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Health and Salvation week at Boarbank, 6th-11th January 2014: Compassion and Creativity

Health & Salvation

What is the connection between compassion and creativity? In her introductory talk, Sr Margaret suggested three links and she compared these. to the persons of the Trinity. Creativity can be a product of Compassion, as the Father creates and provides for his creation out of love.  
Creativity can be an expression of Compassion, as the Son, the Word of God, expresses the love of the Father. Creativity can be a method of Compassion, as the Holy Spirit acts creatively in us to release our creative love of others. We engaged with all three of these aspects during the week. Firstly, Fr Michael Fitzsimons presented ideas for responding creatively to conflict, and Mary Moore of Morecambe Bay Health Authority led an afternoon looking at creative responses to change in the NHS, ably assisted on the panel by Professor Malcolm McIlmurray and Elizabeth McConnell. Secondly, Fr Dixie Taylor spoke of the compassion of Jesus, showing how he reflected the Father’s compassion, for example in teaching the Lord’s Prayer. Finally, Vicky Biggs, speaking of her work using storytelling to help children in Bethlehem overcome the difficulties of their situation, and Lynne Alexander, the first Writer in Residence at St John’s Hospice in Lancaster, showed how artistic creativity can be used for compassionate healing, by liberating the creativity of those who suffer.

As usual, the context was one of friendships old and new, cemented by the experience of shared prayer and meals, conversation around the log fire, and exploring the local area. We are very grateful to the priests who took part for presiding at Mass each day, including one day when we were joined by residents from the Nursing Home and celebrated the Sacrament of the Sick. Other events included the film Entertaining Angels, about the life of Dorothy Day, a walk from Witherslack, and a final social evening.  

Very many thanks to John for the photos from the week.

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