Posts Tagged ‘charity’

Past Wisdom

February 22, 2020

The following is a prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, as relevant to us today as in his time (1121-1226).

Most High, Glorious God,

enlighten the darkness of our minds;

give us a right faith, a firm hope, and a perfect charity,

so that we may always and in all things act

according to Your Holy Will.


Charity and Truth -4

October 11, 2009

[Note: This is the final prayer in a series that 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.]

And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:21

Thank you Lord, for encouragement in the form of a Nobel prize.  Encouragement for a new vision for our country — one of a world leader that respects others, seeks to rebuild relationships of trust, accepts accountability, opens new dialogues, and believes that all countries may some day live in peace.  Thank you for a president with the courage to dream and to speak out.  Thank you for his patience, calm demeanor, willingness to persevere and to forgive, and his focus on future generations.

Your love, is your “promise and our hope.Encycl. Ltr, par. 1. We are called to share that gift, to acknowledge our interdependence, to seek wisdom, to care for and about each other, and to work to establish a true sense of community with other citizens and other peoples.  Encycl. Ltr  16-20.    As we work through our current global economic and humanitarian crisis, we acknowledge that

[t]he different aspects of the crisis, its solutions, and any new development that the future may bring, are increasingly interconnected, they imply one another, they require new efforts of holistic understanding and a new humanistic synthesis. The complexity and gravity of the present economic situation rightly cause us concern, but we must adopt a realistic attitude as we take up with confidence and hope the new responsibilities to which we are called by the prospect of a world in need of profound cultural renewal, a world that needs to rediscover fundamental values on which to build a better future. The current crisis obliges us to re-plan our journey, to set ourselves new rules and to discover new forms of commitment, to build on positive experiences and to reject negative ones.  Encycl. Ltr. par. 21.

Let us heed your call for change O Lord. Harden not our hearts. Do not let the voices of doubt, denial, and denigration silence those who are seeking and working to build a better world.  Help the politics of hope and compassion overcome those of fear and domination.  Give us  peace in our lifetimes, O Lord.


Charity In Truth – 2

September 27, 2009

[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.


Charity In Truth -1

September 20, 2009

[Note: this prayer reflects and quotes from the Encyclical Letter Caritas In Veritate given in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI on June 29, 2009.  This letter is addressed not only to the Catholic Church, but also to “all people of good will” and expands on the following statement, made in the opening paragraph: “Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity.”  Quotes from the letter are identified by paragraph number.]

Jesus replied:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mt. 22:37-39

Lord, our economy is said to be growing stronger, although many remain without work and jobs continue to be lost.  Regulatory reforms that would help stabilize and strengthen our monetary systems have stalled.  The economic and social inequalities which increased in past decades continue, and the political will to provide remedies or relief has not been found.  The Encyclical Letter warns us that:

The dignity of the individual and the demands of justice require, particularly today, that economic choices do not cause disparities in wealth to increase in an excessive and morally unacceptable manner, and that we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone. . . . Through the systemic increase of social inequality, . . . not only does social cohesion suffer, thereby placing democracy at risk, but so too does the economy, through the progressive erosion of “social capital”: the network of relationships of trust, dependability, and respect for rules, all of which are indispensable for any form of civil coexistence.  (Encyl. Ltr, par. 32)

Let us heed this warning O Lord.  Do not let us ignore or accept the erosion of trust, the decline in civility, and the lack of accountability, that permeate our civic life.  Help us find the path forward and build better foundations for our future life together.  As we seek to reform our financial system, remind us, O Lord, as the Encyclical Letter does, “that the primary capital to be safeguarded and valued is man, the human person in his or her integrity. . .” (Encyl. Ltr, par. 25).

Help us to care for one another, to reach out, to share, and to trust that our lives will be better for it.  Help us to preserve and develop all of our people, that each their lives, and our life together,  may better reflect your love and your grace.  Help us, O Lord.