A noble and honorable woman among us has died.


This past weekend, an elderly woman I worked with passed away.  Her name was Joan.  She was in her seventies.  My work commenced at the Idaho Department of Insurance over six years ago.  I met Joan in a meeting.  She was a bright and tenacious researcher and public policy analyst.  Her forte was health care policy.  She knew more about health insurance than anyone in the state!  For the years I knew her, until her husband’s death in 2911, Joan had cared for her bed-ridden husband.  Never a word of complaint, pity, or remorse was heard from Joan about her husband’s health and how it impacted her own and her family life.  After he died, she ended up in the hospital for a week or so; and upon her return to work; there was no word of complaint or looking back at her problems.  She was ever helpful, ever even-headed and non-complaining.  She was an example to me.  I am not sure of her faith.  I knew this: that she was a Christian.  Despite all of her obvious talents, persistence, obstacles, and troubles, she never complained.  There was not a hint of arrogance and there was always time for me when I had a question or wanted to review an issue with her.  I would see her in the hallway at my office, and I always said, “Hi Joan, how are you doing?”  She would answer, “doing okay.”  It took me awhile to decipher that answer, but in speaking the truth about her situation, you could tell she struggled every day to make it to work, to accomplish the care required by her husband, and to fulfill her job as a public policy analyst.  She was as full of answers about the law as she was full of questions.  I enjoyed working with this honorable and noble woman unknown in this modern world.  Joan was a light, a type of Christ in our midst..  She will be sorely missed.  She brought peace with her everywhere she went by living a well-ordered life in Christ.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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Protecting Minorities (Christian) in Iraq.


From Sr. Stella Goodpasture, OP

Dear Supporter,

On June 20, people across the globe observed World Refugee Day.   Two days earlier, the UN Refugee Agency announced that over 100,000 Iraqi refugees have been referred for resettlement since 2007.  Of those, a little over 50 percent have actually been resettled in a new country.

Minority rights in Iraq must be protected.

For Iraqi asylum seekers, the news is not so good. Over the past month, several European countries have deported or forcibly returned asylum seekers to Iraq, raising concerns for their safety once they return. Because of the threat returned asylum seekers face, this practice goes against established UN guidelines for the protection and treatment of asylum seekers.

Minorities are particularly vulnerable if they are forcibly returned to Iraq, as they are still threatened with targeted violence every day. In the three months between July and September 2009, Amnesty International documented the deaths of 155 minorities in attacks targeted at minorities.

Turkmen, Yazidis, Shabak, Iraqi Christians of various denominations, and other religious and ethnic minorities have a long history in Iraq.   Today, they are disproportionately driven from their homes due to violence.   In fact, while significant security gains have been made throughout Iraq since 2008, in the disputed northern territories and cities like Mosul, violence against minorities is still a daily occurrence.   Minorities have been forced to flee their homes at gunpoint.  

In attacks against the Chaldo-Assyrian Christian community in 2008 that killed 40 people, Human Rights Watch reported “graffiti in Christian neighborhoods with messages such as ‘get out or die,’ and anti-Christian messages disseminated by loudspeakers mounted on cars, threatening Christians if they did not leave.”  

Read the Human Rights Watch report on beseiged minorities under attack

 

The Brookings Institution estimates that only 500,000 Iraqi Christians remain in Iraq of the 1 to 1.4 million that lived there prior to 2003.   The rest have fled and now live as refugees or asylum seekers.   For the religious and ethnic minorities who cannot return to Iraq, they must be resettled in new countries without fear of deportation.    In Iraq, steps must be taken to ensure minorities are protected, legally and physically.   Attacks on minorities cannot go unpunished.  

The United States must urge the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to investigate alleged human rights abuses against minorities.   Ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq must not be forced to choose between their lives and their homes.

Sincerely, Lauren Jenkins

EPIC: Promoting a Free & Secure Iraq 

EPIC
900 Second Street NE, Suite 216
Washington, DC 20002
202-682-0208

Dear Congressperson: Vote ‘No’ on Health Care Bill


+ St. Joseph, Husband of Mary
March 19, 2010

Dear Chapter promoters, presidents, priors, councilors, Dominicans and Friends:

The national struggle for peace and justice starts with us—personally—today. 

In this Lenten Season, it requires to individually convert and seek God and to live in holiness.  A good example converts many hearts and minds that can in time convert the Nation.   It is a great source of hope.  It is preaching without words.

As a Nation, it is time to choose rightly and do rightly.   If God’s people have hope in justice and we act on that hope, we can live in His peace.  With current national debate, the message must resonate,  “It is time to stop killing the innocent; whether in the public and private institutions, in the nursing homes, on the streets, in the home, or in the womb. 

The principle is that the just treatment of all persons is grounded on the human dignity of each individual person.  To have peace and justice and a well-ordered society in this Nation requires this principle to be known and lived in the hearts and minds of God’s people that journey and live in America. 

This begins with the protection of the most innocent people among us.  These persons inhabit the womb and have a soul, a body, a mind, a will, and emotions.  These persons have made no choices, have not seen a sunset, have not walked along the sea, have not enjoyed a choice to love, and have not prayed and listened to the voice of God.

With the knowledge of these persons in mind, I urge you to contact your Congressperson and encourage him or her to vote against the health care bill as presently constructed.  It remains fatally flawed on the issues of abortion funding and conscience protections.  It would expand usage of the practice of, and the political right to commit an abortion.  It cannot withstand serious moral scrutiny. 

If you do not know the name and contact information of your congressperson, use this link and with your zip code to find your congressperson:  http://www.house.gov/zip/ZIP2Rep.html 

            As Francis Cardinal George said recently:

“The struggle we face today in defending human dignity is becoming more complex.  I’ve believed for many years that abortion is the foundational human rights issue of our lifetime.  We can’t simultaneously serve the poor and accept the legal killing of unborn children.  We can’t build a just society, and at the same time legally sanctify the destruction of generations of unborn human life.  The rights of the poor and the rights of the unborn child flow from exactly the same human dignity guaranteed by the God who created us.”

[Francis Cardinal George, President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.]

            Thank you.  God bless your efforts.   With good will,

Sincerely in St. Dominic,

John

John Keenan, J.D., O.P.L.; Lay Promoter; Western Dominican Province.

A new Shell Game?


According to Rep. Bart Stupak (D.-Mich.), when our President stated in his Sept. 9 speech to a joint session of Congress that “under our plan no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions,” he did not mean the plans proposed in Congress, but his own plan—which doesn’t exist.  When Rep. Stupak pointed that fact out to our President, he responded by encouraging Mr. Stupak to work with the House leadership to keep mandated abortion out of the bill.   Does that make you feel like you just slipped on a banana peel?

The "Obama 'peel"

The "Obama 'peal"

 

See the full story here:

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/56109

Letter to Lay Members of the Order of Preachers regarding Peace & Justice Issues


[The actual final recommendations from the lay members of the Western Dominican Province to the North American Dominican Promoters of Peace & Justice are listed at the bottom of this post.]

 

John Keenan, O.P.L., J.D.

Lay Promoter

Peace & Justice, Care of Creation

Western Dominican Province

United States of America

 

April 16, 2009

 

Chapter Promoters, Peace & Justice Care of Creation

Lay Provincial Representatives

Western Dominican Province

 

            Re:       North American Peace & Justice Promoters meeting;

                        June 16-18, 2009

 

Dear Friends:

 

            Happy Easter!

 

            The Lay Provincial Council meeting is set for June 19-21, 2009.  The North American Dominican Promoters for Justice and Peace (NADPJP) meeting is for June 16-18, 2009 at Adrian, Michigan.  

 

            Please carefully review this letter.  Its purpose is to explain steps taken most recently regarding issues for the NADPJP, suggested issues, and asking for your Chapter’s suggestions for issues, comment, and input. 

 

1.      What happened.

 

In Sr. Farnan’s and Fr. Dahm’s letter of March 20, 2009, they said:

 

In April we will send out an official registration form for you and a tentative Agenda.  If you have any suggestions for the Agenda please email Chuck or I  [sic] and we will take this into consideration.  At Present we believe we need to address: Immigration, Nuclear Weapons, Middle East: Iraq and Palestine/Israel, Human Trafficking and Ecological issues.  We will try and use the framework of the Millennium Development Goals.”  (Underline mine).

 

With that request in mind, I drafted a letter and forwarded it to the Lay Provincial Council executive committee for their consideration.  I was given permission to forward the letter to Sr. Farnan and Fr. Dahm for their consideration. 

 

2.       The next step.

 

The earlier letter is not the final submission to Sr. Farnan and Fr. Dahm.  Therefore, please follow this procedure. 

a.       Peace & Justice chapter promoters and LPC representatives should review the issues listed below with your chapter and/or council.  

b.      Forward your comments and suggestions to me by no later than May 10, 2009 to my email address at john[at]keenan.org.  If you wish to discuss via the telephone, email me and give me a good time of day to call and your phone number.  I will call you back.

c.       These will be forwarded to the LPC Executive Committee for their review; after which they will be forwarded to Sr. Farnan and Fr. Dahm.  

d.      That letter will ask that they formally consider the issues of most concern to the lay members of the Western Dominican Province.

 

3.   Current NADPJP issues.  The 2006 Dominican Call to Justice document includes the following issues: (1) death penalty, (2) disarmament, (3) Iraq, (4) Israel/Palestine, (5) Africa, (6) Columbia, (7) Migration/Immigration, (8) Human Trafficking, (9) United Nations, and (10) Global warming.  You can see the details at the following website:

 

            http://www.domlife.org/DLC/Justice/JusticePage.htm

 

In addition, the referenced justice Dominican Leadership Conference online page lists other related issues, including the “new cosmology,” the “School of the Americas,” and “global warming.”  Many of these political and philosophical issues do not reflect key Church or moral teachings.  Further, these issues may be supported or opposed in good faith by different men and women of good will exercising prudent judgment.

 

The Church encourages us individually to be involved in cultural, social, and political associations with other persons of good will.  However, when we come together as Lay Dominicans, we belong to a province and an ecclesial institute of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic.  We do not belong to a political party.  There is a place for political issues and movements.  The Lay Fraternities is not that place.

 

Indeed, we belong to the Church which is a divine institution.  As Dominicans, we should responsibly review each social and political issue very carefully so that it reflects the moral order, conscience, issues and efforts so dear and close to the Church–not the whim of ideology and political ideas that benefit from currency or fancy.  The Vatican Council II amplifies this point when it states, “Laymen should also know that it is generally the function of their well-formed Christian conscience to see that the divine law is inscribed in the life of the earthly city….”  Guadiam et Spes, No. 43 (Emphasis mine).  See, On Social Justice Issues

 

Examples.  The Israel/Palestine conflict is a perennial issue, but there are two sides to the question.  Created under international law, Israel has a place in the world and the right to defend itself from aggression and terrorist attacks.  It also has the obligation to act in accord with the moral law and international law. 

 

            The Palestinians’ right to an independent nation-state should also be recognized.  It seems altogether, however, that many of the Dominicans at the national and international level promote only the Palestinian perspective.  This is very political.  Both sides of this issue, if reviewed carefully, articulate well their respective positions.  Probably both are true and both are exaggerated.  Nevertheless, the rights of both parties and people need to be recognized. 

 

Another example is the nation of Columbia. 

 

The United States has interfered with that country and promoted the war against the drug trade.  The Dominican Order has focused on that issue to the exclusion of other important issues that have occurred in Columbia.  While the drug trade and the drug war have harmed many innocent people, two years ago organizations of the United Nations and international pro-abortion groups successfully pressured Columbia and its supreme court to legalize abortion and “reproductive health” rights.  Where were the Dominicans on that issue?  You will not find that discussion on the domlife.org page. See, Dominican Life USA: Columbia

 

In addition, Dominican involvement at the United Nations is very important.  As a moral force, in addition to the issues it engages, you will see little, if any, Dominican involvement in ending abortion or focusing on the rights of the child in the womb as well as outside the womb. See, Dominicans at U.N.  

 

Fundamental to human liberty and to the pursuit of happiness, is the right to life.   As Dominicans, we are part of the moral vanguard, seeking and identifying, as we presently do, the numerous injustices in the world, but we also have the obligation to stand at the U.N.’s gates and remind them that if they cannot stand against the killing of the most innocent among us, then all their pronouncements and declarations are for naught.  This is especially true with the new American administration’s support for abortion ‘rights.’

 

Another example is “global warming.”  While many people state that the issue of man-caused global warming is fully and finally settled, and that we must take every measure necessary to change it, over the last two years, several world-renowned and honored scientists have come out against the concept of global warming, e.g. see these links, Michael Crichton, U.S. Senate Environment Committee: 650 scientists dissent man-made global warming theory, Global Warming Petition Project, 31,000 scientists reject Global Warming, NASA worldbook, and NASA scientist rejects theory.   The economic harm to the poor and underprivileged has not been seriously calculated if governments impose extreme anti-global warming measures, i.e. the cap in trade law.  See, here.

 

Another issue of concern is the Earth Charter.   The Earth Charter may be read at this link, Earth Charter in Action; and analyzed here, Catholic Family organization; and more deeply reviewed here, The Earth Charter.  Note also, the analysis on the Earth Charter was done last summer in prior correspondence to the LPC dated July 3, 2008.  To access, click here.

 

Finally, most importantly, what about protecting innocent human life?  From persons in the womb to disabled and older people, is quality of life the only measure of life?  As Dominicans, we need to stand as Christ did, as a contradiction to the world when protecting human life and in protecting institutions with historical and family significance.   If we want justice, we start with peace.   Abortion makes war on humankind and the world.

 

5.     Proposed changes and issues at the North American Dominican Promoters of Peace and Justice meeting, and why.

 

a.       A key change is simply procedural

 

First, discuss a procedure or organizational structure by which the peace & justice promoters expand representation of the sisters, friars, and lay people, and include a process that encourages a wide-based, grassroots consultation with all members of the Order regarding key issues.

 

b.     The following items are proposed for inclusion in this year’s list of issues according to the following order of priority:

 

1.    A call for a pro-life position consistent with the Church’s teaching relative to innocent human life from conception to natural death.

 

2.   A call to member governments, NGOS, and peoples from the United Nations to end the funding and advocacy of abortion or birth control.

 

3.  A call to the several states to pass and define the historical legal definition of marriage to be between one man and one woman.

 

4. A call to refocus the Order’s efforts toward a Christian-based anthropocentric environmental position.   Conservation programs must be based on good science, reasonable, moderate, and effective action, right and good order, and realistic solutions.

 

5.  A call to decrease excessive governmental intrusion and regulation in the health care marketplace. 

 

6.  A call to ease the tax burden on the American middle class.

 

The first few of these proposals consider the Church’s positions on key religious and social issues, including pro-life efforts, abortion, and marriage.  These concerns deserve a priority.  The “greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion.” [Mother Teresa, February 4, 1994’].  If the Dominican peace and justice movement is about true peace, then it should tackle the pro-life issue with a compelling priority.  Society desperately needs a softened heart.  If society cannot see an unborn person as innocent and defenseless, then are we—as Christians—doing any good elsewhere? 

 

The last two proposed issues are provided for several reasons. 

 

First, it is to propose differing, yet reasonable, points-of-view. There are men and women of good will who—in good faith—believe differently.  Some issues are debatable and should be thoroughly discussed before the Order endorses peace and justice initiatives.

 

Second, the Order of Preachers is not the proper forum for discussing many political issues.  Frankly, the better place for many initiatives is political and social institutions.   While the Church and ecclesial institutes may provide a proper moral guide, they should not engage in and make final decisions with regard to subjects where people of good will and good judgment differ on problems seeking effective solutions. 

 

For instance, some people have cited universal health care as a “right.”  While most people agree with such a sentiment initially, there are realities that need to be considered.

 

The first reality is that government-driven health care leads to long waiting periods and limited services.   Second, people want a choice.  Third, often times, when government intrudes, it creates more problems than solutions.  Is that not why this discussion should be held in a a political forum and not in an ecclesial one? 

 

Many people believe that human freedom is paramount to ending poverty worldwide, that the marketplace is best suited to provide the goods and services needed by people in the world.  Economic freedom enables men and women to protect and provide for themselves and their families.  Government is a partner in this effort, not the universal solution for social, economic, and other problems.  That is another example of why this discussion should deal with key issues involving our Faith. 

 

Conservation and the environment are legitimate issues and need focus.  On the other hand, where radical environmentalism acts with religious fervor, it places humankind below creation in the order of the cosmos.   In my home state, Idaho, this extreme position has closed forests to timber harvesting.   A dozen small Idaho towns have lost timber mills and tens of thousands of sustainable jobs that provide for workers and families.  Without conservation efforts to cull the forest and its undergrowth, the forest becomes fodder for intense and hot summer fires covering thousands of acres.

 

Third, there are solutions to social problems that need little, if any, government funding or action. 

 

As an example, the American middle class is the most charitable class of people the world has ever known.  

 

Following Christ’s admonition to provide charity for the poor and underprivileged, the American people give generously domestically and to foreign peoples when disaster and emergencies strike.   Rather than relying on taxpayer monies, in record amounts the American people readily give their personal time, energy, and intelligence, as well as money, to those in need.  If the American middle class is deprived of its wealth through excessive taxation, then many social justice and peace efforts around the world will be deprived of key capital. .

 

Finally, thank you for taking the time to read and study this letter.  Once I receive your Chapter’s contribution, I will present it to the LPC Executive Committee and forward them to the committee organizing the NADPJP set for June 16-18, 2009. 

  

Happy Easter.   

                                                                        Sincerely in St. Dominic,

 

 

                                                                       

                                                                        John Keenan, O.P.L., J.D.

 

———————————————————————————————-

 

These are the final and actual recommendations from the lay people of the Western Dominican Province forwarded to Sr. Durstyne Farnan, O.P., of the Adrian Congregation on June 17, 2009, for submission to the North American Dominican Promoters of Peace & Justice meeting:

 

*That all public and private institutions at the state, national, and international levels seek and promote the legal protection of innocent human beings from conception to natural death from loss of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; and, relating to the dignity of each human being and based upon the concept that society may be properly protected from harm, that any person found guilty of any heinous crime should not suffer the death penalty.

*That grounded on the rule of law and the sovereignty of nations, persons immigrating to, or emigrating from, a nation should be treated with respect to, and in compliance with, the rights accorded such persons based upon the inherent dignity of each human being, together with rights established under law, including but not limited to natural, individual, family, religious, and civil rights.

 

 

THE COMPENDIUM: No. II; The Renewal of Social Relations


 

 

The following article is No. II in an ongoing series on the book entitled “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church [Compendium].[i]  The Compendium is a systematic compilation and presentation of the foundations of Catholic social doctrine.  The purpose here is to work our way through the Compendium one chapter at a time along with some reflection.  The Church promotes the Compendium as part of her work “towards a ‘new heavens’ and the ‘new earth’ (2 Peter 3:13),” directed especially to the lay faithful, whose activities in the social arena must be guided by the true Gospel and “the whole of their lives must be seen as a work of evangelization that produces fruit.”[ii]  Toward this perfection of society and to the lay Faithful of the Western Dominican Province, this is dedicated.  This article is from the Compendium, Part One, No. IV, “God’s Plan and the Mission of the Church.”

 

 

The Compendium, No. II:  The Renewal of Social Relations.

 

            Recall in the premier article last November, 2008, on the Compendium, Vol. I, No. 2, of the Peace & Justice eLetter, that the Ten Commandments[iii] were viewed as an ancient expression of universal human rights.  The Ten Commandments direct us toward a right relationship with the Lord, along with family and neighbors, and respect for the liberty and the property of each person.

 

            The Ten Commandments were the first expression of this universal law representing the Kingdom of God on earth.  Through Our Lord’s Incarnation, Passion and Death, and His Resurrection, He redeemed all of humanity and of Creation, and opened the gates of Heaven.   By His Covenant, His work is efficacious through His Church that “places herself concretely at the service of the Kingdom of God above all by announcing and communicating the Gospel of salvation and by establishing new Christian communities.”[iv]

 

            While the Kingdom of God remains a spiritual reality that “can be found beyond the confines of the Church among people everywhere, to the extent that they live ‘Gospel values’ and are open to the working of the Spirit who breathes when and where he wills[;]”[v] the earthly effort of social justice within His Kingdom remains incomplete “unless [it] is related to the Kingdom of Christ present in the Church and straining towards” its eternal goal of the salvation of souls.[vi]

 

            The Church’s earthly efforts toward social justice have eternal consequences toward the salvation of souls, which distinguishes it from other temporal communities, including among others the political and economic communities.  The Church is not limited to political or geographical borders and stands “autonomous and independent” of the body politic,[vii] yet both church and state are dedicated to the “service of the personal and social vocation of the same human beings.”[viii]  The distinction between religion and politics “and the principle of religious freedom constitute a specific achievement of Christianity and one of its fundamental and historical and cultural contributions.”[ix]

 

            By God’s plan brought about by the Lord of history, Jesus Christ, the Church’s identity and mission in this world is a saving purpose “which can be fully attained only in the next life.”[x]  With the eternal goal of salvation, by its preaching, and its graces instituted and exercised in the Holy Sacraments, the Church “heals and elevates the dignity of the human person … consolidates society and endows the daily activity of men with a deeper sense and meaning.”[xi]

 

            The Redemption not only redeems all humanity, “but also the social relations existing between men.”[xii]  In a true sense, life in Jesus Christ makes the human person full, where there is no class distinction between persons in the Kingdom of God,[xiii] where the Church’s Gospel mission and witness transforms human persons and social relationships.  This transformation is full of life where the Christian community is developed and carried out through prayer and practice inspired by the Gospel.[xiv] 

 

The Church is a part of the world and its history.  The Church is “open to dialogue with all people of good will in the common quest for the seeds of truth and freedom sown in the vast field of humanity.”[xv]These seeds of truth and freedom are a constant and dynamic renewal that “must be firmly anchored in the unchangeable principles of the natural law[.]”[xvi]

            Jesus Christ reveals to us that ‘God is love’ (1 Jn 4:8)[xvii] and He teaches us that “the fundamental law of human perfection, and consequently of the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love.  He assures those who trust in the love of God that the way of love is open to all people and that the effort to establish a universal brotherhood will not be in vain.”[xviii]

            The transformation and perfection of society in the world, “is a fundamental requirement of our time also.  To this need the Church’s social Magisterium intends to offer the responses called for by the signs of the times, pointing above all to the mutual love between human beings, in the sight of God, as the most powerful instrument of change, on the personal and social levels.”[xix]

            While pursuit of social justice[xx] has temporal impact and is distinguishable from the growth of God’s Kingdom with eternal consequences, the Church’s preaching and mission contributes to the better ordering and perfection of human society here and now.  As so well stated by the Compendium, “The complete fulfillment of the human person, achieved in Christ through the gift of the Spirit, develops in history and is mediated by personal relationships with other people, relationships that in turn reach perfection thanks to the commitment made to improve the world, in justice and in peace.”[xxi]

            In other words, relationships achieved through commitment to improve the world, in mutual love between human beings in the sight of God, in accord with the Church’s Magisterium is a powerful instrument of true and substantial change in society.

As Catholics, we need to live as Christians first in the reality that there is no distinction among people due to sex, race, class, status, or rank.[xxii] 

            The clamoring merely for change’s sake during the recent American presidential campaign, is a reflection of America’s contradiction.  Dissolute for nearly a generation, Americans have turned to consumer goods and services to provide transitory satisfaction, to government to resolve discontent and economic problems, and to games and entertainment to make us forget our stress.  Yet, the world economic crisis is before us.

Today, many good Catholics and Christians seek government solutions as a universal solvent for social and political injustices.  While government is a partner in this effort, it is not the solution with its expensive and overbearing dispositions.

It is first and foremost a spiritual problem.  The resolution begins with a right relationship with God—as a person, as a family, and as a Nation.  It is also a question of choosing the right path to God.  Do we use the world’s agenda to set the social justice agenda, or do we seek the mind of Christ first?  In choosing God first and in seeking His mind on things, the social justice efforts will be quite fruitful. 

Recall the words of Deuteronomy 30, where the Lord admonishes Israel and all Nations: “Here, then, I have today set before you life and prosperity, death and doom.  If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees, you will live and grow numerous, and the LORD, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.”[xxiii]  The choice is before us, life or death.  For too long, as a Nation, as a people, and as individuals, we have chosen death. 

Catholics, Christians, and other free and self-disciplined persons of good will, working together in free association, along with the church and the state, will successfully care for the poor and disadvantaged, and work to dissolve immoral social structures. 

            Social Justice begins here, where Jesus Christ revealed that “God is love,” and where “the fundamental law of human perfection, and consequently of the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love.”[xxiv] 

This Great Commandment is fruitful, because Christ assures “those who trust in the love of God that the way of love is open to all people and that the effort to establish a universal brotherhood will not be in vain.”[xxv]

            This is the beginning of true peace and justice in this world.  The repentance or conversion away from the world and to God is especially essential to social justice advocates.  If these advocates want true justice and true change, they must reject their own social and political agendas and seek to change the world and its social structures to conform to the mind of Christ. 

 


[i]       Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, © 2004, Liberia Editrice Vaticana, USCCB Publishing, Washington, D.C., Presentation; [hereinafter Compendium] [also internet link, www.vatican.va].

[ii]       Compendium, Presentation; [also internet link, www.vatican.va].

[iii]      “The Ten Commandments are precepts bearing on the fundamental obligations of religion and morality and embodying the revealed expression of the Creator’s will in relation to man’s whole duty to God and to his fellow-creatures.”  The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV, Robert Appleton Company, New York, New York, (1908) (Underscore here).  See also, Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5.

[iv]      Compendium, p. 22, ¶ 50.

[v]       Compendium, p. 22, ¶ 50 .

[vi]      Compendium. p. 22, ¶¶ 49-55.

[vii]     “Body politic” or otherwise known as the “state,” “government,” “ruler,” or “regime.”

[viii]     Compendium, p. 22, ¶ 50.                       

[ix]      Compendium, p. 22, ¶ 50 (Quoting Guadium et Spes, ¶ 76).  

[x]       Compendium, p. 22 ¶ 51 (Quoting Guadium et Spes, ¶ 40) (Original italicized).

[xi]      Compendium, p. 22, ¶ 51, (Quoting Guadium et Spes, ¶ 40).

[xii]     Compendium, p. 23, ¶ 52 (Original italicized). 

[xiii]     “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.  In these you once walked, when you lived in them.  But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and fol talk from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his practices and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his creator.  Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and umcircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.”  Colossians 3: 5-11 (Underscore here).  See, also, Genesis 1:26; Galatians 3:28.

[xiv]     Compendium , p. 23, ¶ 53. 

[xv]     Compendium, p. 23, ¶ 53.

[xvi]     Compendium, p. 23, ¶ 53.

[xvii]    “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.”  I John 4:7-8. 

[xviii]  Compendium, p. 23, ¶ 54 (Part of original italicized, underscore here).

[xix]     Compendium, p. 24, ¶ 55 (Original italicized).

[xx]     While one must admit the a perfect society is not possible on this earth, we do share in the Communion of Saints that includes men and women in Heaven.

[xxi]     Compendium, pp. 24-25, ¶ 58 (Original italicized).

[xxii]     See, Footnote xiii, above.

[xxiii]    Deuteronomy 30:15-16.

[xxiv]   Compendium, pp. 23-24, ¶ 54.

[xxv]     Compendium, p. 23, ¶ 54. (Quoting, Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 38; Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 58 (1966)).

To His Side We Cleave.


On this splendid day He was born, Whose name was Jesus,
He is Worthy of our love, worship, glories and praises;
Oh Christmas Day that is special, all of creation abounds with joy,
The Hope and Redemption became a little baby Boy;
In humble appearance at Bethlehem, did saving Grace first appear,
The children and shepherds about, all with His mother so dear;
Love beyond measure, Incarnate, innocent, and true,
On Christmas Day the heart be thankful and sing the Angelic queue:
We are thankful on this Christmas Day of the Divine plan,
To earth the Christ is here, true God and True Man;
To restore us friend and family to the Father did He die,
At His passion on the tree, offering His Body and Blood on High
Yet at the Altar today Jesus Christ in True Presence we receive,
That at His side, His Love and Life to Heaven we cleave.