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Common Ground: CCC 1897-1927

by PastorWilliams on November 1st, 2017





God created humans for social interactions. Interactions with Himself and each other. Without these interactions, people draw in on themselves. This can result in disastrous effects.

The Catechism brings out three things necessary for proper social interactions: respect for the person, social well-being and development and peace. When these three things are together, we can speak of the “common good.” The Catechism defines “common good” as “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily” (paragraph 1906, quoting Gaudium et spes (12/7/65) 26).

Of these three essential elements of the common good and proper social interactions, the greatest is respect for the person. For a society to be healthy, everyone needs to respect everyone else on the basis of their mutual createdness in God. As the great philosopher Horton the Elephant says, “A person’s a person, no matter how small” (Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who). World history has been plagued by problems and wars because of a lack of respect for some persons for superficial reasons. Africans were enslaved simply for the color of their sin. More than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, racial relations have not improved much. Women have often been maligned and abused for not possessing a man’s strength. Human trafficking is the new slavery that takes place because some people place all others as beneath them. These are just a few of the many horrible practices that have come up because a group did not have respect for all people.

Social well-being and development is key for a person to understand how he or she fits into various segments of society. 21st century America is a mobile society. There are fewer and fewer areas in our country where multiple generations of families live in close proximity. As for myself, I live nine hundred miles from the house where I lived when I graduated high school. Over the course of my life, I have moved forty times. Without my own social well-being and the development I have received through the many and various places I’ve lived, I would not have been able to survive in many of the new places I found myself. Having found people who were also transplanted into areas gave a common bond to establish a friendship. These friendships have helped shape me as a social being.

Peace is what we pray for every Sunday and indeed every day. Not only peace with God, but peace with one another. Peace gives the sense of security. When you are at peace, you have no concern about what is going on around you. The primary purpose of the government is to ensure the security of the people under their rule. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

This “quiet and peaceable life” is only available under those governments who seek to ensure all three of these elements for their society. Every person is encouraged to support their government and to help with the continuation of society as a whole. This begins with being involved with those around you so that you may see what God has designed for you in this place at this time.

From → Common Ground

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