If we look at the CBC Documentary:You Belong in Geel, we learn that we can do things differently, even look to the past and revive ideas that work. This inspirational documentary describes how the Foster Family Care system incorporated in to Community Care where acceptance is key and no-one is allowed to label is successfully treating people suffering with mental illness in Geel, Belgium for some 700 years. Belonging to a family, knowing people care and love us are the best medicine for rehabilitation.
On May 16, 2014, the Public Psychiatric Care Centre, Geel will host the Foster Family Care Symposium.
What area in our society do you think you can lend your talents to realize your hope for a better life for those marginalized?
Today's first reading, Acts 9: 1-20 describes Saul's conversion. Striking is verse 8 "And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight."
When we consider those temporarily or permanently on the fringes or excluded from our society, how often do we automatically raise the shutters and assume that nothing will change, these people are beyond hope, incapable or unwilling to change.
Let's challenge ourselves instead. Are we capable of removing our own blinkers and entering in to the hope of our Risen Lord whom we've recently encountered to effect the change in ourselves that will enable us to think differently, seek new ways of doing things so as to effect the change we hope for? Absolutely "yes".
Good St. Dymphna, you placed all your hope in Christ's promises and even sacrificed your own life in that hope. The Lord, God, rewarded your constancy by making your name known and loved over many centuries by the thousands whom you have aided in time of difficulty. Please assist us now in our present necessity and intercede before God for our intentions. Obtain for us a firm hope like your own in God's unfailing protection. Amen.
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Andrew Conradi ofs