I live on an island in the Caribbean as I’m sure some of you may already know or be aware of. This island is sort of an indentured part of the US. All this going on in the States is something I’ve been watching unfold, with much anxiety, pain and worry. While watching and praying and thinking, and praying some more, I’m reminded of my godmother’s words when we hold the more personal (less formal) veladas with our spiritual house. A velada is basically a gathering between us in the house, where we pray, talk, and go over things pertaining to each other, our development and our spiritual house, and under more formal/specific settings we work las causas (these are ailments, spiritual and/or physical). Going back to my godmother’s words, she is always reminding us to work the act of charity, or as we say it, la obra de caridad, as it is our duty of love and compassion which contributes to our fellow (shared community) mutual flourishing, our own, and for our spirits as well. I’ve thought about her words lately, as I look at everything going on, from a place mired in a mess of issues of our own legacy as colonized, indentured, and subjugated.
Charity as per Merriam-Webster:
Charity is : generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering
also : aid given to those in need; benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity. From Middle English charite, from Anglo-French charité, from Late Latin caritat-, caritas Christian love, from Latin, dearness, from carus dear; akin to Old Irish carae friend, Sanskrit kāma love.
And so it is about extending aid to those suffering, in need of aid, disadvantaged disenfranchised. Most importantly it is an act of love. While our acts of love may change in form, it is our call and our duty to extend our hand and reach for what is just and aid in the fight with our black brothers and sisters. To stand up and act, and go, and do, and move. If you can, donate to organizations near you in the frontlines, keep it local when possible, and go from there. Donate money, donate time, donate your actions. And if all or some of these aren’t possible donate your prayers, donate your lit candles, your litanies, your rosaries, your mantras, your intentions as well. Find what your obra de caridad looks like and make it happen, be proactive. We are not just spiritual people engaging and “working” with spirits, seeking knowledge, dexterity, power, sovereignty, etc. We are persons part of a community and we are also called to fulfill our acts of love, and not solely for out benefit.
I’ve recently shared two prayers that can be intoned as mantras while in the battle, if you like them you are encouraged to take and use them.
Prayer to St. Justina:
Holy Saint Justina, Blessed Saint Justina, Beneficent Saint Justina of Antioch; Maiden, Martyr, and Healing Abbess, Courageous Saint and Brightest Candle in the Dark. Pray for us, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Prayer to St. Joan of Arc:
St. Joan of Arc, sovereign maiden, undaunted in life, grant us courage and peace in the face of fear, hope in the face of uncertainty, love in the face of hate, sovereignty of body and spirit in the face of tyranny.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.