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Where the Ethics of Life and Family
the Ethics of Peace and Social Justice
and vice-versa.

On one hand, some of us are better prepared to articulate - and to stand-up for - the ethics of Life and Family, starting with each Person within the first cell of society: the family.
On the other hand, others among us are better equipped to express - and to work for - the ethics of Social Justice and Peace in the World.
But the truth is that we are all called to work with both hands for both the ethics and politics of the person and of the world,
for our own conversion and for the conversion of the world.

A slide show on peoples and places,
on our children, our work, our needs and our hopes.
(the pictures are all mine).
Whether we are working or playing
whether we are marching for life
or marching for human rights,
whether we are running alone
or going thru the journey of life
with the love of our life as a married couple,
whether we are happy playing the guitar
or exhausted working for others,
providing many services for the community,
or barely surviving in the streets,
or recuperating in a hospital bed,
whether we are roller-skating
on a sunny afternoon in the park
or running for the bus on a foggy morning,
whether we are processing to worship,
or praying,
we need your grace
and we need your mercy,
Creator of the world,
Prince of Peace,
Giver of Life,
O Holy Trinity!

I have been thinking about these two ethical and political avenues and it took me a while to write down my thoughts as briefly and succinctly as possible about the main issues. I care very much about all of them and it means a lot to me, as a follower of Christ, to stand up and promote them all. What I see as my job right now, as my responsibility, is to challenge each party to embrace them all, to raise the bar for each one of them and to demand more from them. The truth is that I don't have to "choose" one party today, I don't have to vote today. If you tell me that you are ready to vote right now, then I would suggest you take a few books with you because you are going to have to wait quite a while before the polls open. In the meantime, if anyone else is feeling at home with this double agenda of the ethics of life and the ethics of peace, then let's use the coming months to challenge each candidate.

For the Ethics of Life, Family and the Person:

- because we are called to understand that each one of us, as a person, is made in the image of God and is infinitively valuable, from natural conception to natural death; this awareness in turn should make us embrace a culture of life where families are sustained and defended, cherished and recognized as the crucial formative building blocks of society; this understanding should also help us stand up for life, based on the Theology of the Body, to live it and to promote it around us, stressing the need for personal responsibility, the importance of the gift of self in love and marriage, and seeking a constant on-going conversion, starting with the person we see in the mirror every morning!

The dimension of faith within the family, within the Domestic Church, is not only the link to God, to his Son, to the Saints, to everything transcendent, but it gives us the big picture of our journey on earth and it gives us the roadmap on how to navigate the journey. As Pope John Paul II said, we need to remember that the family is placed "at the center of the great struggle between good and evil, between life and death, between love and all that is opposed to love."

O Lord, bless us with strong families!
With clear boundaries and generous and faithful relationships…

Vote NO on abortion paraded as "just another choice"
Vote NO on gay marriage, NO on polygamy
Vote NO on the slippery slope of euthanasia and Physicians-assisted-suicide
Vote NO on the lunatic fringe of bio-ethics ready to clone,
            destroy embryos and harvest organs

For the Ethics of Peace, Social Justice and the World:

- because we are called to love God and see Christ in every neighbor (whether this neighbor is across the hall, in the next cubicle or across the world) and as a consequence of this world-view, we should repeatedly strive for the common good, where the poor and the weak are never pushed out of the way, where the old and the infirm are never discarded, but where just wages of workers and fair treatment of emigrants prevail; from local politics to global economy, whether we live and work within traditional venues or in progressive high-tech ones, we accept the obligation to articulate and push forward the social doctrine of the Church and spread the good news in the process, every day, in every possible way.

The Just War theory says that war is the last resort, that diplomacy and economic deals and dialogue benefits us all. The social justice ethics of the Church tells us to give preference to the poor, that we are supposed to share the wealth rather than gorge ourselves and that we should extend a hand rather than build walls of separation.

O Lord, bless us and bless our work!
Help us grow in charity and practice fairness and justice with everyone we meet…

Vote YES on making peace the top priority
Vote YES on a strong defense combined with co-lateral disarmament
Vote YES on protecting the environment and promoting alternative energies
Vote YES on fair trade, just wages and solidarity with emigrants
Vote YES on capitalism with restraint, on putting peoples before profits


All the following writings have shaped my mind, my heart and my conscience:
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
The Theology of the Body, Human Love in the Divine Plan , by JPII
How Christ changed the world, by Msgr Luigi Civardi
The Lord, Romano Guardini
The Person and the common good, by Jacques Maritain
Catholic Common Ground Initiative, by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb
Encyclical: On Human Life (Humanae Vitae) by Paul VI
Encyclical: On human work (Laborem Exercens) JPII
Encyclical: On the condition of the working class (Rerum Novarum) by Leo XIII
Encyclical: On social concern (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis) by JPII
Encyclical: The Gospel of life (Evangelium Vitae ) by JPII
Encyclical: Christian Marriage (Casti Connubii) by Pius XI

Plus: many of the writings of the saints! In big and bold ways or in small practical steps, they are a very inspiring ressource for encouraging us to sharpen our awareness of the ethics of life and family and the ethics of peace and social justice.

See also my list of references at the bottom of the "Domestic Church" article here for marriage and family
and at the bottom of Mother Lillie and Prop 71 article here for bio ethics.
One more link: The Busy Christian's Guide to Catholic Social Teaching by "Salt of the earth" a Claretian site here

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