In September 2020, Pope Francis spoke of the pain and suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ongoing crises around the world have brought his message of solidarity into greater resonance:
To emerge from this crisis better than before, we have to do so together; together, not alone. Together. Not alone, because it cannot be done. Either it is done together, or it is not done. We must do it together, all of us, in solidarity. . . .
The big wide world is none other than a global village, because everything is interconnected, but we do not always transform this interdependence into solidarity. There is a long journey between interdependence and solidarity. The selfishness—of individuals, nations and of groups with power—and ideological rigidities instead sustain “structures of sin.” 
Pope Francis speaks of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–3) as an example of God’s Spirit inspiring solidarity, diverse creatures united to share the liberating love of God:
The Spirit creates unity in diversity; he creates harmony. . . . Each one of us is an instrument, but a community instrument that participates fully in building up the community. Saint Francis of Assisi knew this well, and inspired by the Spirit, he gave all people, or rather, creatures, the name of brother or sister. Even brother wolf, remember.
With Pentecost, God makes himself present and inspires the faith of the community united in diversity and solidarity. Diversity and solidarity united in harmony, this is the way. . . . Diversity in solidarity also possesses antibodies that heal social structures and processes that have degenerated into systems of injustice, systems of oppression. Therefore, solidarity today is the road to take towards a post-pandemic world, towards the healing of our interpersonal and social ills. There is no other way. Either we go forward on the path of solidarity, or things will worsen. I want to repeat this: one does not emerge from a crisis the same as before. The pandemic [Father Richard: and the war in Ukraine] is a crisis. We emerge from a crisis either better or worse than before. It is up to us to choose. And solidarity is, indeed, a way of coming out of the crisis better, not with superficial changes, with a fresh coat of paint so everything looks fine. No. Better!
In the midst of crises, a solidarity guided by faith enables us to translate the love of God in our globalized culture, not by building towers or walls—and how many walls are being built today!—that divide, but then collapse, but by interweaving communities and sustaining processes of growth that are truly human and solid. And to do this, solidarity helps. . . .
In the midst of crises and tempests, the Lord calls to us and invites us to reawaken and activate this solidarity capable of giving solidity, support and meaning to these hours in which everything seems to be wrecked. May the creativity of the Holy Spirit encourage us to generate new forms of familiar hospitality, fruitful fraternity and universal solidarity.
 Pope John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (On Social Concern), encyclical, December 30, 1987, part 36.
Pope Francis, General Audience, September 2, 2020.
Explore Further. . .
- Read Beatrice Bruteau, Stephanie Spellers and others on solidarity and structures of domination.
- Learn more about this year’s theme Nothing Stands Alone.
- Meet the team behind the Daily Meditations.
Image credit: Jenna Keiper, Wire (detail), 2021, photograph, New Mexico, used with permission. Paul Thompson, Untitled Icons (detail), 2021, video still, New Mexico. Jenna Keiper, Wire II (detail), 2021, photograph, New Mexico, used with permission. Jenna Keiper & Leslye Colvin, 2022, triptych art, United States.
This week’s images appear in a form inspired by early Christian/Catholic triptych art: a threefold form that tells a unified story.
Image inspiration: When the weight of the suffering of the world closes around us, we can easily feel suffocated from the grief and pain. What would happen if in these moments we reached out to connect with others? In grief and pain, together. Not alone. Together.
Story from Our Community:
Deep bow… to the early light, / And the new day, / And the good night / To all creatures large and small / To the Mastermind who loves us all / Deep bow to the morning new / To the sacred silence / And the holy view / From the deepest deep / From where grace flows / To the highest high / Where all things know / In The quiet calm / In the here and now / All hearts beat together.
Prayer for our community:
God, Lord of all creation, lover of life and of everything, please help us to love in our very small way what You love infinitely and everywhere. We thank You that we can offer just this one prayer and that will be more than enough, because in reality every thing and every one is connected, and nothing stands alone. To pray for one part is really to pray for the whole, and so we do. Help us each day to stand for love, for healing, for the good, for the diverse unity of the Body of Christ and all creation, because we know this is what You desire: as Jesus prayed, that all may be one. We offer our prayer together with all the holy names of God, we offer our prayer together with Christ, our Lord, Amen.