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)   

Sin No Laughing Matter… But Is THIS How To Teach Cleverly About Purity?

 

Comment: 

It’s nearly impossible not to see the funny side of much of Jason’s talk.  Easy to see why teenagers would thoroughly enjoy his lectures. Still,  certain “givens” cause concern; should Catholics be accepting of, for example, “dating” in High School?  That’s just one of many reservations which I have about the above speaker but, hey, I can be something of a prude compared to what most people think is normal and harmless these days. And Jason is very likeable – we have to give him that.  Students will love him.  No question about it. 

A teacher friend responded to my concerns by emailing: I stand by the Jason Evert material because he gets through to the pupils in their idiom while remaining faithful to Christ.  His personal struggle with lust and his conversion are a good example to them.

I tend to think that clear teaching about Original Sin, which has caused us to have a particular weakness or inclination to commit sexual sin, ought to cancel the need for explicit personal examples, but, as I say, I  may be out on a limb with this one.

So, let’s have YOUR opinion, as parents, teachers, or simply Joe & Josephine Bloggs.  Key question:  would you be happy if your children – early teenagers or university students – were present at this kind of talk/lesson?

And remember to give reason(s) for your answer 😀   

The Scottish Bishops support a “tolerant” & “liberal” society… Really? 

Remember this? Anti-Catholic Culture Reigns In Scotland – the press release from the Scottish Catholic Media Office which featured on our blog back in June, 2017 claiming that “a culture of fear prevents people from being open about their [Catholic] faith in Scotland”?  Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, that is he is speaking on behalf of the Scottish Bishops, “highlighted testimonies from a number of young people who had experienced anti-Catholic prejudice in their school…”  Click here to refresh your memory…

Then click here to remind yourselves that a few months later, in November, 2017, we discussed more complaints from the Scottish Bishops about “hate crime” against Catholics…

So, try to get your head round this news, fresh off the printing press this very week…

EDINBURGH, Scotland, March 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The Catholic Church in Scotland has rejected proposals for new anti-hate laws despite Catholics being disproportionately singled out for attack…The director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan, said that the current law against hate crime is adequate. “We do not believe there is a need for sectarianism to be specifically addressed and defined in hate crime legislation,” he said.  And then this jewel: “Christian communities in Scotland enjoy a positive ecumenical relationship and we are concerned that government is proposing unnecessary legislation that undermines the development of community relations between them,” he said.   Astonishingly, too, it seems the Bishops of Scotland do not wish to “risk becoming an intolerant, illiberal society.”  Click here to read the entire article Scottish bishops reject proposed hate crime laws, fear criminalization of religion

The penny has still not dropped.  Catholicism is not “tolerant” of error, heresy and sin, and it is definitely not “liberal”:  the way to life is narrow… (Matthew 7:14)

Comment:

Don’t misunderstand:  we, at Catholic Truth, are not in favour of the concept of “hate crime” (we hate it!) but our rationale differs somewhat from that of the Scottish Bishops, it would seem.  We are clear:  we must be free to preach Christ, undiluted. And that entails appearing to be intolerant and illiberal in the sense understood by our unbelieving world.  The Bishops appear to be backing away from their previous claims about anti-Catholic prejudice, in the interests of not annoying their ecumenical partners and appearing to be “liberal” and “tolerant” (of sin, error, heresy, you name it).  Given their previous statements on the subject, however, the question remains:  IS Scotland an anti-Catholic country… or not?   And if the answer is “yes”, we’d like to know exactly what the Bishops intend to do about it…   What can they do?  Ideas welcome….

Westminster LGBT+… Pope Francis Welcomes Militant Homosexuals

The third LGBT+ Catholics Westminster Pilgrimage to Rome ended yesterday, Sunday, 10 March 2019. On Ash Wednesday, the 16 pilgrims, including parents and family members, alongside LGBT_ Catholics with Pilgrimage Chaplain, Fr David Stewart SJ, attended the morning General Audience with Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square. At the end of the Audience the group was invited to meet Pope Francis.

The Pilgrimage Leader, Martin Pendergast, a member of the LGBT+ Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council, introduced the group to the Holy Father, explaining that they formed part of the LGBT+ pastoral ministry outreach of Westminster Diocese. Each pilgrim received a gift of a rosary from Pope Francis who shook hands with the group’s members.

Later, on Ash Wednesday afternoon, the group was able to take part in Pope Francis’ Mass and Imposition of Ashes in the Church of Santa Sabina. In the evening they was warmly welcomed at an Ecumenical Liturgy of the Word & Blessing of Ashes with English-speaking Anglicans, Catholics and Methodists, in the Church of St Ignatius.

The programme included a conversation with Rome-based journalists, Christopher Lamb (The Tablet) and Robert Mickens (La Croix International) giving their perspectives on Pope Francis’ Church reform strategy, not least following the recent Vatican Sexual Abuse Summit. They were also addressed by the American moral theologian, Professor James Keenan SJ, on the Pope’s response to the 2014/2015 Synods on Marriage & Family. He focused on Pope Francis’ key-principles of ‘accompaniment’ and ‘moral discernment’ as vital considerations in addressing LGBT concerns.

The group celebrated Mass in the room where St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, died; and also in the Titular Church of Cardinal Vincent Nichols – The Most Holy Redeemer & St. Alphonsus. Cardinal Nichols’ Pilgrimage Morning Prayer, remembering victims of homophobia and transphobia was said in the St.Bartholomew-on-the-Tiber Church, which commemorates martyrs of our own times and is run by the San Egidio Community.  Source – Independent Catholic News

Comment:

As our blogger, Westminster Fly, who sent me this news wrote: “The Westminster LGBT brigade are untouchable now…” And he threw in an additional short report for good measure. Click here to read it.

Photographed below, Pope Francis greets the LGBT+ chaplain, Fr David Stewart SJ.

I’m speechless – what about you?  Do you agree that these militant homosexuals are “untouchable” now that they have the Pope’s full, undisguised support and  “the visuals” to prove it?  And ask yourself what the plus (+)  sign means in LGBT+  – It might be that, as we reported in the current newsletter, March, 2019, just as the early homosexual rights group in Scotland (Scottish Minorities Group) promoted the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), so the contemporary LGBT movement is still supporting if not actively promoting, paedophile rights.  Is there a detective in the house who might contact Stonewall to ask them?  Click on the image of the Catholic Truth Private Eye below to find contact details for Stonewall…  After all, we don’t want to imply anything untoward, so we really ought to check up on the meaning of that plus sign in LGBT+  

IVF: Legal Gender Selection Looming?

From the Mail Online…

Britain is a global leader in assisted reproduction. Four decades ago, it was a British team that pioneered in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, resulting in the birth of the world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in July 1978.

Some six million births worldwide later, we continue to be at the forefront of reproductive science.  Source – Mail Online


Comment: 

The Mail Online report goes on to bemoan the fact that this supposed great “new knowledge” can be “harnessed for negative purposes” – citing the scandal of UK doctors caught by undercover reporters illegally providing gender selection. 

However, what’s the bet that what the Mail Online today thinks is “negative” and is rightly illegal,  tomorrow will be advertised as a wonderful advancement which must be allowed in law? 

After all, if couples are permitted to design their own babies in a test-tube, why not allow them to go the whole hog and choose a boy or a girl … or even a “they” from among the 72 or so genders now on offer… 

Gimme strength; that’s my opinion!  What’s yours?  And what about your priest?  Bishop?  They need to preach against this sort of attack on the natural order, to inform Catholics who are as ignorant about the (im)morality of these contemporary scientific “advancements” as everyone else.  

For the record, here is Catholic teaching in a short video presentation…

 

October: Month of the Holy Rosary – How to Meditate on the Mysteries…

 

Comment:

Share your tips on how to pray the Rosary well.  And any stories you wish to share about the power of the Rosary are most welcome!

Let’s remember, too, to pray for the repose of the soul of Father Nicholas Gruner, in this  month of the Rosary.  Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May he rest in peace. Amen. 

Pope Francis: is it spiritual blindness or sheer idiocy that prevents him from seeing the need to ACT… NOW?! 

Comment invited…