Jean Vanier reminds us that “toute personne est une histoire sacrée”, every person is a sacred story. However, in today’s world, people are treated as mere patients, clients, and consumers. Luigi Zoja in his book, La morte del prossimo, writes that our neighbor is dead to us as a direct consequence of the death of God.
This leads me to believe that the desacralization of the world has much to do with our loss of humanity. In our aim to create secular states in order to avoid sectarian oppression, we have also eliminated sacred space and often denied the sacred nature of other human beings.
William Blake (1757–1827) reminds us from the not so distant past that the value of human beings is intrinsically related to the nature of the divine image.
The Divine Image
by William Blake
To Mery, Pity, Peace and Love
All pray in their distress:
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.
For Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love
Is God our father dear:
And Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love
Is Man his child and care.
For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face:
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.
Then every man of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.
And all must love the human form,
In heathen, turk, or jew.
Where Mercy, Love & Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.
Songs of Innocence and of Experience, William Blake
Toute personne est une histoire sacrée, Jean Vanier
La morte del prossimo, Luigi Zoja