Reflecting on Social Change

Thursday September 15, 2016

                I want to reflect on social justice today not from a present perspective looking to the future.  I want to take a present perspective as a future of a past.  So I am going to look back at a social injustice that has been remedied.

                All throughout the world we are surrounded by the saints (I know quite a quick turn of topic; there is a method to my madness though).  Or rather they serve as a reminder of what our lives could look like.  Some are quite familiar to all no matter what their faith background others are not.  These include, but are in no way limited to:  John Paul II, Maximilian Kolbe, Francis Cabrini, Elizabeth Ann Seton, John Neumann, Katherine Drexel, Padre Pio, and the one I am going to talk about is Mother Teresa.

                Mother Teresa of Calcutta now a canonized saint of the Catholic Church, foundress of the Missionaries of Charity, Nobel peace prize winner, inspiration to thousands and caretaker of the poor.  Though she would tell us not to concentrate on her for it takes us away from our concentration on God and to concentrate on the poor for it is there that we find Jesus; I am going to talk about her for a little bit.  This is a woman whose story moves.  A religious sister in India who went into the streets and slums of India and taught children and cred for the dying who lay abandoned in the streets to die alone. 

                You are sick, you have lost everything, you can no longer move and you are alone lying on the cold hard dirt of a street starving and on the verge of death as men and women passed you by.  This was the social injustice of India, that one should be allowed to die alone and uncared for.  It is this social injustice that Mother Teresa would come to combat throughout the world.  Now she did not write for social change and justice but her story has been written and it has been a catalyst for many social changes in the world.

Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty. – Mother Teresa




2 thoughts on “Reflecting on Social Change”

  1. Joe, I found your post quite interesting! As you know, last week I was sick. I don’t want to make a comparison between myself and the people that Mother Teresa loved and looked after. I most likely had a different experience, but I bring up being sick because of how terribly helpless you become. I didn’t make my own food for four days, all because of a stupid fever. If I didn’t have amazing roommates and friends taking care of me, I don’t know what I would have done. I just haven’t been sick in a while, and it took being incapacitated to remember to appreciate health.


  2. Mother Teresa, St. Teresa now, is a great example for self-less giving and a life devoted to social justice work. Thank you for writing about the work she did. I think it is important for us to look at the progress social justice work can make because it is hard, long work. Progress is often slow and that can cause us frustration. Looking back is a great way to note what progress has been made. Thanks for this reminder and inspiration!


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