What does it mean to love our neighbor in the midst of this political climate?
As Catholics, we are called to bring the best of ourselves and our faith to the public square - and yet today, many shy away from such involvement because our national and local conversations are filled with vitriol and harsh language, often directed at people themselves.
We are called to recognize that each one of us is a beloved child of God and to respond in charity to that reality. Now is more important than ever to focus on the dignity of all people, even when we disagree, and to put faith in action by bearing witness to a better way forward.
Here are a few tips for engaging in civil dialogue from Civilize It, a project of the USCCB:
- Listen first and seek to understand the whole picture.
- Ask questions for clarifications.
- Use 'I' statements; pay attention to body language.
- Listen to what feelings are present and pay attention to how you respond.
- Summarize what you've heard and ask for feedback.
Tearing each other apart online
Watch this short video from Bishop Robert Barron: Catholics must stop tearing each other apart online. We should be outraged by those who send virulent comments to one another, preventing actually fruitful evangelical conversation. Calumny, the mean-spirited accusation of another person, is a violation of both charity and justice.
"Who could possibly blame a non-believer for thinking, 'I don't want any part of that group' if they see how Catholics engage each other on social media?" - Bishop Barron
Let us pray
O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and I ask pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen.
Words from the Saints
"America, your deepest identity and truest character as a nation is revealed in the position you take towards the human person. The ultimate test of your greatness in the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless ones.” (St. John Paul the Great)