Wednesday, May 6, 2009

For the Least: We Mean Business

If you are like me, you fear retreats. It's not a deep fear. Just a little part of you scared stiff that your weekend might entail sitting around the campfire singing "Kumbaya."

Fear not. The social justice...err, I mean For the Least retreat just might be for you.

Like any retreat, the weekend revolved around a number of talks. These aren't Catholics speculating about the meaning of their faith; they are living it. A professor of Ecology building green spaces on the tops of roofs and making diesel fuel out of french fry grease(!); A woman working to overturn destructive laws that target refugees and immigrants; Catholics lending a helping hand overseas (or in their own country) who are victims of war, genocide or grueling working conditions.

This retreat could have just as easily been called For the Least: We Mean Business. I found myself challenged to think about my own actions on the grandest scale: how my tiny behaviors, when multiplied, contributed to the burden of social injustice in the world. If your idea of focusing on your faith means "thinking about your faith in action," then you've found your place.

I wasn't sure what to expect over this past weekend, but what I got were: 1) A lot of questions and 2) A lot of inspiration. The issues of social justice will always be difficult. The gray areas are many, and the solutions are never easy to come by. But there is empowerment in education and the hope that one small difference, when multiplied, fulfills the will of God.

- Vincent L.

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