Are We Contemplative Enough?
by Father Warren Savage
My mother would always say to us, do not forget where you come from. You are a child of God. Titles get in the way. We only should be introduced as children of God. We all come from a creator who does not have partiality, but who created us in love.
Our Intertribal Council from Worcester gathered us around a fire of love… and called upon the spirit from north, south, east, and west: that spirit of love that nurtures us, cultivates us, and heals us, and grows us into a marvelous human community. We notice that the beautiful brother had to keep that fire kindled because it can go out. And when it goes out, it is cold. Maybe what we are experiencing, here and beyond, is a need to rekindle a fire so that it doesn’t ever go out again. Then we are all warmed by a common fire, a purpose and a mission to eradicate the world of anything that is against love.
We shall overcome. We shall only overcome in the silence, listening to the voice of the Creator, the voice of silence. We shall only overcome in a place of silence to be contemplative enough to know that silence eradicates everything. There is just too much noise in the world, the noise of hatred. That noise can only be dispelled when we take the silence and create Agape.
We are not here by ourselves. We got here because someone else fought to get us here, freedom fighters, who had to die along the way so that we could get up here and sound intelligent.
Howard Thurman’s grandmother was a slave, so he comes from a heritage of bondage. Still, he found a way, with the help of others, to become a professor and a Baptist preacher who taught at Morehouse and Spelman colleges. He worked for reconciliation as a pacifist who promoted interracial fellowship.
“The movement of the spirit of God, in the heart of men, often calls them to act against the spirit of their times, or causes them to anticipate a spirit for a new world which is yet in the making. In a moment of dedication, they are giving wisdom and courage to dare a deed that challenges, and to kindle a hope that inspires.”
That quote reminds me of Dr. John Bracey, a man moved by the spirit, in whose heart is only goodness and kindness. He has taught many students and called them to act against the spirit of their times. He has been the provocateur, asking students to anticipate a spirit which is in the making. In a moment of dedication, he calls them to listen to those who have gone before, to dare a deed that challenges, and to kindle a hope that inspires.
Our actions speak louder than words. You don’t need a degree to eradicate racism. All you need is an open heart, open arms, and people who speak by their actions.
Father Warren Savage, Chaplain, Westfield State University; National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus