January 9.  The Joneses sought help from a family counsellor about family violence and particularly the abusive behaviour of Mr Jones.  Mirriam shared what she had learned. “All family relationships have to be built up.  It doesn’t always happen automatically and things can go wrong over time too.  Parenting is one of the most difficult life tasks and little training is offered.  When something has gone wrong the lack of skill is clear and a small gap becomes a wide chasm.  My dad used to beat my mom when he had been drinking and if we children interfered he beat us too. We were all terrified of him but the family counsellor helped us all to see what was happening.  Slowly the violence stopped and we were learning to communicate.  After some time I was able to rebuild our trust.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:11-18

Pope Francis: Kindness can make other people’s lives more bearable by sharing the weight of their problems, needs and fears.  An act of kindness can be a concern not to offend by word or deed.  It involves speaking words of comfort, strength, consolation and encouragement and not words that demean, sadden, anger or show scorn.  FT222-3. Reflect and share.