August 20

Reflection

“What happened in Charlottesville is much more than a dispute about statues and history. Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism that white Americans try mightily to ignore, hide or rationalize. Charlottesville is a visceral reminder that we can’t turn away from this. As people of faith, it would be good to talk here about bringing healing to this wound, but the sad fact is that we, as a community, are not yet ready to become an instrument of healing because we have not yet expelled the poison of racism from our own body. Charlottesville shows that the time for excuses, delays and inaction are past.  At the very least, the bishops should write and distribute widely — and loudly — a pastoral letter that repudiates racism and supremacism and reminds Catholics of their own social teaching that “human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society.”
The National Catholic Reporter

Prayer

May our hearts and minds and those of all who allow another’s race to influence them be healed and converted.

Action

Do not be afraid to speak the truth. Work to influence the attitudes of others by expressly rejecting racial or ethnic stereotypes, slurs and jokes and be affirming of the cultural contributions of every racial, ethnic and religious group.

Suggested Reading

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with your entire mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it; you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two great commandments.
Luke 10 : 25-27

 Let nobody turn their back on society and feel excluded. No to segregation! No to racism!
Pope Francis

We stand against the evil of racism, white supremacy and neo-nazism. We stand with our sisters and brothers united in the sacrifice of Jesus, by which love’s victory over every form of evil is assured.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB August, 2017).

Racism is a sin; a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father. Racism is the sin that says some human beings are inherently superior and others essentially inferior because of races. It is the sin that makes racial characteristics the determining factor for the exercise of human rights. It mocks the words of Jesus: “Treat others the way you would have them treat you.” Indeed, racism is more than a disregard for the words of Jesus; it is a denial of the truth of the dignity of each human being revealed by the mystery of the Incarnation.
Brothers and Sisters to Us, U.S. Catholic Bishops

Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.
Abraham Joshua Heschel

 Hatred, racism, and extremism have no place in this country.
Angela Merkel

The scars and stains of racism are still deeply embedded in the American society.
John Lewis

Christian virtues unite men. Racism separates them.
Sargent Shriver

Let me just say that to imagine racism does not exist is imagination. And to imagine that it does not create its own set of problems is true imagination. So let’s not imagine that racism is gone, extinguished, because it’s not. We are seeing this in the top levels of the political arena, and we are seeing it very, very plainly.
Phylicia Rashad

Tags: