Volume 32 Issue 09 - 15 May 2020

“We are more than an economy. We are a society”

This year we are celebrating the Benedictine values of PAX (peace) through the lens of Justice and Stability.

Peace is often depicted as a dove carrying an olive branch

As is the case each year, we draw on our Good Samaritan and Benedictine tradition to have a focus for the year on the Benedictine values we live by. This year’s focus is PAX (peace) through the lens of Justice and Stability. This has been a most apt focus at a time when we have had to deal with a medical emergency resulting in the need for us all to reorder our whole way of being. Stability has a lot to do with being in the present moment. When we are left with only the present moment, we quickly realise what is most important, which is another aspect of stability—holding on to what is most important to sustain us. During this COVID-19 pandemic, it has been made plainly clear to us that the important things are family, friendships, care for those around us, and respect for human life. We are finally coming to an understanding that we are not an economy, rather, we are a society made up of people. And people matter.

When we have the attitude that people matter more than the economy, we start to see the obvious need for justice in our society. Australians in general have now come to an appreciation of “front line workers” who have carried on their vital roles in society because we now recognise how “essential” they are to keeping things operating. Our Christian and Benedictine values have shouted this to us since Jesus walked the earth and St Benedict penned his Rule. With a massive dose of hope, let us envisage a future filled with living out the important stuff, seeking justice for all, and, thereby, attaining peace in our hearts and in the world.

Peace is often depicted as a dove carrying an olive branch—a reference to the Noah’s Ark story and the dove’s bringing an olive branch to signal the subsiding of the Great Flood, signalling reconciliation and the re-establishment of peace between God and humanity.

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator