Charity In Truth – 2

[Note: this prayer, like last week’s prayer, reflects and quotes from the Encyclical Letter Caritas In Veritate given by Pope Benedict XVI on June 29, 2009.  Quotes from the letter are identified by paragraph number.]

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 1 Cor. 13:6

Lord, your love is the truth you ask us to accept and share with others.  (John 15:12).  Help us to follow your command as we work to reform our economy and allocate our resources.  As the Encyclical Letter states: “The economy needs ethics in order to function correctly —not any ethics whatsoever, but an ethics which is peopled-centred.”  (Encycl. Ltr, par 45).  Do not let us be misled by blind faith in “markets”.  Instead, give us the political will to set the boundaries needed to ensure that our markets function in ways to that do not unjustly enrich the few at the cost of impoverishing many.  The Encyclical Letter also warns that:

The risk of our time is that the de facto interdependence of people and nations is not matched by ethical interaction of consciences and minds that would give rise to truly human development.  Only in charity, illumined by the light of reason and faith, is it possible to pursue development goals that possess a more humane and humanizing value.  (Encycl. Ltr, par. 9).

Do not let us be misled again by undue reliance on the science of economics and mathematical calculations that fail to account for human fears and costs.  Help us instead to identify and analyze what would best promote the common good, and to accept responsibility for improving the lives of those who have suffered greatly as a result of our past failures, both economic and political.  Help us to recognize our interdependence and accept that each of our fates – whether rich or poor or in between — are intertwined.  Let us recognize that our wealth as individuals and as a nation depends on our genuinely caring for and helping each other, especially those who now struggle day to day simply to survive. Guide us O Lord, and move us forward.


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One Response to “Charity In Truth – 2”

  1. lacquiparle Says:

    Economics is a science but we sometimes forget that it is a special kind of science. It is not a natural science (like astronomy, geology or botany) but a social science. Economics is essentially a study of culture, not of nature. This is an important point. When economists study and talk about the market they are dealing with a human construct, not a natural force like the tides or eclipses. This means the facts of the market will be true for a particular time and place but not for a different time or place. As a result, economists making conclusions for a certain time and place, based on facts about other times and places, will be like generals fighting the last war. The strategy and tactics will be all wrong. But even more important, the concept that economics deals with culture (not nature) means that to a large extent we can structure it to be what we want it to be, and if we want to change it for social or ethical reasons it is possible and proper to do so and we are not (as some suggest) tampering with a natural force.

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