Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Loving Neighbors: No Matter What

Jesus said that the law was, essentially: 'Love God, love your neighbor.' (Matthew 22:36-40) The Catholic Church has had almost two thousand years to think about that - and how - that the "love your neighbor" thing applies to families. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2197-2206, 2232-2233)

For Catholics, the 'neighbors' idea is connected with - what else? - rules about the duties of:
  • Children (2214-2220)
  • Parents (2221-2231)
  • People in authority (2234-2237)
  • People subject to authority (2238-2243)
    (links are to the Catechism of the Catholic Church)
There are even rules about the political community and the Church (Catechism, 2244-2246)

None of which says that it's okay to call your neighbor names, or burn a book in public that your neighbor respects. I've opined about that sort of thing before, including posts under Somewhat-related posts, below.

Corresponding With a Terrorist?!

There's something to the claim that the Catholic Church tells people not to do stuff. For example, we're not supposed to snub folks who are in prison (Matthew 25:36, 39-40). Which gets me to something from today's news:
"...Carlos Turrin Villanueva spent 10 years behind bars for the crime of terrorism at the Castro Castro Prison in Lima, Peru.

"Turrin, who was released in 1999, told CNA that months before receiving the papal letter, he had written to John Paul II without expecting a response. 'He was so busy and received so many letters that I never thought he would take notice of a prisoner,' Turrin said.

"In his message, the Pope thanked Turrin for writing to him and offered his prayers that 'through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, the Lord will strengthen you in the faith and grant you continual peace and Christian prosperity.' He also bestowed an apostolic blessing on Turrin and his loved ones.

"Turrin recalled the difficulties of living the Christian life and evangelizing inside the prison...."
(Catholic News Agency)
I think that anecdote is a pretty good example of why we're supposed to love our neighbor - even when it isn't easy. Loving people who don't act well - while not approving of what they do - is, I think, a somewhat counter-cultural thing to do.

I've written about the Catholic Church's failure to 'fit it' with local cultures before:
A sort of bottom line for me is that fitting in is nice - but doing what is right is better.

'God is on My Side?' Or 'I'm on God's Side?'

I've written about malignant virtue before, too:
Vicious self-righteousness isn't an American monopoly, I think. I discussed what happened recently in Egypt in another blog:
I think it's important to point out that although 3,000 Muslims burned churches - others did not. Some Muslims in Egypt demonstrated with Christians after the church-burnings, demanding protection for Egypt's Coptic Christians. Some of the motivation may have been simply practical: the protesting Muslims might realize that they could be next on the arsonists' hit list. I prefer to believe that there was a moral factor involved, too.

The Catholic Church makes it pretty clear that it's a good idea to do the will of God. (Catechism, 2822-2827)

Which, remember, includes loving our neighbors. Not if we feel like it, not if they act just like we do, not if anything. We're supposed to love our neighbors.

Even the ones who don't act the "right" way.

I think it's easy - very easy indeed - to believe that nostalgia and cultural preferences reflect the Will of God. I also think that's a dangerous attitude: for folks who feel that way; as well as for those around them.

Somewhat-related posts:
In the news:

2 comments:

Robert Jacquart said...

My sentiments exactly. Good post man.

Brian Gill said...

Thank you, Robert Jacquart.

(And sorry it took me so long - I 'zoned' on checking comments.)

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More

Advertisement

Unique, innovative candles


Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.