“All of us are quite aware of, and deeply worried by, the disturbing social and political situation of the world today. Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms.
“But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps. We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject.”
Let us work and pray for a spirit of collaboration, civility, and compassion as we move forward and continue to face the vexing challenges of our times.
January is Poverty Awareness Month in the Catholic Church in the United States. It provides an opportunity to grow in our knowledge and understanding of this difficulty in our nation. Some of the basic facts are surprising: 1.5. million children experience homelessness in a year, 38 million Americans live in poverty, and 1 in 7 households is food insecure.
Our Learning Community will explore the issue of poverty from four perspectives: Immigrants and Refugee, Homelessness and Affordable Housing, Racism and MLK’s next project, and Hunger and Income Inequity. You may visit this website for more information: www.povertyusa.
org. Also, please find attached two resources that provide the means for your participation in this month of reflection and action.
Thank you for all of your support for the mission of MCS. Let’s continue to find in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth an inspiration for poverty of spirit, hunger for justice, and making peace.