The world is growing more unhappy … because less people are generous with the Truth
The obvious message in today’s readings is about generosity. Of course, we usually think about money. And those of us with money roll our eyes and feel frustrated!… well, maybe.
Economic generosity IS an urgent need in our world, today, where the gap between rich and poor daily grows wider. For the sake of peace, richer nations must share more, or there will be wars over access to resources. People say, it’s better to die fighting for justice than to starve!
In a recent Al Jazeera TV documentary, it exposed the false speakers on Climate Change. It’s now proven that Oil companies have been funding dishonest propaganda to cause doubt about climate change science. Oil Companies collected scientific data in the 1970’s indicating that Climate Change was real and would be a catastrophe for some communities in the world. Exxonmobil & Shell in particular.
In addition, the Oil companies have spent Billions of dollars over the last 30 years to fund University research centres, Think-tanks and PR companies, to manipulate climate change info.
So, even more important than financial generosity, our world needs a generous sharing of the TRUTH. This will be the foundation for increasing economic generosity.
Each one of us must also give, now more than ever, personal time to learn the Truth about many issues. Radical groups and big business, including big tech companies, are using social media to manipulate people’s thinking about morals, which have long reaching consequences.
In recent months we’ve seen parents in America being labelled as domestic terrorists for objecting to un-Christian policies in School Board meetings. The Church, of course, has also failed in being generous with the Truth regarding child abuse over many years. That has now changed dramatically, but needed a lot of pressure.
The same could be said of each person in our communities: are we interested in real, objective Truth? Or are we too busy, and prefer the truth that feels good = the post-Truth era.
One definition of the post-Truth era: relating to or existing in an environment in which facts are viewed as irrelevant, or less important than personal beliefs and opinions, and emotional appeals are used to influence public opinion: post-truth politics.
The number of people who say they are spiritual, but not religious, is increasing. These are people who want spirituality to be a private matter.
Spiritual, but not religious, people are often critical of public “interference” by the Church in politics and Community life. Why? It’s a logical consequence of the increasing importance of personal choice and “me” first. Past generations said: “community” first.
By being spiritual, but not religious, we usually make God into who/what we want God to be, rather than allowing God to mould us into the person God created us to be. This can also apply to Catholics who say, “I can pray at home, I don’t need to go to Church.”
However, if we allow God to mould us, we’ll find greater happiness in our lives over the longer term. Why? Because more people in the community will be pulling in the same direction: building trust, security, generosity, prosperity and peace.
True Generosity, at the end of the day, is really the giving of ourselves in the lives of others. The 2nd reading reveals how Christ gave His life, and the Resurrection of dead became possible.
The elderly poor woman in the Gospel teaches us that nobody is too poor to give something. And she reveals the true meaning of generosity: giving until it’s a sacrifice, not just excess.
Speaking up for the truth can be dangerous: 1,400 dead journalists around the world, over the last 30 years, are testimony to that! Courageous parents who speak up in school meetings also know the sacrifice of speaking the truth.
For all its faults, the Church, historically, has been the principal educator in Community living, where we all enter adulthood with the same values of honesty, respect for life, hope, and resilience during times of suffering. Some of those values have been lost, or watered down.
The world, right now, is at a dangerous tipping point. It has never been so rich, and yet so sad. Youth suicide, drug addiction, self-harm by many people, and people suffering with mental health problems have never been higher. More countries have civil wars than ever before! Our prison populations are increasing rapidly.
Can we be generous by learning and sharing the Truth, and protecting the Truth? Our future happiness depends on it. The alternative is a world of survival of the fittest. In the process of being generous with the Truth, we will find deeper meaning in life, and inner joy.
By Gerard Conlan, OMI