Like many of you across the United States, I have been spending the last two weeks reflecting on racial injustice in our country and what I can do to help. As I've watched thousands marching and protesting and raising their voices, I have been trying to identify what feels so familiar about all of this.
Yesterday, I finally put my finger on it:
In the summer and fall of 2018, it felt like the whole Catholic Church was suddenly waking up to the reality of sexual abuse and leadership failures in our Church. Of course it was painful and triggering for many survivors to have these issues splashed across the headlines once again. But I have heard - not just once or twice, but many times - that in those months some survivors also experienced a feeling of hope. After carrying these burdens alone for so long, the greater public awareness allowed them just a glimmer of hope:
Maybe this time, everyone will start paying attention.
Maybe this time, those who have caused harm will be held accountable.
Maybe this time, I won’t feel so alone.
Maybe this time, things will change.
For those who have experienced injustice and felt like no one was listening, the moment when everyone is waking up - that can be a moment of hope.
May we all live up to these hopes. Not just today, but on every day that we are called to stand up against injustice - in our Church and in our world.
May we stay awake and make room for the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
See, I am doing something new!
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
- Isaiah 43:19