Monday, January 18, 2016

"Martin Luther King, Jr. legacy" by Joan Chittister, Links to articles on Dr. King's Speeches, Article on Praying Dr. Martin Luther King by Judy Lee, RCW{P

Martin Luther King, Jr. legacy
Martin Luther King was assassinated at the age of thirty-nine, young by one standard but far too late to destroy what he had begun, not only in this country but throughout the world.

King followed a light, saw a star, felt a pulse, was consumed by a vision that few of us ever see. He may have had to grapple with his own inner discipline, but he was deeply and consistently converted from the “ways things are” to the ways of the Will of God for us, and in his concentration on the things of God he converted us all. Though angry, he was also committed to nonviolence. Though depressed, he was also awash in hope. Though struggling with the pressures of sensuality, he was also loving beyond measure. King knew that sin was not as simple as a lack of personal discipline and that sanctity was not as simple as the gauge of personal control.

King preached, “If a person hasn’t found something they will die for, they aren’t fit to live.” Martin Luther King takes the indifference of all of us and turns it into the stuff of sin. He takes the powerlessness of all of us and turns it into the stuff of strength if we will only pay its price. He casts the shadow of conversion in a new light. Conversion is not so much what we struggle with, perhaps, as it is what we are at our best. If, indeed, as Julian of Norwich says, “Sin is behovable”—necessary, in other words—then Martin Luther King learned his limits so that we could come within the aura of his greatness with confidence and consider it possible for ourselves as well. Martin Luther King’s sins became as public as his powerful heart perhaps so that small people like ourselves could feel comfortable in his presence and challenged by his dream. Martin Luther King, Jr. isn’t above any of us. He is simply more committed than most of us.

King left us four things: the courage to confront evil square on without the hope of being able to ignore it; the courage to confront ourselves square on without the luxury of despair; the courage to love when hate is more satisfying; and the courage to continue to live until death so that others may have life.

—from A Passion for Life: Fragments of the Face of God by Joan Chittister (Orbis)

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