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Archive for May, 2012

[My response to “A Catholic tradition of social justice,” The News & Observer, May 12, 2012]

We Catholics do not just help the poor; we are the poor. For this reason we share our gifts with each other. Indeed, some of these gifts will go toward the construction of a new Cathedral, which in turn we will share in the worship of Christ. Such worship inspires greater numbers of the faithful to charity, both within this diocese and beyond. We do not just give to an organization to which we do not belong. We strive, often imperfectly, to have our goods and gifts in common for the construction of a kingdom to the benefit of the orphan, the widow, and the sojourner, and others in distress. If others outside of the Church are concerned with the welfare of the poor in our area, they, too, should give as they are able; there are number of groups that strive in an honest way to alleviate the struggles of those affected by poverty, hunger, drug-addiction, et al.

Perhaps we all might begin with the money we give to political campaigns or PACs. It’s been a while since I’ve seen an ad that has been charitable or constructive, either in the feeding of the hungry or otherwise.

Charles H. McCants
Raleigh, NC

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People who live by the sea
understand eternity.
They copy the curves of the waves,
their hearts beat with the tides,
& the saltiness of their blood
corresponds with the sea.

They know that the house of flesh
is only a sandcastle
built on the shore,that skin breaks
under the waves
like sand under the soles
of the first walker on the beach
when the tide recedes.

Each of us walks there once,
watching the bubbles
rise up through the sand
like ascending souls,
tracing the line of the foam,
drawing our index fingers
along the horizon
pointing home.

“People Who Live” by Erica Jong, from Becoming Light.

Pablo Picasso, The Old Fisherman (1895), Museu de Montserrat, Barcelona

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There is a religious communion claiming a divine commission, and holding all other religious bodies around it heretical or infidel; it is a well-organized, well-disciplined body; it is a sort of secret society, binding together its members by influences and by engagements which it is difficult for strangers to ascertain. It is spread over the known world; it mak be weak or insignificant locally, but it is strong on the whole from its continuity; it may be smaller than all other religious bodies together but is larger than each separately. It is a natural enemy to governments external to itself; it is intolerant and engrossing and tends to a new modelling of society; it breaks laws, it divides families. It is a gross superstition; it is charged with the foulest crimes; it is despised by intellect of the day; it is frightful to the imagination of the many. And there is but one communion such. (208)

Blessed John Henry Cardinal, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine

com·mun·ion
n., The fellowship or mutual relationship between members of one church, or between bodies which recognize each other fully as branches of the universal Christian Church.

[Middle English communioun, Christian fellowship, Eucharist, from Old French communion, from Latin Latin commūniō, mutual participation, from commūnis, common]

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