John Waters writes about his response to Pope Francis’s call to go to “the outskirts of existence: “That phrase seemed immediately to gesture far beyond geography, or sociology, or ideology, beyond even the idea of allegiance to a faith. It summoned us to a responsibility that resides beyond calls to duty or compassion or even what is conventionally called charity. It struck me forcibly as a call to me in my personhood, as a human being, in my most fundamental essence–beneath everything I have learned, heard or come to believe– to call me to the question of who I am and what my destiny is. A part of this call is the imposing question concerning what my responsibility might be to others. And then, immediately: who are these “others” and who am I for them? What does Christ demand of me? It is not simple. It is not obvious.”
Joining the SLMs is an obedience to my own experience, which has shown me that we all suffer poverty of one form or another, and that we must be present to each other in order that something new might arise out of that poverty. My hope is that myself and the people in whatever community I become a part of will experience the mercy and beauty of Christ who is within us and who changes us through the circumstances of our every day life.