Fidelity and solidarity PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 June 2017 13:40



WE need to see to it that our fidelity to a particular charism, a particular vocation and spirituality does not lead us to fall into some exclusivistic outlook in life, or into some narrow-minded elitism. We have to learn how to develop and live our fidelity in solidarity with all the other charisms, vocations, spiritualities in the world and in the Church.

A kind of fidelity that does not know how to live in solidarity with the others would not be an authentic fidelity. And vice-versa, a spirit of solidarity that does not respect the different charisms and spiritualities to which people should be most faithful, would not be true solidarity either.

We have to be most careful when we start to be assume exclusivistic and restrictive ways that can come into our lifestyle in a very subtle way. This can happen when we mingle only with our own kind, either in terms of temperament, interests, social and economic status, etc. We somehow feel indifferent if not antagonistic to the others who do not share what we have, what we like or prefer.

This would go against that Christian tenet as articulated once by St. Paul that we have to be “all things to all men to save all.” (1 Cor 9,22)  We have to learn to be open-minded and versatile, able to flow with the times and to connect with all kinds of people.

Of course, we should also be equally guarded when we start falling into some kind of indiscriminate sense of solidarity and universalism, blind and insensitive to the variety of temperaments, personalities, charisms, spiritualities around.

This can happen when we impose our own ideas and ways on others, thinking that our ideas and ways are the only ones that work, etc. Or that we can just dish them out at random, believing that everyone can understand and appreciate them.

Another way we can fall into a questionable solidarity and universalism is what is called in theological circles as false irenicism. It is the ism that says that all beliefs are the same and have equal value.

We should figure out how we can blend together these two requirements of fidelity and solidarity in our life. And the basis of this ideal is what St. Paul describes in his first Letter to the Corinthians. I think it would be good to go through it again.

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ…For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body…” (12,12-16)

We need to examine ourselves frequently to see if we are satisfying the seemingly contrasting requirements of both fidelity and solidarity. Are we faithful to our vocation, to our charism? Do we know how to make our particular vocation work for the good of all?