WHY GIVE TO FMS

Richard Rohr’s, OFM, reflection in Letting Go: A Spirituality of Subtraction affirms the work of FMS missioners, whose call is to be in solidarity with the Third, Fourth, and Fifth World communities as partners and companions. Your prayer and financial support is what makes this partnership possible. You are a partner with us.

How is Solidarity More Challenging than Altruism and Generosity?

by Richard Rohr, OFM

The term Third World was coined at the United Nations back in the 1950’s. I remember thinking, “Well, that’s about as low as you can go.” Second World was the former countries of the Communist Bloc. Third World countries were those with low potential and low development. But later I found out about Fourth World countries, which had some potential and no development and Fifth World countries with no potential and no development! I was in Nepal some years ago giving a retreat to the Jesuits. They said, “Welcome to a Fifth World country, Richard”. And I said, “What? I never knew there was such a thing!”

It’s hard for us to comprehend that people living on the same planet could live in such utterly different worlds. The Gospel isn’t asking us just to be do-gooders or altruistic toward these worlds, which often just confirms our own superiority. The Gospel is enabling and empowering us for something that is much harder than mere altruism and generosity (although that certainly is asked for in many cases). The gospel is calling us into honest solidarity with the poor, the oppressed, and the disadvantaged of our world, not coming at them from above, but somehow from the side as friends and companions.

The First World Churches will never be converted until we receive and learn to love the Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth parts of Christ’s Body. They carry essential gifts for the rediscovery of the whole Gospel for all of us.