Questions for review and reflection
- Based on the news clip what circumstances led to the murder of the Jesuit priests? How might the Jesuits' insistence on academic freedom and social justice have made them susceptible to the charge of being "the intellectual authors of the leftist's insurgency?" Can you imagine why they remained remain in El Salvador despite threats from both Right Wing and Left Wing political extremists?
- In summing up Martin Luther King's life, Vincent Harding notes that the man who grew from the spokesperson for the Montgomery Bus Boycott "to become a giant symbol of the search for justice across the globe" did so despite "all his weaknesses, all his flaws, all his flaws, all his blind spots." How do you imagine Dr. King would have answered the three foundational questions (Who am I? Whose am I? Who am I called to be?) now before you? Do you think that his answers may have changed, evolved, matured over time? What do you believe Harding is trying to share about Dr. King's life when he writes that with "all of his creative, courageous greatness" King, "made all the history he could make"?
- At the close of the essay Harding writes, "King helped create the possibility that all of us might break beyond our own individual and group interests and catch a vision of a new America, create a vision of a new common good in a new future which will serve us all." What do you see as the most pressing issues of our time? How might you make a difference in addressing some of these concerns? What lessons might you take from Harding's description of Dr. King's journey?
- Toward the close of his life, Harding describes King as "a great, courageous, but deeply perplexed captain trying desperately to control a ship that was being rocked by mutinies from within and raging storms from without." Why do you think Harding chose to use this metaphor here? In what ways, can our own lives sometimes mirror the chaotic pull of competing and contradictory impulses Harding argues weighed on King?
- In "Beyond Amnesia," Harding writes, "By 1966 King had made an essentially religious commitment to the poor, and he was prepared to say "I choose to identify with the underprivileged, I choose to identify with the poor, I choose to give my life for the hungry, I choose to give my life for those who have been left out of the sunlight of opportunity ... This is the way I'm going. If it means suffering a little bit, I'm going that way. If it means sacrificing, I'm going that way. If it means dying for them, I'm going that way, because I heard a voice saying 'Do something for others.'" In what ways might this statement be interpreted as the essence of "Cura Personalis?" What values do you think the Revered Dr. Martin Luther King and the 6 Jesuit Priests in El Salvador shared? Do you see their lives and stories as being connected?