Tuesday, 28 April 2009

A spirituality for combat, of hope and of communion

God give me the serenity to accept things which cannot be changed; Give me the courage to change things which must be changed; And the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.

As we reflected at work on how to prioritise and also how to communicate our work; how to choose the one right thing, we read these three quotes and they spoke deeply to me today:

A spirituality for combat
"All liberation movements are prone to collective self-justification and self-righteousness, and are likely to en in seeing themselves as the Messiah or Saviour; the self-idolatry becomes the source of a new oppression ... But we should find a spirituality which can keep people in the power struggle without their turning corrupt and oppressor. Here the gospel of forgiveness or jusitification by faith has great relevance to collective liberation movements, in moulding their spirituality for struggle."
M.M. Thomas, in Religion and the Revolt of the Oppressed.

A spirituality of hope
"At Uppsala the mood was one of Exodus, going out to change the structures of society and the perspectives of races. Now we find ourselves in teh wilderness. A pilgrim people in conflict and penury, we have discovered a need for spirituality, a spirituality of penitence and hope." Phillip Potter in his closing address at the WCC Nairobi Assembly, 1975, Breaking Barriers, p.208.

A spirituality of communion
"The process of a book's birth reminds the author of Paul's insight that we are but members of one body and as such are indebted to other members." Walter Altmann, at the end of the preface of his Luther and Liberation.