Justice and Peace

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Some spiritual drops for Justice, Peace and Ecology


Charity versus charitable actions

Sr. Nícida Amparo Díaz, delegate of Justice and Peace - El Caribe.- Every time I reflect on Charity, I see a world where there is so much of misery among the poorest: the beggars, drug addicts, alcoholics, women denied of their dignity, boys and girls wandering in the streets, men and women looking in the garbage for something to eat, young ones without a purpose of life, refugees, immigrants and sick people and wars and desolation.... This is the reality offered to us as daily bread... How Marie Poussepin would have responded to such a misery, solitude and suffering?

A small but serious walk through the sources of our Congregation

Misery and Mercy embrace each other

Dourdan had fallen into the hands of misery and her companions were hunger and epidemics which knocked at the door day after day... Marie Poussepin is not only ready to help but she goes to the extreme of receiving the miserable people into her own house: “She was not only happy to help Marie Olivier, a sick and poor widow, but she brings her to her own room and takes care of her until her death.” She does not do a favor, even less a charitable action but on the contrary, she does a heroic action inspired by charity: to treat the poorest with Mercy and dignity. In the humble village of Sainville “ravaged by war, famine and epidemics, and where “ignorance was widespread” Marie Poussepin sees the faces of many girls without home and without help, young ones without instruction and means of support and the sick ones without anyone to assist them and take care of them. Marie Poussepin is not only moved but allows herself to be inspired by Providence to respond to the misery of those in need with works of Mercy... She “has taken with her young country girls without either shelter or resources to raise them in the fear of God, and to teach them to work and earn a living, so that they might avoid...the disorders to which destitution and ignorance tend to lead...” (Original Vision)

From charitable action to service of Charity in the 21st century

Contemplating such misery that obscures the world dreamt by God who placed its realization in our hands, let us allow ourselves to feel this misery in our guts and our hearts. So the Providence of God may help us to know how to respond to it in such a way that our actions would not be just charitable deeds but a real Service of Charity. This service of charity will enable me to discover in the very flesh of my brother the face of the misery and sorrow of the crucified Lord. He still walks through our streets and villages being exhausted on the way and comes to our houses looking for a piece of bread, a glass of water, place to take a bath or to lie down because he did not find a shelter in a society which abandons, alienates and makes the miserable person invisible and marginalized, because he/she disturbs our tranquility and perhaps, questions our “egoistic tendencies”. This dynamics is coming closer to our lives like an octopus so that we will assimilate the established order and change ourselves to be its servants.

Christian spirituality cannot have other paths than those of Mercy

Christian spirituality cannot have other paths than those of Mercy. To be a Christian and to be faithful to the Gospel in the 21st century is nothing but to commit ourselves to live mercy to the full extent. "Oh we are merciful or we are not Christians."

“The Works of mercy cannot be considered as a custom”.1 Even more at this time when it is not easy to find Mercy in our world where there is so much indifference, individualism and a compulsive passion to protect our structures without recreating them, to be centered on ourselves and to look for ways to survive, while our brothers and sisters have neither food, nor strength to cry out and make their voices heard. We have to have a contemplative look and a vision of faith to discover the hidden God who dwells in our homes, streets, squares and schools. “We must examine this more closely in order to enter into a dialogue like that of our Lord and the Samaritan woman at the well where she sought to quench her thirst... there are also many “non-citizens”, “half citizens” and “urban remnants” (EG 72.74).

“God overcomes misery with mercy. This is why God became man. And we the human beings make ourselves more humane with Mercy and the more we make ourselves humane, the more we resemble God who became man...The dogma of our faith: “God became man”, has a correct understanding on saying: Mercy became man. The world thus begins to be the Kingdom of God”.2 This is the dynamics that we must incarnate in our life so that our actions will not be converted to just a favor granted, or an act of charity, but to a heroic action inspired by the Providence of God who asks us: Where is your brother? Or tells us” You yourself give them to eat.”

1 and 2: Carlos Bazarra, "Vivir la Misericordia".

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