The pandemic has prevented us from embracing one another for over a year. And we feel a sense of absence and yearning. One is immediately impressed by the name that was chosen for the newsletter of the Capuchin Office of Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC): even if it hasn’t much to do with the pandemic, we want to welcome it as a sign of hope. We are in need of intimacy, friendship, acceptance, handshakes, embraces … and not only we men and women, but also the entirety of creation.
The embrace, in our spiritual tradition, immediately brings to mind St. Francis and his "use of mercy" towards the leper – which, in effect, benefitted the sick man while transforming Francis himself. Embracing the needs of our brothers and sisters, and of creation, is a source of inspiration for the concrete realization of our vocation as lesser brothers.
In this first issue, just published at the end of March, Embrace the World contains contributions relating to works of solidarity for human rights, organized aid for the needy, the pursuit of justice on the part of the Capuchins in collaboration with laity and other organizations. There are many testimonies from the various countries in which we are present, and there is an invitation to all the friars to contribute with their personal experiences and testimonies. We multiply our good deeds by sharing them well.
There are also pages dedicated to sharing reflections, presenting ideas for formation and introducing project soon to be propagated within the Order (e.g. Capuchins GEM and Capuchins 511).
Those who are up for receiving an embrace (without Covid!) can click below and choose a preferred language: Italian, English, Portuguese, Spanish or French (even if embraces do not rely on languages, they exceed them all by drawing directly from the charity of Christ). One final thought: embraces (hugs) bear fruit when shared well; therefore, help us in our effort to circulate this newsletter among the people.
Download the newsletter – “Embrace the World” No. 0001 / 2021