The Jesuit Antiracism Sodality East
“Come, O life-giving Spirit, transform us. Stir up in us the flame of love which is your gift.” – Catherine McAuley
I don’t like conflict. Let me be a little more honest, I actively avoid conflict and will remain silent even when I should say something. I will avoid saying something in order to be “nice” or to just let it slide. Just last weekend I was talking with someone I just met after Mass, he was from my hometown. In our brief conversation, between two white men, he felt comfortable enough to tell me how his family moved out of that town because of busing students from the city to his school and all I did was nod. Internally, I had all sorts of thoughts and responses to make about his statements, but externally I just nodded along, avoiding conflict, and by doing that affirmed him. But more than that I avoided loving him the way that Jesus calls us to in the Gospel, to actually confront that type of thinking.
I’ve recently started at a new mission and am working in an office of colleagues committed to antiracism and white allyship. It could be comfortable to just read a book about anti-racism and let it stop there, but the folks I am ministering with decided that we should actually do the hard work of wrestling with this. We meet monthly with a facilitator to engage in a better understanding of what allyship looks like and to confront white supremacy. We come with a variety of experiences, cultures, and ages, but we’re all white. Our first meeting was uncomfortable, but a good place to start and we’re committed to keep doing the transforming work.
This month’s reflection was provided by Jason Downer, SJ, of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. If you would like to volunteer to provide next month’s reflection, please contact Sean Toole, SJ: email@example.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this reflection do not necessarily reflect those of Jesuits USA East.