Fratelli tutti

This week we look at the third sub-section ‘Local and Universal’ (nn142 – 153). This sub-section deals with the fact that all of us are born into a local community and become aware of the global sense of the world. What is highly important is that we never lose sight of either one. Focusing too much on one can lead us losing sight of the other. Pope Francis discusses this and he sums it up nicely in n.149: For a healthy relationship between love of one’s native land and a sound sense of belonging to our larger human family, it is helpful to keep in mind that global society is not the sum total of different countries, but rather the communion that exists among them. The mutual sense of belonging is prior to the emergence of individual groups. Each particular group becomes part of the fabric of universal communion and there discovers its own beauty. All individuals, whatever their origin, know that they are part of the greater human family, without which they will not be able to understand themselves fully. The importance of each country having its own self-identity is recognised and the good that each one can share in by working in co- operation is also a reality. Pope Francis explains that a little more in n.150: to see things in this way brings the joyful realization that no one people, culture or individual can achieve everything on its own: to attain fulfilment in life we need others. An awareness of our own limitations and incompleteness, far from being a threat, becomes the key to envisaging and pursuing a common project. For ‘man is a limited being who is himself limitless’ Next week we move on to Chapter Five.