"People with disabilities are a sign, a presence of Jesus and a call to unity.
The weak and the poor are for us a source of unity."
Befriending the Stranger

Peace in a World of Conflict

"Jesus came into the world to bring peace,
to bring all people together into one body
wherein each person has a place.
But we human beings have turned our world into a place
of competition, rivalry, conflict and war
between races, religions, social classes and countries.
The world has become a place in which each person feels they
have to protect and defend themselves, their own family, their
own country, their own class, their own religion.
Nuclear weapons, missiles and machine guns
are the outer, visible signs
of our inner, invisible, personal weapons.
These we bring out as soon as we feel threatened, humiliated and rejected,
or we feel we are not given our rightful space;
our rightful place. . . .
For if we human beings are violent,
it is mainly because we are so vulnerable.
Violence is a response to a wounded heart
when it feels misunderstood, rejected, unloved.
As soon as we feel the slightest rejection,
the wound reopens and our defense mechanisms rise up."
Befriending the Stranger

Sharing Our LIves with Suffering People

"We are called to share our lives with people in pain,
to live a covenant with them.
We have all met people who have been wounded in life.
We have all been hurt at some point and at some place in our own lives.
We need to deepen our understanding of our reaction to pain
and reflect on that reaction.
How do we react when we are faced with our own pain and with the pain of others?"
Befriending the Stranger

A Bond Deeper than Feelings

"It is the recognition that there is a bonding given by God which is deeper than our feelings;
that our 'enemy' too has a place in the community, the family, the church or society;
the 'enemy' has a right to live and to flourish.
Jesus has called the 'enemy' to a specific place and has given him or her specific gifts
which I should respect.
Forgiveness is a long process
that begins with this respect for the other; for the 'enemy.' "
Befriending the Stranger

Embracing the Lost and the Broken

"The secret of Jesus is his simplicity and humility,
the way he embraces the lost and the broken,
and with them creates communities of hope,
communities of the Kingdom."
Befriending the Stranger

"The Valley of Achor was situated near Jericho.
It was a dangerous place, filled with snakes, scorpions, and all kinds of wild beasts;
it was a place of fear that people tried to avoid. Yet God declares that this valley of misfortune will become a door of hope.
What a mystery; a mystery filled with hope!
There is a 'Valley of Achor' in each one of us;
for each of us there are events or hurts we do not want to remember, look at or come close to; there are people and experiences that we try to avoid
because they bring up too much pain in us
and we are frightened by pain.
Certain people disturb us; they are 'strange', 'different';
we cannot bear their pain or the pain they evoke in us.
Yet God tells us that if we enter into these places of pain and welcome these people
they will become for us a 'door of hope.' "
Befriending the Stranger

Building an Ark

"God is calling each one of us in our own way
to help build 'an Ark', a community of love
where love conquers hatred,
inclusion conquers exclusion,
unity conquers division.
Let us ask Jesus to help us to hear this call within each of our hearts."
Befriending the Stranger

A Call to Grow in Love

"I gave a talk a few years ago to a group of religious sisters in the United Kingdom.
One of the sisters kept interrupting me during my talks
which annoyed me. It annoyed the other sisters even more.
At the end of my talk, she asked to see me.
She told me: 'You know, I'm a difficult person.'
(I had already noticed that!)
And she added: 'No man could ever have chosen me.'
(I had thought that too!)
'But,' she continued, 'God has chosen me with all that I am, just as I am.'
Behind all the difficult behavior, I discovered a little, humble child, loved by God.
The experience of God's love,
knowing that God is not disappointed in us
but is calling each one to grow in love . . . today,
is a great mystery."
Befriending the Stranger

Peace Comes

"Peace comes as we enter this struggle,
as we work for unity
in our family and community,
in our church and between all followers of Jesus,
and between all our brothers and sisters in humanity.
Peace comes as we no longer seek to prove that we are right,
as we live the truth of forgiveness and reconciliation
and accept the light and presence of God
within us and within others."
Drawn into The Mystery of Jesus

A Communion of Hearts

"The work of Jesus is to bring people together in unity
and to lead them to the Father.
We are invited to live a communion of hearts with each person.
Jesus has lived something profound with this woman,
a personal encounter of love.
His heart has been touched and nourished by her, and she has begun to trust him.
Love has been born between them."
Drawn into The Mystery of Jesus

Recovery from Grief

"When an activity or a person fills our lives, inspires us or gives us a zest for life, their absence can plunge us into this feeling of total emptiness. We live a kind of inner death. Life no longer flows forth in us. We are filled with a sense of loss and of grief; a heaviness, which resembles depression, permeates our whole being. This pain and this heaviness are not a sickness but a normal, natural reaction to a loss that touches the very meaning of our lives.

"A person who has suffered this kind of grief needs time to rediscover gradually other reasons to live. ... In order to emerge from this state of loss and grief, and begin a new life, people need not so much a therapist as friends who are prepared to walk with them. These friends cannot nor should they try to take away the grief, but rather accept it with them. The grieving process has its own particular rhythm in each person. It needs time. We should not try and make it disappear quickly through artificial ways and distractions. Sometimes people need to cry, scream and shout their pain, anger and frustration in order to free themselves gradually from the pain and find new life."
Seeing beyond Depression