Engaging Faith | Fri, May 21, 2010
May 30, 2010
May 30: Trinity Sunday
May 31: Memorial Day in the United States
May 31: World No-Tobacco Day
June 5: World Environment Day
June 6: Feast of Corpus Christi
God reveals himself to us as one who is not alone, but rather as one who is relational, one who is Trinity. Therefore, we who are made in God's image share this communal, social nature. We are called to reach out and to build relationships of love and justice.
Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions,
Reflections of the U.S. Catholic Bishops
A spirituality of communion indicates above all the heart's contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling in us, and whose light we must also be able to see shining on the face of the brothers and sisters around us.
John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte
The communion of Christians with Jesus has the communion of God as Trinity, namely, the unity of the Son to the Father in the gift of the Holy Spirit, as its model and source, and is itself the means to achieve this communion: united to the Son in the Spirit's bond of love, Christians are united to the Father.
John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 18
“Because God is the creator, redeemer, lover of the world, God’s own honor is at stake in human happiness. Wherever human beings are violated, diminished, or have their life drained away, God’s glory is dimmed and dishonored. Wherever human beings are quickened to fuller and richer life, God’s glory is enhanced. A community of justice and peace (thriving among human beings) and God’s glory increase in direct and not inverse proportion.”
Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is, 14
What are less than human conditions? The material poverty of those who lack the bare necessities of life, and the moral poverty of those who are crushed under the weight of their own self-love; oppressive political structures resulting from the abuse of ownership or the improper exercise of power, from the exploitation of the worker or unjust transactions.
What are truly human conditions? The rise from poverty to the acquisition of life's necessities; the elimination of social ills; broadening the horizons of knowledge; acquiring refinement and culture. From there one can go on to acquire a growing awareness of other people's dignity, a taste for the spirit of poverty, an active interest in the common good, and a desire for peace.
Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 21
Thoughts for your consideration
God is Trinity. God is relational. We are like God. We are “all connected” as a community of faith, hope and love – a community of justice and peace – a community that hopes to be one family – a community that brings rich and poor together. The Spirit of God is part of that community.
The Book of Wisdom includes two themes of Catholic Social Teaching;
The Spirit of God was present in creation from the very beginning. The sacred and secular are connected or to put it in other words, God is found to be intimately connected to the world.
God takes “special delight in the human race” or to put it in other words, every human person has a special dignity and goodness.
The Letter to the Romans reminds us that this presence and action of the Divine is a source of hope. The world is fundamentally good.
The gospel reminds us not to forget that it is the very Spirit of God that will guide us through all the complexity of our life. The Spirit that is with us is the same spirit that creates, redeems and sanctifies. The Spirit is present in the challenges of our human life.
From all of this it follows that we are concerned with the issues of the world and everyday life. We are concerned with justice and peace and we have hope in the midst of all the concerns and problems of the world.
We are concerned about any political and economic power that excludes the poor. We are concerned about the protection of the environment. We are concerned about those philosophies and attitudes that see people simply as consumers. We are concerned about domestic violence, the violence in the Holy Land, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, any violations of human rights, and all forms of violence. We are concerned about any spirituality that disconnects us from the concerns of the world. Our concerns are as big as the world.
God is Trinity. God is relational. So are we.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
“I found delight in the human race." (Proverbs 8:31)
When have you found delight in the human race?
When have you found is difficult to delight in the human race?
What have been your most memorable experiences of the mystery of God?
When as creator or parent or father or mother?
When as redeemer or savior or companion?
When as Spirit or holiness or challenge and comforter?
Actions – Links
Network is the national Catholic Social Justice Lobby. One can take action on various issues online at http://www.networklobby.org/ or http://www.networklobby.org/action/advocacy/index.html
The Natural Resources Defense Council advocates about various environmental concerns. One can take action on various issues online at http://www.nrdc.org/action/
The following facts are from the Center for the Global South at American University:
1.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water.
2.4 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation.
The average distance that women in Africa and Asia walk to collect water is 6 KM.
In developing countries, 91 children out of 1,000 die before their fifth birthday.
Of the 6 billion people in today's world, 1.2 billion live below $1 per day.
The amount of money that the richest 1% of the world's people make each day equals what the poorest 57% make each year.
Prayers of Intercession
Response: God, bring us together as one human family.
For those living the experience of poverty, we pray….
For those living in any land with war and violence, we pray….
For those living in a home with domestic violence, we pray….
For those who in any way are denied any of their human rights, we pray….
For those who find their value in possessions and consumption, we pray….
For our planet earth, stressed by our abuse and overuse, we pray….
For our church as we struggle to be one, we pray….
God, help me to see.
God, help me to see your wonders.
God, help me to see your goodness all around me.
God, help me to be fearless.
God, help me to be fearless in my seeing.
God, help me to be fearless in seeing whatever is there.
God, help me to see the dignity and wonder of my sisters and brothers.
God, help me to see the dignity and wonder of people as they are.
God, help me to see the dignity and wonder even when I am overwhelmed by my judgments.
God, help me to be part of the world.
God, help me to be part of the world in its beauty and goodness.
God, help me to be part of the world in its diversity and mystery.
God, give me the courage to look at the sin of the world.
God, give me the courage to look at the sin of the world with a loving heart.
God, give me the courage to look at the sin of the world with a forgiving spirit.
God, heal our violence, racism, sexism, militarism, greed, and pride.
God, heal our culture, our nation, our rivalry, our jealousy.
God, heal our political institutions, our government, our political parties, and our religions.
God, heal our limited perspective and open our eyes wide.
God, heal our parochial plans and let our vision include the whole world.
God, heal our tiny projects and make them projects for the big world.
God, make us new.
God, make our institutions new.
God, make all things new and renewed.
Teach me your Way, O Lord
Lord, teach me your way of treating others – sinners, children, Pharisees, Pilates and Herods, and also John the Baptists.
Teach me your way of eating and drinking, and how to act when I'm tired from work and need rest.
Teach me compassion for the suffering, the poor, the blind, and the lame. You, who shed tears, show me how to live my deepest emotions. Above all, I want to learn how you endured your Cross.
Teach me your way of looking at people: the way you glanced at Peter after his denial, the way you touched the heart of the rich young man and the hearts of your disciples.
I would like to meet you as you really are, since you change those who really know you. If only I could hear you speak as when you spoke in the synagogue of Capernaum or on the Mount of Beatitudes!
Give me grace to live my life, within and without, the way you lived your life, O Lord.
Pedro Arrupe, SJ
Prayer for Peace
We pray for those leaders of our communities,
our church, our country and our world,
that they may make decisions that are in accord
with God’s commandments that bring life, justice and peace.
For those who have died by actions of violence,
that they may be raised with Christ who died for them
and that they may know the unending life and glory
of the kingdom of peace and light.
For those who have survived violence,
that they will be sheltered in the compassion
of God and our community and that, feeling the compassion of Jesus,
they may find healing and hope.
For those who commit acts of violence against others,
that their hearts may be moved by Christ’s grace,
and that they may be transformed
by the Spirit of love.
For ourselves, that we will work together to end violence
and bring life, peace and security to our world.
(Pax Christi UK)