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In memory of Chris Mannion

22/10/2004: General House

On the 1st July 1994, Brother Chris Mannion was killed in a country that was then witnessing horrific events, which must still be painfully etched on the minds of its people.
Now, ten years later, Chris’ death can serve as an inspiration to us to reflect on the random and senseless violence that still prevails in the world. May his death deepen our own conviction and inspire us to strive to convince others too that violence will never lead to peace. This is best summarised in the words of Psalm 85: “Peace is the fruit of justice.” To promote justice is our main task and it is the only way to bring about peace.
The General Council wanted to remember this anniversary by printing a small booklet “ONCE ONLY” which is a short collection of some of Chris’ writings.
One of Chris’ poignant reflections, written in his diary on the 12th May 1994 while he was in Rome, is found on page 11:
“More and more I’m convinced that it isn’t length of life which is important but the passion and commitment with which you live it. This life is a gift to be enjoyed, to be used to the full precisely because it will end in death (MY DEATH!) one unforeseen day.
I must live this gift of life now without worrying what will be afterwards. God in His mercy and goodness will take care of that. If I worry so much now about ‘going to heaven’ or not, then I will not be able to engage fully in the here and now. If I dont, then what is the purpose of the Incarnation?
Questions of death and the meaning of my life and living it to the full are coming up a lot these days. What is that saying to me? A call to greater interiority, integrity and commitment, perhaps.
My prayer is ‘going well’ at present with occasional flashes of presence, a sense of the Lord being there and asking me to be patient and to respond. How isnt clear yet.”

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