Celebrating World Day of Social Justice
As a ministry of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Holy Family Institute participates in the rich tradition of Catholic social justice. Their three pillars of their spiritual mission – faithful listening, loving relationships, and finding God in the everyday – motivate our work.
When life feels chaotic and distressing, it becomes even more important to listen carefully and closely to those who are suffering. The first step toward productive listening is acknowledging the value of others and recognizing that you need their help to grow.
“To give one’s attention to one who is suffering is a very rare and difficult thing…indeed, it is a miracle.”Simone Weil
The next time you feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the world’s problems, slow your thoughts and make an effort reflect alongside someone who is affected by those problems. This deep listening is not always easy or enjoyable, but it is necessary.
Recognizing God In the Everyday
Sometimes finding spiritual meaning in daily life feels impossible, especially when we see oppression and injustice on display. It’s easy to become “burnt out” with worry, fear, or discouragement.
When you are observing natural beauty, listening to a moving piece of music, or enjoying a an old friend, it is easy to appreciate the sacredness of everyday life. Take time to appreciate these moments of beauty. Noticing them more often will refresh your spirit and restore your motivation.
Compassion and advocacy for the marginalized have always been the foundation of social justice. In these divided times, the command to love one another wholeheartedly has never been more critical. Genuine, selfless love can always cross the borders of disagreement and disapproval.
We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.Brother Lawrence
Sometimes showing love to a friend is as simple as sharing a smile or listening to a question. Sometimes showing love to our world is as simple as appreciating its beauty. Sometimes showing love to our neighbor is as simple as empathizing with their concerns and listening attentively to their experiences.
These small acts of love for others, pursued faithfully over time, are the foundation of lasting change. When you start to feel overwhelmed by injustice, remember that the pursuit of justice is a daily effort and not a once-in-a-lifetime event.