When it comes to the subject of the reality of Latin America a thought comes to mind: misery.
But the misery in our Latin American societies has several nuances, because we cannot reduce to a single point all that Latin America has, feels, and lives. When I mean: “beings of mud and fear”, I am presenting a society that is based on fallibility and abuse.
Although we realize that corruption has always existed since the beginning of humanity, there are societies that are more obvious than others in this aspect, and just what do we as people of faith have to say? What are our challenges as a Church and as followers of Jesus of Nazareth?
We keep in mind that Jesus sent us out as sheep in the midst of wolves, and these wolves are injustice, racial segregation, ideological and religious conversion of this Latin American society into a society of mud and fear, where the different deficiencies from these materials are also reflected in the spiritual and human.
Therefore, we as people of faith have more to say. We must define the difference between the complicit silence that devours the human dignity or the prophetic voice of the desert that denounces that which oppresses the children of God; and I mean the true and living God who has been humanized in order to understand our limits.
The challenge of a follower of Jesus, this is defined by a sense of compassion, where we embody as our own problem that in which we live in Latin America. Also, maybe another of the challenges that we face is also the urgent humanization of God, is God himself who raises up those who have fallen, it is God himself who listens to the cries of their children.
Therefore, God creates us from mud, but does not leave us in the mud for too long, but gives us a consistency stronger than the mud because of his love. In other words, he gave us dignity, but we have come to the point where we have fallen and lost that dignity, and we returned once again to the consistency of mud that is diluted by which ever element, leaving us with no shape or balance. That’s why Latin America is a society of mud and fear; for this reason the return to the amorphous clay, we received a change of hope, fear and uncertainty leading us to forget who we are and that we have come to this world.
That is why the follower of Jesus must be fire, and must be light… a fire that warms and gives shelter to those who suffers from cold and loneliness… light for those who walk in the darkness of uncertainty and hopelessness. That is why our Latin American societies need to be heard and accompanied in their different evolutionary processes and to all dignifiers, it is for this reason that we know our origin of faith, a renewing faith but also a prophetic faith, and a human faith, because God became a human to understand and at the same time teach us to repair our errors. That’s why today we must act with a firm character, but with a big heart that leads us to think like God, without claiming to be God, to the contrary, the person of faith carries the hope that today we are more than mud and fear, we are love, hope and faith; that transform our societies from the ground up, a new humanity who does not negotiate their values, and will not lose their dignity because of, just as I wrote in previous lines, God has heard the wailing of his children and will not allow them to perish in the eyes of those who commit injustice, and in the silence of those who claim to believe in God, but rather, by faith is released and through dignity they act in love, justice and truth. Meanwhile were faith, love, justice and truth are missing there will continue to be mud and fear.
Monsignor Castro is the Vicar General of Latin America in the Old Catholic Churches International. He has also started the Society of Saint Ignatius (Jesuits) in Colombia.