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No option to opt out

No option to ‘opt out’

“ … true social justice is impossible if the human person is not the centre of concern.  God asks us believers to be God’s people, not ‘God’s elite.’” (Pope Francis – Dec 2020).

Today is not a comfortable day! There is  no options to ‘opt out’! Today,  is UN World Day of Social Justice (20th February 2024).  As Presentation people living, praying and working for social justice is part of our DNA.  However, World Day dates have a valuable purpose in that they serve to focus our attention on the extent of the local, national and global need (in this case for social justice); the need to work together to find the means to achieve it, and on the necessity of highlighting those opportunities that exist nationally and internationally to inform and educate ourselves for action.

It is also an opportunity to pray for, and give thanks for all those who work unstintingly as advocates ‘on the ground’ in those places where social justice is lacking. And that can be right on our doorstep.  Today let’s choose to see, support and act.  We can gather courage from  the vibrant legacy of so many others who gave their lives for those ‘kept down and kept poor’.  They are an essential inspiration for our creative actions that can bring resolution where it is needed most.

Nano – a life relevant to today

Venerable Nano Nagle is one such social advocate.  Nano is not a figure confined to the past, but rather, someone whose vision is as relevant today, as it was in her time (18th C Penal Ireland).

“Nano Nagle was a prophet of love. … Across the globe today the charism of Nano Nagle, to be love in the world, is cherished by a strong network of sisters, colleagues, associates, students and friends of Nano – the entire Presentation Family.

With commitment and creative imagination, they seek to find and entry point in human life, where they can make a difference. They identify systemic injustice and its causes and seek to listen to the cry of the earth and the poor. No effort is spared to raise awareness of the burning issues of today’s world.

Nano Nagle bids us to move from our safe and comfortable nests, from our self-isolation and complacency, and to move to the peripheries, to life on the razor’s edge. She wouldn’t want us to simply replicate her life but to seek new pathways, new strategies, imaginative responses …”.  [From ‘The Story of Nano Nagle: A Life Lived on the Razor’s Edge’ by Anne Lyons, PBVM].

To act justly

“All I ask of you is this: act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God.” —Micah 6:8

“As the seeker prayed, along past him came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them…he cried, ‘Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?’…God said, ‘I did do something. I made you.'”— Sufi parable.

Today, we listen to the words of the prophet Micah calling us to action, calling us to justice. We invite you to pierce our hearts with these challenging words and let them enter in. This world is suffering, and it is with our hands and hearts that you want to bring comfort. This world is wounded, and it is with our hands that you want to bring healing. This world is divided, and it is with our hands that you want to bring reconciliation. Acting justly is no small task in a world so fractured and polarised. And yet, this is what you ask of us as we come together: to act justly.

And so we pray.  Show us what it means to act justly.

Working globally for Social Justice

See the International Presentation Association (IPA) website:  https://globalpres.org/

The IPA is an association of Catholic religious congregations of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of Presentation People and of friends and associates.  Together, we work for personal and systematic change for People and Earth. Inspired by Venerable Nano Nagle, who founded our congregation and who saw that justice flowed from spirituality.

“Our mission is to speak and act in partnership with others for global justice from a contemplative stance in a spirit of oneness with the whole of creation.” – Mission Statement

To find out more about Venerable Nano Nagle see: https://presentationsistersne.ie/life-lived-on-the-razors-edge/

Note: ‘The Story of Nano Nagle: A Life Lived on the Razor’s Edge’ by Anne Lyons, PBVM. is published in Ireland and the UK by Messenger Publication. 


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