When we find ourselves wounded and marginalized, and we allow that suffering to teach us, when we experience the faithfulness, the mercy, the forgiveness of God, then we can become prophets. —Richard Rohr
God’s power for justice is precisely God’s power to restore people when they are broken or hurt. God uses their mistakes to liberate them, to soften them, to enlighten them, to transform them, and to heal them. —Richard Rohr
Contemplation, you see, is a very dangerous activity. It not only brings us face to face with God, it brings us as well face to face with the world, and then it brings us face to face with the self; and then, of course, something must be done. —Joan Chittister
In order to love, we had to counter the narrative that we were nobody with the sense that we were somebody, and that that meant self-love. And I think many communities who stood on the outside of the gates of power have had to come up with a way of finding themselves worthy and beloved. —Ruby Sales
We must not separate ourselves from the suffering of the world. When we’re close to those in pain, their need evokes love in us. Very few of us have the largess, the magnanimity to just decide to be loving. Someone has to ask it of us. —Richard Rohr
Deepening your connection to God, in you and around you, do not be afraid to feel the love, the joy, and also the pain that are present. Don’t be afraid to have a heart and to risk breaking your heart. Feel into it all. —Adam Bucko
The Doorway of Shared Inheritance
Mindfulness teacher Rhonda V. Magee shares that the most effective and long-lasting approach to racial justice work is the fruit of individuals who do their own inner healing work as well. She offers this guided meditation in her book The Inner Work of Racial Justice:
We live in a culture in which we have lost touch with the unfathomable richness of our true human inheritance and with the imperative that we honor it, share it, and pass it on.
Take a few moments to reflect on what you view as some of the many positive aspects of our shared human inheritance. Consider anything from language, to the capacity to cultivate and share the foods we eat, to music, and to the various ways we have learned to thrive.
What are some of the things that the broad family of human beings have passed down through the ages that you value most?
What have you been given as a result?
What more are you willing to give back?
Now allow this inquiry to dissolve, and as you do so, let your awareness expand. Drop into the silence and let go, as best you can, of the sense of yourself, of your efforts and needs as apart from others. Allow your sense of self to soften. As you breathe in and out, imagine your human life story as a river, flowing into the ocean of humanity, all a part of the more than human world. Rest in the ocean of awareness, and all of its powerful possibilities from here.
Now allow yourself to return to the feeling of yourself in this body, in this place, in this very moment. Gather and center the sense of yourself as a body and being with lived experience that matters, in a world of others. Allow yourself to feel strong in your being and gifts, even as you interconnect with the experiences and heritages of others. Separate individuality and common humanity may come together in your awareness now. Gently allow yourself to feel the “both/and” of your own deep identity.
Rhonda V. Magee, The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities through Mindfulness (New York: TarcherPerigee, 2019), 54.
Explore Further. . .
- Read about Thomas Merton’s call for racial justice.
- Learn more about this year’s theme Nothing Stands Alone.
- Meet the team behind the Daily Meditations.
Image credit: Nathan Garcia, Untitled (detail), 2019, photograph, Albuquerque. Jenna Keiper & Leslye Colvin, 2022, triptych art, United States. Click here to enlarge image.
Image inspiration: Imagine our world illumined by love and justice.
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.