HAVE A HEART!
(Kind of a stream-of-consciousness post – one thing leads to another . . . )
I was checking out what Readings we’re going to hear tomorrow – they are the same Readings that have been appointed for this Sunday (the Fifth Sunday after the day of Epiphany) that people have heard for many, many centuries.
I chose this picture because it shows the ancient basilica that my friend grew up in, in Vicenza, Italy, and she told me how these Readings were commonly handled every Sunday. There is a myth that (use a deep, serious voice): “The Catholic Church kept the knowledge of the Bible away from the people . . . .”
The truth is, as my friend testified, we get two good Readings from the Bible every day, as well as every Sunday; the priest will give a short sermon showing what the Readings mean and how they fit into the day; and then often – it used to be common – the people would come back to the church and received a deeper, more extended lesson. (The Mass is not for having Bible studies!)
So, what will we learn tomorrow? The Christian person behaves with: “. . . mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience: bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection . . . . (from Colossians 3)
Whew! There could be a lot of teaching (and learning) in that partial passage!) But it ends in “charity” – something we now call “love.” Are they the same thing?
Pick any one of those adjectives listed above, humility, modesty, patience, etc., and any individual person would have a lot of hard work, introspection, and determination to make such things a part of his life, but they all lead up to some aspect of charity (loving others).
But there is a false charity too. “Love thy neighbor”? Who is my neighbor? The example Jesus gave was the story of the Good Samaritan. I hope the details are familiar to you, but notice that the injured man was right there next to the Samaritan. The Samaritan could see the injury, he could see the need, he could see the whole situation and, with some inconvenience and cost to himself, the Samaritan . . . showed love.
He was ready. He had charity in his heart.
In Finland and Sweden there is a quaint holdover from the time when they used to be Christian nations. They are colorfully painted little statues of a “poor man” or cute little old ladies or sometimes of animals, and somewhere on the statue there is a little slit into which you can make a donation – to help the poor. Tourists like to take pictures of these little statues, but most often they don’t know what they’re for anymore.
The Poor Man boxes are to help you make donations that will aid the people in your town or in your parish. Your loving and sympathetic help is for your neighbor, your proxima . That’s who the subject of your charity should be: Someone you know. Or someone whom you trust knows. You can help him help a needy person. Or maybe – maybe, maybe – an organization that you know who actually works among some actual needy people that you’re thinking about.
But watch out for evil hearts!!!
They are the ones who have a need for your money and for your support and they will TUG on your heart strings, arouse your sympathy, and make you feel responsible for situations that are not in your “neighborhood.”
Perhaps you haven’t read “Rules for Radicals”* yet. Perhaps you don’t know their very successful Rules to accumulate money and powerful for themselves. I’ve read the Rules, don’t know them very well, but here is from Rule # 13 : (paraphrasing) “. . . talk about people, not institutions; arouse sympathy for individuals without revealing the context; focus on difficult cases to create a free-floating guilt without reference to the truth of the situation. . . . ”
We can be easily fooled into giving up our money or our position or our land – if we are led to feel sorry for something and to believe that we are responsible for some faraway situation.
Is this your fault? –
Is this your doing? Should you give up your land and your culture and your safety because the leaders of these people have made these people into victims?
Nearby people and government leaders have great monetary and land resources to help these poor people. It is said that Sa^ udi ^Ar ab- ia alone has millions of air-conditioned tents, already set up, but empty for nearly the whole year. The tents are used only a few weeks of a year for a short holiday. But they are not used to help nearby people in need.
No, in the United States, government agencies masquerading as “charitable” institutions, are asking for our money and our towns; and as government agents they are receiving great amounts of . . . our money.
Here is a partial list of these government agencies:
Church World Service (CWS)
Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
World Relief Corporation (WR)
Mo^ ham ^med told his followers to not only make war, but also to migrate into other lands in order to spread is^ lam and create the World Cal ^i phate. Today, they are being given a tremendous helping hand to do just that.
But how far away these Migrant Invaders are from the poor injured man whom the Samaritan found on the roadside!
.* The manual that puts forth successful, tried and true methods for Leftists, Progressives, Communists, Socialists, etc, to overcome an existing society.
It would be good to at least know what’s being done to us – and how.