Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

You Can't Save the World

Megan Sherrier, a graduate student at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, wrote the following for the website Catholics on Call:
Breaking news to my fellow young adults: It is not our vocation to save the world.

Your colleges told you otherwise. Your service programs and volunteer corps advertised it as your given right. There is a drive deep within you desperately yearning to “fix things.”

You cannot.

For centuries, the most inspiring of people have given their entire hearts to the world, and yet devastation remains. Even after Mother Teresa’s lifetime of sacrificial, loving work there are still children dying on the streets of Kolkata this very day. No matter what you do, it will never be enough.

At first read, this sounds cynical and fatalistic. Rather, it is the opposite. We should all be thankful for this reality. Thank God it is not up to us! What a weight is lifted once we can surrender control back to the One who holds it in the first place! There lies a paradox that we must first deny perfection in order to affirm goodness.

Our determination to save the world can lead us to a place even darker than the troubled world which we are trying to heal in the first place. Our well-intentioned drive turns from love to frustrated anger when not emptied in faith to a power beyond ourselves.

The rest of this well-written article is here.