The prayer intention of Pope Francis for the month of July is for politics – that political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity. Throughout history people have held a negative view of politicians. Yet this month’s prayer intention reminds us that the ultimate goal of politics is justice and charity. Human beings are not isolated individuals but social beings. And to live in society, individuals have to be guaranteed security and adequate conditions for a dignified life. As a result we need laws and legislatures to enact them, officials to enforce the laws and judges to interpret the laws and settle conflicts. We simply cannot do without such public servants who are elected by the people to uphold the common good. But sinners as we are, there is always a tendency to greed, self-interest and corruption. Electors not always elect honest politicians who in turn satisfy the interests of their electors rather than the common good. In his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”, or “the Joy of the Gospel”, Pope Francis wrote: “Politics, though often denigrated, remains a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity, inasmuch as it seeks the common good.” Charity concerns not only how we treat each individual but the effects our decisions have on our neighbors near and far. Let us, therefore join Pope Francis in July in praying that our political leaders may work for the common good of all and especially the most vulnerable members of society.
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