Catholics Thinking Globally Acting Locally

22 Mar

Catholics Thinking Globally Acting Locally

A Swiss bus crash, Syrian military raids, and an ongoing election showdown–these are just a few of the topics to grace the headlines of the papers this week. Such a grim assortment is nothing new in the news, but some days, the last thing I want to do is open the paper and read about the world’s problems. Yet, as I sit with my morning coffee, I reach for the Minneapolis Star Tribune to catch up on the events of the day. Why? No, it’s not that I just have a bleak outlook and like to be gloomy before my caffeine kicks in. The fact is that world news is important, and that means for Catholics too.

  It’s easy to argue that the news is nothing more than a series of depressing events that have no real relevance to our individual lives. I find myself passing over the front page in favor of lighter stories. We can say that we don’t have time amidst our own busy lives, and that the happenings of the lives of people elsewhere are not high on our priority list. There is even the tendency to say, for Catholics, that they should not be caught up in worldly affairs, and thus have no need to keep up to date on the news. While there are important elements in each of these views, all three of them miss the point.

  Insofar as we are human, the news of the world is of great relevance to us, so much so that we have a duty to stay informed. The things that happen to make headlines are not distant facts but realities that should touch the way we live where we are. Catholics are, yes, called to not be too attached to the things of the world, but are also required to be a part of what is happening. The Church teaches that it is necessary to consider those across the globe, even while acting for the good of the local community. This means that we cannot dismiss world events as irrelevant because they are, simply put, part of our world.

  Whether our brothers and sisters around the globe are suffering or celebrating, we have a responsibility to share in it. This is what is meant by the Church’s teaching on global solidarity. Not only that, but the news is our window to engaging with the world. If our sight does not extend beyond our own neighborhood, then it will be a narrow field of vision indeed. So the next time you’re sitting with your cup of coffee, grab a paper and see what’s happening in our world today.

– Abigail Saffert

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One Response to “Catholics Thinking Globally Acting Locally”

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