Thought for the Day - Sister Una McCreesh - 28/12/2012
A few weeks ago I found myself in a school Hall with a 100 fifteen year olds from 10 schools across our diocese. With them I sat spellbound, as Barry and Margaret Mizen recounted the day on which their son Jimmy was killed, in a senseless act of violence. The story was as vividly present to those parents as on the day he died and as it will remain every day of their lives.
But what those students and I took away, was not the story of shock and horror which it certainly was, but a positive sense of hope and confidence in the power of ordinary people, through their faith, to turn the bad to good. The Mizen family story is well known. They made National headlines by immediately seeking forgiveness not revenge. That simple, but far from easy step, today finds them as peace leaders at home and abroad. We all went away from that conference fired with enthusiasm, each a little more conscious of the good within us, the power of God, and our ability to change life around us.
In this feast celebrating Christ’s coming on earth, whatever our beliefs, we have probably all put money in rattling buckets, written cheques for numerous appeals, given food parcels, our time and our energies for good causes, and we too will have sensed that power within us to make a difference.
In the catholic tradition God puts all his eggs in our basket, relying on the far from perfect efforts of his committed followers, their friends and the goodness of humanity, to build a world where forgiveness, Justice and sharing are active ingredients.
At this time of year when we resolve to start afresh, I find it helpful to recall occasions of positive signs of hope that energise me. Last July some Ursuline Links students ran a summer camp for children in Wythenshawe Manchester. For all of them it was the first time they had been involved in work like this and they were naturally nervous.
The experience of living and working together and discovering unknown talents was unforgettable and for each it was personal and unique but one strand runs repeatedly through their evaluations. “I felt humbled but very happy to know I had been able to make a difference.
We each of us inescapably shape our world. If we cramp ourselves in fear, apathy and despair grow. If we let the good within us surface, hope and happiness can blossom.
Available since: Wed 2 Jan 2013
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