From Thomas Merton
Labels: Thomas Merton
This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.
Labels: Thomas Merton
During Poverty Awareness Month, join the U.S. Bishops, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Catholic community in the United States in taking up Pope Francis' challenge to live in solidarity with the poor. How do we do this? One way is to use this poverty awareness calendar and contemplate the daily reflections. Another is to join the advocacy network of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Government Relations to let our elected leaders hear the voice of the Catholic community in the United States.
The Christmas season does not end on December 25. Rather, that is when it begins. The liturgical season of Christmas begins with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and concludes on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Earlier this year, someone sent me an e-mail that asked the question, "Are we having a discussion or an argument?" The gist of the e-mail was that, if we are having an argument, I don’t need to listen to you because you are just concerned with telling me that I am wrong. However, if we are having a discussion, I need to listen because that indicates that you are willing to listen to my side.
According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in the document Sacraments and Social Mission: Living the Gospel, Being Disciples, bishops, priests and deacons help Christians imitate Christ’s mission of love and justice. Here are some excerpts from the section about Holy Orders on pages 22-23:
As co-workers with their bishops in teaching and carrying out Christ’s mission, priests and deacons proclaim the Word of God to his people. This includes education about the social teaching of the Church, which is based in both Scripture and Tradition, and helping community members become aware of their “right and duty to be active subjects of this doctrine” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, no. 539).
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Pastoral ministry requires that ordained ministers develop competency in “social analysis and community organization” and cross-cultural ministry (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops [USCCB], The Basic Plan for the Ongoing Formation of Priests, 29). Priests should “animate pastoral action in the social field,” especially assisting lay Christians who are involved in political and social life (Compendium, no. 539).
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Because the Church’s social doctrine is an “essential component” of the “new evangelization” (Pastores Dabo Vobis, no. 54), those preparing for the ordained ministry should develop a “thorough knowledge” of Catholic social teaching and “a keen interest in the social issues of their day” (Compendium, no. 533).
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Bishops, assisted by priests, deacons, and religious, must “evangelize social realities” (Compendium, no. 539) by being “articulate spokesmen for and interpreters of Catholic social teaching in today’s circumstances” (USCCB, Program of Priestly Formation, no. 345).
We continue our exploration of the sacraments and social mission with a look at marriage, as discussed in this document from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Here are some excerpts:
The Nuptial Blessing especially highlights how the couple is called to care not only for each another but also for children, family, and the wider community.You can read the entire section on marriage on pages 20-21 of Sacraments and Social Mission: Living the Gospel, Being Disciples.
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They help each other live their vocation as lay people, seeking God’s Kingdom in their daily lives by working for justice, peace, and respect for the life and dignity of all (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, no. 220; Familiaris Consortio, no. 47).
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In particular, we should preserve the rights of the family in civil laws and policies and work to ensure “that in social administration consideration is given to the requirements of families in the matter of housing, education of children, working conditions, social security and taxes” (Apostolicam Actuositatem, no. 11). We should also work to ensure that migrants’ right to live together as a family is safeguarded.