Kinship” by Claire Desjardins

Today we will have a guest post from Gregory Boyle, the Jesuit priest who wrote Tatoos on the Heart…one of my favorite books of all time (HERE). I loved this quote from him that Father Richard Rohr shared in one of his “daily meditations,” and it was so beautiful and poignant right now that I figured he’d be a perfect “guest poster” for today:

Mother Teresa diagnosed the world’s ills in this way: we’ve just “forgotten that we belong to each other.” Kinship is what happens to us when we refuse to let that happen. With kinship as the goal, other essential things fall into place; without it, no justice, no peace. I suspect that were kinship our goal, we would no longer be promoting justice—we would be celebrating it.

Often we strike the high moral distance that separates “us” from “them,” and yet it is God’s dream come true when we recognize that there exists no daylight between us. Serving others is good. It’s a start. But it’s just the hallway that leads to the Grand Ballroom.

Kinship—not serving the other, but being one with the other. Jesus was not “a man for others”; he was one with them. There is a world of difference in that. . . .

No daylight to separate us.

Only kinship. Inching ourselves closer to creating a community of kinship such that God might recognize it. Soon we imagine, with God, this circle of compassion. Then we imagine no one standing outside of that circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased….

Kinship is what God presses us on to, always hopeful that its time has come.

I know there is so much unrest going on in the world right now, may we use it as an impetus for change, for education, for hearing and listening to each other, truly “seeing” each other so that we can find our way to the spot where there will be “no daylight between us.” Let us not forget that we belong to each other. And that is a beautiful thing.

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  1. I loved Tattoos on the Heart, so many beautiful stories. I love this message that we stretch and reach towards being one.

  2. “moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased….” I love this. Thank you.

  3. I just finished reading this great talk by Dallin H Oaks, from 2001, entitled “The Weightier Matters”… In it, he says: “Our strength lies in our freedom to choose. There is even strength in our very diversity. But there is greater strength in the God-given mandate to each of us to work for the uplift and blessing of all His sons and daughters, regardless of their ethnic or national origin or other differences.”

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