If you haven’t read Pope Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), we suggest you take a look. It’s long, but well worth your time.
What’s amazing is that the Holy Father’s letter is even winning praise from evangelical Protestants, as you can see for yourself in a recent Christianity Today editorial. Caritas in Veritate focuses on the idea that love comes from God, and that the acceptance of God’s truth leads us to love our neighbor and seek social progress:
Truth, and the love which it reveals, cannot be produced; they can only be received as a gift. Their ultimate source is not, and cannot be, mankind, but only God, who is himself Truth and Love.
Some people question why charity work should be tied to religious faith, as it is here at Cross Catholic. But the fact is that our love for God is what motivates us to love others. The “Catholic” in our name is not just a word we tack on for no reason: it’s a word that expresses why, and also how, we do what we do.
For example, at the Working Boys’ Center in Ecuador, the meals we provide for poor shoeshine boys and their families are given in a context that also builds faith and moral values. The families aren’t required to be Catholic, but Fr. John Halligan, who runs the Center, is very open about his beliefs. He holds daily Mass in the cafeteria, and also catechism classes; and though the religious aspect is optional, most of the families choose to participate.
It’s important to meet the immediate physical needs of the poor. But only the power of Christ can overcome destructive behaviors such as alcoholism and drug addiction that often exacerbate their poverty and trap them in despair. Real progress begins with God.
Click here to learn more about the spiritual focus of our service to the poorest of the poor.