Thursday, July 12, 2007

SOLIDARITY - THE DEFINING FACTOR

LEONARDO BOFF'S VOICE. Here's a reflection from liberation theologian Leonardo Boff. This line of thinking and spiritual formation is, to me, critical to engage in. It is a far cry from the theologies of escape and political pandering to American evangelical consumption.

THE DEFINING FACTOR. "Is it possible to live in peace and happiness when you know that two-thirds of human beings are suffering, hungry and poor? To be human we have to have compassion. This solidarity is really the defining factor of our humanity and is gradually being lost in a culture of material values. It’s not only the cry of the poor we must listen to but also the cry of the earth. The earth and human beings are both threatened. We must do something to change the situation..."

TO BELIEVE CHANGE IS POSSIBLE. "There won’t be a Noah’s Ark to save only some of us. To meet people’s fundamental concerns change is needed. The world as it is does not offer the majority of humanity life but rather hell. I believe that change is possible, because I cannot accept a God who could remain indifferent to this world, but only one who cares about the poor and the suffering."

QUESTIONS I ASK. So, to what extent am I listening or tuning in to the "cry of the poor" both within America and in distant communities? To what extent do I sense myself and my daily actions as connected to their well being? Do I realize connectivity and complicity? Am I willing to live with the pain of this tension or am I more likely to tune it out? Do I believe God is interested in change in the face of such disparities and injustices? Am I willing to begin with a prayer of confession, seeking understanding, repentance, and an openness to be part of change? Am I willing to change my ways, adjust my lifestyle, become an advocate for hope instead of a consumer in status quo?

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