Sister Simone: The Activist

460xThe past 2 weeks at Vintage we've been talking about our "God Languages." That is, we've been discussing the ways in which we are naturally inclined to commune with God. During the first week we got an introduction to the "Naturalist": those who communicate with God in and through nature. I am quite ill-equipped to talk about the Naturalist, as I scored incredibly low on that section of the quiz.

In the second week - last Friday - we talked about the "Activist": someone who believes faith should be put into action. Fittingly, we were lucky enough to have Sister Simone Campbell visit Charlottesville last Sunday and Monday. You may know her as the witty and politically savvy nun from Nuns on the Bus, or the head of NETWORK, a Catholic lobbying group. But for 18 years, she was an attorney of family law, working especially for those in poverty within the justice system. After hearing her lead a discussion about how to talk with those that hold different opinions, it was evident that her very political actions -- lobbying for healthcare and immigration reform among the most recent -- are informed by her faithful beliefs. 

That is to say, she confronts injustice as an expression of her love for God. Similarly, Shane Claiborne, a religious activist and founding member of The Simple Way, promotes loving God through action. He states, "Those of us who yearn for the kingdom of God must follow in the steps of Jesus. Jesus was not 'in charge' of the poor. He was poor. The message of Christ from the manger to the cross is that the world is conquered through weakness, through leastness, through struggle." And in this way, we all are called to live lives of service in the name of Christ.

If I'm being honest, I didn't score very highly on the "Activist" portion of the quiz either. But I know that action is an important part of being human, and having that action informed by our faith makes it an important part of being a Christian.

 

Rhody Mastin

Theological Horizons Communications Intern

UVa 2015