Populorum Progressio 79: Hope for the Future

Should we have Hope for the Future? I think so. Pope Paul VI agreed fifty years ago, and perhaps there were more reasons for both caution and optimism then compared to now. Today as then, the hope is not fanciful:

79. Some would regard these hopes as vain flights of fancy. It may be that these people are not realistic enough, and that they have not noticed that the world is moving rapidly in a certain direction. (People) are growing more anxious to establish closer ties of (community); despite their ignorance, their mistakes, their offenses, and even their lapses into barbarism and their wanderings from the path of salvation, they are slowly making their way to the Creator, even without adverting to it.

Non-Christians certainly respond to the will of God in this, that despite our flaws, and even a lack of faith in Christ, we aspire to a Christ-like love for others and a communion greater than our individual abilities and offerings.

For those who celebrate the Eucharist, we should be even closer:

This struggle toward a more human way of life certainly calls for hard work and imposes difficult sacrifices. But even adversity, when endured for the sake of one’s (sisters and) brothers and out of love for them, can contribute greatly to human progress. The Christian knows full well that when (she or) he unites … with the expiatory sacrifice of the Divine Savior, he helps greatly to build up the body of Christ, (Cf. Ephesians 4:12; Lumen Gentium 13) to assemble the People of God into the fullness of Christ.

Christians struggle here, too. Even those who share a commonality of belief in the Eucharist, despite our squabbles, narcissism, and lack of faith. Yet there is hope.

This encyclical letter is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana, and can be found in its entirety at this link.

The image is of Lady Justice at the Central Criminal Court of London.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Populorum Progressio, social justice. Bookmark the permalink.

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