” Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Luke’s scriptural quote goes beyond the familiar ‘prayers and thoughts’ refrain because it necessitates actions of seeking and knocking. St Therese of Avila, a Spanish 16th century mystic put it this way: – “Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” Which brings us to the Mt Isa, Lourdes Hill College, Yr. 11 immersion with its aim to expose our students to an interventionist social justice programme initiated by the local Parish Priest Fr Mick Lowcock in 2006. Entitled – The North West Queensland Indigenous Catholic Social Services – this social justice programme has an annual budget of over $5million, is subsidized by grants, employs close to 100 personnel – 90% who are first nations people, has a fleet of over 20 vehicles and runs 25 programmes which can be classified under three board program areas including family & children; justice and community support.
My main takeaway from the immersion is best summed up by Sr Helen Prejean – anti-capital punishment advocate and author of the Academy award winning film, ‘Dead Man Walking’:
“Now I am learning that real praying means taking on other people’s suffering as my own, and letting the experience rouse me to action. And it is not always blissful. Just the opposite: It jolts us awake to pain and suffering caused by injustice and won’t leave us in peace until we do something about it.”
How has your prayer life contributed to practical support for the least of your brothers and sisters?
(Image Brilla Brilla Community Centre and Playgroup an initiative of the North West Queensland Indigenous Catholic Service)