Thomas Merton wrote: “I look at the rising sun and feel that now upon me falls the responsibility of seeing what all my ancestors have seen, in the Stone Age and even before it, praising God before me. Whether or not they praised him then, for themselves, they must praise him now in me. When the sun rises each one of us is summoned by the living and the dead to praise God.” The ‘meaning’ of the Universal Christ. As the sun rose today and the mourning doves came to eat under the spruce tree, I am reminded that I am being summoned.
I find myself thinking about how does religious, social teachings, of any religious body address social action, but I am focusing on Christian social pedagogy at the moment, challenge our spirituality, contemplation, and action? What is the role of our understanding of the Universal Christ in social action and teachings? I think about what I have read in RR books and reflect on the challenge of being “prophetic in Gospel and Culture” within the context of social teachings. The nature of discipleship in historical Christianity is complex and multileveled, but what does it mean for us today? As Christians, we are called upon to be prophetic, responsible, and sacramental, and these three are…I think… are the drivers for social teachings and action.
As we come to understand the essence of the Universal Christ, the incarnation, and the role, responsibility and relationship (i call it the # Rs) we have as human beings we come to see and understand our obligation to help the poor, arises from that radical notion ‘to love one’s neighbor as one’s self’, this should cause us to think about what is the highest priority….What action do we take as believers? what are the social and economic implications for us as global citizens? What do we do locally and nationally to organize our society to understand what it means to live poor? To look at our world and the environment we live in as described in Laudato Si and its implication for the poor? Dualism sustains poverty, to ‘to love one’s neighbor as one’s self’, should break through the ‘them’ and ‘us’ attitude that dualism provides.
I think we can do this by starting in our neighborhoods, our parishes/churches/temples, we need together to innovate, educate, and collaborate together before the change will occur. The gospels call us to action and contemplation. When we study the early church we see a church where all the members educated each other and the community they lived in, education begets collaboration and produces action. With all the technology we have in our world, education should not be a constraint.