Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Joy Of The Gospel

Evangelii Gaudium  sold over 10,000  copies within two weeks of publication. Hearing this news the editor of the Peace Weekly decided to read it.  He confesses that it was read quickly and he remembers little of what he read except for the words  underlined, referring to the four  principles governing the common good and peace.They are not easy to understand, he says, but he wants to review them with the readers.

Time is greater than Space.  This means, the editor says, that we should not be taken up with the success of the moment but be guided by big picture concerns.  "This principle enables us to work slowly but surely, without being obsessed with immediate results. It helps us patiently to endure difficult and adverse situations, or inevitable changes in our plans. It invites us to accept the tension between fullness and limitation, and to give priority to time. One of the faults which we occasionally observe in sociopolitical activity is that space and power are preferred to time and process. Giving priority to space means madly attempting to keep everything together in the present, trying to possess all the spaces of power and of self-assertion; it is to crystallize processes and presume to hold them back" (223).

Unity prevails over conflict, the second principle, means that when we try to cover over conflict it does not disappear: "When conflict arises, some people simply look at it and go their way as if nothing happened; they wash their hands of it and get on with their lives. Others embrace it in such a way that they become its prisoners; they lose their bearings, projecting onto institutions their own confusion and dissatisfaction and thus make unity impossible. But there is also a third way, and it is the best way to deal with conflict. It is the willingness to face conflict head on, to resolve it and to make it a link in the chain of a new process" (227). “Blessed are the peacemakers!” (Mt 5:9).

Realities are more important than ideas, the third principle, says Ideas are different from realities; therefore to be overcome with our ideas and overlook reality is unwise. Angelic purism , empty study of the Mass, goals unrelated to reality, moralism unrelated  to good faith,  wisdom unrelated to the intellect have to be fought against.  "We have politicians–even religious leaders–who wonder why people do not understand and follow them, since their proposals are so clear and logical. Perhaps it is because they are stuck in the realm of pure ideas and end up reducing politics or faith to rhetoric. Others have left simplicity behind and have imported a rationality foreign to most people"(232).

The whole is greater than the part, fourth principle. This is obvious. The pope is telling us, he says, that we can't overlook where we are and where are two feet are planted, but we should not forget where we are headed, and widen our vision to include the greater good.

These four principles are not easy to understand, the editor says, but they help a great deal in dealing with the problems that come up daily in the workplace and in our families.  He ends by quoting from section #221: "Progress in building a people in peace, justice and fraternity depends on four principles related to constant tensions present in every social reality. These derive from the pillars of the Church’s social doctrine, which serve as 'primary and fundamental parameters of reference for interpreting and evaluating social phenomena.'  In their light I would now like to set forth these four specific principles which can guide the development of life in society and the building of a people where differences are harmonized within a shared pursuit. I do so out of the conviction that their application can be a genuine path to peace within each nation and in the entire world."

No comments:

Post a Comment