A spiritual exercise to help guide action against injustice

CNS photo/Alejandro Alvarez, News2Share via Reuters CNS photo/Alejandro Alvarez, News2Share via Reuters
00:00

This week Jim McDermott, S.J., joins Tim Reidy, Zac Davis and Kerry Weber in conversation about how to respond to moral crises in Charlottesville and beyond.

“Charlottesville is another moment when… there is so much surprising stuff happening, and it creates such a strong response that it becomes difficult to parse…. Outrage is like a fire—once it starts it burns everywhere,” Father McDermott said.

Advertisement

He looks at the tragedy of Charlottesville and, drawing from the Jesuit tradition. suggests “a spiritual exercise we use to help us keep some perspective in the midst of our lives.

“Say you watch CNN or Fox...before you turn it on, take a moment to put yourself in the presence of God—a moment for peace, a moment for gentleness, and to ask God: ‘help me see you, help me see what’s important as I listen to this, or how I’m feeling when I’m watching this.”

Father McDermott noted that reflection is key to guiding the action that follows—he is not recommending people “bury their heads in the sand” but rather that they are “contemplatives in action,” to use another Jesuit phrase.

“We each need a secret garden right now,” Father McDermott said. “We shouldn’t live there all the time but we definitely need one to continually nourish us and stop us from becoming our outrage, or becoming our fear.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Young demonstrators hold a rally in front of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Patrick Blanchfield on the history and future gun control in the United States
Ashley McKinlessApril 20, 2018
(Photo: iStock)
Our Apr. 18 guest is Jennifer Fulwiler
America This WeekApril 18, 2018
This week, we talk with Guy Consolmagno, S.J.—a Jesuit brother and director of the Vatican Observatory.
Ashley McKinlessApril 13, 2018
Residents of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, decorate the southern side of the barrier at the border with messages of peace and love. (J.D. Long-García)
Our Apr. 11 guest is J.D. Long-García
America This WeekApril 11, 2018