Orthodoxy in Dialogue has proposed that a few Orthodox priests co-author an open letter on the humanitarian catastrophe taking place on the US-Mexico border, which other clergy and hierarchs would be invited to sign. While awaiting a response to this proposal we are profoundly grateful to Father Martin for his voice.
On such a fundamental issue as this, servants of the Gospel cannot find themselves on the side of the “left” or the “right,” the side of “liberalism” or “conservatism,” but solely and squarely on the side of Christ.
If two or three of our priests would like to initiate an open letter, speak to one another and then contact us by email—making sure to cc one another—to discuss parameters before you start.
You know that feeling of anger when you read about children being taken away from their parents at the border in your government’s name?
You know that awareness of deep injustice when you realize the immoral path our country is taking? What is that?
It’s your conscience speaking to you. That’s how it works.
Sometimes we say, “Why isn’t God doing something?” “Why isn’t God intervening?” But the main way that God intervenes in human history is by rousing people’s consciences. This is the Holy Spirit speaking to us, inspiring us, telling us to do something.
In other words, the main way that God intervenes is through us. So what can we do?
First, don’t ignore that anger. Don’t ignore the awareness of injustice. Let it move you to action.
Second, call your legislators and representatives: people in Congress, senators, and the White House. Don’t just think about doing it, do it. It’s the Holy Spirit asking you to do something. So pay attention.
Third, the next time you vote, remember this feeling. The Holy Spirit should encourage you to remember these poor people—all poor and struggling people—in the voting booth.
Fourth, try to help these migrant families through places like the following:
Catholic Charities USA
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley
Kino Border Initiative
Fifth, stand up for refugees and migrants. Advocate for them. Let the Spirit teach you what to say. There’s a reason you feel outraged. Listen to your conscience.
Finally, pray for change. Pray that the Holy Spirit opens the hearts of everyone.
See also Father Martin’s “Blindly Following the Law Is not ‘Biblical’” and NPR’s “Doctors Concerned About ‘Irreparable Harm’ To Separated Migrant Children.”
Father James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America: The Jesuit Review, and consultor to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication, a post to which he was appointed by Pope Francis in 2017. He is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers Jesus: A Pilgrimage and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.
A blessed Apostles Fast to our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.
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