Home > The Foundation > Reflections

Reflections

Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: April

That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to
open new paths.

prayerICON-subpage.png

St. Paul writes in his First Letter to the Corinthians, “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it. Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues.” (vv. 27-28) 

Consider the first people Jesus called to follow Him: fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot…all ordinary laymen. Consider how many of the saints were, essentially, ordinary people! You are baptized into the Body of Christ for a purpose, and countless saints have gone before you in faithful service to Jesus, living out His call to be “the salt of the earth…the light of the world…a city on a mountain” which “cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

Every member of the Body—from the newly baptized infant to the shut-in who can only pray and watch Mass on television—has a part to play in Christ’s work to redeem the world. Much of this work is the day-to-day, unseen, little tasks done with great love and fidelity: the raising of children, the honest day’s labor, showing kindness to a stranger, making a hidden sacrifice for the sake of another, and so on. We are the living stones (1 Peter 2:5) which build up the Church, not only in the sense of bricks in the wall, but also as laborers adding on to it. As a little salt flavors a great deal of food, as a little light dispels a room full of darkness, as a city on a hill is seen from miles around, so each of us is to follow and serve Christ in the way only we can, living our Catholic faith in the world as an ambassador for Our Lord.

Source: Apostleship of Prayer

 

Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: APRIL

That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to
open new paths.

prayerICON-subpage.pngOn TV and on the internet, we see daily headlines about the economy. “The Dow Jones reached another new high,” or “the economy sputtered again today.” I often feel confused and overwhelmed by these stories. What is the economy? Who is in charge? Am I powerless to change it? It can seem that the economy is a sort of giant dragon that needs to be fed—tax, regulations, innovations, new markets, and more. When it is fed, it’s happy, and grows fatter. If it isn’t, then it breathes fire, wipes out a few thousand jobs, and demands more food for tomorrow. Is this how the economy really works? Is this how it has to work? 

This month, Pope Francis asks us to pray, “For those who have responsibility in economic matters. That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to explore new ways forward.” Economists have an important role to play in the world today. Often they are college professors and researchers. They serve as advisors to businesses and government leaders. They identify and shape trends and new approaches. They impact everyone—7.5 billion of us—each day. They often feel pressure to make ‘short term gains’ to satisfy CEOs and stockholders. But these gains can be like cutting down an apple tree for quick lumber—at the cost of losing years of juicy fruits. Part of the problem is our way of looking at the economy. Are record stocks and GDPs our constant goals? Can we ever tame the beast? Perhaps we need a new way to look at the situation. Maybe the economy is not a dragon but more like a garden—where everyone is called to work and everyone is invited to eat. Different laborers have different roles: weeding, plowing, harvesting, packing, overseeing.

Regarding the economy, Pope Francis writes, “Authentic human development has a moral character. It presumes full respect for the human person, but it must also be concerned for the world around us… Accordingly, our human ability to transform reality must proceed in line with God’s original gift of all that is” [Laudato Si, #5].

The economy ought to serve humanity, instead of humanity serving the economy. Economists must be bold and creative to help us envision new ways of ‘growing’ the global garden. In prayer and action, we can support them in this holy, living enterprise.

Source: Apostleship of Prayer

Read less...