Revolution from below

The following is an excerpt from the St Vincent de Paul Society National President's Report.

When National Council launched Shared Futures, our national Strategic Plan for 2008-2010, some of our objectives raised a few eyebrows, to put it mildly.

Take the following one, for example:

“The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council will improve its capacity for Social justice activism to bring about revolutionary change to the structures that exclude, disempower and silence the poor.”

This objective, after a lengthy process of discussion and reflection, was unanimously approved. Revolution means turning things upside down. This is exemplified perfectly in the beautiful words of our lady in the Magnificat:

“He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.”

This passage from the sacred scriptures, this song of hope and expectation, is nothing short of a call for revolution, a call to turn things upside down. This, of course, is not about violent change but it is about a change in society and a change in our hearts. This is something that is completely in harmony with our ethos and mission as a progressive social and spiritual movement.