Skip to main content
Center for Action and Contemplation
God's Restoring Justice
God's Restoring Justice

God’s Restoring Justice : Weekly Summary

Saturday, August 26, 2023

We think fear, anger, divine intimidation, threat, and punishment are going to lead people to love. We cannot lead people to the highest level of motivation by teaching them the lowest. God always and forever models the highest, and our task is merely to “imitate God” (Ephesians 5:1).
—Richard Rohr 

This is the task of those who would follow Jesus: to live in just relationships with one another, to work at restoring to wholeness those people and relationships that they and others have broken, and to repair as best they can what cannot be restored.
—Mary Katherine Birge 

Mere counting and ledger-keeping are not the way of the Gospel. Our best self wants to restore relationships, and not blame or punish.
—Richard Rohr 

God’s justice moves toward restoration, reintegration, and redemption. God’s justice is inherently connected to healing the harmed, restoring what has been lost, and reconciling those who are estranged from God and community.
—Dominique DuBois Gilliard 

Here’s the great surprise of the Hebrew Scriptures, revealed in this central passage from Isaiah 35:4–7: People are not going to get what they deserve, they’re going to get much better than they deserve.
—Richard Rohr 

True repentance promises us reunion with God and one another. It promises us restoration to community, and to all the responsibilities that go along with life in relationship.
—Barbara Brown Taylor 

Seeking Forgiveness 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1931–2021) and his daughter Mpho Tutu invite us to recognize the ways that we have hurt others, and to seek forgiveness in an effort to restore justice and relationships:  

From whom do you need forgiveness? What have you done? Have you hurt someone you love? Does the guilt or shame gnaw at you? Have you caused pain and anguish? Are you trapped in the wreckage of your actions with no visible means of escape?  

The simple truth is we all make mistakes, and we all need forgiveness. There is no magic wand we can wave to go back in time and change what has happened or undo the harm that has been done, but we can do everything in our power to set right what has been made wrong. We can endeavor to make sure the harm never happens again.  

We all need forgiveness. There are times when all of us have been thoughtless or selfish or cruel. As we have said earlier, no act is unforgiveable; no person is beyond redemption. Yet, it is not easy to admit one’s wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness. “I am sorry” are perhaps the three hardest words to say. We can come up with all manner of justifications to excuse what we have done. When we are willing to let down our defenses and look honestly at our actions, we find there is a great freedom in asking for forgiveness and great strength in admitting the wrong. It is how we free ourselves from our past errors. It is how we are able to move forward into our future, unfettered by the mistakes we have made.  


Desmond M. Tutu and Mpho A. Tutu, The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World, ed. Douglas C. Abrams (San Francisco, CA: HarperOne, 2015), 167. 

Image credit: A path from one week to the next—Taylor Wilson, Isha (detail), watercolor and cyanotype. Taylor Wilson, Ruah (detail), print. Izzy Spitz, Chemistry of Self 3 (detail), digital oil pastels. Used with permission. Click here to enlarge image

The Spirit provides the grace that allows us to include and transform together. 

Navigate by Date

This year’s theme

A candle being lit

Radical Resilience

We live in a world on fire. This year the Daily Meditations will explore contemplation as a way to build Radical Resilience so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or burning out. The path ahead may be challenging, but we can walk it together.

The archives

Explore the Daily Meditations

Explore past meditations and annual themes by browsing the Daily Meditations archive. Explore by topic or use the search bar to find wisdom from specific teachers.

Join our email community

Sign-up to receive the Daily Meditations, featuring reflections on the wisdom and practices of the Christian contemplative tradition.

Hidden Fields

Find out about upcoming courses, registration dates, and new online courses.
Our theme this year is Radical Resilience. How do we tend our inner flame so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or out? Meditations are emailed every day of the week, including the Weekly Summary on Saturday. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time.
In a world of fault lines and fractures, how do we expand our sense of self to include love, healing, and forgiveness—not just for ourselves or those like us, but for all? This monthly email features wisdom and stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. Join spiritual seekers from around the world and discover your place in the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life. Conspirare. Breathe with us.