Cultivating solidarity requires something more of us than warm feelings or unquestioning allegiance. As John Paul II puts it, solidarity means a choice for “the good of one’s neighbor with the readiness, in the Gospel sense, to ‘lose oneself’ for the sake of the other instead of exploiting him, and to ‘serve him’ instead of oppressing him for one’s own advantage.” Solidarity, in this deeper sense, draws on our human capacity for making the free and sincere gift of ourselves to others. It is the conviction, carried out in action, that I am my brother’s keeper and he is mine; what it asks me to give my brother is nothing less than myself.

Can a cloistered nun help a hurting world?