Moving Water (an excerpt)

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river
moving in you, a joy.

When actions come from another section, the feeling
disappears. Don’t let

others lead you. They may be blind or, worse, vultures.
Reach for the rope

of God.

In Both Directions

The church has a long history of serving people at the margins…. At the same time, however, an older problem has been intensified. The modern self’s blindness to the other as part of the self has led to an increasing perception of charity as a one-way street, something that originates with the charitable self and leads to handouts for those in need…. Fresh encounters with people on the underside of history introduce a critical change. In solidarity with the marginalized, the modern one-way street gradually begins to bear traffic in both directions.

Still It is More

Classic Eastern and Western spiritual traditions identify three ways of approaching life: the way of action, the way of knowing, and the way of feeling. It is assumed that a full life involves all three, but at any given time a person tends to prefer one…. It is critical, however, to recognize that neither love nor anything else of consequence can be rightfully reduced to one narrow vision. Love is feeling—tenderness, caring and longing—but it is also much more. Love is action—kindness, charity and commitment—and again, it is much more. Love is knowing—openness of attitude, realization of connectedness, expansion of attention beyond ourselves—and still it is more.

Concern for the Poor

To speak of a ‘preferential option for the poor’ is not to speak of an ‘exclusive’ option for the poor, as though God loved only the poor and did not love anybody else, especially the rich…. In responding to the concern that God has for all people, we start toward the fulfillment of that long-range concern by an immediate and initial concern for the poor, working with them and for them. To the degree that the cries of the poor are given priority over the complaints of the rich, there can be movement toward a society that is more, rather than less, just.

Speaking for the Victim

To speak for the victim, for the forgotten and killed, requires not only the Spirit’s truthfulness, to give us the awareness of this ‘memory of suffering’ but also an opening of our mouths: boldness to speak, to venture into the uncomfortable world of assertion and counter-assertion, debate, accusation and defense. Identification with the suffering is not only a matter of inner sympathy, nor is it only a matter of action. It means also the hard work of intelligent interpretation of the needs of the ‘voiceless.’