Monday in the Octave of Corpus Christi
ELDER ABUSE DAY
“Do not fear, beloved. Peace! Take courage and be strong.” When he spoke to me, I grew strong and said, “Speak, my lord, for you have strengthened me.”
Pelagianism is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without special divine aid.
Gnosticism is a belief that the material world is created by an emanation of the highest God, trapping the Divine spark within the human body. This Divine spark could be liberated by gnosis.
Gnosticism is a heresy that gave way to another heresy, likewise present in our day. As time passed, many came to realize that it is not knowledge that betters us or makes us saints, but the kind of life we lead. But this subtly led back to the old error of the gnostics, which was simply transformed rather than eliminated. The same power that the gnostics attributed to the intellect, others now began to attribute to the human will, to personal effort. This was the case with the pelagians and semi-pelagians. Now it was not intelligence that took the place of mystery and grace, but our human will. It was forgotten that everything “depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy” and that “he first loved us”.
A will lacking humility
Those who yield to this pelagian or semi-pelagian mindset, even though they speak warmly of God’s grace, “ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style”. When some of them tell the weak that all things can be accomplished with God’s grace, deep down they tend to give the idea that all things are possible by the human will, as if it were something pure, perfect, all-powerful, to which grace is then added. They fail to realize that “not everyone can do everything” and that in this life human weaknesses are not healed completely and once for all by grace. In every case, as Saint Augustine taught, God commands you to do what you can and to ask for what you cannot, and indeed to pray to him humbly: “Grant what you command, and command what you will”. Ultimately, the lack of a heartfelt and prayerful acknowledgment of our limitations prevents grace from working more effectively within us, for no room is left for bringing about the potential good that is part of a sincere and genuine journey of growth. Grace, precisely because it builds on nature, does not make us superhuman all at once. That kind of thinking would show too much confidence in our own abilities. Underneath our orthodoxy, our attitudes might not correspond to our talk about the need for grace, and in specific situations we can end up putting little trust in it. Unless we can acknowledge our concrete and limited situation, we will not be able to see the real and possible steps that the Lord demands of us at every moment, once we are attracted and empowered by his gift. Grace acts in history; ordinarily it takes hold of us and transforms us progressively. If we reject this historical and progressive reality, we can actually refuse and block grace, even as we extol it by our words. When God speaks to Abraham, he tells him: “I am God Almighty, walk before me, and be blameless”. In order to be blameless, as he would have us, we need to live humbly in his presence, cloaked in his glory; we need to walk in union with him, recognizing his constant love in our lives. We need to lose our fear before that presence which can only be for our good. God is the Father who gave us life and loves us greatly. Once we accept him, and stop trying to live our lives without him, the anguish of loneliness will disappear. In this way we will know the pleasing and perfect will of the Lord and allow him to mold us like a potter. So often we say that God dwells in us, but it is better to say that we dwell in him, that he enables us to dwell in his light and love. He is our temple; we ask to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our life. “For one day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere”. In him is our holiness.
Elder Abuse Awareness Day
The abuse of the elderly is a serious issue and something that this day aims to raise much-needed awareness of. The elderly should be given support and protection all year round, and today ensures their plight is not ignored. Financial, emotional, or physical abuse and neglect can be a real everyday issue for some elders in the world – in fact, it is estimated that around 500,000 elders in the UK alone are being subjected to abuse today. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day encourages us to make steps towards a world where elder abuse is no longer an issue, by raising awareness and providing resources and information to help the battle against it.
The History of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
The United Nations General Assembly designated June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness day in its 66/127 resolution. It is meant to be a day in which the entire world voices its opposition to any form of abuse of the older generation. The amount of older people in the world is growing, and will continue to do so – in fact, pretty much all countries in the world are expecting considerable growth in the number of elderly residents between 2015 and 2030. Despite it being an accepted issue across the world and the subject of much opposition, elder abuse is one of the least investigated types of violence and it does not get addressed in national action plans as frequently as many other key social issues. Those of advanced age have a full right to being treated with dignity and respect, and to live a life free of any abuse, exploitation or neglect. Today seeks to ensure that as few elderly people as possible are subjected to homelessness, bad health, hunger, and poverty.
How to Observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
There are a number of ways you can help fundraise for the cause of this day if you so wish. You can also donate to charities which support the elderly and their well-being. Perhaps today you could play your part by volunteering somewhere which ensures the happiness of the elderly, such as in a retirement home. You could also visit an elderly relative and spend some time chatting or having a cup of tea. Be sure to spread the word by posting about the day on your social media accounts.
· Be silent when you are rebuked. God knows the truth. Let it go. Silence is a protection. The devil can use self-righteousness to trip us up also.
Ask for the Prayers and assistance of the Angels
 Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.