On September 25th, Rev. Thierry de Roucy was invited by the World Youth Alliance at Yale University at their conference to celebrate a Decade of Dignity, for their 10th Anniversary to speak about Solidarity. Here are some extracts of his talk:
« When I was a young student in philosophy and considering the immense suffering of so many of my brothers around the world, the word « solidarity » sounded like a dream. It was the expression of my deepest wish.
Later, in the slums the reality surprised me and gave flesh and bones to my concept of solidarity. I remember for instance this very poor Brazilian family giving away the only food left they had in the house without any hesitation to the neighbors even poorer. Heart’s Home missionaries who mean to give generously of their time and strength suddenly find themselves overwhelmed by something much deeper. They find themselves becoming part of these people’s lives. How many times did I hear them say: « I don’t know what’s happening. These people really matter to me. Their lives have become part of mine » In other words, they find themselves becoming « friends », where friendship means this mysterious sense of a communion of destiny.
Where does such an experience come from ? How is it possible for true solidarity to bloom on the soil of our humanity, when it is driven most of the time by selfish and limited interests ? Solidarity is a miracle. It is not something that we can plan or produce. Solidarity is always a surprise that fills us with awe, that points towards the Mystery, that lifts our eyes up to Him who makes us one. And for sure, there is nothing more corresponding to the deepest longings of my heart than to experience such a solidarity towards my life. My very Self is revealed, recreated, when someone comes to me and says to me « YOU » in such a way that my humanity suddenly blooms outward. There is nothing more corresponding to the deepest longing of my heart than the presence of someone who echoes in my existence the solidarity of God, who, through His Incarnation, bonded his destiny to ours to a point nobody could ever achieve.
This kind of solidarity goes beyond the realm of justice. It requires mercy. Therefore it demands more than a theoretical understanding of human nature. It demands an existential engagement of myself, that is, charity. It plunges me into a restless concern for humanity. A concern that stems from a passion for our brothers’ and sisters’ destiny, for their happiness. A concern that leads me to feel responsible for him or her, a concern that leads me to compassion.”