A Few Thoughts – Nov 8th

A few thoughts,
Today we continue with Fratelli Tutti, the latest letter from Pope Francis. You may notice how there is an Ignatian tone as he moves from the principle and foundation into a second week consideration. Or more explicitly, he weaves the see, judge, act architecture of what it means to be a person of faith in today’s world. You can access the full encyclical at: www.vatican.va/content/vatican/en.html

Chapter 1: Dark Clouds Over a Closed World

“A worldwide tragedy like the Covid-19 pandemic momentarily revived the sense that we are a global community, all in the same boat, where one person’s problems are the problems of all. Once more we realized that no one is saved alone; we can only be saved together (32).”

Pope Francis gives a thorough description of the darkness he sees in the world today. First, political systems are regressing and the profit-based economic model “does not hesitate to exploit, discard and even kill human beings.”

Second, there is a culture of indifference. By employing a strategy of ridicule, suspicion, and relentless criticism, one group can dominate and exclude another, creating a permanent state of disagreement, confrontation and even violence. The loneliness, fear and insecurity experienced by those who feel excluded are easy targets for “mafias” (i.e. gangs). Also, human rights are not universally respected, especially for women.

This culture of indifference especially affects the unborn, disabled, and elderly. Though connected globally, we do not see our brothers and sisters as our neighbors. This is most apparent in the absence of dignity for migrants at our borders and for many people impacted by the pandemic.

Pope Francis wants to strengthen the idea of social friendship and social peace in the face of an all-pervasive social violence, which he sees running through the economy, politics, and even through social media.

Reflection Questions: How has the pandemic impacted you? Have you experienced a revived
sense of community?

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