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Sunday, 7 August 2011

St Cajetan, an example to follow for a world in crisis

"At bottom, capitalism is as much a moral enterprise as it is an economic one. If those lucky enough to become successful ignore the virtues of thrift, self-discipline and sobriety, as well as the moral imperative to look after the weak, then capitalism degenerates into cronyism and self-interest."

In the same way St Cajetan was faced with a society in which self-interest and greed ruled and in which the poor were swept out of the way as an inconvenience. He responded by giving up his worldly position as a son of an aristocratic family and a high ranking Vatican functionary, and devoted himself to providing help for the most marginalised in his society. He sold everything to build hospitals for the incurable and set up the Monte Pio's, which were banks which provided loans for everyone and charged very little interest, as a remedy for the heartless loan sharks of the time who forced people into ever greater debt and desperation.

St Cajetan is truly a Saint for our time and an example to follow, with the world on the verge of economic collapse due to greed and rampant self-interest, we need to look at his example of service, mercy and charity and his rejection of the false glamour of empty wealth and position. He knew that the image of God is to be found in the poor and suffering and that the only way forward for this world is through solidarity in which we all "Love our neighbours as ourselves". Imagine the paradise this world would be if everyone held out their hands in charity to their neighbour, in which we all looked after each other and in which egotistical behaviour had no place!

Love of money is truly the root of all evil, and nowhere is this more obvious than in that glorified casino called the stock market where the fate of millions is decided by what the traders feel that particular day.....whether they are jittery or bullish or bearish, it makes no difference to them, but it makes all the difference to those whose jobs rely on which way they throw the dice.

On this, St Cajetans feast, let us pray for all those who fear for their future, let us pray for our world in turmoil and let us pray that each of us can become the image of Divine Providence to our suffering neighbour. Let us all hope and pray since the mechanics of this crisis are out of our hands and way beyond most of our understanding and the solution to this crisis may just need a miracle....and St Cajetan is known as the saint of miracles.

Fresco of St Cajetan praying in San Paulo Maggore, Naples 

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