Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.


I just got back from seeing "Invictus" with a friend at the movie theater. I can truly say that this movie is one of the more inspiring true-story movies I have seen. It is the story of how Nelson Mandela decides to promote the South African national rugby team, the Springbokke, as a means of advancing racial reconciliation in his country. He openly supported the almost all-white team, and gained the support of the team's sympathetic captain. Moreover, he encouraged and protected white South Africans' sense of their culture's place in the new regime. The team's white captain in turn encouraged the team to get on board. When the team began visiting poor black enclaves to give rugby camps, the team became more sympathetic to the situation of South Africa's black population, and South Africa's black population found themselves getting excited about the team. The movie does an excellent job of showing how Nelson's gambit of generous forgiveness pays off by bringing hostile factions together in a way that nobody could have expected. South Africa is today a testimony to how cycles of violence can be derailed by the intervention of grace and forgiveness.

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