Last week we saw Kerry visit with prison chaplain Fr. Williams at San Quentin State Prison. This week, she gets to talk to a few of the inmates themselves. They tell her about their appreciation for the programs that Fr. Williams conducts and how much they enjoy learning about the Church. For some of them, his classes are one of few rays of sunlight in their lives. At the end of her visit, Kerry admits, “I had arrived ready to visit prisoners, but if I’m honest, I did not arrive ready to visit people.”
The quote above really struck me this week because I think it’s true that we forget prisoners are also people. It’s so tempting to separate myself from them by thinking that they’re monsters or locked-up animals. In reality, they’re just as human as I am. The difference is they made some critical wrong choices. It’s a humbling thought to know that God loves the people on death row, no matter what they’ve done, the same as He loves me.
For your reflection:
How is God’s universal love for all humanity both a relief and a challenge?
What other groups of people besides prisoners might be looked at as something other than human?