Everybody wants “Subsidiarity.” “He who governs least governs best.” The only problem is that capitalists, communists, and anarchists have one view of the term. Socialists also agree with this statement; believing this means government control of all.
Subsidiarity is never doing for another what he can better do for himself. This promotes human dignity. Solidarity is doing everything he cannot. Loving God means seeing government as just one more tool for society to promote the common good. Private enterprise, government, and civic organizations are equal, to be kept in checks and balances, realizing their sole purpose is to promote the common good. Subsidiarity applies to private enterprise/corporations, and civic groups. Leadership comes from the ground up.
The phrase, “Common Good,” the essence of this speech, appears six times. Missing is, “E Pluribus Unum,” “From the many, one.” “Dialogue,” appears twelve times. “Dialogue,” means seeing the image of God and Satan in everyone, including ourselves. It means real dialogue with those disagreeing with us. Our Blessed Pope advances this idea when discussing Thomas Merton, pointing to the violence and the image of God in each person.
“It is important that… the voice of faith be heard, it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and society. Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery, born of grave injustices which can be overcome only through new policies, new forms of social consensus. Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good.
The truth is embodied in the Shema/Deuteronomy 6:3-9. “Love God with all your hearts, all your animate being, and all your measure.”We love God by caring for his planet and everything, and everyone in it.
“Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility. Your responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good; this is the chief aim of all politics.” True religion is about love that acknowledges differences, but strives for the common ground. This echoes Kennedy’s speech to American University, “Our common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. We are all mortal.” Nation means, “People born together, by common heritage.” If we are nation, we are all brothers and sisters, bound to protect and encourage one another.
Our Pope gave reference to the Golden Rule and Luke 7:44. “Simon, do you see this woman.” He might have added, “Or do you see an occupation.” Truly seeing people means striving to fulfill their humanity. It is to this that we must strive as a society. This common good is the essence of Our Blessed Pope’s speech.