April 24.  Jennifer began, “There is a nursery rhyme that starts, “Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” ”It is not just because I am a teacher, but as a thinking human being I know that we have to reflect on what makes things happen, what makes a garden grow? Right physical conditions for sure, but also a caring attitude and the right actions. Pope Francis, speaking about peace and social friendship as a basis for communion and good relationships within a group or between groups, calls it a culture of encounter and proposes dialogue. Approaching, speaking, listening, looking at, coming to know and understand one another and to find common ground is dialogue and leads to another important concept, the common good.”         

 In those days the Church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was built up and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit it was multiplied. Peter came to the saints that lived at Lydda. He found a man, Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years and was paralysed.  Peter said to him. “Jesus Christ heals you.  Rise and make your bed.”  And immediately he rose.  In Joppa there was a woman disciple named Tabitha, full of good works who fell sick and died. Peter came, put all the widows who stood there outside, and knelt down and prayed. Turning to the body he said, “Tabitha arise”. Acts 9:31-42

Pope Francis:   Life for all its confrontations is the art of encounter. I have often called for the growth of a culture of encounter capable of transcending our differences and division.   Each of us can learn something from others.  No one is useless and no one is expendable. FT215   Social peace demands hard work, craftsmanship.  It would be easier to keep freedoms and differences in check with cleverness and a few resources.  But such a peace would be superficial and fragile, not the fruit of a culture of encounter that brings enduring stability.   FT217