Friday, May 31, 2013

The Power of Prayer, Persistence, and Offering Up Pain

Monsignor Charles Pope has some encouraging words.  Excerpts:
...something tells me that a special joy of heaven will be to know and see what prayer did for us, and what our prayers did for others. For now, things can seem discouraging at times. The effects of our prayers may seem subtle or even non-existent. But God is working his purposes out and collecting and dispensing the fruits of our prayer in due season.

Anyway, I thought of all this yesterday as I was reading from The Dialogue of Catherine of Siena. And therein, the Lord speaks to her of what the prayers of the faithful do and how they release grace and set souls free. Here are some excerpts:

The sufferings you endure will, through the power of charity, suffice to win both atonement and reward for you and others…The stains of your foolishness will be blotted out, and I will no longer remember that you have ever offended me.

As for the others, because of your loving charity, I will pardon them in proportion to their receptiveness….They will come in this way to truly know and regret their sins, and so, because of my servants’ prayers they will receive the fruit of grace….They will receive both forgiveness and its gifts, unless their stubbornness is such that they despair….

I look on them and give them light. I rouse the dog of conscience within them. I make them sensitive to the perfume of virtue and give them delight in the fellowship of my servants. Sometimes I allow the world to show them its true colors….that they may know how inconstant it is and be more eager to seek their homeland in eternal life.

The eye cannot see nor the tongue tell, nor can the heart imagine how many paths and methods I have, solely for love and to lead them back to grace so that my truth may be realized in them. (Dialogue # 4)

Yes, here is what prayer and sacrifice unleash. Continue to pray and do not doubt the words of the Lord who says that our heart cannot imagine all the paths he can open for others back to grace, the Church and the Sacraments, back to Him...
For an example of the above, see here. Excerpts:
How is it that a Supreme Court Justice keeps two pictures drawn by a little girl who died six years ago on the desk of his office? Or that the head of an influential Washington D.C. think tank prayed to the same girl for his father to be saved from a brain tumor? Or, that a noted Washington thinker has a regular devotion to her?

Margaret Leo was painfully crippled from spina bifida, paralyzed from the waste down. Parts of her cerebellum and brain stem were pushed into the opening of her spinal column. A painful shunt in her brain ensured her spinal fluid circulated. Without it, her head would have swelled, causing death. Titanium rods were inserted to straighten her spine, but bent instead. Over time, one of the rods poked out of her neck...

But there was something that drew the powerful to her who had no power at all. And she drew total strangers, too.

Her special gift was joyful friendship. In an elevator, she would pepper strangers with questions, with a steady gaze and big smile. “What is your name?” “Where are you going?” “What is your birthday?” They sensed she really wanted to know. The girl had no artifice. Even Supreme Court Justices can be attracted to that.

What they did not know, because she never mentioned it, even to her family, was that she was likely in unimaginable pain. Think of a titanium rod being bent by your spine, and about to poke through the skin of your neck. Or a shunt inside your brain.

No one describes her as a “spiritual athlete.” Her faith was profoundly childlike. Her whole life she prayed out loud the simple prayer her mother taught her as a child, “Jesus, thank you for coming to me in the Eucharist.”...

The funeral Mass for this 14-year-old was packed to the rafters and stories about her began to circulate. Grown men left deeply moved. Some carry her prayer card to this day.

Then things began to happen. Some call them miracles...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mother Teresa, Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ, and God Loves You

It's as though she's speaking directly to me. Excerpts:
...I worry some of you still have not really met Jesus one-to-one, you and Jesus alone. We may spend time in chapel, but have you seen with the eyes of your soul how He looks at you with love? Do you really know the living Jesus, not from books but from being with Him in your heart? Have you heard the loving words He speaks to you?

As for the grace: he is longing to give it. Until you can hear Jesus in the silence of your own heart, you will not be able to hear Him saying "I thirst" in the hearts of the poor. Never give up this daily intimate contact with Jesus as the real living person,… not just the idea. How can we last even one day without hearing Jesus say "I love you"? Impossible. Our soul needs that as much as the body needs to breathe the air.

If not, prayer is dead, meditation, only thinking. Jesus wants you each to hear Him speaking in the silence of your heart. Be careful of all that can block that personal contact with he living Jesus. The devil may try to use the hurts of life, and sometimes our own mistakes, to make you feel it is impossible that Jesus really loves you, is really cleaving to you. This is a danger for all of us. and so sad, because it is completely the opposite of what Jesus is really wanting,… waiting to tell you.

Not only that He loves you, but even more, He longs for you… He misses you when you don't come close. He thirsts for you. He loves you always, even when you don't feel worthy. when not accepted by others, even by yourself sometimes, He is the one who always accepts you. Only believe, you are precious to him. Bring all you are suffering to His feet, only open your heart to be loved by Him as you are…He will do the rest.--Mother Teresa, Letter to the Missionaries of Charity Family, March 25, 1993
And the easiest way to stay close to Jesus is to love what he loves as he loves it.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pope Francis, Atheists, and Redemption

So here's the Huffington Post headline for a piece on the Pope: Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics

Huffington Post's headline is incredibly misleading. Here's what the Pope said:
...Wednesday’s Gospel speaks to us about the disciples who prevented a person from outside their group from doing good. “They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of ​​possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation”:

"The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”

“Instead,” the Pope continued, “the Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil”:

"The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

“Doing good” the Pope explained, is not a matter of faith: “It is a duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us, because He has made us in His image and likeness. And He does good, always...”
Read the whole thing. Essentially--God's law is written on all of our hearts because we are all made in the image and likeness of God. We are all capable, then, of knowing and doing the good. Christ comes to redeem all of humanity. Though right now some humans believe and others do not, we can love each other as brothers and sisters by all trying to do good and come to encounter each other in our common humanity. This is the first step towards reunion and peace.

Or look at C. S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength for an example of an atheist doing good (MacPhee) and so being on the side of the angels.

For more, see:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Saint Thomas More, LGBT Pride Month, and What Does Silence Betoken?

The Ruth Blog has interesting excerpts up from a rather fascinating piece. Excerpts:
...Our sources have provided Liberty Counsel an internal DOJ document titled: “LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers.” It was emailed to DOJ managers in advance of the left’s so-called “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.”

The document is chilling. It’s riddled with directives that grossly violate – prima facie –employees’ First Amendment liberties.

Following are excerpts from the “DOJ Pride” decree. When it comes to “LGBT pride,” employees are ordered:

“DON’T judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval.” (Italics mine)

That’s a threat.

And not even a subtle one.

Got it? For Christians and other morals-minded federal employees, it’s no longer enough to just shut up and “stay in the closet” – to live your life in silent recognition of biblical principles (which, by itself, is unlawful constraint). When it comes to mandatory celebration of homosexual and cross-dressing behaviors, “silence will be interpreted as disapproval.”

Another excerpt:

“DO assume that LGBT employees and their allies are listening to what you’re saying (whether in a meeting or around the proverbial water cooler) and will read what you’re writing (whether in a casual email or in a formal document), and make sure the language you use is inclusive and respectful.”...
Now, I'm all in favor of workplaces where everyone is treated respectfully and due courtesy. So is the Church.  Excerpts:
It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.
And yet at the same time, the above sounds hugely like the sort of policy statement that might have been circulated amongst the British Civil Service in the wake of King Henry VIII's establishment of Anglicanism:
Following are excerpts from the “Star Chamber King's Matter” decree. When it comes to “King Henry's Divorce,” employees are ordered:

“DON’T judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval.”
Methinks its time to start sharing "A Man for All Seasons" with all and sundry.

Update:  In context, the "silence" thing makes more sense.
Know How to Respond If an Employee Comes Out to You

DON’T judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval.
At the same time, some of the criticisms above still hold. How do we balance religious liberty with an absence of unjust discrimination in the workplace?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Great Gatsby, "Terrible...But Great," and True Greatness

Emily Stimpson has written an interesting  review of Baz Luhrman's The Great Gatsby.  I thought this bit was particularly telling, re: the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.  Excerpts:
..."Pretentions to divinity always end in death.”

You see, we are called to greatness, each and every one of us. We are called to be sons and daughters of God. That instinct—in Gatsby, in Millennials, in anyone—isn’t wrong. But power, wealth, and fame don’t make a person great. Love does that—love for God and love for one another. Likewise, we’re not born sons and daughters of God. We’re made that way by baptism. It’s a gift, not a given.

If we assume the gift without realizing how gracious it is, and then pursue greatness by trying to blaze through the sky on an ever-upward trajectory, we will crash and burn. There will be no life. There will be only death.

If it’s life we want, then it’s love we need to pursue—not the type of self-seeking, self-satisfied love the world glorifies, not the type of love which looks to another human person for meaning and fulfillment—but love which denies itself for the sake of the other and which knows true fulfillment and meaning can be found in only one Person, Jesus Christ...
Or, to put it another way, it's the difference between the Dark Lord of the Horcruxes and the Master of the Deathly Hallows:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside heaven you can be perfectly safe from all dangers and perturbations of love is hell. (C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves)
For more on the dynamic unleashed in creation's history by those who grasped for divinity and the antidote by the one who did not see divinity as something to be grasped but rather emptied himself, taking on the form of a slave (Philipians 2:5-11), see A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture, Bible Basics for Catholics: A New Picture of Salvation History, The Real Story: Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible, and/or Kinship by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to the Fulfillment of God's Saving Promises (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library).

Friday, May 17, 2013

Peter Kreeft, Prayer, and Patience and Perseverance

Yeeps. My problems exactly, all in one paragraph. Excerpts
Patience and perseverance are two aspects of the same virtue, which is fidelity, or faithfulness. We sometimes mistakenly think of patience and perseverance as opposites because we think of patience as resignation and perseverance as stubbornness – as if patience were almost despair and perseverance were almost pride. In the same way, we mistakenly think of holy humility and holy ambition as opposites, when in fact they are two complementary aspects of the Godlike soul. God is both humble and ambitious, “easy to please but hard to satisfy”. He is simultaneously patient and persevering, gentle and persistent, like water wearing away rock. The strongest forces in the universe , both physical and spiritual, always have that Godlike Character. It is only because our minds are fallen and broken in two that we break this character in two and use two contrasting words for it.--Peter Kreeft, Prayer for Beginners, (Ignatius, 2000), pg. 121

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Judah, The Redeemer, and the Blood of the Grapes/the Blood of the Lamb

Then Judah urged his father Israel: “Let the boy go with me, that we may be off and on our way if you and we and our children are to keep from starving to death.  I myself will serve as a guarantee for him. You can hold me responsible for him. If I fail to bring him back and set him before you, I will bear the blame before you forever.  Had we not delayed, we could have been there and back twice by now!”--Genesis 43:8-10

“So now, if the boy is not with us when I go back to your servant my father, whose very life is bound up with his, he will die as soon as he sees that the boy is missing; and your servants will thus send the white head of your servant our father down to Sheol in grief.  Besides, I, your servant, have guaranteed the boy’s safety for my father by saying, ‘If I fail to bring him back to you, father, I will bear the blame before you forever.’  So now let me, your servant, remain in place of the boy as the slave of my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers.  How could I go back to my father if the boy were not with me? I could not bear to see the anguish that would overcome my father.”--Genesis 44:30-34

“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise—your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you. Judah is a lion’s cub, you have grown up on prey, my son. He crouches, lies down like a lion, like a lioness—who would dare rouse him? The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his feet, Until tribute comes to him, and he receives the people’s obedience. He tethers his donkey to the vine, his donkey’s foal to the choicest stem. In wine he washes his garments, his robe in the blood of grapes. His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk."--Genesis 49:8-12

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”--John 6:53-58

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgment; but since we are judged by [the] Lord, we are being disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.--1 Corinthians 11:23-32

I shed many tears because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to examine it. One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed, enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals.” Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and the elders, a Lamb that seemed to have been slain. He had seven horns and seven eyes; these are the [seven] spirits of God sent out into the whole world. He came and received the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat on the throne. When he took it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones. They sang a new hymn: “Worthy are you to receive the scroll and to break open its seals, for you were slain and with your blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests for our God, and they will reign on earth.”--Revelation 5:4-10

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;* they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. “For this reason they stand before God’s throne and worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them. They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them. For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”--Revelation 7:13-17

Blessed are they who wash their robes so as to have the right to the tree of life and enter the city through its gates.--Revelation 22:14
Judah stands ready, the elder brother, to ransom the younger brother because of the love and grief of the father.  Joseph is the type later fulfilled by St. Joseph, who served as an icon of God the Father to God the Son.  Jesus Christ is the Son of David, of the lineage of Judah, the son of Jacob called Israel, who stood ready to ransom the captive brethren, those fallen into shadow by the temptations and malice of the great dragon, the serpent, the liar and murderer from the beginning who is also the accuser of all the brethren. Jesus, the Son of David, the Son of Judah, comes to give us his flesh to eat and his blood to drink--that is, the wine of the cup of the Lord's Passover, which becomes his Blood at the word of God. We who are sons in the Son of God, the son of David, the son of Judah, are those who wash their garments in the blood of grapes and the blood of the Lamb.

Blessed be God forever!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Starving Africans, Gold, and the Catholic Church

Okay, so this is a powerful juxtaposition of images:
Alternative Way
At the same time, this particular collage drives me nuts. I'll just throw a few thoughts out here in no particular order:

--I may be wrong, but they seem to have selected images of exclusively Catholic stuff. The two on the right could be Orthodox, but I think...anyway.

--Have the creators of this photo heard of Catholic Charities, the Missionaries of Charity, Caritas Internationalis, the...well, there're too many Catholic charitable organizations to list. Many of them are hard at work in Africa, making sure that sort of photo will never be taken again.

--Yes, we have some huge, very decorated churches. It's a very Biblical approach to worshiping the God of Moses, David, Solomon, and Jesus.

The LORD spoke to Moses: Speak to the Israelites: Let them receive contributions for me. From each you shall receive the contribution that their hearts prompt them to give me. These are the contributions you shall accept from them: gold, silver, and bronze; violet, purple, and scarlet yarn; fine linen and goat hair; rams’ skins dyed red, and tahash skins; acacia wood; oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; onyx stones and other gems for mounting on the ephod and the breastpiece. They are to make a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell in their midst. According to all that I show you regarding the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of its furnishings, so you are to make it.--Exodus 25:1-9; cf. Exodus 25:10-40; 26-31; 35-40.

After the king had taken up residence in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent!”--2 Samuel 7:1-2

...when your days have been completed and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, sprung from your loins, and I will establish his kingdom. He it is who shall build a house for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever.--2 Samuel 7:12-13

In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites went forth from the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv (the second month), he began to build the house of the LORD.

The house which King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty wide, and thirty high. The porch in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits from side to side along the width of the house, and ten cubits deep in front of the house. Windows with closed lattices were made for the house, and adjoining the wall of the house he built a substructure around its walls that enclosed the nave and the inner sanctuary, and he made side chambers all around. The lowest story was five cubits wide, the middle one six cubits wide, the third seven cubits wide, because he put recesses along the outside of the house to avoid fastening anything into the walls of the house. The house was built of stone dressed at the quarry, so that no hammer or ax, no iron tool, was to be heard in the house during its construction. The entrance to the middle story was on the south side of the house; stairs led up to the middle story and from the middle story to the third. When he had finished building the house, it was roofed in with rafters and boards of cedar. He built the substructure five cubits high all along the outside of the house, to which it was joined by cedar beams.

The word of the LORD came to Solomon: As to this house you are building—if you walk in my statutes, carry out my ordinances, and observe all my commands, walking in them, I will fulfill toward you my word which I spoke to David your father. I will dwell in the midst of the Israelites and will not forsake my people Israel.

When Solomon finished building the house, 15its inside walls were lined with cedar paneling: he covered the interior with wood from floor to ceiling, and he covered its floor with fir planking. At the rear of the house a space of twenty cubits was set off by cedar panels from the floor to the ceiling, enclosing the inner sanctuary, the holy of holies. The house was forty cubits long, that is, the nave, the part in front. The cedar in the interior of the house was carved in the form of gourds and open flowers; all was of cedar, and no stone was to be seen.

In the innermost part of the house he set up the inner sanctuary to house the ark of the LORD’s covenant. In front of the inner sanctuary (it was twenty cubits long, twenty wide, and twenty high, and he covered it with pure gold), he made an altar of cedar. Solomon covered the interior of the house with pure gold, and he drew golden chains across in front of the inner sanctuary, and covered it with gold. He covered the whole house with gold, until the whole house was done, and the whole altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary he covered with gold. In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim, each ten cubits high, made of pine. Each wing of a cherub was five cubits so that the span from wing tip to wing tip was ten cubits. The second cherub was also ten cubits: the two cherubim were identical in size and shape; the first cherub was ten cubits high, and so was the second. He placed the cherubim in the inmost part of the house; the wings of the cherubim were spread wide, so that one wing of the first touched the side wall and the wing of the second touched the other wall; the wings pointing to the middle of the room touched each other. He overlaid the cherubim with gold.

The walls of the house on all sides of both the inner and the outer rooms had carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. The floor of the house of both the inner and the outer rooms was overlaid with gold. At the entrance of the inner sanctuary, doors of pine were made; the doorframes had five-sided posts. The two doors were of pine, with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. The doors were overlaid with gold, and the cherubim and the palm trees were also covered with beaten gold. He did the same at the entrance to the nave, where the doorposts were of pine and were four-sided. The two doors were of fir wood, each door consisting of two panels hinged together; and he carved cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and plated them with gold. He walled off the inner court with three courses of hewn stones and ne course of cedar beams.

The foundations of the LORD’s house were laid in the month of Ziv in the fourth year, and it was finished, in all particulars, exactly according to plan, in the month of Bul, the eighth month, in the eleventh year. Thus Solomon built it in seven years.--1 Kings 6

After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.--Matthew 2:9-11

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one [of] his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”--John 12:
Further, when a culture is lavishing wealth on its churches, it tends to also be supporting religious orders and lay run charities, as well. In other words, a culture that loves God also tends to love its neighbor.

I agree we are challenged to respond to the suffering of our brethren the world over, especially those of us in the US and the truly wealthy countries, but this thing is simple anti-Catholicism. 
I think it would be far more appropriate to take that photo of the starving human being and set it next to shots of grocery stores, restaurants, and things, and then keep the caption.

For more:


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