In this month of May, the month of our Blessed Lady we continue to remember families in our prayers and we also pray for Mothers and children suffering all around our world. We place them in the hands of
Mary who knows the meaning of suffering. Suffering must cease for all. Why do so many continue to suffer at the hands of so few?
The origins of Suffering
is heard in Ramah, the sound of bitter weeping. Rachael is crying for her children; she refuses to be comforted, for they are dead." (Mt. 2: 18)
In our families of origin, behaviours are learned and passed on from generation to generation. Whether
right or good, these behaviours become the norm. Love may be absent; love may be sacrificed. But learned behaviour can be changed; and this change gives love a chance of survival.
The story of Adam and Eve concerns the betrayal of God's love by sampling
that which is forbidden, under evil influences. Paradise is lost, and the original parents are cast out into a cold, harsh world of internecine strife and other violent acts.
Born to parents who had committed original sin, and who had suffered the consequences,
Cain and Abel were at a distinct disadvantage, coming from an under-privileged, 'flawed pedigree' background. While one brother's actions against the other were terrifying, was our acceptance and understanding of them not surprising, in consideration of God's
betrayal, at the hands of his own creation? By man's own submission to the will of the devil, from creation he did condemn himself and his successors to eternal suffering.
Trying to make sense of Crimes against
What kind of persons maim, rape, and kill innocent human beings? Were they born with hatred in their hearts and an animalistic desire to be the Kings of the jungle? As they grew up, did some innate desire drive them on to their
goals; or were they inspired in their efforts by other lunatics? In their heads, do the plans that they conceive appear to make sense, shot through with a certain, fatalistic logic? Are their visions so pure and clear as to demand of them nothing less than
their complete fulfilment, no matter what? Do they know what will be the final result, if they succed in their aims? Can they justify their means, irrespective of their foulness? Are the rest of us so completely insignificant, that they plan to crush us like
ants or seek to submit us to their iron rule? In all of this, does the love for even their own children exist at all?
There are reasons and theories as to why people behave so inhumanly to each other. Historical wounds and hatreds fester indefinitely;
inbred beliefs of superiority burst periodically through the chains of equality; and sometimes it may just be a case of the worm turning. Through all of those runs a common thread - the complete lack of, or the loss of love.
Senseless acts, past and present
Our existence is as fragile and as strong in flight as a butterfly's wings. The sun shines through diaphonous membranes as we are borne on the wind. But this existence is very short; shorter still
when cruel hands pull at our bodies.
The German rulers did seek to crush and to rule by force during the second world war. But within their unparalled agression against other nations, they did desire to commit an even more heinous act by exterminating
the Jewish race in Europe.
Normal days ended for millions of people and their children. No more did they wake up in their own homes to the sound of birds, the smell of coffee, the rush to work and school. They did not come home to dinner, tea, sunsets
and nights by the fire, surrounded by loved ones. Their homes, property, sentimental possessions were destroyed or looted or left behind. They were roughly kidnapped from their existence, numbered, hauled away like livestock, enslaved, starved, maimed, raped,
experimented upon and finally exterminated. Their beautiful wings were pulled from their bodies, as their tormentors looked on in equal parts satisfaction and fascination. As we sit in our homes today, like we have done so for many years, perhaps enjoying
a takeaway at the end of a busy week, in the company of our children, under the cloak of a peaceful, dark blue sky, could we possibly imagine what it would be like when armed goons boot in our doors tomorrow morning, and transport us away to our deaths?
The Gaza Strip has 1.8 million people locked into one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Largely a refugee population expelled from homes and private property in what is now Israel, people here have endured devastating conflicts with their
neighbours in 2008, 2012 and in 2014, resulting in the deaths of over 3,500 people, 500 of which were children.
Yazidi women have reportedly been gang-raped in public by Isis fighters and tortured by their captors. Hundreds of women and children were
abducted from the town of Sinjar, in northern Iraq, and held hostage by Isis for over eight months. Some were sold to fighters as sex slaves or given as ‘prizes’. Many were beaten and forced to convert to Islam. More than 200 were released by fighters
in Himera, near Kirkurk. They told harrowing tales of the physical and sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of their captors. Ziyad Shammo Khalaf, who works with the Yazda organisation to support Yazidi victims, said children were separated from their mothers
and "distributed among houses" in Mosul and Tal Afar.
While the Christian world was celebrating Easter last month, news broke of the deaths of 147 people, killed after Islamist terrorists attacked a Kenyan university, singling out Christian students
to murder. Cf. (The telegraph)
In an Edinburgh court this week, a man was convicted of raping a one-day-old baby and two other young children. The details of his crimes were so horrific that the jurors were exempted from serving on another jury for
five years. The judge described his crimes as being "truly depraved and despicable". One of the investigating officers commended the bravery of two young girls who spoke out about their horrific abuse, bringing the offender's crimes to the attention of police.
The victims and their families will receive specialist support to help them cope with their ordeal.
Is it possible for fallen nature to truly love?
In our modern world do any of us know what
it is to truly love one another without being even the slightest bit selfish? Is it possible for fallen nature to truly love? Jesus Christ, God made man loved everyone. Our Blessed Lady, the Immaculate Conception born free from original sin, is an image of
love and devotion not only to her Son, but to all of us. Without God, it is impossible for human beings to aim at loving.
Jesus Christ is pure love. It is from Him that we learn, grow and become. In his life here on earth, He did not judge others; He
served others. He healed; He helped to make life better for all, and he drew people to his way with gentleness and love. Christ's language is a language of love.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, came to earth and lived amongst us. It would have
been easy for Jesus to triumph over the Romans, the Scribes, High Priests and the Pharisees. Instead, He offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God the Father in atonment for that first betrayal of love by mankind. He endured a horrible death upon a wooden
cross, in the company of common thieves. All was one great act of divine love that would one day reunite man with God.
Today, the risen Christ still continues to love and seeks to draw all to himself in mercy, love and compassion; but we need to open
ourselves to this one true source of love. Love begins in each individual heart and then spreads outwards to reach others. When we begin to take the splinter from our own eye, then and only then will our world become a better and more loving place.
saints are examples of humans who have loved much with the help of God's grace.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta gave her life to help those suffering from poverty and sickness in the gutters and backstreets of Calcutta. Her life was one of prayer and union
with God and the fruit of this was love.
St. Francis of Assisi abandoned riches for a life of poverty and love which was only possible with prayer and a life lived in union with the will of God.
These are just two examples of what man can achieve
when he prays and allows himself to be open to the action of God within himself.
On the other hand man who shuts out the God of Love and seeks subtly after his own way, his own agenda in the name of a cause is truly empty of love.
Each day, we are reminded of the suffering of mankind, especially of mothers and their children, whether from senseless wars, natural disasters or depraved and despicable human acts. We were born under
the cross of original sin but there are enough good people in the world today to make it a better place to live in, especially the survivors of attempted genocides and the victims of all inhuman acts. We look to the example of Jesus Christ and his gospel of
love and forgiveness to pull us from the mire of our own selfishness. We ask Our Lady to protect us and to teach us to live a life of love.
Businss Times, Cf. Independent
Cf. The Telegraph
Doug Bolton, The Independent