By Marie-Paule Sanfaçon, m.i.c.
Standing up in all his dignity — this is how Man appeared when he first sprang forth from the heart of God. Standing up! Christ looked at the crippled woman, put his hands on her bent and crooked back, and immediately she straightened up. A look of kindness, an act of compassion, and a woman was reborn after eighteen years of suffering. (Lk 13:10.16)
Recently, Pope Francis said: “Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God.”(1)
Mercy is an outstretched hand, welcoming, forgiving, and embracing. God is love. A person is more important than all the offensive acts they’ve ever committed. God is forgiveness and mercy. The theme of this issue, “meditate to mend”, touches on the injuries we experience throughout life. Sometimes, all it takes is a small gesture to cause change and bring someone inner peace. These opportunities to sow and spread happiness are around every corner.
Thousands of people suffer everyday because of wars and natural disasters caused by human negligence. Today, we have to mend many wounds that could have been avoided if there had been more meditation. But there are many gestures of goodwill that are within our reach.
In his apostolic letter on mercy, Pope Francis entrusted us with a mission: “During this Jubilee, the Church will be called even more to heal these wounds, to assuage them with the oil of consolation, to bind them with mercy and cure them with solidarity and vigilant care.”(2)
Let us follow Christ’s example by opening our arms and our hearts, and by giving back a little dignity and joy to the world.
Deep down, every person carries a profound desire to be recognized and respected by others. We must go beyond our perceptions and see that everyone — be they migrant, prisoner, homeless, victim of AIDS or even of leprosy — has the right to their dignity. This is what the following articles will explore.
(1) Apostolic letter on Mercy, Misericordiae Vultus, No. 1
(2) Idem, No. 15
In Focus – MEDITATE TO MEND
Truth Followed by Reconciliation
By Émilien Roscanu
On June 2, 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its report pertaining to the plight of Aboriginal children who attended Canadian residential schools from the latter part of the 19th century to the closing of the last school in 1996. The conclusions were overwhelming.
or over a century, more than 150,000 children were forcibly removed from the influence of their families, were placed in boarding schools and assimilated into the dominant Canadian culture; residential schools systematically undermined the Aboriginal culture across Canada. The unhealthy conditions of these institutions were such that more than 3,200 children died. Psychological, physical, and sexual abuses were widespread in those schools where children were coerced to forget their language, their culture. Poor sanitation, severely inadequate food and health care compounded the misery these little ones had to suffer. The harsh treatments and inhumane conditions left psychological and physical scars that even time cannot heal.
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