A Catholic Monthly Magazine

And About Caring

By Bridget Taumoepeau

Recently I spent a week or so with my young grandchildren, which included some time when their parents were away. One evening the 6 year old tore himself away from a fast moving video game to ask me what my book was about. As I was reading Jesuit Father William Barry’s Companion to the Spiritual Exercises, I thought I would simplify the reply by saying it was about God and prayer. He nodded wisely and then said, ‘And about caring?’

What a perfect thought – God, prayer and caring. It reminded me of the Ignatian questions we should put to ourselves – What have I done for God; what am I doing for God; what will I do for God? It brought the commandment to love one’s neighbour as oneself to life – after all, love must include compassion and caring. The meaning of the parable of the Good Samaritan in a nutshell.

It was especially meaningful as Junior had had his own troubles with caring and sharing, especially with his sister – something he seems to have sorted out pretty well, so he understands its importance.

Sometimes we complicate the Gospel so much. We argue about principles and morals. We lose the wood for the trees. Children often have great clarity about such issues. When I pick up the book again, that phrase will come back to me – what am I doing about caring?

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