Pacem In Terris 151-152: Integration of Faith and Action

Pope John observes a certain de-Christianization fifty years ago. We should be clear that the divorce between Western culture and Christianity is not new, nor could we probably ever claim the West had totally bought in to the “Christian spirit.”

151. In traditionally Christian States at the present time, civil institutions evince a high degree of scientific and technical progress and possess abundant machinery for the attainment of every kind of objective. And yet it must be owned that these institutions are often but slightly affected by Christian motives and a Christian spirit.

152. One may well ask the reason for this, since the (people) who have largely contributed—and who are still contributing—to the creation of these institutions are (people) nwho are professed Christians, and who live their lives, at least in part, in accordance with the precepts of the gospels. In Our opinion the explanation lies in a certain cleavage between faith and practice. Their inner, spiritual unity must be restored, so that faith may be the light and love the motivating force of all their actions.

It’s true today. It was true fifty years ago. It can certainly be argued that the West has been lacking in an overall Christian spirit at least since 1914, 1870, 1792, 1618 … pick a date.

That said, the issue at hand is how to unify the life and work of the believer in the workplace. It’s a big task, but one still before us today. What’s needed? Formation, not education so much. Small groups in parishes, small groups in workplaces. Especially the latter.

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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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