Organic Catholic society is a remedy that can lead us to a balanced economy without the ills of frenetic intemperance. It might seem strange that we deliberately propose a society as a solution to an economic problem. However, we believe that economy should be so embedded in a social order that the two solutions, social and economic, are united into one.
To better explain the concept of Catholic organic society, we can cite ten defining characteristics, which creates a climate of order and virtue that favors social bonds, commerce and free markets.
Why is it Organic?
The first characteristic can be found in the name we have given to this society: it must be organic. We can define an organic society as a social order oriented toward the common good that is wonderfully adapted to the full development of our human nature and our life together in community. It is termed “organic” because this order does not treat people like parts in a machine but as living and unique beings with all the complex and nuanced elements that are part of life.
Spontaneity, Vitality and Creativity
From the concept of organic, we can consider characteristics that spring from living things: spontaneity, vitality and creativity. Return to Order presents and celebrates these characteristics as a refreshing contrast to modern economy. The resulting society and economy is full of vitality and creativity; nuance and meaning; and poetry and passion. At the same time, such an order is full of dynamism and capable of great production.
Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance
An organic Christian society must necessarily cultivate the virtues, especially the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance which we can characterize as necessary traits. When these virtues are practiced in an organic society, everything enters into a proper balance and rhythm because each acts in accordance with his nature. This is the foundation for true order and also the true progress and prosperity that is so needed today.
Uniting Hearts and Minds with Charity
Yet another characteristic is charity. In such an order, charity is a moderating influence on economy. Furthermore, charity is necessary because it perfects and secures the practice of justice in society. For, although justice can diminish strife and disunity, only charity can bring about a true union of hearts and minds. Thus, although not an economic principle in itself, charity easily serves as ballast amid the turmoil of frenetic intemperance.
It is Profoundly Christian
Finally we must add that this order must be Christian.
An organic order cannot be reduced to a natural manner of organizing society. A Christian order extends beyond the mere practice of virtue since it is well rooted in the reality of our fallen nature, the confidence that all must have in Providence, and the help of Divine grace. It adapts well to both the sufferings and joys that this vale of tears affords. Indeed, the Christian organic society is born under the constant shadow of the Cross which teaches us how to suffer life’s vicissitudes. It must have Christ as Divine model and teacher.
Thus, an organic Christian society must have these ten elements as a framework of timeless principles to which we might return:
- Charity, and
In the face of the present economic and moral crisis, we need refreshing remedies like those offered by an organic Christian society and which are carefully explained in the book, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go.