Sunday, August 23, 2015

What is our Solidarity Index?

“If it should happen one day — and it could be today — that I become a victim of the terrorism which now seems ready to encompass all the foreigners living in Algeria, I would like my community, my Church, my family, to remember that my life was given to God and to this country. I ask them to accept that the One Master of all life was not a stranger to this brutal departure. I ask them to pray for me: for how could I be found worthy of such an offering? I ask them to be able to associate such a death with the many other deaths that were just as violent, but forgotten through indifference and anonymity.

My life has no more value than any other. Nor any less value. In any case, it has not the innocence of childhood. I have lived long enough to know that I share in the evil which seems, alas, to prevail in the world, even in that which would strike me blindly. I should like, when the time comes, to have a clear space which would allow me to beg forgiveness of God and of all my fellow human beings, and at the same time to forgive with all my heart the one who would strike me down."

These two paragraphs are from the last written testament of Dom Christian de Cherge, the prior of the Cistercian -Trappist Monastery In Algeria. He was one of the seven monks who died at the hands of terrorist on May 21, 1996 in Algeria.

Writing in  the View from the Ark of the Catholic Times, a religious sister reminds the readers of the many incidents in Korea in which people have suffered and their rights trampled, and we forget and move on. She writes about our lack of solidarity with those who are hurting.

She mentions a group of citizens who have decided to have citizens mourning for the victims of the Sewol tragedy. Every month on the 16th, they join  in each village for a mourning ceremony that will continue until 2017, August 11: a thousand  days with those who have suffered because of our apathy and  concern for self.

Sister mentions  three types of solidarity that was expressed in the testament by Dom Christian: solidarity in death, in life, and in responsibility. This last solidarity is not just having a guilty conscience but acknowledging our responsibly  for the evil in the world, and the need  to do something about it.

In the Sewol tragedy we have the pursuit of profit at all cost which is pathological-- overlooking truth and justice for money and power followed by  all kinds of vices. She wants more than sorrow for the harm and injustices we have in society but solidarity with those hurting."Not you are you, and I am me" thinking but understanding that we are connected, and I should be moved by empathy and compassion for those who are hurting and do what I can to improved the situation.

Mentioned is the web site SKY & SEWOL. Jesus came to be one with us- in solidarity with  all humanity.  This solidarity does not need theology to understand but  a disposition of the heart.

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