Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Two Feet of Love in Action

My church  has asked those who are interested to come and listen to a talk on Peace and Justice.  
Our speaker is from the Office of Peace and Justice from our local archdiocese.  
I was encouraged to attend so I did and found myself challenged in a whole new way.  

Our speaker asked us to reflect on our parish as "to it's commitment to recognize and fulfill it's obligations of justice and charity in society."  
Didn't take long to discern that we do a great job in the area of charity but very little to anything in regards to justice.  

It was an unsettling thought for I didn't think that justice was a separate entity to charity.

"Social justice concerns the social, political, and economic aspects and, above all, the structural dimension of problems and their respective solutions."  
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Examples of Social Justice                                                   
Remove Root Causes; Improve Structures:
*  Expand access to affordable housing
*  Work to improve the education system
*  Support environmental protection laws
*  Participate in a living wage campaign
*  Promote peace
*  Advocate for international assistance

Examples of Charitable Works
Meet Basic Needs; Aid Individuals
*  Volunteer at homeless shelters
*  Tutor children
*  Assist women who face a crisis pregnancy
*  Participate in a community beautification program
*  Donate to food pantries and clothing closets
*  Sponsor a refugee family
*  Raise money for an overseas development project


"The Church cannot neglect the service of charity any more than she can neglect the Sacraments and the Word.  Those who are able to make offerings in accordance with their support orphans, widows, the sick, and those who for other reasons find themselves in need, such as prisoners and foreigners."
Pope Benedict XV!, Deus Caritas Est., no 22

What does your church do to fight for justice?


1 comment:

  1. Hi Noreen, One of the things that comes to mind immediately is the office always has available legal aid (pro bono) for many of the people in our Hispanic community to begin the paperwork for citizenship. And this is where I truly believe it should begin. Laying the foundation to be good stewards for the community, contributing where one can, assisting in any way possible. Taking pride in one's accomplishments and moving forward on those successes. Sadly, where we live, many are here illegally. There is so much take and no give in return. Hard work has to be instilled in order for those goals to be reached. Our parish recognizes this, thank the Lord. There are also classes in English that are taught. These classes are a great instrument for those in need. They encourage a step forward, even if it is a baby step. We also have a food pantry in our parish. St. Vincent de Paul Society runs it. A great help for those in need. Our entire diocese has a White Rose program. We all assist in the pregnancy crisis center through donations of goods, money, time, and prayers. The scary thing is, in order to promote all the social justices above that are listed means an increase in taxes to those who are already taxed enough. It is a vicious cycle. That is why I am grateful for our parish and how they recognize getting the those less fortunate the immediate help necessary to start on the road to being fruitful, American citizens.