- A vocation is a call that requires a free and responsible answer. Integral human development presupposes the responsible freedom of the individual and of peoples: no structure can guarantee this development over and above human responsibility. The “types of messianism which give promises but create illusions” always build their case on a denial of the transcendent dimension of development, in the conviction that it lies entirely at their disposal. This false security becomes a weakness, because it involves reducing man to subservience, to a mere means for development, while the humility of those who accept a vocation is transformed into true autonomy, because it sets them free. Paul VI was in no doubt that obstacles and forms of conditioning hold up development, but he was also certain that “each one remains, whatever be these influences affecting him, the principal agent of his own success or failure.” This freedom concerns the type of development we are considering, but it also affects situations of underdevelopment which are not due to chance or historical necessity, but are attributable to human responsibility. This is why “the peoples in hunger are making a dramatic appeal to the peoples blessed with abundance”. This too is a vocation, a call addressed by free subjects to other free subjects in favour of an assumption of shared responsibility. Paul VI had a keen sense of the importance of economic structures and institutions, but he had an equally clear sense of their nature as instruments of human freedom. Only when it is free can development be integrally human; only in a climate of responsible freedom can it grow in a satisfactory manner. - Pope Benedict XVI - in “Caritas in Veritate”
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The quote above is from Pope Benedict’s encyclical “Charity in Truth”. I posted another section from this same encyclical on June 13 with the thread’s title: “…every life is a vocation”. Pope Benedict quotes often from Bl. Pope Paul VI and I am blessed in reading this encyclical because it gives such evidence of the continuity of the Holy Spirit’s work in the Church.
May each of us learn from the Holy Spirit how to freely choose the good not only for ourselves but in our “shared responsibility” for the good God desires for the human family. May we learn to speak the Truth, and do the Truth in Charity, so to build up the Body of Christ. (cf Eph.16)
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the Hearts of Your faithful kindle in us the fire of Your Love.
Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.
Jesus, I trust in You.