11/2/12

Embracing citizenship


From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
We encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity meaningfully to participate in building the culture of life. Every voice matters in the public forum. Every vote counts. Every act of responsible citizenship is an exercise of significant individual power. We must exercise that power in ways that defend human life, especially those of God's children who are unborn, disabled or otherwise vulnerable. We get the public officials we deserve. Their virtue–or lack thereof–is a judgment not only on them, but on us. Because of this we urge our fellow citizens to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically and to choose their political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation or mere self-interest 
(Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics, no. 34).

From Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical on Love:
The mission of the lay faithful is therefore to configure social life correctly, respecting its legitimate autonomy and cooperating with other citizens according to their respective competences and fulfilling their own responsibility (Deus Caritas Est, #29).

From the Second Vatican Council:
But the laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God.  They live in the world, that is, in each and in all of the secular professions and occupations.  They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, from which the very web of their existence is woven.  They are called there by God that by exercising their proper function and led by the spirit of the Gospel they may work for the sanctification of the world from within, in the manner of leaven (Lumen Gentium, #31).

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human person (CCC #1913).

From the words of Christ himself when he proclaims:
"You are the salt of the earth. . . You are the light of the world. . . your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father" (Matthew 5: 13, 14, 16).

And when he tells the story of the king who says to those who have cared for their brothers and sisters in need: "'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'" (Matthew 25:34-36)


 

   
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