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President's reflection

“Sometimes the title says it all!“A CLIMATE OF THE HEART: ONLY RELATEDNESS CAN SAVE US” 

Last week, a friend gave me the book with this title by Ian Mills (pictured right). As I looked at the cover picture of our planet, this gift seemed a moment of grace. 

How can we cultivate the kind of relatedness that will save us from all that threatens humankind?

The theme of heartfelt relatedness resonates with the eternal and contemporary wisdom of our Easter teachings.

“Abide in my love” says Jesus in John 15.

Abide in the divine love and “love one another as I have loved you,” Jesus continues.

Ian Mills wrote this book when he knew he was “at this far end of my life”. 

Disquieted by what he saw ahead for those who would come after him, his book is a prophetic gift aiming to wake us up to the dire consequences of, in paraphrase, our hostile politics; our extractive indifference to our non-human companions; our divisive nationalisms with their foolish talk of even more wars…

The Greek word for selfless love - “Agape”- accords with Ian’s focus on “relatedness”

Who could dispute that a greater expression of a universal and unconditional love is needed?

Yes, to prevent more domestic violence against women and children; to provide healing from racism; to co-operate and reach real zero emissions before the warming of the planet is entirely catastrophic; to provide diplomatic and peaceful settlements to any number of the divisions which otherwise fuel the arms trade and may lead to even more conflicts ....

“Abide in my love”, says Jesus to us.

Our abiding in Jesus love and our loving contribution to a better ‘climate of the heart’ finds some focus in coming special Weeks of Prayer.

We have already shared prayers for and with our Pacific neighbours.

This week we can share the Prayer Journal that is part of “Thy Kingdom Come” (PDF)

Then following, from May 16-to the eve of Pentecost, it is The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, drawn from the work of the Monastic Community of Grandchamp.

The theme this year is actually and so aptly John 15:5-9: “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit.” 

To remind you, the resources are on our NCCA website, under ‘Faith and Unity’. www.ncca.org.au 

As we pray together in these coming special weeks, we might hold before us the image provided by Oxfam of a displaced Rohingya mother and child in a refugee camp at a time of pandemic. They have already been in that camp for three years.

“Jesus have mercy”, our prayer of the related heart.

Bishop Philip Huggins

NCCA President. 

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