Dedicated to the women (and some men) who have co-created my future and my hope with me. Who have mentored and encouraged me. With thanks, with every blessing.
“The will of God is always an offer of co-creation.” (Joan Chittister, 1990, 49). I have no desire to replace any part of the gospels, and especially not that activist manifesto that we usually call “the Beatitudes”. What I do feel the need to do, is bring the gospel into my life and world and bring my life and world into the gospel. So I will have a go at co-creating some Beatitudes that are secular, but grounded in gospel values. I will endeavour to be faithful to the original but express my specificity.
I invite you to either pray mine with me, or use them as a departure point for your own. Let’s affirm the way the people who inspire us are following God. Let’s recognise their work (love) as deeply transformative…
Blessed are the angry feminists, because they shall make daughters and sisters of all women,
Blessed are those who are underpaid and undervalued, for they call into question our striving after money and shiny things,
Blessed are those who put aside or demolish their own privilege, because they shall have right relationship.
Blessed are the queer ones and the misfits, those who are judged, excluded, misunderstood or lied about, they will become lights to the world.
Throughout history prophets (and especially prophetesses) have always been mistreated and rejected by the reluctance of the collective consciousness to grow.
Woe to you if you live by the exploitation of others, you will always fear losing what you unfairly have,
Woe to you if you gaze with joy on inequality and label it “meritocracy”, you will be found wanting and discarded
Woe to you if you hate those who are different from you, you will imprison yourself in certainty and fail to connect with others
Woe to you if you are defined by what you own, what you can buy or your success, the triviality of your life will overwhelm you and you will always be exhausted.
But we are all partly in the “woe” category” by virtue of the society in which we live. I pray for grace to heal our woe. I pray for God’s loving voice to nag us out of our discontented compliance with capitalist half-lives. I pray that the blessing will flow from the blessed ones, the saints of our time also to us. I pray that we will bring healing and hope to each other.
God’s kindom come.