Compassion and Church Teaching

Compassion and Church Teaching

My wife and I are blessed with six children.

When I share that with folks today and want to communicate what a joy they are to our lives, it’s often difficult to get beyond the raised eyebrows and gasps, with the inference of “How do you manage it?” The reality is that each of our kids, in all their uniqueness, strengths, and weaknesses, is a gift from God. The challenge of raising them to become the best versions of themselves, to reach their full potential in life, is something to which we feel called and which we embrace. It requires sacrifice, and my wife and I welcome it although it is not always easy or convenient!
Reaction by some to Church teaching, whether it be protecting the rights of the child conceived in the womb, the dignity of women, immigration, gun control, healthcare, or the welfare of the poor and most vulnerable, may also be motivated by a society seemingly oriented solely by advancement of self and self-interest.

The reality is that, like being the parent of one or many children, to live fully and completely up to the call requires self-sacrifice.

Perhaps that is why many people find the Church’s teachings on the issues mentioned above, or any other modern issue in our society, difficult to understand and embrace. A call to selflessness indeed flies in the face of modern cultural sensibilities.
Here at Franciscan Media, with our mission grounded in the Franciscan tradition, we embrace a call that encourages us to move beyond self to service of the other, especially the poorest and most vulnerable people. The teachings of the Church, when understood from this perspective, can be a vehicle by which we are challenged to move beyond mere concern for self and self-interest to concern for and service of the other. If we truly embrace the call to selflessness, what a different and more compassionate world this will be!

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About the Author

Matt is the manager of the Media Production Department at Franciscan Media. He serves as executive producer on all audio and video products produced.