June 14. WMOF Novena day 2. Focus on Parents.  Benny  had been a gang member since his early teens   He had felt abandoned by his alcoholic mother, didn’t know his father,  and his sister who had been looking after the younger siblings had run away.  Patrick and his mom had heard about the case and had been praying for this boy for some time when they discussed inviting him to come to a mission for young people at their church.  During the mission just one sentence “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” had touched Bennie as he shared with Patrick.  “I think I will be able to change my ways, but please carry on praying for me and please will you and your mom too be my friends. It didn’t feel as if I have any parents of my own but I would like to try to find my mother and forgive her and start over.”

Reflect, share and act. Scripture.  Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matt 5:43-48.   Pope Francis:   The real question is not where our children are physically or whom they are with but rather where they stand in terms of their convictions, goals, desires and dreams. AL 261. Violence within families breeds new forms of social aggression, since “family relationships can also explain the tendency to a violent personality. This is often the case with families where communication is lacking, defensive attitudes predominate, the members are not supportive of one another, family activities that encourage participation are absent, the parental relationship is frequently conflictual and violent, and relationships between parents and children are marked by hostility. (AL 51)