A new way of being in the world

It seems that reality is demanding from the Christian a response to the needs of today’s mankind, here and now. And it must be a response that not only responds to the spiritual dimension of human beings, but also offers them the keys to live with freedom and meaning in all areas of their lives, including the financial sphere.

Society is changing at a dizzying pace. In technical terms, new technologies are revolutionizing all areas of human life. Devices are offering more and more surprising functionalities. The internet of things is advancing by leaps and bounds. The promises of science are becoming ever more ambitious. And as has happened so often throughout history, the technical transformation is also being accompanied by a transformation of culture, mentality and habits.

Anyone who takes a look at today’s mankind will discover common features that reveal self-perceptions and which criteria are followed in relating to the surrounding world:

  • Results mentality: Influenced too much by commercialization, modern mankind lives in a continuous search for results. The tasks performed must by necessity be useful, they must serve a purpose, and produce results that are measurable, evident and immediate. 
  • Dispersion: The values that were the foundation of culture a century ago have been replaced by other values that are changeable, fickle and less solid. The retaining walls that allowed the life and forces of mankind to be directed resolutely towards a good, beautiful and true ideal have collapsed, and with them, mankind has allowed itself to be dragged towards dispersion.
  • Sentimentality: The emotional world has taken on unprecedented prominence. This change is a two-sided coin. On the one hand, it restores the importance of the affective dimension of mankind, which is crucial for the harmonious growth of society. On the other hand, excessive emphasis on feelings, above reason and will, can lead to decisions being made according to erroneous and inconsistent criteria.
  • Secularisation: In recent decades society has striven to remove the practice of faith from public life. In the case of Europe, the spaces in which the presence of the Church was once most natural are being closed to any manifestation of faith. Human beings are seeking to satisfy their religious sense by relying on promises coming from ideologies of all kinds (scientific, philosophical or political).

All this leads to a situation in which «the social fabric is weakening and society is becoming diluted into a disoriented mass, an apposition of individuals with conflicting interests, without certain reference to a personal and common good and without the capacity to build a society that is truly just, a true ethos, where a truly human life is born, develops and grows»[1].

Who would not feel challenged by such a situation? It seems that reality is demanding from the Christian a response to the needs of today’s mankind, here and now. And it must be a response that not only responds to the spiritual dimension of human beings, but also offers them the keys to live with freedom and meaning in all areas of their lives, including the financial sphere. The question we should ask ourselves as Christians is: how can we be an answer to the questions of today’s mankind in a world where the place of the Church as an institution is increasingly modest? How do we obey the suggestion of John Paul II in his encyclical Christis Fideles Laici that we should not remain idle[2]?

Keeping this question alive and answering it is the task of each one of us. However, Benedict XVI proposed a way of doing this – and we will go into it in more detail in future articles. He spoke of a Church made up of creative minorities. That is, by small groups of believers who are convinced and on fire with «a heritage of values which are not a thing of the past, but a very much alive and present reality»[3]. Groups that, far from closing in on themselves, are capable of opening up to creativity that does not come from them in order to respond with parresia [4]to all the challenges that continually arise in our society.


[1] Granados, L. and Ribera, I., 2011. Creative minorities. Didaskalos.

[2] John Paul II, 1988. Christi Fideles Laici. p. 3. Available at: https://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/es/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_30121988_christifideles-laici.html

[3] Benedict XVI. 26.09.2009. Meeting with journalists. Available at: https://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/es/speeches/2009/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20090926_interview.html

[4] Pope Francis. 18.04.2020. Homily. The gift of the Holy Spirit: openness, courage, parresia. Available at: https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/es/cotidie/2020/documents/papa-francesco-cotidie_20200418_lafranchezza-dellapredicazione.html

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