Catholicism Without Charity
|Pope Pius XII in the mind of Mundabor|
Mundabor makes some valid points in his latest post on Fr Ray Blake's request for prayers for a struggling alcoholic who considers himself to be close to death, all hinging on one comment from one of Fr Ray's readers which was deemed by Mundabor to be theologically inaccurate, but I think the Alf Garnett of the Catholic blogosphere sometimes goes a bit over the top. Catholicism without compromise need not mean Catholicism without charity or respect. Also, given that Mundabor is such a fan of Pius XII, where does he get his vile and crude language from?
Mundabor makes some pretty sweeping assumptions in his post. For example, noting that the dying homeless man had...
'...knocked at the priest’s door not to ask for money – which I am sure Father would not give him, lest he fuels the other's addiction.'
So remember that, readers. Don't give alcoholic homeless people money. It will only fuel their addictions! This, I find, is an area in which a Catholic can at the same time be right and wrong. It can so easily become our safety valve for stinginess. Is our Guardian Angel really standing next to us when approached by an alcoholic homeless man saying, 'Don't give him any money! He'll only spend it on drink!'? Or does God look for generosity in our hearts. It's an issue I struggle with but I am glad for Mundabor that for him the matter is settled with the steel of what he imagines Pope Pius XII was like.
'We are, I am sure, all pleased for this change of mind and wish the chap all the best, and a future without alcoholism to the point of self-destruction.'
'I am black, but beautiful', it is written of 'Her' in the Song of Songs, which we take as the 'She' who is the Church, the Bride. It really is not, in my honest opinion, our place to stand in judgment of sinners, especially those who are humble and (to all human appearances) contrite of heart. I do not, for many reasons, consider myself to be in a place to judge those who could well be much very closer to the Heart of Jesus, so full of love for sinners who trust in His Mercy, than myself. It is likely that Paul will not remain sober, but then he lives in the pissing rain outside all the time during the great deluge of 2014, so I wonder just how I would cope with that, if I was an alcoholic, my only friends on the street a small band of down and out drinkers. Does Mundabor wonder how he might cope if he were walking in this man's shoes or had lived his life? Perhaps he should reflect that the greatest threat to the Church is not the alcoholics, and certainly not repentant, struggling sinners of Holy Mother Church, but those Catholics who deny their own guilt and seek to change the Church's teachings, thus subverting and contributing to Her overthrow from within. Out of the Pharisee and the publican, which one did Our Lord praise as justified before the Lord?
'And let us talk of Lazarus the beggar, too, the specific man mentioned in the comment. Last time I looked, Lazarus is described as destitute and either a leper or one with huge health issues, but not an alcoholic. And he doesn’t go to heaven because he is a beggar, but because he is good in the eyes of the Lord.'
True, perhaps, but I do also recall the Lord suggesting that the tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners were going ahead of the Pharisees to the Kingdom of Heaven and that the self-righteous might find themselves locked out. Jesus also said, 'It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice'. I would suggest to Mundabor that the Lord perhaps did not define whether Lazarus was man of great virtue precisely so that when we meet a homeless smack addict with sores up and down his legs with only a dog for company, we might be reminded that we take Lazarus as we find him, rather than as who we think he ought to be. It is all too easy for us to imagine Lazarus to be someone we really don't encounter. Secondly, the rich man, likely to be a Pharisee, doesn't notice Lazarus or recognise his humanity maybe perhaps precisely because he believes human sin to make a person so contemptible as to be unworthy not only of divine charity, but neighbourly charity also. I could go on, but cannot be bothered.
“Remember your soul is more at stake than his; God loves Poor Lazarus”, said Pablo the Mexican, on Fr Ray's blog. I'm sorry but this is not the most offensive thing I've seen on the internet in the last week. According to Mundabor, Pablo must be an 'obvious V II ultra'. I believe Pablo, from comments I've read by him, might be someone with SSPX sympathies, so there's another sweeping assumption from Mundabor there. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Lazarus has nobody, lives outside, starves, is exposed to all weathers, experiences no human affection, eats barely anything, just whatever scraps he can find, lives a life in which few recognise his humanity while the rich eat and drink to their heart's content and pass him by thinking he is a great sinner unworthy of love.
Jesus doesn't tell us anything about the man's spiritual life. Why? Jesus Christ doesn't fill out the details of these men's lives, Lazarus and Dives, their merits or their sins. He allows us to do that with those he presents before us in His poor. The fact remains that no matter how high we may, or may not think we are in the esteem of Our Lord Jesus Christ, on Wednesday night, I saw Paul pray and weep and I asked Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to give me faith like his. Mundabor may thank the Lord that he is not like Paul or indeed 'other men', but I would hazard the guess that Paul might thank the Lord he is not like Mundabor for Paul will look down upon no man until, we pray, he makes his entrance into Heaven. We are all totally and utterly dependent on the mercy of God. Whatever Lazarus's sins, vices or virtues, he obviously, at some point, discovered the tender mercy of God and that made all the difference. Perhaps if the rich man had talked to Lazarus, Lazarus could have told him all about it.