Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 20th 2015 Contents B29
December 20, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
about what we are doing and need to
understand it from a big picture point of
Respond to another s anger: "I can see
you are feeling deceived and need to know
what was specifically said in your absence."
Compromise: "I am feeling stuck on this
issue and need to know you are committed
to attending these meetings. Can you agree
to email me when you know you are going
to be absent?"
Ask for what you want: "I feel confident
about my decision to change jobs and need
to know what you need to make this work
for our family."
Here s an exercise for you to try:
Create a list containing the names of your
closest family members and friends. After
each name, write the first few words---adjec-
tives or action verbs---that come to mind
when you think of this person.
Next, describe how you feel around them
during tense interactions. Do you have a
name you call him/her behind his/her back,
such as Drama Lama or Drill Sergeant? This
could be a good indicator of how you expe-
rience them in general. Note who you feel
the most comfortable and uncomfortable
around when having to visit for longer peri-
ods of time. Hindsight may be 20/20!
I do hope that the above will give you
some aha moments and help in improving
relations with people. Thank you to all my
readers for a vibrant 2015, and I would like
to wish you all Happy Holidays and a suc-
cessful and prosperous in 2016.
Would love to hear about your expe-
riences. Please email me:
Improve your relationship with others
From page B28
Archbishop Joseph Harris has opened the sym-
bolic Holy Door to mark the official start of the
Jubilee Year of Mercy. He followed in the footsteps
of Pope Francis, who performed a similar ritual
at St Peter s in Rome, a week before.
In several homilies he delivered in the past two
weeks, the Year of Mercy has taken pride of place
as Archbishop Harris exhorted Catholic and Chris-
tians generally, to seriously bring themselves to
become more forgiving and merciful---two attributes
which seemed to have gone out of style in T&T.
To ensure that his message resonates in every
nook and cranny of this country, Archbishop Harris,
in his Pastoral Letter, Merciful like the Father, speaks
about active mercy.
He wrote: "We have many well established ways
in our tradition of expressing mercy---the Corporal
and Spiritual Works of Mercy offer sure guidelines
for this. So, in the Year
of Mercy I exhort each
one of you to revisit
these practices and
commit yourselves to
them as a concrete
expression of your
desire to be as merciful as the Father, who lets the
sun shine on both the evil and the good and who
sends rain on the just and the unkind alike."
Listing some real examples of mercy, His Grace
identified feeding the hungry, giving drink to the
thirsty, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger,
healing the sick, visiting the imprisoned and burying
the dead (CCC 244).
He explained, however, that while we might do
these things, mercy demanded that we ask ourselves
certain questions raised in the Pastoral Letter:
are so many who live in the degradation of poverty,
depending on the spasmodic generosity of strangers
for their daily bread?
• Why is it that so many young families cannot
afford decent lodging?
• Why is it that so many of our people cannot
access the health services they need or the basic
medicines necessary for their well-being?
• Why are there so many homeless of all ages
and ethnicities on our streets?
• Why are our prisons becoming a growth indus-
try, swallowing the lives of many young people,
costing large sums of money and becoming a school
from which the graduates emerge more violent
• How is it that we have grown accustomed to
this state of affairs?
Archbishop Harris turned his attention to the
systems of violence and wrote: "Mercy cannot flour-
ish in a society where the very systems and structures
that shape the way we interact and participate are
themselves destructive. In the scriptures and prayers
of the church, God s power is best displayed in his
readiness to forgive, to be merciful.
"This is the model on which the exercise of power
by those who hold civil and judicial authority in
our society must be based," wrote Archbishop Harris.
"Sharing as these leaders do in the same humanity
as the people they are called to serve, I call on them
in Year of Mercy to take seriously their obligations
to practice mercy and justice in the policies they
frame and implement.
"It is also our duty as citizens to move out of our
apathy and assume more fully our duty as guardians
of the good of our nation by making sure we access
the information necessary to make informed and
wise assessments of prevailing practices."
Vernon Khelawan is media relations officer of
Catholic Media Services Limited (Camsel), the official
communications arm of the Archdioceses of Port-
of-Spain. Is offices are located at 31 Independence
Square. Telephone: 623-7620.
Christians called to
be merciful, forgiving
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