Weekly Reflection from the CPLO and the Jesuit Institute for the week of the 27 June 2016

by Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

“The wrong idea has taken root in the world. The idea is this: there just might be lives out there that matter less than other lives” – Fr Greg Boyle SJ, Founder of Homeboy Industries

The recent attack in Orlando, Florida, the deadly bombs in Afghanistan, the decision by Britain to exit the European Union, the senseless violence in Tshwane…

What often lies behind these kinds of events is fear; a fear of others who are different. Often, political opportunists are quick to identify people’s fears and exploit those fears for their own selfish gain. The beauty of diversity is lost, the “other” is considered a threat and when this happens, some people and their lives seem to matter less.

Fear often finds its root in the unknown. We fear migrants, for example, because we do not know them. It is easy then to claim they do all sorts of things that are a threat. But when we sit down and listen to their stories, we discover that they are the same as us. They too have dreams, families, aspirations, hopes… The same can be said for any group of people we might be tempted to fear. Everyone’s life matters. What can you do this week to dismantle a fear you have, a fear that leads you to believe that someone else might just matter less?


Loving God,

In you there is no east or west, north or south.

You value every life and see the good in every person.

Help us to see as you see, not to be imprisoned in fear, but open to the diversity and beauty you have created.


Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
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