The phrase, “the common good,” is a key to Catholic social teaching. The Catechism quotes the Second Vatican Council in defining this term: “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.” (CCC 1906) The Catechism then lists three qualities which the common good presumes: 1) Respect for the human person; 2) Seeking the social well-being and development of the group; and 3) Promoting peace as the context for a stable and just order. (CCC 1907-09)
From the Bishop
Before Priests and Deacons and Religious end their evenings, they pray the prayer called Night Prayer or Compline. At the beginning of this prayer, we take a few moments in silence to go over the day and seek pardon for our sins of that day. Some religious groups, such as the Jesuits, make it a point to review their day a couple of times a day. The philosopher, Socrates, is supposed to have said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” This is quite a powerful claim. Yet, to know ourselves, especially in the light of God’s love and grace, is to open ourselves to true life.
We Catholics in the State of Michigan have been praying this year for married couples and for families. This work of prayer has been taken on in light of the two synods on the family being held in Rome last year and this year. Well, this month, representative bishops from all the bishops’ conferences in the world will gather in Rome to hold this second synod with Pope Francis.
I recently came across a column written on Oct. 23, 2008 by Cardinal Edward Egan, the late former Archbishop of New York. He began the column with a photograph of a 20-week-old baby in its mother’s womb. He asked his readers to look at the photo carefully and then he asked:
We recently celebrated the funerals of two of our actively assigned priests – Father Paul Schwermer, assigned to the parishes in Flushing and Montrose, and Father Lawrence Delaney, chaplain of our retreat house in DeWitt. This is rather unusual that a priest dies while in an assignment. The two funerals were thus occasions for deep sadness and for the participation of many clergy and many of the lay faithful who were being served by these fine men and priests.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, Pope Francis has declared the coming year an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, saying, “I am convinced that the whole Church will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and making fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and every woman of our time.”