Last week Benedict XVI spoke to people who belong to various movements in the Church that make contributions to work, culture and education. Why is my posting this important? Because I believe what the Pope has to say is crucial in following his lead in the life I lead, and I believe it is helpful for others who desire to live similarly. I am confronted –in a good way– with questions about the value of work, culture and education and the place of the Church in these sectors. As Father Giussani told us, the Church is not here to fix our problems but to offer us a lens by which we can judge the reality in front of us so that we can fix a problem. Pay close attention to what Benedict has to say:
”Work is not only an instrument of individual profit, but it is a moment in which to express ones’ own skills with a spirit of service in a professional activity, be it factory work, agricultural, scientific or otherwise,”
“Culture, voluntary service and work constitute the indivisible trinomial of the Catholic laity’s daily life, which makes belonging to Christ and the Church more real, in the private as much as in the public spheres of society.”
“The lay faithful put themselves in the game when they touch one or more of these contexts and, in the cultural service, by showing solidarity with those in need and on the job, they strive to promote human dignity.”
The world of medical care is always under the gun due to costs. It is has changed so radically in the last 40 years that it would make your head spin. The Church has for 2000+ years been at the center of healthcare around the world. I can think of the hospices at the cathedrals, monasteries, parish churches, roadside stations. Historically, no cathedral church would be without facilities to welcome the stranger, care for the ill person or instruct the ignorant. The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy were always and without reservation kept fresh in our daily activities and living the Gospel. In Connecticut we are blessed to have several hospital centers that were founded by religious sisters following the example of the Lord and then the Apostles in healing the sick and caring for those in need of certain medical attention in body, mind or spirit.
“The first thing we wrestled with was the question of Catholicity, and the sisters were incredibly engaged and courageous and made this decision [to merge with the secular hospital] that it was more important to meet the mission in New Haven than to retain official Catholicity.”
The Holy See Press Office Director Jesuit Father Federico
Lombardi said this morning in Rome that “The fact that the Cuban authorities
have immediately accepted the request made by the Holy Father to President Raul
Castro, declaring next Good Friday a holiday, is certainly a very positive
sign. The Holy See hopes that this will facilitate participation in religious
celebrations and favor a happy Easter holiday. It also hopes that the Holy
Father’s visit may continue to produce fruits for the good of the Church and of
Catholics of a certain vintage remember the Saint Vincent de Paul Society –whose motto is “Seeking Charity and Justice– organizes people to respond to the human and spiritual needs of our neighbor. The Society is getting new life with a new leader. The Gospel is still changing people’s lives.