1. Feral or ‘wild children’ who have been reared by animals in nature and later rescued are unable to develop relationships or to come to full self-awareness; they are unable to love or to know love.
2. The window period for the development of language and cognitive skills is about three years.
3. Love is something that is initiated within us. Therefore we come to others with a love which we ourselves have experienced from others.
4. We love others from something we feel in ourselves. There are people outside ourselves whom we love. It isn’t something we do because we have been ordered to do; we just feel it and then act accordingly.
5. The love we feel for others has come from somewhere else. It was placed within us by those who loved us first. When we love therefore, we are re-enacting something we have inherited from others. It did not come from us.
Once we get this sequence right, we will come to know that our desire to love; the love we have within us and which we have to give to another; must be given in order to be sustained.
- During this whole period of the year, the focus is on discipleship. In Lent the emphasis is on recognising the blockages that exist in our lives in following Christ and repairing damaged relationships with God and our neighbours. In Easter it is about growing in discipleship.
- Discipleship is not a rush of enthusiasm, but a long term commitment to following Christ, collaborating with Christ, to having a relationship with the Father through Christ. And, in every long-term relationship there is need for refocusing, replenishing, restoring, and reconciliation.
- Discipleship is also about ‘discipline’ in the sense of training and the building of habits of behaviour. To be a disciple of Jesus requires training in a particular way of living, it requires the acquisition of specific skills, and it requires the practice to know how to put those skills into practice in our lives.
- A missionary in Africa several decades ago lived in a small hut which was electrically supplied by a quiet, small generator. The little gas powered wonder supplied current for both his home and the primitive church building beside it.
- Late one afternoon two men from another much more remote village visited the Pastor in his hut, and were amazed when night fell, and he simply switched the room lights on. They were wide-eyed at the electric light bulb hanging from the ceiling of his living space.
- Pope Francis recently called on the world’s priests to bring the healing power of God’s grace to everyone in need, to stay close to the marginalized and to be “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.”
- The image that is being invoked by this call is of a shepherd who is sleeping and working outside, trudging through the rocky Palestinian hills in search of a patch of grass with a bunch of stubborn sheep; the shepherd who has the smell of sheep, dung, and body odours.
- This is rather a long way off from the images of Jesus as the groomed, doe-eyed good shepherd, cuddling a tiny helpless lamb or carrying one over his shoulders, as comforting and nostalgic as this image may be for us.
- Most of us want to see Jesus as taming what is wild and unruly in the world, who with the crook of his staff, can solve what is unsolvable and answer what is unanswerable in life, who can protect and defend against the thieves and bandits of this world who come only to steal, kill, and destroy.
- Pope Francis reminds us that we eventually must come face-to-face with the reality that the world is still wild and unruly, that there are still questions without answers, that there are still thieves and bandits in the world bent on destruction.
In Jesus name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
1. The way that we understand this one sentence in the Gospel, will be the way we lead our lives. That is why the first followers of Jesus, the Christ, were called followers of the way.
2. St Francis of Assisi taught the friars: "We must bear patiently not being good and not being thought good." It is a rare insight, as the common assumption is that one primarily needs to "think well of oneself.”
3. St Thérèse of Lisieux, who lived just over 100 years ago, teaches the same thing and says it is a "new way." She called it her Little Way and called herself a "Little Flower" in God's big garden. This spirituality of imperfection undermines the egoistic use of religion for purposes of self-esteem.
4. Both Francis and Thérèse recognized that you come to God not by being strong, but by being weak; not by being right, but through your mistakes; not by self-admiration but by self-forgetfulness.
1. "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:36)”. Christ’s words are the key to the Year of Mercy that Pope Francis has called for us to celebrate as a Church beginning this December. What effect can we expect it to have on our lives?
2. The theme of mercy has been central to the Pope's ministry as Pope, but also as a priest and bishop, Francis has placed a lot of emphasis on the value of mercy as a moment of conversion and the foundation for a renewal of the Church.
3. In his homily announcing the year of mercy, he characterized the Church’s witness to mercy as a “journey that begins with a spiritual conversion.” Whether in the confessional or in the slums, he has seen that God's mercy liberates us and gives that peace that cannot be found in this world. It compels us to be better Christians.
4. Mercy is not just a theological term meant for homilies on Sundays, but a reality that transforms lives both spiritually and humanly. The social sciences are increasingly backing up any number of the Church’s teachings by showing that a sound moral and spiritual life is the key to a happy and flourishing life.
5. The effect of God's mercy can be seen not only a supernatural level, but also on a human and psychological one. Psychologists recognize that patients often are bound by anxiety about not being forgiven and become slaves of guilt.
- "It was very early on the first day of the week; when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb when Mary of Magdaia came running to Simon Peter ... Peter set out, with the other disciple to go to the tomb .... They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter reached the tomb first.... (2-4).
- On that first day of the week life flares up again. God has intervened. He has burst open the tomb.
- There are places where death seems reigns. Injustice seems to have routed the forces of life. People feel powerless to oppose evil. Is discouragement in the presence of the sign of the victory over death compatible with faith in the resurrection of Christ?
- In earlier times each item in the resurrection accounts was studied like the clues in a detective story with the aim of building an apologetic that would explain the ‘how’ of the resurrection and the ‘what’ of the risen body of Jesus.
- But the kerygma of the resurrection lies not in the details of ‘the first Easter,’ but in the reality that those who join their lives with the Christ shall share a fuller, glorious, transformed life as the gift of the Father.