Here’s what I know about a purpose-driven life. In my
travels across this country, especially when I speak to university crowds it
has amazed me that so many of the questions that arise after my talk focus on:
where does your energy come from? How can I know what I’m supposed to do with
my life? I never go to church but I’m a spiritual person. How can I develop a
spiritual practice?

I love them, these young people growing up in truly amazing
and challenging times. Hearts big, ideals high, critical intelligence
stimulated by what they’re learning – so many needs in the world. How do you
catch on fire? How do you blaze with a passion that fires you up to devote your
life to something really BIG and you don’t count the cost. You’re committed.
For life.

It took me a long time to wake up to social justice. I
wasn’t always committed to the abolition of the death penalty. In fact, I
supported it for far too long in my adult life. And my spirituality, my way of
practicing Christianity didn’t help because I was living in a two-tiered
universe. I had my eyes set on heaven and being a perfect little nun-saint, and
I didn’t give a hoot, I was totally unaware of desperately poor and struggling
African American people who lived literally in the back yard of our motherhouse
in New Orleans,
the very people you saw abandoned in the superdome after Katrina. In my book, Dead Man Walking, on pages 5 and 6 (of
the paperback edition) I tell the story of finally waking up and it had a lot
to do with understanding Jesus, the real Jesus, who sided with poor and
marginalized people, the despised ones.

Here’s the best book on Jesus I ever read: Jesus before
by Albert Nolan. Check it out (I’ve put a link to it in My Book List in the sidebar). It was a kapow! Revelatory
awakening to Jesus of the Poor that ignited my soul and led me first to poor
people in my own backyard, then to death row in Louisiana, and it’s all been
unfurling ever since.

I welcome your dialogue. I’m just getting this lil bloggin’
deal going, find it very exciting. If you’ve read this far, our souls have connected
across cyberspace. I look for your response. On a weekly basis I read the
comment section and respond. Thanks for visiting with me.