So there we have it!!
Paragraph 1905 says, “In keeping with the social nature of man, the good of each individual is necessarily related to the common good, which in turn can be defined only in reference to the human person: Do not live entirely isolated, having retreated into yourselves, as if you were already justified, but gather instead to seek the common good together.”
How do I want to live my life?
What is the best thing for me to do right now?
I’m letting Fr. Mike go on with this….just listen
What is the best thing for me to do right now, keeping in mind tomorrow?
What is the best thing for me to do right now, in light of where I want to be in a year…or 5 years…or 20 years…or at my deathbed?
What is the best thing for me to do right now if I want to be in a particular place at the end of my life?
What is the best me I could be right now that would not just be good for me at the moment of my death but also would be good for the people closest to me?
What is the best thing I could do right now not just for me, but also for the people for whom I am responsible? Because I want the best for them too
What is the best thing I can do right now, not just for me, but for the people I am closest to, not just right now but also in the future?
What is the best thing I can do right now personally, not just for me, and not just for the people I am closest to, but for society?
It all starts with the individual
The good of each individual that is necessarily related to the common good
If we just think about ourselves, the answer to this question is limited and maybe not the same thing as what is the best thing I can do right now if I am not just thinking about me but also thinking about the people I care about most and my community
It always comes back in reference to the human person
That common good can never violate even one individual human being
Paragraph 1906 says, “By common good is to be understood ‘the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.’ The common good concerns the life of all. It calls for prudence for each, and even more from those who exercise the office of authority. It consists of three essential elements…”
The three elements are so important
There are people in the history of the world and even right now who can be so preoccupied by the common good that they trample on individual sovereignty and individual rights
They treat the human person as a simple cog in a machine
Paragraph 1907 says, “First, the common good presupposes respect for the person as such. In the name of the common good, public authorities are bound to respect the fundamental and inalienable rights of the human person. Society should permit each of its members to fulfill his vocation. In particular, the common good resides in the conditions for the exercise of the natural freedoms indispensable for the development of the human vocation, such as ‘the right to act according to a sound norm of conscience and to safeguard…privacy, and rightful freedom also in matters of religion.’”
What is wrong with socialism and communism?
They override or subordinates the person to the group
And the person can never be subordinated to the group
The person can never be dominated by the group
The person’s own freedom and personal sovereignty has to always exist
Paragraph 1908 says, “Second, the common good requires the social well-being and development of the group itself. Development is the epitome of all social duties. Certainly, it is the proper function of authority to arbitrate, in the name of the common good, between various particular interests; but it should make accessible to each what is needed to lead a truly human life: food, clothing, health, work, education and culture, suitable information, the right to establish a family, and so on.”
In a group of people we have various interests and sometimes those interests are in competition
Striving for the common good is working together to make sure that every individual has access to food, clothing, education, basic stuff
Paragraph 1909 says, “Finally, the common good requires peace, that is, the stability and security of a just order. It presupposes that authority should ensure by morally acceptable means the security of society and its members. It is the basis of the right to legitimate personal and collective defense.”
The authority not only has to acknowledge the goodness and dignity of the individual but also the ability to enforce laws and protect individuals
Paragraph 1910 says, “It is the role of the state to defend and promote the common good of civil society; its citizens, and intermediate bodies.”
Paragraph 1911 says, “Human interdependence is increasing and gradually spreading throughout the world. The unity of the human family, embracing people who enjoy equal natural dignity, implies a universal common good. This good calls for an organization of the community of nations able to ‘provide for the different needs of men; this will involve the sphere of social life to which belong questions of food, hygiene, education,...and certain situations arising here and there, as for example…alleviating the miseries of refugees dispersed throughout the world, and assisting migrants and their families.’”
Every human being has equal, natural dignity
That implies a universal common good
If everyone in my neighborhood has enough food, clothing, health, shelter, etc. and the people in the next town over, and all the states are doing well, then we keep looking
Who is my neighbor?
WHOEVER IS IN NEED IS MY NEIGHBOR!!
The Church is not talking about a one world government
The Church is talking about the COOPERATION of the community of nations
Let’s work together to do what we can to provide for the needs of all individuals
It is easy to turn a blind eye to all the homeless people and all the people who are trafficked around the world
It’s easy to say we can’t do anything about that
When we see an individual going hungry tonight or is homeless or is being trafficked
What can I do about that?
How can we work together?
How can my community do anything about that?
How can the community of nations address and alleviate the miseries of the people around us?
Like refugees and migrants
Every person has human dignity
If I CAN help I NEED to help
That is a life oriented towards the common good
If it is the case that every individual has human dignity, then what do I do?
What is my call?
Too often, we say, “What should others do?”
At some level we have to realize I am only me
What can I do with my meager circle of influence?
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!