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Friday, October 22, 2021

Ignatius of Loyola can help us break through the barrier of racism


Wave of worker strikes resurrect our call to solidarity

Nationwide, 2021 has seen more strike activity than NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters can remember. 

American workers are looking for better pay and improved working conditions, but strikes are only effective with unions to organize them. And the rate of unionization in the country is low: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 10.8% of employees were in unions last year, compared to 20.1% in 1983. 

"There is nothing surprising about where the Catholic Church stands on these issues," Winters writes. "The church stands with the workers. It recognizes the right to form a union and the right to strike. This is Catholic social doctrine 101."

You can read more of Winters' column here.


How Ignatius of Loyola can help us break through the barrier of racism

At the beginning of The Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius wrote an ancient prayer called the Anima Christi. The prayer includes these words: "Permit me not to be separated from you." Ignatius had learned that vanity and self-serving passions had come between him and Christ. They had also come between him and his fellow humans. "Disordered affections" separates us from one another as much as they separate us from the Divine.

Racism is a form of disordered affection, an imbalance in our priorities that puts us out of sync with the Divine Spirit at work in our world. Theologian M. Shawn Copeland wrote, "Racism spoils the spirit and insults the holy; it is idolatry." In other words, it not only makes divisions between human beings, but it also has the power to separate us from God.

Read more of the excerpt from Jesuit Regent Patrick Saint-Jean's The Spiritual Work of Racial Justice: A Month of Meditations with Ignatius of Loyola.

More background:

  • If you are interested in books, movies, television, music, pop culture and more, sign up for NCR Culture Weekly with NCR opinion/culture editor Olga Segura.


More headlines

  • In a new column, Miguel H. Díaz says that this synodal process invites all the faithful, in particular our leaders, to listen intently, especially to those who have been marginalized in Catholic spaces. 

  • Click here to watch our livestream discussion about Pope Francis' vision for the 2021-23 synod bishops with NCR news editor Joshua McElwee, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy and St. Joseph Sr. Katie Eiffe, director of synodal planning for the Diocese of Syracuse, New York.  

  • ICYMI: The West Virginia Interfaith Power & Light Steering Committee writes about the need for immediate, strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pleads for their U.S. senator, Joe Manchin to initiate that action.

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