by Max Becher March 07, 2022 2 min read
Why Catholic Agrarianism? What is it all about? Why the big deal? This is the 21st Century after all.
Let’s define some terms here, and lay out the basic case for Catholic Agrarianism. The term is broad and conducive to multiple interpretations. For the purposes of this site, here is how I have come to understand Catholic Agrarianism. This understanding is an intellectual journey for me, and will surely mature with time.
Definition of “Agrarian” from the Merriam-Webster dictionary: 2, a: of, relating to, or characteristic of farmers or their way of life
Definition of Catholic Agrarianism: 1) a distinct charism and mode of Christian life rooted in the agrarian lifestyle, centered on the family, productive work, and active stewardship of God’s creation.
In this context, the word charism means a particular way of living out the Gospel. A charism is a gift and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, given to the Church for the benefit of both those who live the charism and those who are served by it. There are different charisms within the Body of Christ (the Church), and God calls different people to different charisms.
Understood in this way, “Agrarianism” is deeper than simply the “farmer’s way of life” of Merriam-Webster. Specifically, Catholic Agrarianism is a calling of the Holy Spirit to pursue the farmer’s way of life for spiritual reasons. Furthermore, there are multiple degrees and manners in which one can live out the charism of Catholic Agrarianism in their lives. You don’t necessarily have to sell the city house and live off the land to live the Catholic Agrarian charism.
Why would the Holy Spirit move the faithful to pursue the farmer's way of life? That's a great question; more to come!