Through section 103, we will have a quick look at “Ideologies striking at the heart of the Gospel.”
100. I regret that ideologies lead us at times to two harmful errors. On the one hand, there is the error of those Christians who separate these Gospel demands from their personal relationship with the Lord, from their interior union with him, from openness to his grace. Christianity thus becomes a sort of NGO stripped of the luminous mysticism so evident in the lives of Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, and many others. For these great saints, mental prayer, the love of God and the reading of the Gospel in no way detracted from their passionate and effective commitment to their neighbors; quite the opposite.
We’ve heard the NGO comment elsewhere from Pope Francis. It’s accurate for a range of believers. In charity work, we see it when individuals become a stream in an assembly line for food, clothes, medicine, or some other offering. In justice, when the politics supercedes any consideration of spiritual grounding. Does a believer working in charity or justice experience burnout or disillusionment? That’s a sign.