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President's reflection

CHOICES 

Choose to love, not hate. 

Choose to forgive. 

Choose to understand rather than to judge. 

These are the choices encouraged by our living spiritual traditions. 

Practised, they give humanity hope. Our children are safer. We can walk our streets without fear. 

This practice requires us to want to understand everything about another person. 

Hence, we are compelled to listen, adding that beauty will be a kindness. 

Our Jewish friends tell us they are suffering an upsurge in anti-Semitism. Especially on social media that many of us, perhaps, do not see. 

They have the confidence in us to name this, seeking both understanding and action. 

The context might well be the recent violence spreading from Jerusalem but one clear principle that has evolved, from years of dialogue, is to differentiate between fair -minded criticism of the State of Israel and anti-Semitism. 

Hence, we restate the compassionate wisdom that unites us... 

Choose to love, not hate. 

Choose to forgive. 

Choose to understand rather than to judge. 

My friend Rabbi Ralph Genende writes of feeling less secure wearing his kippah head covering in our streets. (Sunday Age, June 6) 

We know this street. Muslim women have felt the same when hatred is stirred. Christian clergy have felt it amidst controversies. Sikhs at other moments. There are too many examples. Racism will always find a target if hate is the choice that is made. 

These times may appear to pass but the fear and sadness remains in those targeted. 

Antisemitism need not persist. Nor any other form of hatred. Australia can be the place where this is utterly true. It all depends on the choices we make. 

As St Augustine reminds us “all our actions should be under the lens of eternity”. 

BISHOP PHILIP HUGGINS

NCCA President

 

Let Us Pray - St Francis' Prayer 

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

(St Francis of Assisi)

 

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