Friday, March 28, 2008

Prayer, Politics and Prophecy

The Rev. Kenneth Leech is an Anglo-Catholic Socialist who spent the 40 years of his clergy career working in the slums of London, mostly with junkies and homeless youth. He is also the author of the seminal book on spiritual direction, the book that really started the whole spiritual direction movement ... Soul Friend.

He spoke yesterday at the School of Theology here at Sewanee about his 40 years in street ministry. He said that Christian social justice that is not grounded in prayer and contemplation is ultimately empty. But he also said that prayer, truly and deeply done, will lead one to consideration of politics, to look at the world the way it is and ask why it is not the way God would have it be. And that, he said, will lead one into a kind of prophetic stance, speaking for God against the powers of the world.

As All Saints gets more involved in social justice and outreach, this is an interesting question for us. Are we also engaging in the kind of contemplative prayer and spirituality that will sustain our work? What do you think?

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