Message from the Archbishop of Buenos Aires educational communities

There are moments in life (few but essential) they must make critical decisions, total and foundational. Reviews, since they are located at the precise boundary between the bet and claudication, hope and disaster, life and death. Overall, because they relate to a particular aspect, a “subject” or “challenge” optional, to a particular part of reality, but define a life as a whole and for a long time. Moreover, to make the deepest identity of each. Not only happen over time, but it will shape our timing and our existence. In that sense I use the third adjective, founding. They found a way of living, a way of being, of seeing oneself and be in the world and to the like, a certain position on the possible futures.

Today I want to share the perception that we are just in one of those moments. But not as individuals but as a nation. It is a belief shared by many, even by the Holy Father, as we hinted in our last visit to Rome Episcopal. The Argentina reached a critical decision time, global and fundamental, that it is for each one of its inhabitants, the decision to remain a country, learn from the painful experience of these years and begin a new path, or sink into poverty , chaos, loss and decay values ​​as a society.

Renewed hope and daring
The purpose of this meditation is not charging the inks in the sense of threat but, instead, invite them hope. I would like to deepen the reflections shared with you a couple of years ago but since the concrete and decisive experience of these months. Hope is the virtue of hard but possible, one that invites, yes, never lose no arms, but not in a purely voluntary, but finding the best way to keep active, to do with them something real and concrete . Virtue that at times drives us forward, screaming and shake trends inaction, resignation and the fall. But at other times, we are invited to be silent and suffer, feeding our inner desires, ideals and resources that will enable us-when the right moment, the kairos-giving birth human realities, fairer, more fraternal. Because hope is not based solely on human resources, but seeks tune with God’s action, which includes integrating our attempts in his plan of salvation.

Our reflection on hope in 2002 has a fundamental difference with which they share in 2000: it is located at the peak of the crisis itself, in its highest point of inflection. But at the same time, I am not mistaken in discerning that that peak is just the right time, the time that the story acquires a special and actions of women and men take on greater meaning. If the gestures of solidarity and selfless love was always a kind of prophecy, a powerful sign of the possibility of another story, today proposed charge is infinitely greater. Make a mark in the swamp passable, just an address at time of loss. Conversely, lying and stealing (main ingredients of corruption) are always evils that destroy the community. The very practice of corruption can definitely desbarrancar this fragile construction, as a people, we want to try.

If we pay our assent to the word of the Gospel, we know that even what seems failure may be the way of salvation. This is what makes the difference between timely drama and tragedy. While in the second ineluctable fate drags human enterprise disaster unceremoniously and confront any attempt to worsen merely the end unpardonable, in the drama, however, life and death, good and evil, victory and defeat as alternatives remain: nothing further from foolish optimism, but also the tragic pessimism, because at that crossroads perhaps distressing, we also try to recognize the hidden signs of the presence of God, if only as chance, as an invitation to change and action … as well as promise. These words may take a dramatic turn, but never tragic. But beware: this is not theatrics, but from the conviction that we are in the time of grace, the focus of our responsibility as members of a community, that is, quite simply, as human beings.

The City of God in secular history
Now, what can we say about the Christian faith this crucial time, plus settling into the narrow gorge of freedom, without default destinations which makes the success or failure of our human endeavors? Let me sort of time travel to situate nearly 1600 years ago, by the window through which a man saw a world terminated, without any certainty that come after something better. I refer to Augustine, who was bishop of Hippo in North Africa in the final years of the Roman Empire.

All that Augustine had known (and not only him, but his father, grandfather and many generations before him) was collapsing. The people called “barbarians” pushed the limits of the Empire, and Rome itself had been sacked. As a man trained in Greco-Roman culture, could not but be puzzled and distressed by the imminent fall of civilization known. As a Christian, would be in a difficult place to continue betting on the hope in the Kingdom of God (which for too long, since then, had been identified with the Christianized Empire) without closing their eyes to what was inevitable, historically speaking. As bishop, he felt a duty to help their faithful (and Christianity all) to process this disaster without losing faith, rather, out of the test with a better understanding of the mystery of salvation and trust in the Lord strengthened .

At that time, Augustine, a man who had known the unbelief and materialism, found the key to shaping their hope in a profound theology of history, developed in his book The City of God. There, far surpassing the “official theology” of the Empire, the saint presents a hermeneutical principle determinant of his thought: the scheme of the “two loves” and the “two cities”. In short, this is his argument: there are two “love”: the love of self, predominantly individualistic, which implements the other for its own purposes, usually considered as referring only to its own utility and rebel against God, and holy love, which is eminently social, is ordered to the common good and follows the commands of the Lord. Around these “love” or purposes are organized “two cities”: the city “earth” and the city “of God.” In a live the “wicked”. In the other, the “saints”.

But the interesting thing is that Augustinian thought these “cities” are not historically verifiable, in the sense of fully identify with either secular reality. The City of God, clearly, is not the Church visible: many of the heavenly city are in pagan Rome, and many of the earth, in the Christian Church. The “cities” are entities eschatological: only in the final judgment may be displayed with your profiles defined as the tares and wheat after harvest. Meanwhile, here in history are inextricably intertwined. The “secular” is the historical existence of the two cities. If eschatologically they are mutually exclusive, however, in the saeculum, mundane time, can not be adequately distinguished and separated. The line passes … for freedom of human beings, personal and collective.

Why do I bring up these old thoughts of a century bishop V? Because we teach a way of seeing reality. Human history is ambiguous playing field where multiple projects, none of them humanely immaculate. But through them all, we can consider moving the “filthy love” and “holy love” of which Augustine spoke. Out of all Manichaeism or dualism, it is legitimate to try to discern the one hand seeing historical events as “signs of the times”, the seeds of the Kingdom and, on the other hand, the realizations that-decoupled from eschatological purpose only pay the frustration of the highest destiny of man. That is, perceiving reality through a theological and spiritual assessment, from the point of view of the offers of grace and temptations to sin that are free will.

Given this criterion evangelical dare I share with you these thoughts about the current situation of our country and, above all, of the values ​​at stake in it. Securities or “love”: that which attracts and mobilizes our desires and our energies, guiding us to the grace or sin, making us members of one or another “city”, forming the deep fabric of our secular historical reality, and so- – the specific way of salvation that God puts before our feet. Try thinning, recent events, some fundamental directions that seems necessary to locate, to collaborate with a community of discernment search and conversion, as we suggested John Paul II.

After the noisy, what?
It may be a cliché, but we are all aware that the cacerolazo that night (I mean the first) something changed in our city. Not in the leadership, or at least not initially, but in the people. Inside families, in the conscience of every single citizen who decided to leave the private complaint or negativity, bitterness mere rumination, to recognize the neighbor, fellow, if only solidly in disgust and anger . In moments, the street is no longer the place of passage, the area of ​​the alien, to become the common ground from which to seek out other common things that seemed been taken from us. Against all technological mythology, it was again the public square, and not just the audience. The same media, omnipresent and, at times, almost creators of “reality” were overwhelmed and had to focus on one or two key points, while invading people all singing and pans, on foot, on bicycles in cars.

Then came the events that we all know and overflows, and the various interpretations and readings cacerolazos. It is not my intention to enter into them. I just want to get a foothold in that moment of collective participation, as sign of recovery attempt as “common” as a starting point for reading our deepest reality.

And I propose a way “indirect” passing through the same history of our national character, which I hope will help: go Martín Fierro verses, looking for some clues that allow us to discover something about us to resume our story a sense of continuity and dignity. I am aware of the risks of reading I am urging them to share. Sometimes we imagine the values ​​and traditions, even the same culture, as a kind of ancient jewel and unalterable, which remains in a space and time apart, not polluted with the comings and goings of the concrete history. Let me say that this only takes a mindset to the museum and, eventually, to sectarianism. Christians have suffered too much useless controversies between traditionalism and progressivism as to let us fall back on such attitudes.

What I find most fruitful here is to recognize the Martin Fierro a narrative, a sort of “staging” the drama of the constitution of a collective and inclusive sense. Narrative, even beyond its genre, its author and his time, can be inspiring for us, a hundred and thirty years later. Clear: there will be many who will not be identified with a gaucho outlaw, fugitive from justice (and, indeed, important personalities of our cultural history questioned the enthronement of a certain character to the status of national epic hero). Do not miss the other hand, one has to admit (secretly) that prefers the judge or Vizcacha Viejo, at least in regard to his understanding of what is true and what is not worth it in life .. . And others, no doubt, must have felt like Moreno whose brother had been stabbed by Fierro.

For all there is room. And it’s not a matter of installing a new Manichaeism. In a work of this magnitude, there are no good-good and bad-malos.Y although Jose Hernandez lacked intent to educational policy and in its construction of the round trip, the fact is that the poem transcended their circumstances to say something that is the essence of our coexistence. From this transcendence, from the “resonance” that can generate in us, and not from a useless dialectic on anachronistic models, we must peer into the poem.

Martin Fierro, poem “national”
The question of “national identity” in a globalized world
It’s funny. Just seeing the title of the book, even before you open it, and find suggestive for thought about the core of our identity as a nation. The gaucho Martin Fierro (it was called the first book published, later known as “Ida”). What does the gaucho with us? If we lived in the field, working with animals, or at least in rural villages, with more contact with the ground would be easier to understand … In our large cities-Buenos Aires-clearly many people will remember the carousel horse slaughterhouses or pens as the closest thing to riding experience you have gone through your life. And do we need to note that over 86% of Argentines live in big cities? For most of our youth and children, the world of Martin Fierro is much more alien than mystical futuristic scenarios of Japanese comics.

This is closely related, of course, with the phenomenon of globalization. From Bangkok to Sao Paulo, from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles or Sydney, many young people listen to the same musicians, children see the same cartoon families dress, eat and have fun at the same chains. The production and trade flow through the increasingly permeable borders. Concepts, religions and ways of life make us closer through media and tourism.

However, this globalization is an ambiguous reality. Many factors seem to lead us to tackle the structural barriers that prevented the recognition of the common dignity of human beings, embracing diversity of conditions, race, sex or culture. Humanity had never before has the potential to be a multifaceted global community and solidarity. But on the other hand, the prevailing indifference to growing social imbalances, the unilateral imposition of values ​​and customs by some cultures, the ecological crisis and the exclusion of millions of people from the benefits of development seriously question this globalization. The constitution of a human family and fraternal solidarity in this context remains a utopia.

A real growth in the conscience of humanity can not be based on anything other than in the practice of dialogue and love. Dialogue and love mean the recognition of the other as other, acceptance of diversity. Only then can it be based on the value of community, not pretending that the other is subordinate to my criteria and priorities, not “absorbing” the other, but as valuable recognizing what the other is, and celebrating the diversity that enriches us all. The opposite is mere narcissism, mere imperialism, mere folly.

This should also be read in the reverse direction: how I can talk, how I can love, how I can build something if I diluted common, lost, disappear what would have been my contribution? Globalization as unidirectional and uniformante imposition of values, practices and goods goes hand in hand with integration and subordination imitation understood as cultural, intellectual and spiritual. So, no insulation prophets, hermits localist in a global world, not mindless and mimetics caboose passenger, admiring the fireworks of the world (of others) with their mouths open and applause scheduled. The people to join the global dialogue bring the values ​​of their culture and have to defend them from any excessive absorption or “synthesis laboratory” dilute that “ordinary”, “global”. And, to bring those values-receive from other people, with the same respect and dignity, cultures which are peculiar. Nor is there here an eclectic mess because, in this case, the values ​​of a people are uprooted from the fertile land that gave them and keeps them for entreverarse be a sort of curio market where “everything is the same, give far. .. that back in the oven we’re gonna reunite. ”

Continuity of the nation as a common history
Returning to Martin Fierro: we can only usefully open our “national poem” if we realize that what is written there has to do directly with us here and now and not because we we use gauchos or poncho, but because the drama Hernandez tells the real story lies in whose evolution brought us here. The men and women reflected in the time of the story lived on this earth, and his decisions and ideals productions amassed the reality that today we are a part, which directly affects us today. Just that “productivity”, these “effects”, that ability to be located on the actual dynamics of the story, is what makes the Martin Fierro a “national poem”. No guitar, and payada raid.

And here it is necessary an appeal to conscience. The Argentines have a dangerous tendency to think that everything starts today, forgetting that nothing is born of a pumpkin or falls from the sky like a meteor. This is already a problem: if you do not learn to recognize and assume the rights and wrongs of the past that led to the goods and evils of this, we are doomed to eternal recurrence of the same, that-really-it is nothing eternal the rope can be stretched only to a limited extent … But there’s more: if we cut the link with the past, as we do with the future. Now we can start to look around … and to ourselves. Was not there a denial of the future, a complete lack of responsibility for the next generation, in the way they were treated with institutions, property and even people of our country? The truth is this: We are historical persons. We live in time and space. Every generation needs of the above and is due to the following. And that, in large measure, be a nation seen as successors to the task of other men and women who gave his, and as builders of a common area of ​​a house, for those who come after. Citizens “global” Martín Fierro reading can help us to “land” and limit the “globality”, recognizing the avatars of the people who built our nation, doing or critiquing their own ideals and asking for the reasons for their success or failure to move forward in our walk as a people.

Being a people is, above all, an ethical attitude that springs from freedom
The crisis is again necessary to answer us to the basic question: what builds what we call “social bond”? That we say we are at serious risk of being lost, what is, anyway? What I “linked” me “link” to other people in a particular place, to the point of sharing the same fate?

Let me anticipate an answer: it is an ethical issue. The basis of the relationship between the moral and the office is right in that space (as elusive, incidentally) that man is man in society, political animal, as Aristotle would say all classical republican tradition. It is this social nature of man that founded the possibility of a contract between free individuals, as proposed by the liberal democratic tradition (often conflicting traditions, as demonstrated many clashes in our history). Then, raise the crisis as a moral issue will need to refer back to human values, universal, God has planted in the human heart and they mature with personal and community growth. When the bishops repeat again and again that the crisis is fundamentally moral, is not wielding a cheap moralism, a reduction of political, social and economic aspects of a single issue of consciousness. This would be “moralizing”. We are not “carrying water for the mill itself” (as the moral conscience and is one of the areas where the Church has actual competition), but trying to aim for collective assessments that have been expressed in attitudes, actions and processes historical-political and social. The free actions of human beings, as well as its weight in regard to individual responsibility, have far-reaching consequences: generate structures that remain over time, spread a climate in which certain values ​​may occupy center stage in the public life or marginalization of the current culture. And this also falls under moral. Therefore, we must rediscover the particular way that we have come in our history, to live together, form a community.

From this point of view, we return to the poem. Like any popular story, Martin Fierro begins with a description of the “original paradise”. Paint an idyllic reality, in which the gaucho lives with calm rhythm of nature, surrounded by his affections, and ability to work with joy, having fun with peers, integrated into a simple lifestyle and human. What says this? First, the author did not move a sort of nostalgia for the “gaucho lost Eden.” The literary device of painting an ideal situation at the beginning is just an initial presentation of the same ideal. The capture value is back in the “origin”, but later in the project. At the root is the dignity of a child of God, a vocation, a call to translate a project. It’s “put the end to the beginning” (idea, moreover, deeply biblical and Christian). The direction that we give to our coexistence have to do with the kind of society we want to be: the telostipo. That is the key mood of a people. This is not to ignore the biological, psychological and psychosocial field influence our decisions. We can not avoid loading (in the negative sense of limits, conditioning, weights, but also on the positive lead us, add, add, integrate) with the inheritance received, behaviors, preferences and values ​​that have been constituted to over time. But a Christian perspective (and this is one of the contributions of Christianity to humanity as a whole) knows assess both “given”, which is already in man and can not be otherwise, as it flows from its freedom, openness to new things, ultimately, its spirit as transcendent dimension, always in accordance with the virtue of “the given”.

Now, the constraints of society and the way that they purchased, as well as the findings and creations of the mind in order to expanding the horizon of humanity forever beyond alongside natural law innate in our consciousness come into play and are made specifically in time and space: in a particular community, sharing a land, proposing common objectives, building their own way of being human, of cultivating the multiple links together over many shared experiences, preferences, decisions and events. So kneaded a common ethic and openness to a destination of fullness that defines man as a spiritual being. That common ethic, that “moral dimension”, is what allows the crowd grow together, without becoming enemies of each other. Consider a pilgrimage out of the same place and the same destination address allows column maintained as such, beyond the different pace or step of each group or individual.

Us sum, then, this idea. What is it that makes many people form a nation? First, there is a natural law, then an inheritance. Second, there is a psychological factor: the man becomes man in communication, relationship, love with others. In the word and love. And thirdly, these biological and psychological factors are updated, get really involved in free attitudes. In the desire to bond with each other in a certain way, to build our lives with our neighbors in a range of preferences, and practices (Augustine defined the town as “a set of rational beings associated with the objects concorde beloved community”) . The “natural” growing on “cultural”, “ethical”, the herd instinct takes human form in a free choice to be a “we.” Choice, as all human action, then tends to become habit (in the best sense of the term), to generate and produce feeling rooted historical institutions, to the extent that each of us comes into this world within a community and formed (the family, the “homeland”) without that denies freedom of each person responsible. And all this has its solid foundation in the values ​​that God imprinted on our human nature, the divine breath that animates us from within and makes us children of God. This natural law was given to us and printed so that “consolidates through the ages, is developed with the passage of time and grow with the weight of time” (cf. Vincent of Lerins, 1st. Conmonitorio, chap. 23 ). This natural law, which-along story and life-is to consolidate, develop and grow is what saves us from so-called relativism of consensus values. Values ​​can not be agreed: they just are. In the game accommodative “consensus values” there is always the risk that results announced, of “leveling down”, then it is not built from the solid but violence enters degradation. Someone said that our civilization, besides being a civilization is a civilization discard “biodegradable”.

Returning to our poem Martin Fierro is not the Bible, of course. But it is a text in which, for various reasons, we could recognize the Argentines, stand to tell us something of our history and our future dream:

I have known this land / in which the citizen lived
and his ranch was / and his wife and children,
It was a delight to see / how he spent his days.
This is, then, the “baseline”, which triggered the drama. The “Martin Fierro” is, above all, a poem inclusive. Everything will then disrupted by a kind of twist of fate, embodied, among others, Judge, Mayor, Colonel. We suspect that this conflict is not merely literary. What’s behind the text?

Martin Fierro, poem “inclusive”
A modern country, but for all
Before an “epic” abstract, Martín Fierro is a work of complaint, with a clear intention: to oppose government policy and proposed for inclusion within the country gaucho being built:

It is the poor in his orfandá / disposal of Fortune
Because naides takes to heart / the defending race
Should the gaucho have home / school, church and rights.
And Martin Fierro came to life beyond the author’s intention, becoming the prototype hunted by an unjust and exclusionary. In the verses of the poem became flesh some received wisdom of the environment, and so on Fierro speaks not only the desirability of promoting cheap labor but the dignity of man in his homeland, taking charge of their destiny through work , love and fraternity party.

From here, we can begin to move in our reflection. We want to know where support hope, from where to rebuild social ties that have been so punished in these times. The cacerolazo was as a self-defensive spark, spontaneous and popular (though forcing their repetition over time makes you lose your notes original content). We know that not enough to beat pans: the greatest need today is to how to fill them. We must regain the prominence creatively organized and that we should never give up, and therefore, we can not now go back to get his head in the hole, leaving the leaders do and undo. And we can not for two reasons: because we saw what happens when the political and economic power is detached from the people, and that the task of reconstruction is not some but all, and Argentina is not only the ruling class but all and each of those living in this part of the planet.

So what? It seems significant historical context of Martín Fierro: a society in formation, a project that excludes a large segment of the population, condemning him to the orphanage and disappearance, and a listing proposal. Are we not in a similar situation today? Have not we suffered the consequences of armed country model around certain economic interests, exclusive of the majority, causing poverty and marginalization, tolerant of all kinds of corruption while not touching the interests of power more concentrated? Have we not been part of that evil system, accepting its principles part-while not touching our pocket, closing our eyes to those who were left out and falling to the steamroller of injustice, until the latter almost drove us all ?

Today we must articulate itself a social and economic program, but fundamentally a political project in its broadest sense. What kind of society do we want? Martin Fierro directs our gaze to our calling as a people, as a nation. It invites us to shape our desire for a society in which all take place: the merchant porteño, the gaucho’s coastline, the pastor of the North, Northwest craftsman, the Aboriginal and immigrant, to the extent that none of them he just wants to stay with the whole driving on the other land.

School should be the gaucho …
For decades, the school was an important means of social and national integration. The son of the gaucho, migrants coming from inside the city, and to the stranger who landed on earth, found in basic education elements that allowed them to transcend the particularity of its origin to seek a common construction a project. Also today from the plurality of proposals enriching educators, we must turn to bet: to education, everything.

Only in recent years, and the hand of an idea of ​​a country that no longer too concerned include everyone and even was not able to project the future, the school saw its prestige wane, weaken the support and resources and blur their place at the heart of society. The famous catchphrase of “school shopping” does not point only to criticize some specific initiatives that we witnessed. It puts into question the whole conception, according to which the company is market and nothing else. Thus, the school has the same place as any other lucrative venture. And we must remember again and again that it has not been developed the idea that our educational system and, with hits and misses, contributed to the formation of a national community.

At this point, Christians have made a contribution undeniable centuries. It is not my intention here to enter controversies and differences that tend to consume a lot of effort. Just pretend everyone’s attention and, in particular Catholic educators, on the important task at hand. Debased, devalued and even attacked by many, the daily task of all those who keep running schools, facing all kinds of difficulties, with low wages and giving more than they receive, remains one of the best examples of what to which must be re-bet, again: the personal commitment to a project of a country for everyone. Project, from the educational, religious or social, political turns in the highest sense of the word: community building.

This political project of inclusion is not Only the ruling party, not even the ruling class as a whole, but for each of us. The “new time” is beginning in daily practical life of each of the members of the nation, in every decision to the neighbor from responsibilities in the small and big. The more within families and in our everyday school or work.

But God has to allow / improve this reaches
But we have to remember / to do the job
that fire heat pa / must always below.
But this deserves more complete.

Martin Fierro, compendium of Ethics
Surely, neither Hernandez escaped him that the Gauchos ‘true’, the flesh and blood, they would not behave either as “English gentlemen” in the new company to set. From another culture, without wiring, accustomed to decades of resistance and struggle, others in a world that was being constructed with very different parameters to which they had lived, they too should make a major effort to integrate once they doors opened.

The resources of popular culture
The second part of our “national poem” claimed to be a “civic virtues manual” for the gaucho, a “key” to join the national organization.

And this explains my tongue / all must have faith.
ANSI, because, you understand, / with greed not spotted me.
Not raining the ranch / where this book is.
Martin Fierro is full of the same elements that Hernandez had sucked from popular culture, elements that, along with the defense of particular rights and immediate, earned him great support received soon. Moreover, over time, generations of Argentines reread Fierro … and rewrote it, putting on his words the many experiences of struggle, expectations, searches, suffering … Martin Fierro grew to represent the country decided, fraternal, lover of justice, indomitable. So still have something to say. That’s why those “tips” to “tame” the gaucho far transcended the meaning with which they were written and continue today to be a mirror of civic virtues not abstract but deeply embodied in our history. To these virtues and values ​​we will pay attention now.

The advice of Martin Fierro
I invite you to read this poem again. Do it with an interest not only literary, but as a way of letting speak for the wisdom of our people, which has been captured in this unique project. Beyond words, beyond history, you will see that what is beating in us is a kind of emotion, a desire to twist the arm of all injustice and lying and continue to build a history of solidarity and fraternity, in a land common where we can all grow as human beings. A community where freedom is not an excuse for missing court, where the law does not force the poor only, where everyone has their place. I hope I feel the same way: it’s not a book about the past, but rather the future we can build. I will not prolong this post-and-extensive with the development of the many values ​​Hernandez puts in the mouth of Fierro and other characters in the poem. Simply, I invite you to delve into them, through reflection and, why not, a dialogue in each of our educational communities. Here I will present only some of the ideas that we can rescue many.

2.1. Prudence or “mischief”: work from the truth and the good … or convenience

Born with the cunning man / he has to serve as a guide.
Without it succumb, / but my experience Sigun
He turns in a prudent / and other mischief.
Some men of his cence / have a full head;
There sages of all ores, / but I say without being well versed,
is much better than learning / learning good things.
A starting point. “Prudence” or “mischief” as organizing their own gifts and experience. A proper act, according to the truth and goodness possible here and now, or the usual manipulation of information, situations and interactions from self-interest. Mere accumulation of Science (usable for any purpose) or true wisdom, which includes the “know” in the double sense, know and enjoy, and that is guided by both the truth as well. “Everything is permissible, but not everything for me,” Paul would say. Why? Because in addition to my needs, desires and preferences, are the other. And what satisfies one at the expense of destroying other end either.

2.2. The hierarchy of values ​​and ethics exitista “winner”

Neither fear nor greed / is good that one I mugged.
Ansí not startle / for goods that perish.
The rich never offer / and the poor never missing
Far from inviting a contempt for material goods as such, the wisdom that is expressed in these words considered perishable goods as a means, a tool for the realization of the person in a higher level. Why not offer the rich prescribe (subject and subservient behavior itself recommend the “mischief” of Old Vizcacha) mezquinarle rather poor (which itself requires of us and, as the Gospel says, has nothing with which to pay us). Human society can not be a “law of the jungle” in which each manotear try what I can, at any cost. And we know, too painfully, that there is no mechanism “automatic” to ensure fairness and justice. Only an ethical option converted into concrete practices, effective means, is able to prevent the predator is man’s man. But this is the same as postulating an order of values ​​is more important than personal gain, and therefore a type of property that is superior to the materials. And we’re not talking about issues that require particular religious belief to be understood: we refer to principles such as human dignity, solidarity, love.

“You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for what I am.
If I, who am Lord and Master, have washed your feet,
you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you. ”

Jn 13.13-15
A community that no longer kneel before wealth, success and prestige and able, however, to wash the feet of the poor and needy would be more in keeping with this teaching ethics “winner” (at any price ) we malaprendido in recent times.

2.3. The work and the kind of person we want to be

The work is the law / because we need alquirir.
No espongan to suffer / a sad situation.
Heavy bleeding heart / of having to ask.
Do we need feedback? History has seared into our people the sense of the dignity of work and the worker. Is there anything more humiliating than the conviction of not being able to earn a living? Is there a worse way to enact the uselessness and lack of a human being? Can a society that accepts so great iniquity hiding behind abstract technical considerations be a way for the realization of the human being?

But this recognition does not finish all declamamos become flesh. Not only by the objective conditions that generate the terrible current unemployment (conditions that should never keep quiet, have their origin in a way to organize the coexistence that puts profit above justice and law), but also a mindset of “vividness” (also Creole!) that has become part of our culture. “Saved” and “disengage” … by the most direct and easy as possible. “The money brings the silver” … “Nobody got rich working” … beliefs that have been paying a culture of corruption that has to do, no doubt, with these “shortcuts” by which many have tried to circumvent the law to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow.

2.4. The emergency service to the weakest

The stork when old / loss of sight, and seek
take care in their edah mature / all his young daughters.
Apriendan of storks / this example of tenderness.
In the ethics of the “winners”, which is considered unsuitable, is pulled. Civilization is “discard”. In the ethics of a true human community, in this country we would like to have and that we build, every human being is valuable, and what are the biggest in their own right, for many reasons: the duty of filial respect already present in the Decalogue Bible, for the undoubted right to rest within their community who has earned one who has lived, suffered and offered his own: for the contribution that only he can give even to their society, because, as the same Martin Fierro, is from the mouth of the old / to walk out the truths. Do not wait until the reconstitution of the social security system currently destroyed by predation: Meanwhile, there are countless gestures and actions of service to seniors who would be at our fingertips with a dash of creativity and goodwill. And similarly, we can not reconsider the concrete possibilities we have to do something for the children, the sick and all who suffer for various reasons. The conviction that there are issues “structural” has to do with society as a whole and with the same State, in any way relieve us of our personal contribution, however small it may be.

2.5. Never theft, bribery and “not get involved”

Peak Ave bent / she has to theft hobby.
but the man of reason / no one ever steals copper
it is not ashamed to be poor / and is ashamed to be a thief.
Perhaps, in our country, this teaching has been the most neglected. But beyond that, besides not permit or justify never theft and bribery, we would have to take steps more determined and positive. For example ask not only what things we have to take outside, but rather what we can contribute. How could we make that are also “shame” indifference, individualism, steal (steal) your own contribution to society to keep only a logic of “do mine”?

“But the doctor of the law, to justify its intervention, asked this question:” Who is my neighbor? “. Jesus to speak again and replied: A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among robbers, who stripped him of everything, he was wounded and departed, leaving him half dead. casually walked down the same road a priest saw him and kept going. came along also a Levite saw him and kept going. But a Samaritan who was traveling that way, going with him, saw him and was moved. then came and bandaged his wounds, covering them with oil and wine, then put it on his own montadura, led him to an inn and took care of care. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the owner of the lodge, saying, “Take care of him, and the more you spend, I will repay you when you return.” Which of the three do you think was neighbor of man assaulted by thieves?. Whoever had compassion on him, the doctor replied. And Jesus said, “Go, you must be in the same way.”

Lk 10:29-37

2.6. Empty words, true words

They should, if they are singers / singing with feeling.
No tiemplen the estrumento / for only the pleasure of speaking
and get used to sing / in jundamento things.
Communication, hyper, incommunicado. How many words “left” among us? How much talk, much defamation, slander how? How much superficiality, banality, waste of time? A wonderful gift, as is the ability to communicate ideas and feelings, that we value and leverage in all its richness. Could not we propose to avoid any “song” just be “for the sake of talking”? Could it be that we were more attentive to what we say and what we say more of less, particularly those who have the mission to teach, speak, communicate?

. Conclusion: Word and friendship
Finally, we quote that verse in which we view as reflected in the commandment of love for our country under difficult circumstances. That stanza motto has become, in program, on consignment, but we must remember again and again:

The brothers are united, / because that is the first law.
Be true union / at any time it is,
because if they fight each other / the devouring of ajuera
We are at a crucial instance of our country. Crucial and founding: for this reason, full of hope. Hope is so far from the facile and the pusillanimity. Demand the best of ourselves to the task of rebuilding the ordinary, what makes us a people. These reflections are intended only to awaken a desire: to put to work, encouraged and enlightened by our own history. The not to drop the dream of a homeland of brothers who led many men and women on this earth.

What will future generations of us? Are we up to the challenges we face? Why not, is the answer. No grandstanding, without messianism, without certainty impossible, it comes back to dive bravely in our ideals, those who guided us in our history, and start now to implement other possibilities, other securities, other behaviors.

Almost like a synthesis, I get to step on the last verse of Martín Fierro quote a verse that Hernandez puts in the mouth of the gaucho’s eldest son, in his bitter reflection on the jail:

Well, of all goods / in my ignorance I infer,
that gave the haughty man / His Divine Magestá,
the word is the first / the second is the friendships.
The word that communicates and links, making us share ideas and feelings, as long as they speak the truth. Forever. No exceptions. Friendship, even social friendship, with its “long arm” of justice, which is the greatest treasure, the good that can not be sacrificed to any other. What to look over everything.

Word and friendship. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). Ranch did not separate; became our friend. “There is no greater love than to give one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing, I have called you friends, because I have to know everything that I heard from My Father “(Jn 15.13 to 15). If we start right now to evaluate these two goods, another may be the history of our country.

Conclude putting these desires in the Lord’s hands, with prayer for the country that we have offered the Argentine bishops:

Jesus Christ, the Lord of history, we need you.
We feel hurt and burdened.
We need your comfort and strength.
We want to be a nation,
a nation whose identity is the passion for truth
and commitment to the common good.
Give us the courage of the freedom of the children of God,
to love everyone without excluding anyone,
giving priority to the poor and forgiving those who trespass against us,
hating hatred and peace building.
Grant us the wisdom of dialogue
and the joy of hope that does not disappoint.
You summon us. Here we are, Lord, close to Mary,
tells us that from Luján:
Argentina! Sing and walk!
Jesus Christ, the Lord of history, we need you.
At Easter, AD 2002.


Jorge Mario Bergoglio S.J.
Archbishop of Buenos Aires

Posted in 2002

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