1) Martin Luther King
2) Jan 17-25: Unity Octave of the Church
3) Marian Year in Opus Dei for the Synod of 2015 on the Family
A) Letter From a Birmingham Jail:
“I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.
B) The Depth of the Unity Octave of the Catholic Church:
The goal is not unity. It is unum. Unum is the Person of Jesus Christ as in: “Ut omnes unum sint…” (Jn. 17, 23), or “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female; you are all one (not united) in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3, 28).
A person becomes “another Christ, Christ Himself” by a lived act of faith which is the gift of the self whereby one receives the Person of Christ, the Revelation of the Father, into oneself. It is a second Incarnation, and forms a culture: a Christian culture.
Ideology against Culture:
It is analogous to what took place in the Guarani Indians in Paraguay as a result of the evangelizing efforts of the Jesuits in 1700. You have seen “The Mission.” This is it.
“The Guarani had been melded into a nation; they were a people, a culture, with dignity and autonomy that the Crown should by rights protect and defend. But the new political ideology of absolutism had no time for such medieval niceties. The Reductions would be crushed by the stroke of distant royal pens on a 1750 treaty drawing new Spanish and Portuguese boundaries in South America.
“In exchange for the port of Sacramento, Spain handed over to the Portuguese seven of the Redactions east of the new frontier, together with their inhabitants. It took eighteen years for the Spanish and Portuguese royal forces to dismember the Guarani missions. The natives fought hard to protect their villages. More than ten thousand were killed in appalling massacres; thousands of others were captured as salves or fled back to the forests. The Jesuit general in Rome ordered the missionaries to abide by the treaty and leave, but some refused and even took up arms in their defense – stances dramatized by Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) and Rodrigo (Robert De Niro) in The Mission’s tragic finale.
“The next step was not long in coming. The Crowns of Portugal, France, and Spain expelled the Jesuits from their territories and seized their assets… The departure of the Jesuits from the Spanish colonies weas traumataic.” So was the shooting of Martin Luther King.
This is analogous to what took (and is still taking) place in the United States with regard to racism, but even deeper, with regard to the entire culture of the family vis a vis the ideology of money and the free market.
The Ideology That Dominates Us: Us Unawares:
Speak Pope Francis: 54. In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.
55. One cause of this situation is found in our relationship with money, since we calmly accept its dominion over ourselves and our societies. The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.
56. While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.
57. Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and a rejection of God. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision. It is seen as counterproductive, too human, because it makes money and power relative. It is felt to be a threat, since it condemns the manipulation and debasement of the person. In effect, ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside the categories of the marketplace. When these latter are absolutized, God can only be seen as uncontrollable, unmanageable, even dangerous, since he calls human beings to their full realization and to freedom from all forms of enslavement. Ethics – a non-ideological ethics – would make it possible to bring about balance and a more humane social order. With this in mind, I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: “Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs”.
The First and Last Step
As the Jesuits did with the Guarini’s, so also must it be done today. We need to initiate a Marian Year of faith. How? Pope Francis as Cardinal Bergoglio in Argentina.
1) Faith – lived - must become culture, or it is not really faith. Faith cannot be reduced to propositions. It must be lived out in ordinary daily action. Fr. Mariano Fazio writes that “Bergoglio never forgets that the inculturation of the gospel reflects the logic of the Incarnation of the Word and is a work of the Holy Spirit. There is an initial model of inculturation in the scene of Pentecost when everyone heard the good news announced in his own language.”
2) Therefore, “Popular Piety:”
· The Shrine: “the place of the Word, a privileged place of forgiveness, reconciliation, and thanksgiving
· The Pilgrimage:
· The Feast:
· Marian Devotion:
· The Gaze of Our Lady: between herself and her crucified Son. And you.
The Fulcrum of the New Culture: The Working Person.