September 22.  During the 2012 World Meeting of Families in Italy a Brazilian couple describing the pain of separation from full participation in the Church, because of their divorce and remarriage, addressed their question directly to Pope Benedict XVI. His was a compassionate answer.  I address a word to the faithful who, even though they agree with the Church’s teachings on the family, have had painful experiences of breakdown and separation. I want you to know that the Pope and the Church support you in your struggle. I encourage you to remain united to your communities. The issue of divorced and remarried Catholics who are excluded from the sacraments as also those who wish to apply for an annulment, was also addressed by Pope Francis.  The divorced who have entered a new marriage should be made to feel part of the Church.  They are not excommunicated, and remain part of the ecclesial community.  These situations require careful discernment and respectful accompaniment.  AL 243.  At the same time in dealing with marriage difficulties he stated, A sincere self-examination will make it possible to see how one’s own shortcomings and immaturity affect the relationship.   Even if it seems clear that the other person is at fault, a crisis will never be overcome simply by expecting him or her to change.   We also have to ask what in our own life needs to grow or heal if the conflict is to be resolved.  AL 240.

I Ezra, fell upon my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God, saying, “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.   But now for a brief moment favour has been shown by the Lord our God to leave us a remnant and to give us a secure hold within his holy place. Ezra 9:5-7.

ECO-TIP AND PRAYER:  Healing the damage to the world demands change in behaviour. Adopt and promote Reuse-Reduce-Recycle as a prayer campaign.