June 26, 2008
Society has placed a marker on those who are not able to voice their opinions and provide for themselves as “poor” or individuals who live in “poverty”. Poor people are seen as “insignificant individuals” and are defined as those who do not belong in the world, they become socially alienated because of their social status; they have no voice in political matters because they are not as educated as the next guy, who attended a school in general. Society has developed this complex analysis that “poverty means death”. Individuals in society have set forth markers that those who live in poverty do not deserve respect, dignity or the idea of being liberated.
Liberation theology is the idea that God is on the side of the poor, so one should be as well. God’s “preferential option for the poor” says that God gives an extra measure of grace to those who are considered “poor”. He chose them to be rich in faith. He enables them to love him. He makes them heirs of the kingdom. Those who are physically, economically, socially, politically and religiously poor are the voices that deserve “preference”.
The preferential option or love of preference for the poor is an option, a special form of primacy in the exercise of Christian charity, to which the whole tradition of the Church bears witness. It affects the life of each Christian in as much as he or she seeks to imitate the life of Christ, but it applies equally to our social responsibilities and hence to our manner of living, and to the logical decisions to be made concerning our ownership and the use of goods. The great challenge is to be committed to the poor; people should not seek to imitate the poor or feel they have to become marginalized to support the impoverished, but one must practice some form of austerity that keeps one sensitive. Preferential option for the poor means that no one; not even the marginalized of society -- are...