Justice: Week 2 Summary

Justice: Week 2

Summary: Sunday, June 17-Friday, June 22, 2018

Only by solidarity with other people’s suffering can comfortable people be converted. Otherwise we are disconnected from the cross—of the world, of others, of Jesus, and finally of our own necessary participation in the great mystery of dying and rising. (Sunday)

The way of radical Christianity is to stay outside of unjust systems—insofar as possible—so they cannot control your breadth of thinking, feeling, loving, and living out universal justice. (Monday)

God calls us to protect and seek justice for those who are poor and vulnerable, and our treatment of people who are “oppressed,” “strangers,” “outsiders,” or otherwise considered “marginal” is a test of our relationship to God, who made us all equal in divine dignity and love. —“Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith” (Tuesday)

Since everyone is made in the image of God, then we need to recognize, honor, and respect the image of God in everyone. No exceptions. (Wednesday)

Namaste asks something huge of us: If the divinity in me recognizes the divinity in you, how could I abuse, debase, violate, or harass? I would, after all, only be punishing myself. —Josh Radnor (Thursday)

New Mexico seemed like a good place to live in solidarity with suffering and practice contemplative approaches to justice and peacemaking. (Friday)

 

Practice: Fighting for Justice

Yesterday I shared some of the complex history—much of it painful and still raw—of my adopted home state, New Mexico. Thankfully there are many courageous people collaborating to acknowledge and heal these wounds. One of these is a friend of the Center for Action and Contemplation, Eileen Shaughnessy. Eileen teaches on environmental and social justice at the University of New Mexico and co-founded the grassroots Nuclear Issues Study Group. She also writes and makes music with her indie folk band, “Eileen & the In-Betweens.”

As you reflect on the meditations from the past two weeks—the words or phrases that stood out to you, the questions unanswered, the physical sensations you experienced, perhaps feeling overwhelmed with the work ahead of us to create a more peaceful world—hold some space for the possibility, as Eileen suggests, that we might “learn how to fly.”

Watch this short music video of Eileen & the In-Betweens hosting a dance party with friends in front of a beautiful mural—“Honor the People” by artist Nani Chacon—on historic Route 66 through the heart of Albuquerque.

This world is for the lovers and the fighters
The bold hearts and the dream-igniters
The bold hearts and the decolonizers
The bold hearts and dream igniters

You better believe there’s cracks in the cement,
Capitalism just came and went
You better believe there’s cracks in the cement,
Patriarchy just came and went

Since we’re all on this plane together,
And it’s goin’ down in bad weather
We might as well just learn how to fly
We might as well just learn how to fly

You better believe there’s cracks in the cement,
Transphobia came and went
You better believe there’s cracks in the cement,
White supremacy came and went

Since we’re all on this plane together
And it’s goin’ down in bad weather
We might as well just learn how to fly
We might as well just learn how to fly

This world is for the lovers and the fighters
The bold hearts and the dream-igniters
The bold hearts and the decolonizers
The bold hearts and dream igniters [1]

What do you want to get rid of? What systems of oppression are you trying to dismantle? What do you fight for with a bold and loving heart? Watch the video again, sing along, and move to the music. Then let your heart and body be moved in the peaceful fight for justice.

Reference:
[1] Eileen Shaughnessy, “Lovers and Fighters,” http://www.eileenshaughnessy.com/lyrics/. Video and lyrics used with permission.

 

For Further Study:
“Anger,” Oneing, vol. 6, no. 1 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2018)

Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi (Franciscan Media: 2014)

Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Love, eds. Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Orbis Books: 2018)

Image credit: Full side view of adobe house with water in foreground, “Acoma Pueblo, National Historic Landmark, New Mexico,” (detail); from the series Ansel Adams Photographs of National Parks and Monuments, compiled 1941-1942, documenting the period ca. 1933-1942.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image:
The Catholic “Doctrine of Discovery” sent Spanish Conquistadors in search of gold, beginning in the sixteenth century. As the area was colonized, many indigenous peoples were massacred, enslaved, or forced to assimilate. Colonial governor Juan de Oñate (1550-1626) had one foot cut off of each man in Acoma Pueblo after they rebelled against Spanish domination. By the late eighteenth century, approximately one third of New Mexico’s native population was enslaved. —Richard Rohr

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