One Word

The following is an excerpt from my book Hidden in the Rubble: A Haitian Pilgrimage to Compassion and Resurrection. [Orbis Books, 2010]

Christ loved every human being, without exception, without limits. Can we do otherwise? Love casts out the darkness of hate and division. From love flows understanding, compassion, mercy, forgiveness and peace. Love unites. Love is One.

Thomas Merton said, “The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another and all involved in one another.”

God is talking to us. God has always been talking to us. God will always be talking to us. God has been, is, and will be saying one word: Love.

And in that love rests a profound truth: We are one. We just imagine (as Thomas Merton pointed out) that we are not one, that division exists within the human family. In God there is unity. In the beginning, we were one. We are still one. We just need to recover our original unity. At the Last Supper, Jesus prayed that we all may be one. Communion needs to be a significant part of our spiritual syntax. To isolate ourselves from the world stifles our ability to sense the dignity of the divine image in human beings.

The road to salvation is, of course, a journey to wholeness. When people lack the basic necessities to sustain life – clean water, adequate nutrition, essential health care, electricity and sanitation – it is hard to become whole. Survival is struggle enough. For the people in these slums, their every waking moment is directed toward meeting their basic physical needs.

To see a woman squatting in the rotting rubbish to urinate or defecate is an unthinkable indignity. In love, through love and with love we must unite and eradicate such indignity wherever it is found. We are called to incarnate God’s love. It really is that simple. If we have the will to do it, we will figure out how to do it.

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