focusing on the why

On this feast of St Francis, it is fitting that I was able to sit and chat with a group of like minded peace & justice folks about the why of what we do. Tonight was our monthly parish Peace & Justice commission meeting (which I co-chair). We have a great group and we do so much. Really, I’m not just saying that. I am in awe of this group. They are a huge part of how I find myself on this journey, because social justice IS my calling, and it was with this group that I was able to discover and foster that passion to the point that I want to make it my life’s work.

But our group has been suffering from some malaise of late. Church politics with a big C and a little c. Busy lives. Big plans, many items on our agenda. Too much injustice in the world. Too little time and power on our side. Individually and collectively, we’ve been going through the changing the world motions and treading water a bit.

So tonight we stopped talking about the what and talked about the why. Action packed agenda went out the window. Instead we spent 1 hour talking about our world views. How did we grow up? What were our experiences with family and community? Poverty? How do our faith and politics intersect? What image in the scriptures stands out for us when we think of justice? In short ... why on earth would we spend 2 hours on a weeknight at church planning social justice activities. It was an awesome conversation, that led to a larger discussion of our shared values. Community. Positive change. Being fed spiritually and intellectually. Wanting to change the world. Seeking the common good. Overcoming injustice and discrimination in all forms. Challenging each other and bringing our world views together as we follow Christ’s example. Welcoming the outcast. Serving the poor. Challenging authority when necessary.

It was in fact inspiring and invigorating. Just as we had hoped. Very cool and just what I needed. I think we all need to stop and think a bit about the why of what we do. Love for our families, friends and neighbors. We can get so caught up in the day to day that we miss the point of it all.

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