Yesterday morning, I taught an RCIA class on Catholic Social Teaching.
During the class, after showing the list of the seven tenets of CST, I felt compelled to share with them the following:
“There is something I want to tell you this morning about these tenets. Something I think is very important, and something that I, myself, had a lot of trouble internalizing when I first got to know about Catholic Social Teaching.
It’s something I think that has also come up a fair bit over this past year.
There are seven tenets here that together cover the lives of people. It covers what we as human persons need and deserve by nature of being chosen and created by God.
Every one of them are important.
And as Christians, we are called to care about ALL of Them.
Now I want to be clear, we aren’t necessarily called to solve all of them all by ourselves. We can’t individually do everything. Often our actions, our votes, our words can only do a part of the vast expanse of social justice work.
But we are called to care about all of it. That means we are called to care for the child in the womb and the prisoner on death row and the elderly man taking his last breath. That means we are called to care for the earth and our impact on it and the rights of workers to earn a living wage and every human being having shelter, water, and food.
We are called to care for all of it and then to utilize discernment and prayer to discover how God is calling us to act.
Our individual hearts are big enough to encompass all of it, and our skills and talents combined are broad enough to work for all of it.”
I share these thoughts with you this morning because I know I still have a lot of work to do when it comes to caring for all of it and letting that care move me to do what I can to work for change.
This morning my prayer for you and for me is that we believe our hearts are big enough to love humanity like God does. May we believe in the power of prayer and discernment to direct our lives towards the work we were destined to do, work that can positively impact others and work that, collectively, can change the world.