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First Friday reflection for August 2019

In her letter sent on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Superior General Barbara Dawson, RSCJ, provides us with much to “ponder and pray” on regarding our role in our world through the lens of the JPIC (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation) document “Being Artisans of Hope in Our Blessed and Broken World.”

In this document, we are called to ponder the realities of our broken world and consider our own barriers to optimism and hopefulness. Even more, we are called to ponder that which provides many blessings and privileges to some, yet is broken, cruel and unjust for others. This imbalance can feel overwhelming and hopeless.

Today, I find that my heart is full of helplessness, anger and profound sadness, especially as thousands of immigrants are detained in and deported from the United States. But, somewhere in these feelings the call to pray emerges as a focal point and draws me to a place of hope. I believe this can draw us all to a place of hope, as prayerful reflection and discernment position each of us to be artisans of hope and lead us to action and relationship.

The light of Christ illuminates for each of us and allows us to see our truth. Are our eyes truly open? How do we respond to cruelty and injustice in our communities? Do we have the courage to engage in dialogue with those whose perspectives differ from our own? How do we confront attitudes that often feel devoid of love, blind to injustice, and apathetic to the truth that many persons lack fundamental resources and rights? Can we plant hopeful seeds and new perspectives that have the capacity to transform?

Indeed, the path to being true artisans of hope requires each of us to engage in mindful prayer to gain awareness, clarity, courage and patience. We each must persevere and work in the trenches to craft a hopeful world, rich in divine love and one that is revealed through our hope-filled actions – outpourings of Christ’s love.

Reflection: Laura Haroian, Associate, St. Louis, Missouri
Image: Photo by Linda Behrens