“But there is another form of poverty! It is the spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, the dear and venerated Benedict XVI, called the ‘dictatorship of relativism‘…”
“The spiritual poverty of the Western World is much greater than the physical poverty of our people….You, in the West, have millions of people who suffer such terrible loneliness and emptiness. They feel unloved and unwanted. These people are not hungry in the physical sense, but they are in another way. They know they need something more than money, yet they don’t know what it is. What they are missing, really, is a living relationship with God.”
As Catholic educators in America, we are called to serve those suffering from and those in danger of succumbing to the spiritual impoverishment that continually threatens them. I have too often seen the light of hope, intelligence and affection extinguished in children as they grow. I want to to share with them the spiritual food that Our Lord offers through His Mystical Body, but they have become too sick to receive it. In Catholic schools, we have the great opportunity to nourish these children, and often through them and through the school community, their families, fostering their spiritual, intellectual and moral development.
In these days of rejoicing in our new Pope, let us recommit ourselves with joy to the great spiritual work of mercy — “Instruct the ignorant.”