Daily Meditation for September 1, 2020

The recently deceased John R. Lewis was a Black civil rights leader and a longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives. In his 2016 commencement address at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, Lewis spoke of his childhood in segregated Alabama. When he questioned the unjust laws and practices of the segregated South, his mother advised him not to “get in the way,” not to “get in trouble.” He told the graduates that, instead, he listened to his inner voice. Following the advice and example of Martin Luther King, he was inspired “to stand up, to speak up, and to speak out.” John Lewis spoke passionately about his lifelong commitment to end racial inequity. “And I got in the way,” he told them, “I got in trouble—good trouble, necessary trouble.” He urged the graduates that they, too, ought to get in good, necessary trouble, seeking justice for all. “You can do it,” he insisted. “You must do it.”

By Delores Dufner, OSB