Summer is a time when many of us look forward to a slower pace, time to drink in the beauty of the natural things around us: flowers, fresh air, the ocean, parks, etc. Pope Francis, in his June Daily Prayer Intention, asks us to extend this loving, refreshing glance to “the aged and the marginalized and those who have no one.” He wants us to reach out and touch them in such a way that they experience our touches as moments of “encounter and solidarity.”
Here is the text of Pope Francis’ June video:
“In our cities the elderly and sick are neglected.
Can we ignore it?
Our cities should be characterized above all by solidarity, which entails not only giving to the needy, but also taking responsibility for one another and fostering a culture of encounter.
Will you join me in my prayer? That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find–even within the huge cities of the world–opportunities for encounter and solidarity.”
Let us for the rest of June and, hopefully, throughout this Year of Mercy look more deeply and lovingly at people, especially those who are in some way marginalized. In addition to our usual summer activities, let us ponder, connect, reach out and pray for those who are marginalized, seeing them as God intends.
- Who are the neglected, the marginalized? What makes them so?
- How can I “take responsibility for them?”
- What can I do, not only to give each of them “opportunities for encounter and solidarity?”
- And, perhaps, more needed, will I let myself in the experience of these encounters open wider the “door of mercy” in my heart?