Protecting our common home for generations to come
The superfluities of the rich are the necessities of the poor. When you possess superfluities, you possess what belongs to others."
The Issue at Hand
According to the PovertyUSA.org, approximately 1 in 10 U.S. citizens live below the poverty line. This includes 1 out of every 6 children. Over 550 thousand people experience homelessness on any given night. 2 .5 million children experience homelessness each year. 11% of all households experience hunger. Hunger and homelessness disproportionately impact minorities, immigrants, those attempting to re-enter society after incarceration, and those who suffer with addiction and other mental illnesses.
The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first. More on Option for the Poor and Vulnerable.
What St. Augustine Says
1,600 years ago, Saint Augustine taught that following Christ involves a concern for the common good. As Augustine states in the Rule which governs the Augustinian way of life, the more concerned we are about the common good, the more progress we have made in our spiritual journey (Rule, V). One of the foundational principles of the Augustine’s sense of community was sharing all things in common, distributing the goods to each according to need.
How to Respond
Reflect & Respond Today
- This day is an invitation to pray, reflect, witness, and take action to encourage elimination of discrimination against human beings on the grounds of race, color, or ethnic origin.
- This Day highlights many of the family values that form a basic part of Catholic moral teaching. The observance recognizes the importance of the family as the basic unit of society.
- This day seeks to involve people, businesses and governments everywhere to take action on critical environmental challenges.
- Human Rights Day reminds us that we are called to take a stand to defend and promote the basic rights dignity of all persons. We invite you to observe this day by learning, praying, speaking and acting to ensure that basic human rights are respected everywhere.