CANON ANTHONY WRITES
Following the news can be depressing. It is so rare to hear any good news, but with Christianity there is always hope. ‘Let us ward off destructive cynicism!’ Pope Francis says in his latest document Misericordiae Vultus. Combatting cynicism calls for a different approach and means putting on the mind of Christ as St Paul says. ‘Let your thoughts be on heavenly things’ (Col 3: 2). It means looking outwards to God rather than inwards to ourselves.
Pope Francis says this,
‘Let us open our eyes and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and let us recognise that we are compelled to hear their cry for help.’ (MV 15)
Faith expresses itself in actions. How?
‘May we reach out to them and support them so they can feel the warmth of our presence, our friendship and fraternity!’ (MV 15).
Poverty is not just physical. ‘Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty’ Blessed Mother Teresa once said. Ultimately everybody needs love
‘May their cry become our own, and together may we break down the barriers of indifference that too often reign supreme and mask our hypocrisy and egoism!’ (MV 15)
In this Year of Mercy Pope Francis has asked people to look at, amongst other things, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The corporal works are, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, healing the sick, visiting those in prison and burying the dead. (Matt 25: 31-45). Not everyone may be able to do these things. So here’s something very practical and easy, and the perfect antidote to cynicism, a smile! ‘We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.’ (Blessed Mother Teresa)