Louise de Marillac once noted that “hunger and thirst are two urgent needs of nature, especially in strong bodies… If our souls are healthy, they should have the same urges, not as passions, but as desires for justice.”1 Louise was suggesting that in the same way our bodies need food and water to be healthy, our souls are only healthy when we are living in and working towards a just society. More specifically, this desire for justice is an ongoing, long-term pursuit. The need is not just a quick “passion” or trend, but something at the core of who we are as human beings.
Yet, as strong as our internal conviction to create a just society may be, none of us can do it alone. It takes a community working together for the sake of a common mission to create systemic change. Our personal desire for justice will only be effective if we use it to support and collaborate with others, and in turn lean on them to support us. It is in “this spirit of support and adaptation […] we would regard the interest of others as our own! And with the strong sustaining the weak, everything would go better.”2
How are you nourishing your soul’s desire for justice? How are you supporting and collaborating with others in your community to create change? How can your community support you?
1) A.30, (Meditation on the Hunger and Thirst for Justice), Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, 733.
2) 1910, To Étienne Blatiron, Superior, In Genoa, September 1655, CCD, 5:423.
Michael Van Dorpe, Program Manager for Faculty and Staff Engagement, Mission & Ministry