June 20. WMOF Novena day 8. Focus on divorce and separation.    Mrs Mbambana got very annoyed with the behaviour of a group of Grade 11s. They were constantly in trouble and acted defiantly when she called them to order. “I think I should call your parents in,” she shouted one day in frustration. “What parent?” Mavis replied. “I am the parent in my family and have to feed and care for 3 little siblings.”  Mrs Mbambana was shocked and quickly changed her tune, recognising the need for a much more merciful response. When she conducted a survey she realized that more than half of the learners did not live with both biological parents. Some lived with a single parent and many lived between two homes, with their parents divorced and sometimes remarried.  She realized there were many difficulties for the parents and for her learners.  When she arranged a series of parents’ sessions with the school psychologist, many expressed their appreciation and a support group was started.  

Reflect, share and act.  Scripture.  Judge not and you will not be judged.”  Matt 7:1-18.   Pope Francis:  The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone forever, it is to pour out the balm of God’s mercy on all those who ask for it with a sincere heart.  No one can be condemned for ever.  In considering a pastoral approach towards people who have contracted a civil marriage, who are divorced and remarried, or simply living together, the Church has the responsibility of helping them understand the divine pedagogy of grace in their lives and offering them assistance so they can reach the fullness of God’s plan for them, something which is always possible by the power of the Holy Spirit.   AL296-7   I like to contemplate the holiness present in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families and in the sick. Very often it is a holiness found in our “next-door neighbours”, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence. We might call them “the middle class of holiness» (Gaudete et Exsultate 7).