"Actions speak louder than words." We love to repeat this old saying. I believed it once. But recently I've begun to question the value of that position as never before. I've come to understand that what I really want is to hear people commit to something, writes Joan Chittister in NCR Online.
I want to hear people say what they want me to think they believe. I want them to say it in public, say it in legal documents, say it in catechisms, say it in Encyclicals. Say it ...
About a month ago under a tent meant to protect us from the hot African sun, I began to think differently about a lot of things, and that was key among them.
We were all religious types from every major tradition around the world. We were professed monastics and swamis and pastors and ministers and rabbis and lay catechists and church officers. Our type travel the world, talking of peace and righteousness and Truth -- with a capital T-- and holiness.
But by the end of the week, I had a very clear intuition we were leaving something very important out of our preachings. Something that gave the lie to everything else we were talking about, perhaps.
That particular day, the topic was forgiveness. The plan was to hear from various traditions, particular regions, specific representatives about issues peculiar to the work they were each trying to do around the world to bring peace and justice between people of opposite persuasions, between people who saw the same world together, but differently. The storytellers were all people who were living in the midst of the experience of which they spoke.
We heard, for instance, about the progress of the revolution in Egypt from Egyptian philosophers, the ongoing social upheaval in Cambodia from international peace workers, the delicate situation of Christians in the Middle East. It was a very interesting session. Until, suddenly, it became more horrifying than interesting.
FULL STORY Silence about the global treatment of women is disquieting (NCR)