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A Culture of Encounter

A Culture of Encounter

Mercy is what God does for us.
Mercy is learned first in the human heart.
Mercy is what makes us, keeps us, available to one another. It opens our hearts to strangers.
We pray for mercy; we expect mercy. What we find difficult to do is to be merciful to those in need of it.
The great spiritual question is… whether or not we are capable of showing it [mercy].
God’s Tender Mercy, Joan Chittister, OSB

On the global level we see a scandalous gap between the opulence of the wealthy and the utter destitution of the poor…  We have become so accustomed to these things that they no longer unsettle us. 
The walls which divide us can be broken down only if we are prepared to listen and learn from one another.  We need to resolve our differences through forms of dialogue which help us grow in understanding and mutual respect.  A culture of encounter demands that we be ready not only to give, but also to receive.
Pope Francis, January 2014

  • What are the scandalous gaps you will reflect upon and take action so there can be healing?
  • Where are we being called to be merciful to those in need of mercy?

Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Australia prides itself on being a place of fairness yet our Constitution still does not recognise the first Australians. Recognise is the people’s movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our Constitution. 
In the Absence of Treaty: explores the current inadequacy of the process used in engaging with Aboriginal people.
Utopia (film) describes not only the uniqueness of the first Australians, but their trail of tears. Check local screening times.
Close the Gap Campaign 
Asylum Seekers and Refugees – What is your response to the plight of asylum seekers, especially the death and injuries this week?
Refugee Council of Australia provides regular updates and submissions to the government.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre offers grassroots insights as the 32 paid staff and nearly 750 volunteers deliver services to over 1,200 asylum seekers through programs such as material aid, health, legal, counselling, casework and foodbank.
Palm Sunday and Peace Rally for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, 13 April 2014. Check local events.

Earth Hour, Saturday 29th March 2014 will focus attention on one of the world’s most iconic and threatened places, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Messages to:
Carmel Heagerty RSM, Institute Justice Co-ordinator