Sunday, January 24, 2010

...every economic decision has a moral consequence.

We had an electrical problem Sunday morning which caused two of our three buildings on Solly Ave. Philadelphia to be closed. So those of us who live in the two closed buildings moved to the spare rooms at our Motherhouse building. This is where our retired sisters live and where the main chapel and dining room are. We had  all we needed and more.
It was inconvenient, but how fortunate we are to have a place to go. In light of the situation in Haiti the inconvenience becomes a mere trifle.

I know life is unfair but it seems to me that we need to do much better at making our earthly existence more equitable. The plight of the Haitian people, who had bare subsistence before the earthquake and have had that destroyed, cries out to us.

I've been gradually reading Caritas In Veritate, the most recent encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI. It's not exactly an 'easy read' but well worth the effort. I am reading it a section at a time as its’ density takes some time to digest.
In Chapter 3  Fraternity,  Economic and Civil Society, Pope Benedict reminds us that God is our source, our creator, the reason we exist. We cannot divorce any human activity from that basic truth. Everything we do needs to connect to that truth. He says "every economic decision has a moral consequence."
 Economic activity seems to be carried out by many without that connection. Applying this connection to our own lives means we must be much more conscious about so many of the seemingly small economic choices we make every day.  It means being generous with our wealth, attending to the source of the goods we buy and being mindful of the impact of our economic choices.

Does the soft cotton shirt I have come from child labor in India?  What’s it mean to that child if I don’t buy it? Finding out the answer to that question means some research and I want to just ignore it as I’m busy. But now I think I can’t ignore it.

The inequalities of this world which we see so evident in the earthquake in Haiti surely cry out to heaven of our self-centered greed and selfishness. Haiti's people and land have been raped over the centuries leaving the country with little to withstand natural disasters.
All those little decisions made by many people over the centuries have so negatively impacted the people of Haiti.

With this awareness that every economic decision has a moral consequence I know I don’t want my little choices to be part of anything of that nature.This is going to mean some changes.

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