Reflections January 14th 2018

A Reflection for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Jn.1:35-42

Jn.1:35-42 ( )

World Day for Migrants

Words like ‘migrant,’ ‘asylum-seeker,’ ‘refugee,’ cover over such underlying realities as forced exile, families torn apart, violence, torture, war and a long list of ravages and atrocities. This is what we humans do to each other.

We read about them in the media risking their lives crossing dangerous seas. 

There are so many of them that we are frightened! They threaten us with their numbers and their religion. They represent danger. We react with our reptilian brain.

Some arrive in Ireland. Have you ever seen one? Ever talked to one? Probably not! They are hidden in hostels. Some of them for as lomg as ten years. Lives wasting away.

They can be seen in Spirasi, a Spiritan initiative in Dublin.

Spirasi is welcoming, open, warm and non-discriminatory. A place where there is a shared sense of common humanity and a moment of belonging even if only for a few hours. 

You see what you need to know is: they don’t belong! To anyone! To any place! Their companions are isolation, uncertainty, emptiness and depression.

In Spirasi they meet up with other weary asylum-seekers share a biscuit, a cup of tea, learn English, computer and receive emotional help. They know they are welcome and have a chance to feel human for a while. And they are so grateful. Imagine!

To work with them is to receive an education in courage, resilience, patience and faith.

Sorry! Did you tell me you had a problem? 

Pat Coughlan C.S.Sp.  – Having ministered in Brazil, Fr. Pat went to the USA to study psychotherapy. He later worked for many years at the then Newlands Institute for Counselling in Clondalkin, and is now one of a number of Spiritans in parishes in West Dublin.