turning laments into love

It’s a lamenting sort of day.

I’m a modern Franciscan sister and live in a way that keeps me pretty tapped into the problems of the world. This morning was not unlike other mornings. I woke up, made coffee, said some prayers and then checked the weather on my laptop.

When I opened my laptop this morning, though, my email inbox appeared and it was jammed with news.  I learned that  Troy Davis had been executed over night. I had an email from one of my Catholic Worker friends about a shooting in Kansas City. Then, I had the usual emails asking for my assistance with campaigns for environmental, agricultural, immigration and economic justice from a variety of activist groups.

As I gain awareness I usually become overwhelmed or angry.  Fires burn in my belly and I am compelled to respond.  The challenge is to respond with love.

On my way to work, I prayed prayers of lament.  I begged God for mercy.  I asked that all of the unjust systems that humanity has so sinfully created are reformed.  As we are converted, may the ways of humanity be converted.

Soon after, I am with my students.  I decide to be real with them. “I feel so angry about what’s wrong with the world today that I want to go scream in the streets,” I tell them. “I am trying not to take my anger out on you.  Let’s try to have mercy on one another and be open to God’s goodness.”  They nod in agreement.

In my classroom, we grapple with the theology of love. I am taught by my students through their encouragement and kindness.

I try to teach them something too.  I play this little video for them and we marvel at how great the world would be if humanity really lived out the basics of our faith, if we really lived with love:

Help us God! Amen!