Friday, September 17, 2021

The Leaven That Brings Change and Creativity

"No man can live happily who regards himself alone, who turns everything to his own advantage. Thou must live for another if thou wishes to live for thyself." "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." These two quotes the first from Seneca and the second from Nietzsche are examples that life is rough, non-believers who in the difficulties of their own lives knew what made sense even if they did not live according to their ideals.

In the Catholic Times the priest writer of Light of the World column reminds the readers that with faith we have the leaven that brings about change and creativity. He begins with an account of person who helped another not with any thing material but inviting him to work together for others. He realized later that the material aid he was looking for would not have helped as much as the invitation to help others.

The writer is concerned with  social issues and their solutions. The difficulties always remain with many conflicts, tensions over the limited goods in society which require  maturity and effort to deal with them properly.

Solving problems is by no means easy. When one is solved, another problem develops and seems to go on endlessly. God loves the world, and God's salvation exists in this world, but endless fights, disputes, alienation, and poverty never end. Is that why in the end, the social, political, and economic achievements of civilization are only relative and tentative, so the apostle Paul said that the world we see is going to disappear? (1 Cor. 7,31).

However the church exists in this world. "Humans live in this world, but should not be manipulated by the world. The Church's social doctrine is presented as a 'work site' where the work is always in progress, where perennial truth penetrates and permeates new circumstances, indicating paths of justice and peace. Faith does not presume to confine changeable social and political realities within a closed framework.
Rather, the contrary is true: faith is the leaven of innovation and creativity. The teaching that constantly takes this as its starting point develops through reflection applied to the changing situations of this world, under the driving force of the Gospel as the source of renewal" #86 Compendium of the Social Gospel.

What puts human activities in crisis is our excessive narcissism and arrogance that keeps faith and gospel away, which is also the most important lesson of faith learned from the Scriptures— Arrogance, the biggest root of sin and helplessness.

If you work hard on anything, you will suffer. Faithful efforts, good deeds and charity, interest and patience, and all activities that have a good influence on neighbors and society will naturally become depleted and exhausted. The most appropriate prescription for this is to take the time to pray and stay close to the teaching of the gospel.

Many great people who have dedicated their lives for their neighbors, such as Cardinal Kim and Sister Mother Teresa, did not leave out prayer in their activities resonates with the writer. 
We gain new strength and motivation through the teaching of the gospel to continue the work of the Lord. The gift of faith  does not stop there. Faith makes a path for us to walk and new things to do when we enter dead-ends, despair and darkness. Faith one of God's most precious gifts.

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