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Sunday, 2 August 2015

No Hands But Yours

I do not think many Catholics actually believe what Christ said about His own homelessness. Why was He homeless? Not merely by choice, but because those around Him at home thought He was mad, or wrong, or a great sinner, to be so poor and wandering about sharing the Good News. I do not think most Catholics understand what Our Lord really meant--that He had no place. Rome did not give to the poor. The Jews were supposed to do so by the words of the Law and the Prophets. But, apparently, in the time of Jesus, charity had been forgotten.

And Jesus saith to him: The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests: but the son of man hath not where to lay his head. Matthew 8:20

What saves us? The question should be "Who saves us?"  However, I am returning to a theme upon which I mused a few months ago that politics do not save us.

More and more I am realizing how many Catholics look to political leaders, instead of to God, for salvation. "Born Catholic. Baptized Democrat." This phrase is not just a clever assessment of the blindness so many voters have, about both parties, by the way, but the fact that religious beliefs take a secondary priority to party platforms.

Worse than that is the cult of personality, which has led over and over again to tyrannies of various types, facist and communist.

The sign of a Catholic falling into the heresy that politics and governments save must be the gross sin of the lack of charity to one's neighbor, because, of course, there is always a government program.

There is not always a government program.

Years ago, when I was fired for having cancer and complications from the operation, (yes, and I was not the only one fired from this institution for having cancer),  I discovered there was no program for unemployment as that institution did not have to pay into unemployment programs. Also, the town and county where I lived had run out of housing money, (I was paying rent at the time), and there was no backup except a federal emergency program which only paid for two months. Food stamps had to be applied for and I still had a son at home, who was a student. I still had to wait months for a food stamp card.

No money for rent after two months, no money for food.

Thankfully, during the five months of begging and getting help from one generous co-worker, who had witnessed the firing of cancer patients in the past at our place of work, we managed to get by until I found another job, which was part-time only, and in another state.

Some people wanted me to sue the institution, as the administration illegally broke a signed contract. I could not, as it was a Catholic institution, and my conscience would not allow me to sue something associated with the Church, no matter how corrupt.

There is not always a program.

Governments and politics do not save people or bring us to heaven. Charitable acts done out of selflessness do bring up closer to God, and our duty as Christians demands such charity. May God always bless that one woman who helped us at a critical time.

The ancient Catholic Church could not rely on Nero for food stamps or housing. If someone was being persecuted for being a Catholic, the community stepped in.

Sadly, these days are gone in most communities.

I have called this the attitude of the Middle Class Church. Those who have never been in want simply push off the cries of the poor to the governments. But, guess what? There is not always a program.

Catholics accept the brainwashing of the socialist agenda to make people dependent on the government. This creates an underclass which is similar to slavery.

I know of a good person who ended up literally living under a bridge because he had a nervous breakdown and had no family support. He had a higher degree but no one wanted to help him. His best friends became drug addicts and the homeless, many, who like him, could not find a program.

What saves us? Who saves us?

Christ, and we are Christ in the world. Will Catholics step in when governments completely fail the poor, which will happen, as there will be too many of the poor?

From St. Teresa of Avila:

Christ Has No Body

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.