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Reflections from around the world

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A World of hope, care and wonder

Words of comfort and wisdom from our international family.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3 

  Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

Lynn Ungar
11 March 2020 

 

 
 

Lockdown…

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM
March 13th 2020 

 
 

Love and Nonviolence in the Time of Coronavirus - The stark choice for a nonviolent future is here.

"Whatever the outcome," writes Butigan, "the experience of this current pandemic is likely a rehearsal for the summoning of global resolve to, once and for all, tackle the series of grave 'epidemics' that are mutating and growing all around us."

The COVID-19 pandemic has ground the world to a halt.... Quite likely, the next weeks will see a dramatic increase in cases and deaths.

How, then, does this crisis sharpen our choice for a culture of active and life-giving nonviolence? Doesn’t it, instead, point to a future of epidemics, social disruption, economic chaos, and an increase in the politics of fear?

Ken Butigan,
Common Dreams March 17, 2020

Read the full published article Love and Nonviolence in the Time of Coronavirus here

Ken Butigan is director of Pace e Bene, a nonprofit organization fostering nonviolent change through education, community and action. He also teaches peace studies at DePaul University and Loyola University in Chicago. 

 
 

The Ecumenical Patriarch

Message of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Regarding COVID-19

"Therefore, our dear children, we entreat you as your spiritual father to respond faithfully and patiently to all the difficult but necessary measures proposed by our health authorities and nations. Everything is being done for our protection, for our common good, in order to contain the spread of this virus. Our liberation from this distress depends entirely on our own cooperation.suspending services." 

Read the full message from The Ecumenical Patriarch here 

 
 

Martin Luther's response - and ours

In 1527, plague struck Wittenberg — the university town where Luther lived — prompting classes to be moved to an unaffected town. Yet Luther refused to leave. He chose instead to venture his life on caring for the sick and dying and transformed his home into a makeshift hospital. So when Luther gave advice, he knew the consequences and the fear attending them.

Read the full article Fear not, sneer not: A healthy Christian response to COVID-19 from ABC's Religion & Ethics - Opinion

 



 

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