Pope Francis appealed to world leaders to seek a new economic model to help the poor, and to shun policies that “sacrifice human lives on the altar of money and profit”. The Pope also said that unbridled capitalism has taught the logic of profit at any cost, of giving in order to receive, of exploitation without looking at the person and the results of such attitudes can be seen in the crisis we are now living through.
If we recall the story of creation, God has created the world and all that is in it. God created human beings surrounded by all the necessities for us to survive; the plants, trees, animals, fish, rain, sun, moon, stars, the land for us to inhabit and others too many to mention. God made sure that we will survive and will not want for anything. But our human tendency is to look for more-to have more than what is needed-and we are never satisfied. Consumerism and the “easy life“ have succumbed the people’s mentality that money and profit become the purpose of life without consideration of how it would affect our brothers and sisters especially the poor including the underpaid workers, the high cost of living, businesses that affect the environment, people’s health etc.
St. Francis and St. Clare are both models to counter-culture. St. Francis was a son of a rich merchant and being groomed by his father to take care of the business. St. Clare was from nobility with servants and rich dowries. Both of them were aware of the situation of their neighbors. Their eyes were open to the sufferings of the poor and the outcasts. They were aware of separation between the “minores” or the poor and the “majores” or the rich and powerful. With the awareness and openness to God’s spirit, they opted to leave everything behind to minister and live with the poor and the outcasts. We may not be called to leave everything behind and live with the poor but let us reflect on how we respond to this challenge of capitalism. If we venture into business, what is our goal? Is it merely for profit and success or to help ease the sufferings of others? Do we consider how our profit would affect people’s lives and our environment? Let us call to mind that we are interconnected. We are made to inhabit the earth and share the bounty that God has provided us. We have enough land and resources to sustain everyone if only we know how to share and help each one. We are made in the image and likeness of God- and God is our true self. God is generous and never expects anything in return, so then we are all to be like Him- generous in sharing our talents and gifts even resources without expecting in return or exploiting our brothers and sisters and damaging the earth we live in.
Sr. Mary Pia Malaborbor, OSC is a Poor Clare nun in the Monastery of St. Clare at Cincinnati. She professed as a Poor Clare in the Philippines where she was born. Later in her religious life, she transitioned to the Poor Clares of Cincinnati. With two other nuns, Sr. Mary Pia has offered workshops on the background of St. Clare’s integral part in Franciscan spirituality to OFM (Order of Franciscan Minors) novice friars.
LET US PRAY
Most High, glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me true faith,
certain hope and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge, Lord,
that I may carry out
Your holy and true command. Amen
Lord, we pray for the power to be gentle;
the strength to be forgiving;
the patience to be understanding;
and the endurance to accept the consequences
of holding to what we believe to be right.
May we put our trust in the power of good
to overcome evil and the power of love to overcome hatred.
We pray for the vision to see
and the faith to believe in a world emancipated from violence,
a new world where fear shall no longer lead human beings to commit injustice,
nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.
Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy
to the task of making peace,
praying always for the inspiration and the power
to fulfill the destiny for which we and your entire creation were created. Amen
Hail Mary …
Our Father …
Glory be …