Thursday, October 18, 2007

Vatican document on pastoral care of the road

Here is a link to a long document titled Guidelines for Pastoral Care of the Road released this June by the Pontifical Council for the Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.

It has four major parts:
• The Pastoral Care of Road Users
• Pastoral Ministry for the Liberation of Street Women
• The Pastoral Care of Street Children
• The Pastoral Care of Homeless (Tramps)

I found Part One quite thought-provoking in relation to the Quaker peace testimony, particularly its subsections 3-5. The seeds of war inherent in driving go beyond exploitation of fossil fuels, and this Vatican document has a lot to say about emotions (including road rage), and spiritual opportunities related to driving. It even includes a “Drivers’ Ten Commandments”:

I. You shall not kill.

II. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.

III. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.

IV. Be charitable and help your neighbour in need, especially victims of accidents.

V. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.

VI. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.

VII. Support the families of accident victims.

VIII. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.

IX. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.

X. Feel responsible towards others.

Some queries on ministry

Lately I've been on a committee for the ministry of another Friend in my meeting. One morning I woke up with several queries for her to reflect on, and quickly realized I needed to examine them for myself as well. In case they're of use to others:

• (The old Quaker nuggets to ponder after being given ministry to share with others: Was thee faithful? Did thee yield?)

• What does it feel like to you to be guided?

• How do you find yourself turning away from God?

• What is your experience of consciously turning back to God, or being turned back by grace?

• How does living with your ministry fit with Step 3: "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God"?

• What messages in your ministry to others do you most need to hear or let in for yourself?