Looking At Misericordia: Trustworthiness and Sobriety

Christ the King Almada

We conclude our examination of that acrostic reflection Pope Francis gave in his address to the curia last December. Two fine virtues to wrap up this reflection, originally written for brother bishops and other bureaucrats in Rome, but full of rich material for the lay minister or family person–more of how I view myself these days.

What one does out of the public eye is most important:

12. Trustworthiness and sobriety: trustworthy persons are those who honor their commitments with seriousness and responsibility when they are being observed, but above all when they are alone; they radiate a sense of tranquility because they never betray a trust.

A mini-manifesto against materialism, and the desire to consume for the simple reason that one can, and to do it with excess.

Sobriety – the last virtue on this list, but not because it is least important – is the ability to renounce what is superfluous and to resist the dominant consumerist mentality.

What do you make of this litany of like qualities?

Sobriety is

  • prudence,
  • simplicity,
  • straightforwardness,
  • balance
  • and temperance.
  • Sobriety is seeing the world through God’s eyes and from the side of the poor.
  • Sobriety is a style of life which points to the primacy of others as a hierarchical principle and is shown in a life of concern and service towards others.
  • The sober person is consistent and straightforward in all things,
  • because he or she can reduce,
  • recover,
  • recycle,
  • repair,
  • and live a life of moderation.

I know I strive for prudence and temperance. I aspire to a life of moderation. And for today, my eyes are drawn to the verb, repair. I think of not just the repairing of things so as to resuse them or repurpose them for a new task, but also the sense of repair of relationships.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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