Beyond the Clouds by Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, S.A.C. - Page 42

consecration. Even more profoundly, we are fellow Christians by the grace of Baptism. If we go one step further, we are all fellow human beings, created in God’s most perfect image and likeness. This anthropological foundation comes before both our Christian and Pallottine identity. And it is precisely to this which our collaboration among the various Pallottine Provinces and components- a hallmark of our charism- must be rooted. I have always believed that unless one has grown up in the presence of a universal personality like Dr. Joseph Bockenhoff- who is able to see and respect the image and likeness of God imprinted upon every human being, regardless of the colour of his skin or the place of his origin- we become tiny, little human beings like Lilliput. This is the miniscule man who builds up walls around him for either real or imagined insecurities. It is a sign of inner uncertainty; of a very small self. Even Rome’s legendary walls were not able to resist the enemy’s onslaught, because the city had already fallen morally and spiritually. It is no different today when man speaks of atomic bombs or weapons as a sense of security. It is man’s inner world which must be enlivened. As Pope Francis says, “peace is a precious gift which must be promoted and protected. Never has the use of violence brought about peace. War begets war, violence begets violence.” If we wish to live in the ways of truth, then we must live the Beatitudes. So when we are seated side by side with an unknown person, let us not imagine we are strangers. To have nothing to do with him or her is a wrong presumption, and the attitude of “leave me alone” is a very short- lived vision. Our destiny is the same for our sojourn, and maybe, this very neighbor would come fix my oxygen mask as I was gasping for breath. Perhaps she may take care of my child if I fell unconscious. We need each other. In my Religious Institute, there are members from as many as 50 countries 42