When beloved individualism runs into the common good.
By Dan Misleh, Founding Executive Director,Catholic Climate Covenant - reprinted with permission
“Clearly, I live in a bubble.
Having worked in the Catholic Church my entire career, the importance of the common good and solidarity are as familiar to me as baseball is to a baseball fan.
As Catholic Christians, we are, in fact, called to be our brother’s and sister’s keepers.
Yet I continue to be puzzled by how many people embrace—as if it is an article of faith—the ethos of American individualism. Too many of us act as though we’ve never even heard the terms solidarity or the common good.
I often ask myself, what happened to love of neighbor and the expansive definition of neighbor that is defined so clearly in Matthew 25? I wonder why so many embrace individual “rights” but ignore the corresponding “responsibility” to secure those rights for others.
Over the years, responses to the climate crisis have been similar. Instead of seeing the threat to current and future generations, too many of us go about our fossil fuel-fueled lives as if their lives don’t matter.
Sure, we have a right to own a car and heat and cool our homes, but we also have a responsibility to protect others from a warming planet resulting from these behaviors.
We ignore the science because it asks us to change our lives, to live more simply, and to take seriously that we are co-creators with God.
None of us perfectly live our faith. But, at a minimum, we ought to be questioning the dangers of runaway individualism and be willing to think beyond our own needs and desires.
As we enter into the sixth anniversary of the release of Laudato Si’, I pray that we can be reminded, as Pope Francis says so eloquently,
that all is connected, that we must hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, and that we’re not faced with two crises, one environmental and one social, but one crisis that is both environmental and social.
Dan (reprinted with permission)
Founding Executive Director
Catholic Climate Covenant
Four-Part Series on the Pathbreaking Encyclical Fratelli Tutti: Franciscan Action Network is excited to bring you a series of discussions that will unpack the Holy Father’s directives to help heal divisions and guide us towards better unity.
As a way to enrich our understanding and reflection on the encyclical, they will host four discussions on Fratelli Tutti in conjunction with specific topics. These discussions will be:
Fratelli Tutti on Culture and Society, with Kim Daniels & Heidi Schlumpf on May 5
Fratelli Tutti on Racism and Anti-Racism, with Olga Segura & Ralph McCloud on May 19
Fratelli Tutti on Economics, with Anthony Annett & Meghan Clark on May 26
Fratelli Tutti on Governance and Politics, with Amy Uelmann & David Cloutier on June 16
Each webinar will begin at 7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT) and last for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Please click here to register individually for each of these rich discussions with some of America’s foremost experts on the importance of this incredible encyclical from Pope Francis. Catholic Climate Covenant is one of the proud sponsors of the series.
Opportunities to learn and act:
Catch up to the 21-day environmental justice challenge: This 21-day environmental justice challenge is brought to you by the joint efforts and partnership of Ignatian Solidarity Network, Catholic Climate Covenant, Global Catholic Climate Movement, Jesuit Office of Justice and Ecology, and the Sisters of Mercy. From April 23-May 16, those who sign up will receive daily emails on environmental justice, and topics including land, air, energy and water. If you join now, you can follow along on the website for the days that have already passed, and you will receive daily emails between now and May 16. Learn more and sign up here.
Watch Recording of Sacred Land, Sacred Spaces Webinar: If you missed this special webinar in the spirit of encounter and of Laudato Si’, the Catholic Climate Covenant invites you to watch a recording of the webinar Sacred Land, Sacred Spaces here featuring Deborah Echo-Hawk, Ronnie O’Brien, and Nikki Cooley, and the dedication they share to the well-being of Native American tribal nations and peoples, and the lands, territories and cultures they hold sacred.
…Let the Secular Franciscans seek a proper spirit of detachment from temporal goods by simplifying their own material needs...
- Article 11, Rule of the SFO
…Let them be mindful that according to the gospel they are stewards of the goods received for the benefit of God’s children…
- Article 11, The Rule of the SFO
How can I learn more?
Click on this PDF logo for access to the COMPLETE issue of the Spring 2021 Franciscan Herald.
We, a fraternity in the Secular Franciscan Order, stand in solidarity with all those crying out for justice in the wrongful deaths of George Floyd and all of our other brothers and sisters who have lost their lives at the hands of those who have abused their power and authority.
We seek to encounter the living and active person of Christ in each and every one of our brothers and sisters (Art. 5, The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order). We are inspired by our patron, Blessed Franz Jägerstätter, who, rooted in his Catholic Faith, unequivocally opposed violence and unjust systems of oppression.
Like St. Francis of Assisi, we humbly pledge to do what is ours to do in order to rebuild this broken community - that it may become one of peace and equality.