EG 205: The Vocation of a Politician

Vasnetsov_Maria_MagdalenePope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium prays for capable politicians. Do we need that!

205. I ask God to give us more politicians capable of sincere and effective dialogue aimed at healing the deepest roots – and not simply the appearances – of the evils in our world! Politics, though often denigrated, remains a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity, inasmuch as it seeks the common good.[Cf. Comission Sociale de L’Épiscopat Francais, Réhabiliter la politique (17 February 1999); cf. PIUS XI, Message of 18 December 1927]

Politics as a vehicle for living out one’s vocation: we can only say that if we’re speaking of a labor for the common good, and not for a greater benefit for oneself or one’s friends.

Pope Benedict makes yet another contribution to the discussion:

We need to be convinced that charity “is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones)”.[Caritas in Veritate 2]

What is needed are people who are bothered, dissatisfied, and concerned about the state of things:

I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor! It is vital that government leaders and financial leaders take heed and broaden their horizons, working to ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education and healthcare. Why not turn to God and ask him to inspire their plans? I am firmly convinced that openness to the transcendent can bring about a new political and economic mindset which would help to break down the wall of separation between the economy and the common good of society.

Openness to God: what might that bring about? Too many people (and I speak from personal experience on this one) have a pre-conceived plan they take to God, and just want the thumbs-up endorsement.

What Pope Francis is suggesting is that we allow ourselves to be touched, influenced, and moved by the disturbing things that happen in the world. The Ignatian discernment would be to hold that in a conscious way, then use the talents and abilities of those around us in concert with what we offer.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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