The Personalist Project

Accessed on September 27, 2023 - 1:06:46

Belonging and identity

Katie van Schaijik, Jun 14, 2013

Being been embroiled in an online discussion elsewhere about the Pope's way of critiquing capitalism, I jumped ahead in the book of Cardinal Bergoglio's homilies and addresses (which Devra helped translate) to the section on Catholic Social Teaching.

I found this:

Hence, the origin of existential emptiness refers, as Durkheim himself has said, to a separation of the individual from the social environment— i.e., a lack of sense of belonging, which disfigures the identity. “To have an identity” involves primarily “belonging.” Therefore, to overcome this social debt it is necessary to rebuild the social fabric and social ties.

It reminds me of a segment of the Jean Vanier talk I linked a while back. He said about growing old: It's wonderful if one has belonging. To grow old alone is terrible.  To live alone is terrible.  It "disfigures the identity."

Persons are individuals who are made for communion—communion with God, with one another, and with the natural world.