATTERS
9am WEDNESDAY

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