“Bless us, O Lord! and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
If you can’t find your pet tomorrow, don’t worry. A sibling, son, or daughter has probably taken it to the Catholic school. It is not Show-n-Tell Day, rather it is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Animals and pets of every shape and size will be leashed and pooping on school grounds. Lines of Rexs, Mitsys, Tiggers, Mollys, and Kittys will be crowding the yard and waiting for a blessing.
However, I would also like to see “Bless your business” on this feast too. St. Frank is the patron of animals, the environment, and ecology but he is also a patron of merchants. It would be a great example to show that the natural resources of the earth are God’s gift to mankind and stewardship (work) is man’s proper way of utilizing it. If I create something with the resources, then I can trade the excess for other things that another person has created. I would like to thank Rev. Sirico for pointing this out in his book, “Defending the Free Market.” In today’s cultural dichotomy, the environment is often pitted against business. Environmentalists accuse profit-makers of abusing natural resources and businessmen accuse environmentalists of hugging trees. I posit they should consider both are needed, though not in dehumanizing forms.
Again, like so many things, this is not an either/or choice. Rather, the businessman needs the natural resources to create new products. The environmentalist needs the business market’s price function to regulate the supply and demand of scarce resources. “Recycle, reuse, reduce” is not only the mantra of those that want to save Mother Earth. It is also the chant that saves the Mom and Pop.
Both need to keep their eyes on the line. The businessmen need to make sure that the bottom line is not the only consideration that determines a good business. The environmentalists need to draw the line through the idea that the earth is the same as a person. Both need to remember that business and the earth’s resources are meant to serve man, not make him the slave to either one. Both need also to remember that man learns about himself when he works and when he names creation that he is supposed to subdue. In the former, he puts his signature on creation. In the latter, he works his rational mind by creating names for creatures. It is easy to remove the person as the center of creation and business and replace him with a dollar sign or tree. This is because many forget that business and earth are for man, not man for Master Work and Master Earth.
Both need to concern themselves with the green movement. A business will not continue without profits for profits are the community’s vote that
the business’s products are in demand. The earth cannot continue being exploited and wasted away. A good business strategy understands that exploitation and waste actually impair making a profit. A good environmentalist society would recognize that it needs profit to provide funds for its continued existence.
St. Francis is not a patron of one or the other, rather with an understanding that man is a rational animal and highlight of creation he becomes the patron of both the market place and resources that are used in the production of the goods. We do well to have our pets blessed, it is time to have our businesses blessed as well.
“We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God, who livest and reignest world without end. Amen. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”
Category: Social Teaching