“We have replaced charity with humanitarianism, says Michael Matheson Miller in the first of this week’s Acton Commentary, “a hollowed-out secular and materialist vision of Christian love.”

Concern for the poor is at the heart of Christianity. Saint John Paul II called poverty one of the greatest moral challenges of our time, and to ignore the plight of the poor has consequences for our eternal souls.

Pope Francis addressed poverty in Evangelii Gaudium: “Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us” (#54).

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.