Reverend Ruth Patterson is a Presbyterian minister, since 1988 has been Director of Restoration Ministries, a non denominational, Christian organisation committed to peace and reconciliation based in Northern Ireland. Our Guestmistress Sister Michele Slattery ocso writes about the visit and input of Reverend Ruth Patterson at Glencairn Abbey, 21-23rd March 2018.
Pope Francis urges us to be ‘Bridge builders’ and we had one such person here with us in Glencairn in the person of Rev. Ruth Patterson who came for a brief but absolutely brimful course of five talks, on March 21st-23rd.
Ruth based her talks on our being the Beloved Community. This is not something we attain but something we are, however we must continually discover it and keep trying to live it. But given the reality that we are all wounded in some way, Ruth alerted us to some things that we need to be vigilant about on the journey, basing these talks on the dynamics in the family of the Prodigal Father and his two sons.
‘When he was still a far way off the Father saw him and ran and embraced him’ (the younger son). Evidently the Father is a model for the Beloved community and the two sons display values and behaviour to be avoided.
Throughout her talks Ruth communicated her great love for God and love for people, her enthusiasm for God’s Word and for the work of forgiveness, gratitude and reconciliation. We felt renewed and encouraged by her visit and she left us with lots to reflect on and to try to put into practice!
“To love someone is to reveal to them that they are beautiful.”