Catholic Social Justice Community Service Reflection
Catholic Social Justice is the call to help one another as well as the world in general. It is a commitment that arises from experiencing Christ in the Eucharist. These catholic social justices that we all must commit to are as follows: life and dignity of the human person, call to family, community, and participation, rights and responsibilities, option for the poor and vulnerable, the dignity of work and the right of workers, solidarity, and care for God’s creation. All of these things together give us a strong base for our moral beliefs and a good place to start in our walk with Jesus Christ through Christianity. Solidarity, specifically, means to care for those around us. Because catholic social justice issues exist, we need to work together to make our community a better place through solidarity, the care for one’s neighbors and community.
Solidarity is the universal call to care for one another and to love your neighbors. Through solidarity, we are committed to the well being of those around us. We can show solidarity and the care we have for others in many different ways through our daily actions. Some of the ways we can promote solidarity are by promoting peace, loving our neighbor, and knowing that we are all one human family. This could even mean understanding when others make mistakes because we are all human and nobody is perfect. However, we do run into many issues in humanity as whole with being committed to and following through with solidarity and the care for one another. Some of the different things that need to be stopped in order to be completely committed to solidarity are the judgement of other for their race as well as other characteristics, domestic abuse, and child labor. Solidarity is something that humanity as whole needs to start working on more together as well as individually.
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With our EXPO project, we created a non-profit organization called Healing Through Harmony. Healing Through Harmony is a Music Therapy organization in which children who are dealing with difficulties such as child abuse, domestic abuse, or even disabilities are given the opportunity to learn how to use music to help them through their difficult times. Healing Through Harmony is an after school program which is helping to be funded through schools and is completely volunteer. It is proven that music therapy helps reduce stress and pain. Also, music therapy stimulates the brain which helps exercise it and promotes healing. music therapy provides an outlet for many in which they can communicate, express themselves, and handle emotions. There are many other organization like Healing Through Harmony that help people through hard times using music therapy. Non-profit programs and services such as these ones address the justice issue of solidarity as these organization care for people with special needs, therefore, helping and caring for their neighbors.
The Works of Mercy are practices which are performed through Catholics. These works of mercy include two different categories, corporal works of mercy and spiritual works of mercy. These two categories include many practices we do which help our neighbors and the world we live in. Some of these works of mercy include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, giving alms to the poor, giving shelter to the homeless, visiting the sick and imprisoned, visiting the dead, instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, admonishing the sinner, forgiving injuries, comforting the sorrowful, bearing wrongs patiently, and praying for the living and dead. Our EXPO project states the spiritual works of mercy much more clearly than the corporal works of mercy. One spiritual work of mercy that connects to our project is counseling the doubtful. Many of the children and people coming into our organization would be children who are disabled, mental ill, physically in pain, or abused at home. Children in any of these situations are most likely doubtful of happiness and having a hard time finding job in their lives and Healing Through Harmony helps to counsel these children through music and lead them to happier lifestyle. One corporal work of mercy which Healing Through Harmony connects to is giving alms to the poor. Again, many of these children are abused or ill and giving them an outlet in which they can go to when they are having a hard time can be seen as almsgiving in this organization.
Although solidarity is a great thing and even an issue to be worked on, there are also many other issues which need to be talked about and solved. One issue that needs to be solved is abortion. Abortion is the killing of infants before birth which is done because of an unwanted pregnancy in most cases. 31% of abortions are done on women between the ages of 20 and 24 (abort73.com). Women who live with a partner whom they are not yet married to account for 25% of abortions (abort73.com). 89% of abortions are performed during the first trimester or the first 13 weeks of pregnancy(abort73.com). There are many other options to abortion such as adoption which is a big reason to not abort. Abortion is taking away the life of an unborn child who could grow up to be the new biggest scientist or discover a cure to cancer. By having abortions, we take away the chances of having an amazing person on the earth.
Before this unit was started, I had a pretty decent understanding of the catholic social justice issues. I knew that there were issues in the world that the catholic religion try to fix and i knew what most of them were, I just did not know what the categories were or what each category included. Since we have completed the EXPO project I now feel as if I know a lot more about the catholic social justice issues which I have also learned through Christian service opportunities and the three R’s. Christian service has taught me a lot about the Christian social justice issues as through Christian service we are helping others in difficult situations. Solidarity, specifically, could be seen in any Christian service as solidarity is care for your neighbor and almost all Christian service opportunities include caring for our neighbors in some way shape or form. Each of the other catholic social justice issues are seen through Christian Service as well. For example, a way that to earn Christian service hours through an act of call to family, community, and participation is by helping out at church events, VBS, or even Feed My Starving Children. Also, volunteering at places such as Andre House or St. Vincent De Paul would be seen as an option for the poor and vulnerable. In the future, I would like to continue serving Christ in all I do while also incorporating the Catholic Social justice issues into my Christian service hours and in my mind through all times when helping people. In the next month, I’d like to help out in my community by going to Andre House or St. Vincent De Paul and feeding the homeless. In the next year I have hopes to go on a mission trip with my high school and help people outside of my community and around the world. One experience I’d really love to have in the next year is to work with habitat for humanity and give a home to the homeless. I would like to continue to grow in this area or my life and strengthen my relationship with people in need and be able to help my neighbors in whatever way possible.
Throughout this entire project, I have learned a lot about the catholic social justice issues that we face as Catholics on the daily. This unit has made me want to help my neighbors and fix my community. All in all, I think this unit was easy to understand and I don’t think it could be made any better. We need to work together to create a community of solidarity through one another and end catholic social justice issues to make the world a more peaceful place.
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