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Translating Faith into Action
by Sr. Katie Mitchell, FSPA | October 22, 2015
Do you remember how often Pope Francis called us to serve those in need and to work for justice and peace during his recent visit to the United States? He told us: “None of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and for social justice.” He showed us this with his example, too, by visiting the homeless and poor while here. He invited us to reach out to the marginalized and the vulnerable, to have a faith that is public and social. In fact, the Church’s teaching on social justice, that is, Catholic social teaching is central to our faith and a key to our Catholic identity. Our relationship with God affects all of our life, including our social, political and economic dimensions.
Do you remember the scripture passage in Luke 11about true blessedness? Jesus was speaking to the crowds and a woman called out to him saying, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts which nursed you.” Jesus answered the woman by saying, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” This is what we do when we practice Catholic social teaching: we translate our faith into action! This call comes from Jesus and is rooted in our Catholic tradition, theology and practice.
Catholic social teaching is based on our belief in human life and dignity and the understanding that we are precious and created in God’s image. It calls us to uphold the dignity of human life at its beginning, ending and every stage in between. Our Catholic faith calls us to concrete actions of love.
- What if we reached out to the poor and vulnerable?
- What if we worked to change the growing gap between the wealth of some and the poverty of the majority of the people on this earth?
- What if we raised awareness about human rights’ abuses and the terrible plague of human trafficking?
- What if we challenged the structures of sin that result from the desire for profit and power?
- What if we were better stewards of creation and acted to bring about change among those who disregard creation and the growing threats to earth?
- What if we gave a voice to those who are often voiceless: the homeless, immigrants, the hungry, the abused, those who face discrimination and oppression.
- What if like Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “we meet Christ in his distressing disguise”?
Let us be instruments of God’s justice and peace in our contemporary world!
Image: Hands around the Global. Creative Commons. Found at www.buildingpeace.org.
Sr. Katie Mitchell, FSPA
Katie Mitchell, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, is a pastoral associate at Saint Mary Parish in Evanston, Il. She has ministered in teaching, faith formation, young adult ministry, vocation ministry and ministry with media. Katie has a B.A. in History and Communications, a M.A. in Education, and a M.A. in Theology. She also earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Catholic Theological Union at Chicago.