Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What is Our Orientation? What is Our Approach?

We must remain constant in our endeavours. No longer can we pick and choose when to be nice, compassionate, helpful, or loving. Our world needs something bigger and stronger than a part-time sacrifice. Our world needs something larger than charity that only treats the symptoms and not the causes. We must orient ourselves to a lifestyle of mercy.

I ponder on the recent news around the world: elections in Sudan, increased religious tensions in Jos, Nigeria, natural disasters that leave destruction, and the list continues... We tell ourselves, "I want to help!" And, sincerely, we do. But we...but I must not be satisfied with a pick-and-choose mentality. Every morning that we awake, we must say and remember that love is the movement...that mercy is the movement. Our hearts feel, and they are sometimes heavy and light. We can laugh and we can cry and we can sing and we can dance. It is my sincere hope that we take a risk....a leap of faith to combat the problems that we see daily.....that we take a leap of faith to love the person directly in front of us. I know it sounds abstract....and broad...vague even. But, at the same time, it can be a simple approach, and even though difficulties will arise, the power of a community acting in this manner is unparalled.

I'd like to offer a few quotes that remain true to my heart:

"Love means to committ oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person. Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love." - Erich Fromm, German Social Philosopher and Psychoanalyzer

"Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:18

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, beacause fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

May our love continue to grow strong as we unite. May our mercy continue to grow strong as we fight.