Summary: In every crisis, whether a wind on the lake or concerns about our daily bread, the Master counsels "Fear not, I am with you."

September 7, 2009

Caritas in Veritate

Labor Day

As we continue our reflections on human development, the Scriptures and the papal documents again converge in this pair of readings we hear proclaimed each Labor Day. God gave a twin gift to the earth in the beginning–a mist to water the soil, and man to till it and husband it. But over it all is the providence of God. Yes, we are in an environmental quandary; yes, we are in an economic crisis. But in every crisis, whether a wind on the lake or the fear of persecution, we hear the Master say, “Fear not, I am with you.”

To the White House science advisor AND EVERYONE ELSE WHO has counseled a one-child policy and sterilizing chemicals in the drinking water, the Pope echoes Paul VI in the master document Humanae Vitae, He wrote: “a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized.” Fear not, Christ is with us. The same Pope taught that proclaiming Christ goes hand in hand with the advancement of the individual in society. “Testimony to Christ’s charity, through works of justice, peace and development, is part and parcel of evangelization, because Jesus Christ, who loves us, is concerned with the whole person.” The Church’s social doctrine is “an essential element of evangelization.” We have to continually remind ourselves that human development must involve the whole of man, body, soul, spirit, and society. “If development were concerned with merely technical aspects of human life, and not with the meaning of man’s pilgrimage through history. . .with his fellow human beings, nor with identifying the goal of that journey, then the Church” would have to keep silent. But it is both, so the Church must speak out constantly and loudly to a world that constantly makes that mistake. A humanism that is closed to the Absolute and transcendent is not human, but subhuman, because it refuses to encourage human beings to assume their true and total dignity in the image of Jesus Christ.

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