Morena – Passionist Family Group members and friends,
Recently, I was recommended a book written by Dr. Bruce Perry MD – A Psychiatrist working with ‘Trauma ‘. It has been an enlightening journey in understanding the causes, impact, and ways to treat both children and adults suffering from the effects of Trauma. What some people have lived through and with, is truly humbling and the work of this man and his clinical team is just nothing short of amazing. The following paragraphs spoke to me in relation to Passionist Family Groups, our “aims and goals”. It comes back to extending ourselves to others to be a “Family for All”.
He states, “The wonderful thing about our species is that we can learn; our memories and our technologies allow us to benefit from the experience of those who came before us. But at the same time those technologies, even the ones that are presumably meant to bring us together, are increasingly keeping us apart. The modern world has disrupted and, in many cases abandoned the fundamental biological unit of human social life: the extended family.
He says, for countless generations humans lived in small groups, made up of 40 up to 150 people, most of whom were closely related to each other and lived communally. As late as the year 1500, the average family group in Europe consisted of roughly 20 people whose lives were intimately ‘connected’ on a daily basis. But, by 1850 that number was down to ten, living in close proximity and in 1960 the number was just five. In the year 2000 the average size of a household was less than four, and a shocking 26 percent of Americans live alone.
As technology has advanced, we have gotten farther and farther away from the environment for which evolution shaped us. The world we live in is now biologically disrespectful, it does not take into account many of our most basic human needs and often pulls us away from healthy activities and toward those that are harmful.
……we are social mammals and could have never survived without deeply interconnected and independent contact. The truth is you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built in isolation.”
I have spent a lot of time listening and talking to priests, laity, people with ministry responsibilities and these words above have set me thinking as well as reflecting on where we are…where I am. Our Passionist Family Groups are a call, a ministry, a service, and a response to this journey where we are confronted by both the consumer and individualist bug where the ‘I” is seen, as supreme. However, the history of humanity and in fact the history of the Universe tell a different story.
Everything is connected, we are stardust, and we breathe the same air as our ancestors. Think and ponder on that – we are connected. Nature continually astounds through its complexity just like our brains. We are not the last stop in the Universe story, we are not the supreme beings as we trade and sell off ‘things’ and our relationships suffer as we are lured by this attitude. Jesus reminds us that God is with us and all around us there is enough spirit food to assist us as we encounter trials, setbacks, and disappointments. Nature shows us that the world is full of mystery and that suffering is part of growth in both the natural world and in the human world.
As we move forward this week check your connections and contact those you have not spoken to in a while. Forgive mistakes, laugh, and hold on, in times of trauma and loss with empathy, patience, and compassion. For our judgement when it comes will never be around what I gained! Rather, what I shared. Our Passionist Family Groups may see many declining in years but not in being family! This love, care and friendship will endure. We can sit back and be secure in our comfort or we can each other so the next generation can have an opportunity to share in the spoils of being like an extended family one that seeks to be “A Family for All”. Sow seeds today and tomorrow will bear the fruit.
God go with you – enjoy the rest of the week.
Prayer and blessings,
Scripture reflection: No matter how far we stray, God always welcomes us back. Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, 30 October 2022.
First reading: Wisdom 11:22 – 12:2
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 144(145):1-2, 8-11, 13-14
Second reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:11 – 2:2
Gospel: Luke 19:1-10
Link to readings – click here
The readings for this Sunday once again celebrate God’s boundless love for each and every one of us. No matter how far we go astray, God continues to seek us out and welcome us back.
The First Reading reminds us that God has created everything in love. Nothing exists or survives without God’s imperishable spirit. It is because of the depth of God’s love that our faults and failings can be forgiven, and we can rely on God to guide us away from evil. The Psalm is a wonderful hymn of praise to the God we acknowledge as King of our hearts. The verses echo the first reading in reminding us how completely God loves us. God will raise us up to life when we fall.
In the Second Reading, St Paul urges the Thessalonians – and ourselves – to continue to focus on doing what good the Lord asks of us. It is through our lives that God’s name will be glorified. The Gospel story of Zacchaeus reiterates that salvation awaits anyone who repents of their sinful ways. Just as Jesus urges Zacchaeus down from the tree, so, too, he calls each one of us. All we need do is seek his presence, and, acknowledging our faults and failings, welcome him into every aspect of our lives.
This week, as we continue to pray for an end to hostilities throughout the world, we ask that the Lord will help us to hear and respond to his invitation and welcome him joyfully into our lives.
Reminder: 5 Aims and Goals
- share & celebrate life & faith
- support one another (especially in need)
- reaching out to & include others
- build community/extended family
- show example to children
It has been a quieter week sionce I returned. I was due to go to Hastings in the Hawkes Bay but a bad cough and cold meant I had to stay home. I have been doing some administrative work and preparation. Yesterday 23 October we received the sad news that my mother- in-law Ursula Corcoran died. Clare has gone to Christchurch and meeting up with her siblings. I am off tomorrow with my son Sam and Daughter Lucy and will join the family in celebrating Ursula’s life. Please keep Clare and her family in your prayers.
I will be in Otaki on Sunday to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
Pease remember in your thoughts and prayer:
- Ursula Corcoran – my wife Clare’s mum died on 23 October she will be buried on Friday 28th October from Christ the King parish.
- Paul Darbyshire (Linda and family) Paul has operation coming up on 28th October
- Gerard and Linda Daly – tragic loss of their son, Brett. Keep the family in your prayer.
- Boyd Dunlop (Judith and family)
- Paeroa PFG lost their dear friend and long time member Liz Taylor
- Wilma Schimanski and family
- Julie Neve her two children, family and friends. – Julie is mending
- Please remember Carmel Cole’s family– she and her late husband Don we long time benefactors of “The Fort” (Passionist Retreat in Brisbane)
- Remember Fr Ray Sanchez CP – for his health concerns
- Fr Gerard Ainsley
- Your own intentions
- “Why did the math book look so sad? Because of all of its problems!”
- “What do you call cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho cheese.”
- “My dad told me a joke about boxing. I guess I missed the punch line.”
- “What kind of shoes do ninjas wear? Sneakers!”
- “How does a penguin build its house? Igloos it together.”
- “How did Harry Potter get down the hill?” “Walking. JK! Rowling.”
- “I used to be addicted to soap, but I’m clean now.”
- “A guy walks into a bar…and he was disqualified from the limbo contest.”
- “You think swimming with sharks is expensive? Swimming with sharks cost me an arm and a leg.”
- “When two vegans get in an argument, is it still called a beef?”
- “I ordered a chicken and an egg from Amazon. I’ll let you know…”