Religion & Liberty Online

Service is love for our God and our clients

For the Italian Nuova Bussola Quotidiana media outlet, I am publishing a series of short reflections on economics, virtue and spirituality during Lent entitled Lentenomics (go here for the first reflection on “sacrifice”).  In the second of these six essays I turned my attention to the virtue of service.”

In summary, I write that “service has a supremely essential role within the economy, and not just in the so-called ‘service industries.’ Markets simply cannot function without services. They are the fundamental spokes on which the wheels of any economy turns.”

We realize just how invaluable many ordinary services are now that our economies have come to a grinding halt during the coronavirus pandemic. With closures of “non essential” business services, we understand how “essential” they really are. May we never take them for granted again.

I continue: “Primordially speaking, all forms of service and serving others are tied to the original Latin root:  servus (servant or slave).

“True service, therefore, is never purely transactional or functional….In essence, serving is psychologically and spiritually a question of submitting our egotistic will to that of our Father and Creator and to his creatures in need of our help and love.  It has a spiritual value of turning the individual from inward egotism to outward altruism. But to do so, we must often transition from talking to listening; from being overly active in pursuing our interests to being more receptive of other persons interests and needs. Ultimately, we adopt a servant-like mentality.”

Go here to read the rest of the original essay… 


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Michael Severance

Michael Severance earned his B.A. in philosophy and humane letters from the University of San Francisco, where he also studied at the university's St. Ignatius Institute, a great books program. He then pursued his linguistic studies in Salamanca, Spain where he obtained his Advanced Diploma in Spanish from Spain's Ministry of Education before obtaining his M.A. in Philosophy and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford. While living in Italy, Michael has worked in various professional capacities in religious journalism, public relations, marketing, fundraising, as well as property redevelopment and management. As Istituto Acton's Operations Manager, Michael is responsible for helping to organize international conferences, increase private funding, as well as expand networking opportunities and relations among European businesses, media and religious communities, while managing the day-to-day operations of the Rome office.