Called to Be More
BY ALLYSON PETRY | August 31, 2020
For the past few months, I have seen parallels in the daily readings with the fight for racial justice and police abolishment. Specific words and stories bring me into the midst of protests, moments of brutality, powerful anger, and opportunities to engage. This week’s readings are not any different; the psalmist is crying out, “lifeless and without water” and “lifting up my hands” calling upon the Lord’s name for salvation. How often have we seen images of Black men and women and protesters in the streets, totally disarmed, hands raised, still beaten without regard for their humanity? And yet, they are still in the streets, demonstrating for radical change and basic rights of all, not just for themselves.
How are you and I denying our own lives and taking up our crosses? Jesus is always calling us to be more than what our individualistic, American society values. To stop being selfish, to live for more than the next little validation on social media. Stop thirsting for others and let your soul thirst for God. See God in the face of the person sitting next to you, in the annoying habits of your co-worker, in your children as they ask another question, and especially in those we ignore because we see them as less.
We need to stop letting ourselves be duped by many of the prominent voices in our world. We need to take some of our anger, our weariness, and our sacrifice and walk strongly with our cross. It is not easy, but to survive, we need to strive for the Glory that comes from God. Today I am going to start losing a bit more of my proud self and fill it with the voice of Jesus—I hope you do the same.
Allyson Petry is the director of Nazareth Farm, a small, intentional Catholic community living and working in rural West Virginia. When not behind a desk, she enjoys joining her staff on home repair projects and visiting neighbors.
Health is wealth. We need to contribute more of our real selves to heal the Planet.
Thank you – so glad this greeted me this AM.
May we grow in vulnerability … echo Jesus …
The Holy Spirit calls us to serve others both individually and communally. My sins of pollution and racism need to be attended to. I need to serve the earth by encouraging my granddaughter to continue to pick up polution. I need to serve those who have been racially discriminated against by finding ways to serve their needs and to offer to them who I am as a person of the Holy Spirit. Individually, I need to pray for myself and how I offer myself to others; I need to receive the Eucharist and offer the graces to the people I work with in my life. Individually, I make decisions that assist others in their work and pray for all those distressed at this time.
I’m going to be honest I identify has white but I am mixed race, father was born in Ghana moved to the states to improve has a person and to make something of himself and only last night we were talking about the current climate of what’s going on. We discussed problems within some of the protests that are taking place and that people are ignorant,hypocritical especially media outlets and those that just read and see things and I see you mentioned “unarmed” this is not the case has I have attended events in multiple states when checking on my staff and businesses. Every protest people are given a time to disperse and most of the time the organizer reminds people aswell, but after all the expletives aimed at police which contains racist,sexual and violence towards them I saw no initial violence from any police force at the events I attended even a few which have been publicized by certain media. What happens has it gets closer to the disperse time protesters get a lot more confrontational and then start throwing rocks,cones,fireworks,coins,signs etc then more police come in and then more things are thrown and it escalates to a point where for the safety of protesters and police that action has to be taken which we shouldn’t blame them has we have to remember protesters are armed too and it’s more common that more lethal items are been carried. You are white discussing a problem that doesn’t affect you directly and I know you mean well in your words but that’s all they are just words to make you feel like your helping and look good to your fellow contributors and friends. I don’t agree with the current movement due to certain elements that I find to be hypocrisy and just because of this I suffer with the same racist tone that was said to plantation workers centuries ago from the people that feel racism is affecting them now when in reality the real problems are self inflicted and the protests are exposing this reality and is not helping anyone, ironic that I can’t agree with both black or white people both cultures that make me but at the same time are breaking me has an American and everyday I’m feeling more like a outcast. I have 2 questions that people who think there helping never answer…1) If you were a police officer and you were A) fired upon and had seconds to react and B) attempting to arrest a person that is known to carry weapon and heavily resist and attack you, How would you approach and deal with the situation and keep in mind sometimes you may be on your own or within a less funded force ?, 2) Can a non white person for example a African be racist towards white people ? I’d have more respect for people than can answer those 2 questions than someone that attempts to answer for a culture there not apart of. God Bless
Amen. I loved this one. Allyson, I hope we read a lot more of your reflections in the future.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. Timothy 4:3-4
Maybe I was a fraction out of line previously but most is true, for over 100 days there have been so many incidents of loss of jobs, homes, businesses, cultures, history and most importantly beating hearts of all races, all ages and all backgrounds. People today take everything they see on the news, read or even short 4 second clips at face value but never look to find out the whole truth behind the headlines, that is the ignorance of the country we live in and most people do not understand what they are fighting for, it’s like protesting vs banks and been a hypocrit still having a account. All I’ve seen, heard and read is just unrealistic demands, senseless violence, false narratives and finger pointing and still no step closer of anything been accomplished, for example Jesuits admitted and apologized for there past regarding slavery but still condemn the government over the same thing this is why we will never sit down, look into each others eyes and start a discussion because we all unknowingly judge, hypocrits and think we’re right when in reality you can learn more and evolve by sharing a table with someone that disagrees with you rather than a follower that agrees with everything. Still no condemnation of rioting or violent protests, maybe you want to see one of many of stores been damaged ? or speak to the community that can’t receive essential medicine? or my minority employees that are out of work due to looting ? maybe you want to read the threats I receive just because a white man works in a store in a black community ? maybe you want to see the videos of protesters harassing employees and visitors at a charity that is aimed at helping poverty in the black and hispanic community ? maybe you want to speak to the family and children that rely on my services so they can at least be given a chance of a better life ? Please start telling the truth regarding the rioting and looting and stop been biased that would be a step forward on your part and maybe people will listen. Unfortunately I cannot add anything in the future and will step away from my online present as my time will be spent fixing my stores, giving jobs back and putting more money and services back in to the community that were taken away by cowards in masks. I’m out there actually doing something , what have most people accomplished hiding behind screens and signs….absolutely nothing but problems and heartache. God Bless hope God can guide you in the right direction.