Sunday, February 5, 2012

'Love Thy Neighbor:' Putting Faith Into Practice

I think - and hope - that many Americans have heard that "love your neighbor as yourself" thing. It's half of the 'love God, love your neighbor' commandment that Jesus identified as the most important. (Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31)

That's not just about 'next-door neighbors:' We're supposed to see everybody as our neighbor. (Matthew 5:43-44; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:25-30; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1825)

Practical Love

Thinking nice thoughts about our neighbors is - nice. But we're supposed to have a practical sort of love. Among other things, we've got a mandate to make society better. (Catechism, 1928-1942) And I've been over that before. (September 13, 2011)

In the long term, I think folks living in the Sahel will be as ready to deal with natural disasters as Texans.1 But learning new ways of running their cultures will, in my opinion, take generations.

In the short term, folks living in the Sahel and elsewhere desperately need food and other supplies. That sort of problem can be dealt with swiftly, but somebody needs to make resources available. Preferably, a lot of 'somebodies.' Which is why I'm putting links to CRS (Catholic Relief Services) in this post.

Charity is important:
"Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1822)
I've been over that before. (November 25, 2011)

Like I've said before, believing in God is good. So is acting as if God matters:
  • Work as in "faith and works"
    • It's important
      (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1368)
  • "Productive" work that's closer to the 'work ethic'
    • It's important, too
    • So is getting paid
    • Or showing a profit, after paying your employees and suppliers
      (Catechism, 2426-2429)
      • Which can lead to conflict
        (Catechism, 2430-2436)
        • [But 'nobody said this was going to be easy.']
  • Not Working(First posted August 1, 2011)
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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.