In continuing our meditation upon the Way of the Cross and finding Christ in the least of these, we would be much remiss in the U.S. context if we did not include the Occupy movement in our reflections. As the Occupy movement emerged swiftly last fall and challenged conventional methods of protest by staking a permanent claim upon the commons, it was met at first with nervous laughter, then attempts at co-optation by those in power. When both methods failed, it faced brutal repression and forced evictions. As a movement of Catholics in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street emerged (Occupy, Catholics), its first action was a call to prayer, and it began with expressions of prayerful solidarity with cities undergoing evictions.
If it seems like Occupy is on the wane, we need to look a little deeper. The discourse has changed, and a new movement has emerged. It will take time, but it is still active and has much potential. Let us have a little faith–it will rise again after Easter, with marches, general strikes, and a mass convergence in Chicago on May 1. We can trust that the truth wins out, for we believe that the last will be first and the first will be last. But we have to do our part.
Let us pray:
We adore you, Lord Jesus, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Lord Jesus, seeing you fall beneath the weight of the cross reminds me of how often I am tempted to despair, when I see attempts at social transformation meet with brutal repression. Help me to remember that your love and self-sacrifice seemed weak in the eyes of the world, but that you have the strength that grants salvation. Be a comfort to all those who suffer repression in their work for justice, we pray, and give us the strength to come to their aid.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Take action: Get involved in the emerging Occupy, Catholics movement. Say hi on Facebook or visit the webpage. Prayerfully consider participating in the General Strike in some way on May 1 (International Workers’ Day/Feast of St. Joseph the Worker).