Thursday, November 13, 2008

Our littleness…

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice: they shall have their fill” (Matthew 5:6)

The concept of justice is exactly halfway through the Beatitudes and at the very end again. It’s a couplet saying, This is the point: To live a just life in this world is to have identified with the longing and hungers of the poor, the meek and those who weep.

This identification and solidarity is already a profound form of social justice. This Beatitude is surely both spiritual and social.

Richard Rohr, from Jesus’ Plan for the New World

This is so much what I was saying yesterday: our “identification and solidarity”—our being present to, or refusing to be absent to, the longings and hungers of the created, all the created, human and otherwise—is prayer. I’d go so far as to say that it is our most powerful prayer, since in it we are making ourselves open, submitted, available, to the love and mercy of God in Christ. In this we take our little share in our Lady’s submission, that small and immense “yes” by which our Saviour came into the world. As Rohr says elsewhere:

Mary tells us about the difference between attainment and grace. Grace is everything and everywhere, as she proclaims in the Magnificat.

Because God is everything to Mary, she is not afraid to boast of her own beauty and greatness.

Humanity is God’s miracle by God’s grace, not by our merit.

Mary is the perfect yes to Jesus.

Therefore she is totally fruitful and victorious, and bears Jesus to the world. Mary will always be the most orthodox image of how holiness works in humanity.

This changes everything for me, and brings what I am sure is the point of all this discussion on my part: We must not be mislead by the littleness of our act of surrender. It is through such tiny acts that God redeems the world.


  1. And the Magnificat is a prayer that proclaims justice -- a justice expressed in tenderness to the lowly and the hungry, mercy to those who fear God. It is a wild woman's prayer.

  2. "...the Magnificat... is a wild woman's prayer."

    Amen - I love it! We all too easily miss Mary's fire, and her shocking courage, while we are dwelling on her equally shocking submission to God's call...