The Problem With Christian Charity…

Saint Paul the Apostle teaches that we cannot claim to be followers of Christ if we do not live to the highest standards of Christian Charity…

St Paul – 1st letter to the  Corinthians,  chapter 13: 1-8; 13

If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth;  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.  We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known.  And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

Comment: 

So, what, if anything, is the “problem” with Christian charity?   As one reader said to me recently, if we lived up to St Paul’s teaching, we would never say a single negative word about another person, outside of the duties of a parent, teacher or priest who may, of necessity, have to do so. But, surely, it’s impossible to live up to that very high standard? 

It got me thinking about my own parents (RIP) who, notwithstanding the fact that they had their faults like everyone else, were the only people I have ever known who genuinely kept the rule of charity at the forefront of their lives – I do not recall either of them ever gossiping or bad-mouthing anyone in our extended family or among neighbours, acquaintances, work colleagues or friends.  Never.  Which got me wondering … what on earth did they chat about when out of earshot of the rest of the family?  😀   I have to admit upfront that while some relatives and friends have told me that I look like my mother, others think I look like my father, nobody has suggested that I share their charitable disposition(s).   If only.   Indeed, Just writing this piece is testing my charity and reminding me of just how greatly I am absent this virtue. 

I’ve been involved in a couple of interesting conversations recently, on the subject of how to be charitable, the danger of defamation in talking about others, and a few issues have been highlighted – notably the “problem” with practising authentic Christian charity when there are divisions at home, work, or in our parishes.  It has been my misfortune to witness some such divisions at church which have festered for many years. Two separate issues here are compounding the problem of living in true charity with others.

Firstly, personal weakness;  the fact is, no matter how difficult, no matter how much we dislike it, if we wish to truly follow Christ then we have no option but to show respect towards our neighbour; to, as Our Lord put it, “do good to those who persecute [us]”.   That’s a “problem” only when we fight it.  If – as great saints like St Therese of Lisieux taught – we embrace the need to see Christ in everyone we meet, and do all in our power to actively show charity, (respect, generosity, however we think of it) which is very different from emotional “love” (to which we are not at all obliged) then it ceases to be a problem and, if we are to believe the great saints, becomes a wonderful spiritual adventure. 

Secondly, those with responsibility for the souls of others – parents, teachers, priests – who fail to do their duty in correcting bad behaviour, are contributing to the “problem” of charity, so to speak.  Writing about “schism” in the Winter 2004 edition of The Fatima Crusader, Father Nicholas Gruner (RIP) provides insight into the role played by clergy in the avoidance of parish divisions:  

“A superior can also be guilty of schism by giving an order, or appearance of an order to the faithful in his charge, which by the very nature of the order, causes the faithful to fight among themselves.  An example would be telling one half of the congregation to do one thing and telling the second half to do the opposite… Schism is terrible because it brings disorder, unhappiness and quarrelling amongst the members of the Church who should be at peace.  That peace is to reflect the peace of the Church in Heaven. That peace is to be a sign to those inside and outside the Church of its divine mission: “See how they love one another” is what Christ wills for His Church, to be one piece of evidence to non-Catholics that the Catholic Church is the one true Church.  Peace within the Catholic Church is also meant to be a comfort and joy to all Catholics.  [see ‘Schism and the Common Good’, The Fatima Crusader, Issue 57, pp. 24ff and Issue 59, pp. 35ff]

So, what do you think?  IS Christian charity a “problem” – or do we, by refusing to seriously apply the teaching of Christ and the exhortations of St Paul – make it a problem?  Share your thoughts, your ideas, and any suggestions you may have to help us all move forward in true charity in our everyday lives.

 

“For, if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have?  Do not even the publicans do this?” (Matt 5:46)   

80 responses

  1. This post is a reminder of the very high standard to which we are both called and held as Christians.

    Charity is essentially the hallmark of the Christian. We can call ourselves Christian, but we are only really so if we practise charity.

    One thing about charity: when meet it, you instantly know that it is the real deal.

    When I was younger, I had reason to frequent an enclosed community of nuns in a certain European country. I will never forget either them or their house. They simply oozed charity to the point where one did not want to leave them. The striking thing is that it seemed to come naturally, by which I suppose I mean supernaturally, without the slightest shadow of affectation.

    The tongue is probably our greatest obstacle to charity and control of it probably the best indicator of spiritual maturity.

    • Prognosticum,

      Your post is very interesting, but the thought comes to me that it must be much easier for nuns in an enclosed community to practise charity – most of them have a rule of silence, e.g. which must be a huge help.

      • Prolonged silence undoubtedly helps, but didn’t someone (St. John Berchmans, I think) once say, ‘Maxima mea poenitentia, vita comunis.’

        • Prognosticum,

          Spot on! It’s a common mistake to think that religious in enclosed Orders have an easier time being charitable. If anything, I’m certain it’s the very opposite. If we struggle to see Christ in our own families, and among friends, relatives, fellow parishioners and work colleagues, imagine how difficult it might be living with a dozen or so total strangers in a religious community.

  2. It really is a problem for me, LOL!

    I find myself talking about people a lot and I honestly don’t mean to do them harm but if I get irritated, I just let off steam. I know it’s wrong, and I do confess it but I’m afraid it’s an ingrained bad habit.

    I have a conundrum, though: it’s all very well saying we should be able to suffer other people’s rudeness or offensiveness but if everyone does that, how is the offensive person to ever know that they are a problem and if nobody answers them back, surely that is not truly charitable to them?

    I’d really appreciate a serious answer to that question.

    • Fidelis,

      I’d like an answer to that same question!

      I, too, let off steam because I get irritated with certain people – I would really like to speak my mind to them but I pull back because I think I’d probably be wasting my time. Everyone else does the same thing and that’s why I’d like that question you asked to be answered!

      • MM,

        I think in those circumstances it would be acceptable to take the person aside and calmly explain that they are being a right nuisance. There may also be times when it is acceptable to do this publicly. If the person is rude to you in front of others I would think it’s the right for you to correct them publicly. It’s not Christian to be a door mat!

      • But how do we do that “charitably”?

        If someone has insulted me in front of other people, been very publicly rude to me, is it uncharitable to say “please don’t speak to me like that – you’re being very rude.” I’m asking because someone does do this to me quite a bit and I’ve just tried to say nothing, rise above it sort of thing, but I see it happening to others and nobody is doing anything about it. Then I think if I do say that, it could start a shouting match and I don’t want that, either.

        • Fidelis,

          What about asking to speak to that person privately and then see if you can get to the bottom of the problem? It might be some kind of misunderstanding that has taken root and which he/she can’t get over. I definitely think you need to do something about it if it happens quite a bit, as you say.

          • A very interesting thread. However, it strikes me that nobody, so far, has made any attempt to point out that, just as there is “true” and “false” obedience, so there is “true” and “false” charity.

            Michaela,

            I used to think like that (“speak to that person privately to try to get to the bottom of the problem”) but I am no longer of that opinion. I would never try to do that again NOR would I advise anyone else to do so. I’ve tried twice, recently, two separate situations/people, to get to the root of an issue(s) by seeking to meet and resolve any possible problems or misunderstandings, and each time been rebuffed. Situation Number 1 insists she “hasn’t done anything wrong” (I hadn’t said she’d done anything wrong; on the contrary, I’d written a letter of apology, expressing concern that we had some kind of personality clash and maybe over a cuppa we could sort it out) but that person elected to simply avoid me, and so that idea died a death. She did, at least, however, have the manners to respond by phone. Unlike Situation Number 2 where my letter of invitation to try to get to the root of a problem was totally ignored.

            So, the options available for dealing with such a patent lack of charity are reduced to the following: either(1) ignore/avoid these people OR (2) pleasantly salute them in the face of being ignored. And just go on ignoring the fact that they are ignoring moi 😀

            I don’t have the answer but my instinct is to go with (2). When my halo arrives, I’ll give it a shot…

            Note:
            The above is an edited version of my original post – I provided details in the hope that it might help resolve a very unfortunate situation at the church where I attend Mass; in fact, however, things worsened, and so I have deleted the details, and will remove or edit subsequent comments to remove all details. The strategy didn’t work – nobody, ordained or lay, has been shamed into resolving the issues of concern, so I am amending this thread as a consequence.

  3. I’ll have to admit that I have not reacted charitably to the reigning Pope, nor to the seemingly bottomless pit of corrupt clergy who have trashed the Church since Vatican II. While it seems possible (though I still feel it is a cop-out) to excuse the previous Conciliar Popes as “diabolically disoriented,” I cannot do that with this Pope, who seems to be an inveterate liar, the very embodiment of sleazy, power-hungry corruption, and an embodiment of evil. In short, a Judas, a son of perdition.

    So how does one react charitably to Pope Francis? I am reminded of St. John’s characterization of Judas, when Judas protested the “waste” of Mary Magdalene’s use of expensive spikenard, claiming that it should have been sold and the money given to the poor. Quoth St. John: He said this not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief.

    In other words, St. John gave us the truth about Judas. Was his description uncharitable, or did he write that because he knew that Judas was already in hell and could be despised? Or, was he justified in writing that because Judas was one of his apostolic peers, thus his writing is the rebuke of a peer?

    I also think that all the written objections that have been raised against Pope Francis’ heretical, subversive agenda have been worded and delivered charitably, but here’s another question: if these objections are not followed up with action, are they still charitable, or is this the equivalent of Pontius Pilate washing his hands?

    • RCA Victor,

      Great post!

      I am of the opinion that it is quite different to criticise public figures including popes as opposed to talking about people in private life.

      There are saints like Robert Bellarmine and Thomas Aquinas who wrote about the duty to correct superiors. I think the line is drawn at being nasty about them. St John was just giving a fact when he called Judas a thief – I think that was well known. It wasn’t meant to be an insult hurled in anger. So, I agree with you about criticising Pope Francis and I don’t think that’s uncharitable. I do feel uncomfortable, though, when people call him names, or speak about him as “Bergoglio” – I think this is about the only blog where that is discouraged. However, we have to call out his errors as otherwise people will be led astray.

      • Yes, I think it’s acceptable to publicly criticise those who hold an office, provided that we are not too personal.

  4. Fidelis and others with the “fraternal correction” question:

    Bl. Francis Palau, Carmelite Mystic, wrote a tract called “The School of Virtue,” which our priests use for Catechism class every Sunday after Mass. You can download the PDF here: https://www.ourladyoflourdes.info/school-of-virtue/

    Then scroll down to the bottom of PDF page 39, right column (the pages are not numbered), and you can read his detailed comments about this, part of his Lesson 45, “The Precepts of Charity,” starting at “32. Q: Is fraternal correction an almsgiving?” It’s a long quote, didn’t want to take up this entire thread with it, but I’m sure you’ll find some nuggets to post….(it’s also somewhat of a clumsy translation from the Spanish).

  5. I am not Catholic, so forgive me if my observations are unwelcome here. I read with sadness in the comments section about the behaviors of one family that was dividing a parish. This is not unique to Catholicism. The situation reminded me of what happened in our country church. We too had a family who used their volunteering — and financial support — to impose control over “their” church. In an uncharitable manner, they exerted their control to demand their own way, were rude, and held grudges. Similar to the parish priest described who didn’t use his authority to intervene, our pastor also did not intervene. Eventually, our church was divided from within by this uncharitable behavior, and people stopped coming — particularly, the younger members with children. The church environment had become unhealthy and in some cases, abusive towards those who tried to challenge the divisive behavior. The dominating family had hijacked our country church because no one stood up to them; eventually, their uncharitable behavior drove everyone away. Although I no longer live in the community, I was recently told that there are only 45 members remaining in the country church (what’s left of the dominating family and relatives), which is not enough to support it. After over 150 years, the country church will close its doors and its cemetery where my ancestors have been buried for hundreds of years will stand alone. You are right to be concerned over uncharitable behavior by members of your parish towards others. I pray that the parish priest will intervene on behalf of the beleaguered parish before it meets a similar fate as ours did when we did nothing.

    • Jazzdat,

      I am sorry for the tragedy of your church having to close….and your comments are most welcome, no need to apologize! It’s been my experience, until recently, that churches bring out the worst in people – and, less frequently, the best.

      I attended a small Protestant church in the 1990s, before I returned to the Catholic Church. I left (angrily) when I discovered that a church family was spreading calumnies about my family, including one of my sons, and that people were actually taking this falsehood seriously!

      I am afraid that [editor’s] church will meet a similar fate as yours, if something is not done about this abrasive family. I think the failure of the priests to address this is a blatant failure of charity – not to mention of their duty and responsibility – on their part. I’m also tempted to throw in the word “cowardly,” but that’s probably just my Italian blood getting riled up.

      • RCA Victor

        I’ve removed the name of the church I attend from your post, because, although those who know it will – well – know it, I’d prefer not to add fuel to the fire by spreading the identity of the church or the people concerned.

    • Jazzdat,

      Just a quick “hello” to let you know that we are filming a conversation (as part of our video series) with a Protestant gentleman on the subject of “salvation” next Saturday 15th June, so you can watch out for that being posted on the blog – in the next couple of weeks, hopefully, depending on our video-master’s busy diary. ASAP is the rule, so keep in touch!

  6. N O T I C E . . .

    I have received the following urgent email from Wendy Walker, our resident, very hard working pro-life activist. Wendy is not a Catholic but puts us all to shame with her zeal for the protection of the unborn. This, however, is a personal message for prayers for her adult son…

    FROM WENDY WALKER…

    just to ask you for prayers for my youngest child 36 y o Son JEREMIAH KNOWN AS KIPPER

    I have just come from the Hospital he is comatose and has not much longer to live he has a brain tumour he complained of a headache and then some of his vomit went into his lung he then went into cardiac arrest the ambulance people worked on him for 25 minutes his heart had stopped …he was taken to Hospital and has remained unconscious – he looks beautiful and peaceful, all his Brothers and Sisters saw him he is very looked after he had a scan and MRI. He is effectively brain dead, he is absolutely covered in tubes and machines. Thank you – but I stipulated no Liverpool Pathway; very wonderful Staff

    The next few days will be terribly hard and I will not be home much but messages can be left It is surreal it hasn’t sunk in; I only found out around 3..30 pm Monday

    Thank all of you
    Wendy

  7. Dear Wendy

    I am so sorry to hear your news. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Jeremiah and your family.

    God bless x

  8. Dear Wendy, be assured of my prayers. What a cross to bear! May God bless you all and may the angels watch over your son.

  9. N O T I C E . . .

    EMAIL FROM WENDY RECEIVED THIS MORNING…

    Dear Wonderful Everybody

    THANK YOU ALL SO HEARTFELT MUCH for the wonderful outpouring of pure love and concern at my request

    We were up the Hospital from 10 am to 8..30 pm so many people Family and Friends visited
    The Drs were amazing so kind ,helpful and caring Jeremiah had to have 2 more special Clinicians independently examine him but he was actually dead they believe he died around 3 am today but of course the wonderful machinery was keeping him alive

    At the last Meeting the amazing Dr said no hurry but please when you are all ready please select a time to let him pass they asked if I would donate his organs but I couldnt …the 2 Ladies tried to push but I remained adamant we were allowed to spend a lot of time with him so many friends and family there as 7 pm approached we decided I put extra Holy Water on him and a Miraculous Medal was pinned on his pillow Muslim friends of mine Prayed Holy Prayers over him and the gentleman did this beautifully he said Jeremiah looked so peaceful and he had seen many dead people but Jeremiah was the most beautiful he had seen and even Nurses commented how young he looked not 36

    My eldest Daughter Adellyn and Family Friend Tracey decided they would be there for him as his wires were taken off which they did and we sat in the waiting room all held hands and spoke of him he passed away around 7..08 pm just as the Dr said usually such brain damaged people pass quickly

    We then all cried and sat together until about 8pm

    My poor Children were so tired and so upset they have been brilliant when I got home so many messages on the answer phone some cards and and now so many wonderful beautiful and so gratefully received responses thank you all so very much and I will endevour to answer them all Bless you

    A huge group of local Turkish friends did special Prayers all day for Jeremiah and the family
    He looked at Peace and he was surrounded by so much love

    Tragically it was found we are told he had taken an extra strong heroin prior to this he had been clean for some Months but obviously relapsed

    He led a tragic life he was a very caring lovely person but the Heroin destroyed him

    I will be busy now obviously with The family with Funeral engagements and all the other things needed so if you ring and I am not home please leave a message

    Many of his friends who came said this had learned them a lesson so perhaps his passing will not be in vain if others can live

    God Bless you my darling Son and may you rest in Peace
    from your ever loving Mum xxxxxxxx

    • Wendy,

      I am very sorry to hear of your sad loss and I will remember Jeremiah, you and all your family in my prayers.

      May Jeremiah rest in peace.

    • It is with tears falling from my eyes that I read Wendy’s last words about her son.A mother’s love no matter what right to the very end.

  10. Reading through this thread again, I’d like to point out that, as far as I understand it, charity enkindles zeal: zeal for the salvation of others and for oneself, zeal for the defense of the Faith and the Church, zeal to perform corporal and spiritual works of mercy, zeal to discipline and correct those who need to be disciplined and corrected.

    In my experience, that is precisely where the SSPX falls flat: it’s zeal goes no further than the safety of the parish bookstore and the front door of the chapel. That is, their parish bookstores and publishing house offer excellent spiritual resources, but the application of them is hardly, if ever taught. And, if taught, taught badly.

    I would call this “passive zeal,” which seems to be a contradiction in terms, but it is a reflection of something sorely missing in the Society…and this thread about abrasive parish personalities allowed to fester is a perfect example. Another perfect example is the Society’s reaction to the open letter accusing the Pope of heresy. As the blogger Mundabor noted, they should have written that letter, but instead they criticized it (on absurd, irrational grounds, no less).

    Moreover, scandals (and this thread’s situation I would consider a borderline scandal) are either ignored or covered up, and I know of at least two priests who were disciplined for addressing a scandal or two.

    So here’s a bottom line question: since the SSPX appears to have a defective notion of zeal, is that an indicator that they are also lacking in charity?

  11. (I should have added: I was speaking about SSPX clergy, not faithful – clergy who have, in my opinion, developed a bunker mentality.)

  12. I’ve only now been able to catch up with the blog. Reading this thread has left me agog! I had to read some of the comments several times in order not to think that my eyes were deceiving me. And this is an SSPX chapel? Now I sort of understand why 2 young lasses of my acquaintance have stopped attending the SSPX chapels. They have now opted for parishes who offer the TLM. They had told me about the “police” and bossy boots but I put it down to them being young and intolerant.

    • Crofterlady,

      I’m always disappointed when I hear of people who stop attending because of this sort of behaviour, although I know the temptation myself. In fact, nowhere is perfect and moving to a diocesan TLM would only bring a different set of problems. In one case, we find the same problem, only, instead of involving an entire family, the issue is that the PP has allowed one man, who can be extremely rude, to run things for a long time, over a period of years; the result is that he gets to decide who will attend certain events and it’s caused very bad feeling. So, human nature being what it is, there will always be rude people ready to lord it over the rest of us in parishes, and, sadly, there will always be a majority, it seems, of priests too timid in nature to do anything about it, although whether they are too timid, or simply misguided in their interpretation of “pastoral concern” I really can’t say. I don’t seem to intimidate them, judging by the way my concerns are ignored not to mention my emails. See if I care… 😀

      One thing to remember is that those attending the diocesan TLM to which I refer (and, of course, others out there) would have to pray the new Francis-version of the Our Father but for the fact that the Bishops of Scotland have issued a statement to say there will be no change in the English translation, so it’s prayer-business as usual. What, though, if it had gone the other way? That’s the sort of dilemma which faces young parents who want their children to grow up with the Faith undiluted – as far as possible – albeit with some lamentable gaps. And with having to learn “on site” so to speak, how to practise true charity.

      All we can do for now is pray for the Consecration of Russia, to hasten the restoration of all things in Christ and a speedy return to our local parishes. O, and – in the meantime – keep our tempers in check…

  13. Editor, the young lasses in question were attending the TLM at Ravelston in Edinburgh. Not any more. They say that the priest [name removed – Ed] just goes on about money and parking out front etc., and they were scandalised by the the apparent homosexual attitude of 2 of the musicians. They now attend the N.O. Mass celebrated by a very reverend and inspiring priest called Fr. Jamie.

    • Crofterlady,

      I think the two lasses are getting a bit confused. The TLM at St Andrews is celebrated by the FSSP not the SSPX. The SSPX chapel is St Margaret’s and St Leonard’s which is 2 mile away in the South Side, and I can quite assure them that there are no “police or bossy boots” there. We only once had a problem with someone getting on to someone else. A lady, who ironically had previously attended St Andrews, had a go at another lady about her child making too much noise. She was soon put in her place by other members of the congregation who informed her that it was not up to her to chastise people and that the child was not causing any problems. Apparently they are not used to children at St Andrews.

      As Fr Jamie is also based at St Andrews, could it perhaps be that the two lasses don’t actually understand the TLM and are attending the NO as it’s in English and presumably easier to follow? They perhaps don’t have a missal, and as far as I know, there are no Mass books available at St Andrews, unlike St Margaret’s and St Leonard’s where they are available along with a sheet with the propers of the day.

      At the end of the day you usually find that people who stop attending the TLM do so for silly reasons and can’t see that it’s the devil who is making them feel that way. He thought he had gotten rid of the TLM at Vatican II and is angry that it is enjoying a resurgence, especially among the young, (I’m assuming the two lasses are young) and tries anything to put them off going. No matter how reverently the NO is being celebrated it will eventually lead to the loss of faith. It is almost exactly the same as the communion service in an Episcopalian church, on which it was modelled, and so is not Catholic.

      • Vianney,

        I have to say that I have had an issue at St Margaret’s in the past. My son started crying after Holy Communion and after Mass an established member of the congregation, who has been attending for many years, barged past my wife, telling her the noise was ridiculous.

        • Petrus,

          I remember you telling me about that incident, but it’s really not typical at all of the Edinburgh church. I’ve always found everyone to be very friendly and welcoming. I wouldn’t even describe that young man as “an established member of the congregation” – most of his family attend the Glasgow church; I’m not quite sure why he goes to Edinburgh but I’m quite confident that if he did that sort of thing regularly, and it was made known to the long-standing members of the congregation, he would soon be put in his place.

        • Petrus,

          I’m sorry that your wife had that experience and if any other member of the congregation had witnessed it I’m sure they would have come to your wife’s defence. Children make noise, and anyone who complains about it are totally out of order. Someone told me once that you usually find that those who complain about children tend not to have any themselves and were usually right little monsters when they themselves were young.
          I hope it won’t put you off coming back to St Leonards.

  14. Well, that’s very sad, about choosing the NO over the TLM – it’s actually very Protestant to pick a Mass where the clergyman suits. It doesn’t matter how “inspiring” these young girls find the NO priest – he is saying a Mass that is not the Mass of the saints and martyrs. I don’t know about the “apparent” homosexual attitude of two of the musicians but it’s a mistake to go by appearances. Friends of mine who are single have told me they sometimes get asked if they are gay, just because they’re not married. Is that being “apparent” homosexual? If there’s real evidence of them being practising homosexuals, then they should raise it with the priest. What this thread has brought out for me, just reading through it, is that this thread has been necessary because for years and years, one group of people in a parish has been allowed to rule the roost and behaved disgracefully, and nobody has done anything about it. I’m sure there will be people thinking it was uncharitable to post the comments about that family on this blog, but I’d say that the real lack of charity is that nobody has done anything about that group over the years, not in bringing it out into the open here. Or semi-open since there are no names given.

    Why don’t the girls you mention let the priest know that they would prefer him to preach about the doctrines of the faith, not money or parking – that would be true charity, not going to a Mass that cannot be pleasing to God since it was created with the help and advice of six Protestant ministers, with the aim of removing the “Catholic bits”! If Fr Jamie hasn’t been inspired to learn the traditional Mass, then he’s not all that inspiring IMHO. The fact is, the NO is more attractive to young people because it is less demanding in various ways.

    Young people (and anyone else) who prefers the NO to the TLM only prefers it because they have been protestantised. Even if they don’t realise it, that is the truth. They can cover it up all they like by blaming the TLM priest for not preaching the way he should etc. but the fact is, and I know they’re young, so no chance of them having a true Catholic sense these days, but nobody with a true Catholic sense would knowingly choose the NO over the TLM, no matter how lacking in preaching skills the priest was. No offence – if you are friends with those “young lasses”, I’m not meaning to offend, but that is my opinion.

  15. As indicated in my comment of June 9, 2019 at 6:13 pm, above, I have now amended the contents of this thread as it relates to the two situations which have been exercising my own (lack of) charity for some time now. Having read through the comments and having reflected on the fact that – contrary to my naïve expectations – not only have the situations not improved as a result of this thread, but they have worsened, and so I see no point in continuing this conversation.

    Indeed, I have now removed quite a few comments altogether (including many of my own, folks, so nothing personal!) and I will now close this thread, with thanks to all who contributed, very positively, and I have no doubt, very prayerfully, to this topic, with the aim of achieving a charitable outcome in the actual situations described.

    The thread was launched in good faith, in an attempt to exercise true charity, and so, I think we may be confident that God will add our efforts here to the economy of grace.

    We will draw this thread to a conclusion, then, as we began, by quoting St Paul on the subject:

    If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing…And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

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