Fratelli Tutti 41: Overcoming The Animal Within

It is true that biologically, human beings are animals. Not plants or some other branch off the tree of life. Judeo-Christian tradition suggests we are also in the image of God. In a way, when our animal instinct to self-preservation surfaces, we are denying our faith.

41. I realize that some people are hesitant and fearful with regard to migrants. I consider this part of our natural instinct of self-defense.

While many students of biology focus on memes like the “survival of the fittest,” there are many more examples in science of the sum exceeding the parts. This is also true with regard to newcomers to the neighborhood.

Yet it is also true that an individual and a people are only fruitful and productive if they are able to develop a creative openness to others. I ask everyone to move beyond those primal reactions because “there is a problem when doubts and fears condition our way of thinking and acting to the point of making us intolerant, closed and perhaps even – without realizing it – racist. In this way, fear deprives us of the desire and the ability to encounter the other”.[Message for the 2019 World Day of Migrants and Refugees(27 May 2019): L’Osservatore Romano, 27-28 May 2019, p. 8]

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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