Charity in Truth: Chapter 3

Essay by Colt1945College, UndergraduateA+, October 2009

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“Charity in truth places man before the astonishing experience of gift. Gratuitousness is present in our lives in many different forms, which often go unrecognized because of a purely consumerist and utilitarian view of life”. The pope is stating in Chapter 3 how we can be perfectly self sufficient on our own, but helping others is more important. We are practicing original sin and don’t even realize it, we are ignorant to the facts around us because of the economy we have been brought up in.

“The conviction that man is self-sufficient and can successfully eliminate the evil present in history by his own action alone has led him to confuse happiness and salvation with immanent forms of material prosperity and social action. Then, the conviction that the economy must be autonomous, that it must be shielded from “influences” of a moral character, has led man to abuse the economic process in a thoroughly destructive way”.

This is affecting us in the long term, crushing social systems and personal freedoms and is not bringing us the justice we need in society.

People are being blinded by the material possessions we see all around us, and are not staying away from the original sin of greed. This is toppling society and is hurting everyone in that society. The Pope has Charity in truth be a stepping stone to build communities and to bring people of different races together, and to have people help each other, and not just themselves. Our problems will not be solved because of numbers and statistics, we need to look into our hearts and do the right things.

“Economic activity cannot solve all social problems through the simple application of commercial logic. This needs to be directed towards the pursuit of the common good, for which the political community in particular must also take responsibility”. Political actions will not bring justice to the redistribution of the economy, only the people themselves can do this. The Pope is strongly suggesting that people will have to solve our economic turmoil and not keep looking towards the governments to do the proper thing.

Societies cannot be turned into a communist like system where there is a wealthy class and a poor class, there must be a median, and the strong must not over take the weaker. In and of itself, the market is not, and must not become, the place where the strong subdue the weak. The Market is our friend, we do not have to shield ourselves from the outside, but we need to help contribute to the growth and prosperity. “My predecessor John Paul II drew attention to this question in Centesimus Annus, when he spoke of the need for a system with three subjects: the market, the State and civil society[92]. He saw civil society as the most natural setting for an economy of gratuitousness and fraternity, but did not mean to deny it a place in the other two settings”.

We need a solidarity in the market, where the market and society come together. Deviations and failures is becoming a new way of understanding, and this is what we need to steer clear from. “Despite some of its structural elements, which should neither be denied nor exaggerated, “globalization, a priori, is neither good nor bad. It will be what people make of it”[104]. We should not be its victims, but rather its protagonists, acting in the light of reason, guided by charity and truth”. We need to look to grow upon what we have, and to stop fighting it. By being charitable, the truth and goodness will come out of us. “Charity in truth” Let’s act today.

Citing and Quotes from Pope Benedict XVI