Our political involvement as Christian citizens should be to promote the common good.
At the foundation of our national and personal freedom is a concept called the “Common Good.” Perhaps one of the oldest references to the concept is found in the “Epistle of Barnabus,” an early Church document dating back to 130 A.D. Long enshrined in Christian social teaching, the concept of “the Common Good” is also one of the foundation stones of the political philosophy and patrimony of Western civilization.
Contrary to the individualism and atomism of the age, which has even infected much of the post-Reformation Protestant Christian community, the individual is not the measure of all things. Freedom is not found in solitude. Nor is it found in retreating into our little enclaves and fighting to protect “us” against them. This is a recipe for division and despair, even when such an approach is followed by Christians–who of all people should follow in the footsteps of the one who gave Himself up for all!
Christian anthropology (the understanding of the nature of man/woman) introduced the very concept of “person” to civilized discourse. It is classical Christian thought that insists that we cannot be fully human without living together. We are social by nature and design.
Because of this we are also bound to one another by an obligation of solidarity (we simply are our brothers keeper) and we have a duty to participate in the social order and find a way to build a just society with all men and women, even those who are different then us or with whom we do not agree.
“And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?” St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 14:8The “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,” released this past March  in the United States, is a bugle blast that should be heard throughout the entire Church, and, through her sons and daughters, throughout the whole world. Far from an indistinct sound, it is one that rings out with crystal clarity. This magnificent volume presents the treasury of the Church’s social teaching in one place. It is waiting to now be implemented and give form to a new Catholic Action. Never before has the distilled wisdom of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church been so beautifully organized, brilliantly articulated or thoroughly researched. The Compendium is tenderly dedicated to “His Holiness John Paul II Master of Social Doctrine and Evangelical Witness to Justice and Peace.” The timing of its release is nothing short of prophetic, coming as it does in the wake of the passing to the Father of John Paul the Great and the elevation of Pope Benedict to the Chair of Peter. The time has come for an informed, educated, genuinely converted and courageously dedicated global movement of the lay faithful, a new Catholic Action, which will take this treasure into the world of the Third Christian Millennium and build a new culture of life, family, authentic freedom and solidarity; a civilization of love. What the Compendium does is to give Catholics, other Christians, other people of faith and all people of good will a complete sourcebook for the Social teaching. In this one volume we find all the references needed to study the Social Teaching and then to go “right to the source” by turning to the back. It provides the instruction that has been so desperately needed to give clear direction to those who are committed to Catholic Action. It will also be welcomed ecumenically by anyone concerned with true social justice.
Get this book and change the world.