Charity in the Fourth World – A Programme To Be Undertaken

A couple deprived of their love

 Faith, hope and charity in the Fourth World: it seems that our meditation takes us deep into what the human wilderness can be, while at the same time showing us the most marvellous things that humanity can reveal about the presence of God in the world.

We have sought faith and found its first faltering steps in the depths of devastated lives. It seemed that there was nothing left to permit people to have faith in anyone. And yet, tentatively, here it is again, like a flower that refuses to die and that stubbornly blooms in the heart of a desert.

We looked for hope and we did not find it. But we have found a buried expectation in the constant new beginnings that these lives represent, in their foolish hope in each new encounter, in their stubborn refusal to give up their dignity.

And we know – because our faith tells us so – this is the mystery that we had no right to understand; that beyond all the set-backs, all the despair, God speaks to these people; that he speaks to them in particular, and that our hope can only help theirs to burst forth.

Our meditation gives us a glimpse into the divisions that we have created by allowing poverty to continue. And it reveals to us God’s response, which is to heal them, to want the foundations of the Kingdom to be laid precisely in this place. It reveals to us God’s call to descend with him into the abyss to participate in the work. But we have not reached the end of our journey. We still have to seek out in the Fourth World, what Saint Paul called the greatest of the three virtues: charity.

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