Does St. Paul of the Cross have anything to say to 21st Century Americans? Let’s take a look at two simple things he did that might have some relevance to our quality of life and the way we live today.
Looking at his early letters we see he signed them as: “Paul Francis, Least of the Poor of Jesus”. Secondly when Paul finally obtains permission to gather companions, he adopts poverty as the way he and his companions would live their lives together.
Can this mean something to 21st Century Americans and in particular, Passionist Partners today? While it is not likely that any of us are going to run out and adopt a vow of poverty as the Professed do, I think there are things we can do that will effect ours and our fellow Americans’ quality of life. To begin with we can choose to live simple lives. We can commit to recognize the dignity of each person. We can work for more just distribution of wealth in our society. Will that make any difference in our world?
In the above TED Talk, Richard Wilkerson demonstrates the science of what St. Paul of the Cross seemed to intuitively know. Wilkerson shows us statistically how more equal societies in terms of income distribution are less violent, more trusting, better educated and live with less mental illness.
So I think the answer is yes, St. Paul of the Cross does have a lot to say to 21st. Century Americans. What do you think?
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.