Thursday, February 12, 2009

We've Got to do Something! But What?

Seems like old times, doesn't it? Democrats and Republicans wrangling (again!) about the economy. So much for "change;" at least so far.

Sen. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Harry Reid (D-NV) at a press conference advocating the Decomcrats' nearly $800,000,000,000.00 (that's approaching $1 trillion!) Stimulus Package.


Democrats are touting this as necessary, although imperfect, to get the economy going again. Republicans tend to disparage it as inconsequential and a huge waste of government funds.


One very practical question, of course, is where is the money coming from? Our government is already in deep debt to China. And the rest of this economic business becomes foggier and foggier to figure out. We rely on "experts" of economy, who don't necessarily agree with one another. Depends to which Party one subscribes and promotes, I suppose.


Nevertheless, any Stimulus Package, any antidote to a toxic economy that is malfunctioning must always take into consideration the effects on human lives. In a very real way, at least for people of an ethical conscience, be they believers or others, the economy is meant to serve humanity, not humanity at the service of the economy.


Regardless of one's economic theory(ies) or school(s) of thought, it must never be forgotten nor forsaken that so many human beings' lives have been adversely affected -- loss of employment, loss of livelihood, loss of homes, loss of credit, loss of savings, loss of retirement, loss of businesses -- all these add up to people, especially those who are older and therefore more vulnerable, suffering through the ignominy and grief of loss.


As Franciscan friars, we stand in solidarity with all those who are struggling and who are suffering the weight of grief. Our charism, a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church, and to the world, mediated through the person of St. Francis of Assisi, is to accompany those who are being cast aside through this economic downturn of the last half year or so.


Beginning with property speculations and the bubble that burst and all its subsidiary effects, we have seen the reality of human greed. It's seamy and it's ugly. Greed has no concern for the other, for human life. It respects no one; it is completely self-centered.


Generosity, on the other hand, is life-giving, as its root suggests. St. Francis, inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, wanted to be generative and so became generous. He wanted to live completely for the Lord Jesus.
Greed seduces us into the lull of self satisfaction. Generosity leads us beyond ourselves, away from the pit of self preoccupation into communion. This is what the late Pope John Paul II wrote and again what the current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI teaches.

Bro. Andy Brophy, OFM at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Greenwood, MS with parishioners.
Simply put, it's Gospel! And that is life. Perhaps coming through the murkiness of this current economic situation we can learn to be generous and to advocate those values for the economy that are virtuous; those values which respect human life and the goodness of being human. remembering that the economy serves humanity, not the other way around.

1 comment:

Connie said...

FR.KIM THE LORD GIVE YOU PEACE I AM PRAYING THAT THIS NEW STIMULUS PACKAGE WILL WORK TOWARDS AND FOR THE COMMON GOOD OF ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.EVERYONE IS TRULY FEELING THE CRUNCH OF THESE TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES PRICES EVERYWHERE KEEP RISING GROCERIES,THE BASIC NESSCESITITES (GAS,ELECTRIC,PHONE GASOLINE FOR CARS IT SEEMS AS THOUGH WE ARE SPENDING MORE AND MORE OF OUR HARD-EARNED MONEY AND GETTING LESS,AND LESS FOR IT.I REALLY APPRECIATE THE FRANCISCAN FRIARS STANDING IN SOLIDARITY WITH ALL PEOPLE STRUGGLING THROUGH THIS RECESSION.GREED IS A VERY UGLY SITUATION WHEN A PERSON HAS A GREAT DEAL OF WEALTH AND CAN PURCHASE ANYTHING THAT THEY CHOSE TO HAVE WHAT IS THERE TO HOPE FOR.THEY ALREADY HAVE EVERYTHING THIER HEARTS WISH FOR THEY MISSS THE POINT OF HOPE AND PRAYER.WHEN PERSONS ARE NOT WEALTHY THEY CAN PRAYER TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST TO HELP THEM OBTAIN THEIR GOALS AND THEY HAVE HOPE KNOWING THAT GOD IS IN TOTAL CONTROL NOT US.GOD WILL ALWAYS BE RIGHT THERE BESIDE ALL OF US HELPING US AND GUIDING US THROUGH THESE TOUCH AND DIFFICULT ECONOMIC TIMES.ALL OF US AS GOD'S HOLY PEOPLE MUST CONTINUE TO PRAYER THAT THIS GREAT NATION WILL GET BACK ON IT'S FEET AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE THE STRONG COUNTRY THAT IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN.MAY THIS NEW GOVERNMENT CONTINUE TO WORK FOR THE GOOD OF ALL OF AMERICA AND IT'S PEOPLE. FR.KIM GOD BLESS YOU AND THE ENTIRE FRANCISCAN BLESSED VIRGIN MARY PROVINCE.AMEN! THANK YOU.CONNIE