May 4, 2012 by eneubauer
It has been a long journey for me – I waitied until my early 20’s to become a Christ-follower and my mid-30’s before coming home to the Catholic Church. However, along the way I have stumbled across truth, in scripture, within the teachings of the Church and my experiences while “on mission” in the developing world. This truth, however exciting / difficult, has had a transformative affect on my life and I will be forever changed from the inside out! One of the gems I have discovered along the way has been the teaching within Catholic Social Teaching (CST). Within its 7 themes there is 121 of theological development describing how the Catholic Church can effectively respond to some of the worlds most pressing social issues. In addition, another eye-opening discovery has been the fact(s) that modern-day slavery is alive and well and used throughout the world in business (both legal & illegal) – forever staining many industries that make products we use everyday. I encourage you to personalize, think about, reflect on and finally – TAKE ACTION on this and other pressing social issues that need our attention!
A few years ago, while I was re-evaluating my positions on many subjects I stumbled across this video that hightlihgts an issue that affects almost everyone. Watch it and reflect. Below are some of my thoughts:
When I first heard this song – I was blown away and moved to tears. Brett has captured a set of “truth’s” regarding our society / culture. However, the truth that captured my attention is how we have a propensity to live independently, without regard for one another – for the consequences of our actions. We see the evidence of this in almost every corner of our society. The financial crisis (both personal / corporate), the environment, the use & abuse of energy, unfettered consumerism / materialism, modern day slavery (sexual / sweat shops), and a host of other global issues that affect everyone.
In general people don’t like change. Therefore, our buying / consuming habits stay the same – no matter the implications. As a matter of fact, we get “hacked off” when the price of gas causes us to think more carefully about our driving habits. Americans are carrying so much personal debt that some have to choose between groceries, the electric bill, rent / mortgage, or paying the credit cards…etc. We have such a passion for fashion, electronics, and other gadgets that we turn a blind eye to where it is made and then where it has to go when we discard it. Sure we didn’t like Saddam – but what about the thousands of innocent lives that have been lost because they were simply “casualties of war.” I am sure that mom’s, dad’s, brothers and sisters aren’t so happy…but what are WE thinking about? Remember, while we are thinking about victory for the U.S. – Iraqi families, businesses and neighborhoods are decimated. GONE! Iraqi civilians and many of our 19-20 year olds will NEVER come back. Iraqi Christians, living in some of the oldest Christian communities in the world are being driven out of their homeland with many never to return. The challenge for us is actually thinking about and takeing seriously the implications of our “corporate” actions and how it affects others around the world.
In all of this I do have hope. The reason why I am sharing my reflections is that I believe WE can change. I also believe that within our personal transformation there is opportunity for corporate rehabilitation. No longer should we allow ourselves to be defined by our society / culture. It is time for men, women and children of faith to take deliberate and compassionate action to transform their neighborhood, city and nation. Maybe, if we begin at home it will spread to our corporate decisions abroad. True transformation starts with personal conviction, a growing desire for personal integrity / accountability and an ever-maturing faith.
I write this in my personal desire to be a world changer – not one seeking fame on the front pages of a magazine but a world changer in the example of Mother Teresa (meek, humble, and selfless). Actively living a life that changes not just the outcome of the game but the rules by which the game is played. I encourage you – listen carefully to Brett Dennen’s, “Ain’t No Reason” and ask yourself…what God is asking of you? I am!