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You cannot live the Gospel of Christ without pain.

Discussion in 'Scriptural Thoughts' started by garabandal, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    Naturally we all have an inclination to command, and a great aversion to obey; and yet it is certain that it is more for our good to obey than to command; hence perfect souls have always had a great affection for obedience, and have found all their joy and comfort in it. --Saint Francis of Sales: (1567 – 1622: was a Bishop of Geneva and proclaimed a Doctor of the Catholic Church)

    Gospel Text: (MK 12:28-34)

    One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
    “Which is the first of all the commandments?”
    Jesus replied, “The first is this:
    Hear, O Israel!
    The Lord our God is Lord alone!
    You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
    with all your soul,
    with all your mind,
    and with all your strength.
    The second is this:
    You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
    There is no other commandment greater than these.”
    The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
    You are right in saying,
    He is One and there is no other than he.
    And to love him with all your heart,
    with all your understanding,
    with all your strength,
    and to love your neighbor as yourself
    is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
    And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
    he said to him,
    “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
    And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

    The essence of Christianity is the encounter with God to allow Him to enter our very depths. Remember that God loved us first, and that our religion is truly a love affair between God and us, us and God; it is not merely a system of morals and dogmas.

    To live the Gospel is painful

    You cannot live the Gospel of Christ without pain. Christ was the greatest revolutionary on earth. He calls you to the impossible. Pope Benedict XVI put it this way: “The ways of the Lord are not comfortable. But we were not created for comfort, but for greatness, for good”.

    But notice that love of God precedes love of neighbor in the Gospel Text above. Isn't loving our fellow men and women the only way to love God?

    There was a time when I would have said that it was redundant to say "Love God and love your neighbor", but I'm no longer sure about that.

    I think that Jesus identified the "great and first commandment" as "love God" and then followed quickly with "and love your neighbor as yourself" because it is possible to love others or at least be concerned with the needs of others without taking into account the spiritual, the transcendent, dimension of human life.

    There are those who are passionately concerned with the care of the hungry and the homeless who nevertheless have no awareness of the spiritual nature and spiritual needs of human beings. I honor them for their actions and fierce commitment to justice. However, I think that they are making an error.

    Rabbi Harold Kushner points out that "the difference between a person who relies only on himself and a person who has learned to turn to God for help... is not that one will do bad things while the other will do good things. The self-reliant atheist may be a fine, upstanding person. The difference is the atheist is like a bush growing in a desert. If he has only himself to rely on, when he exhausts his internal resources he runs the risk of running dry and withering.

    "But the man or woman who turns to God is like a tree planted by a stream. What they share with the world is replenished from a source beyond themselves, so they never run dry."

  2. Light

    Light Principalities

  3. Light

    Light Principalities

    There are those who are passionately concerned with the care of the hungry and the homeless who nevertheless have no awareness of the spiritual nature and spiritual needs of human beings. I honor them for their actions and fierce commitment to justice. However, I think that they are making an error.


    I think I know what you are saying.. but I wonder can love, however it is expressed or by whomever, not come from God and be of God?

    I tend to think that love without god is a lie.

    God bless
  4. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

  5. Light

    Light Principalities

    Thank you BrianK
    A great read, very enlightening since it provides background or excuse for some of the confusion in our church. It never hit me that there may have been an intentional objective to misinterpret the greatest commandment in Gaudium et Spes and I hope there was not, but apparently it is giving traction to the apparent current agenda.
    Here is an excerpt from the article
    "Where Gaudium et Spes conflates these first and second commandments, Evangelii Gaudium replaces the first with the second. This shift in emphasis from love of God to love of neighbor, if put into practice, would become a sort of idolatry. A worship of man before God. Which is perhaps why I find myself somewhat concerned when I read statements like this:

    Pope Francis said he wished for the same on the part of the Church community in Rome so that it may be more attentive, caring and considerate towards the poor and vulnerable and recognize in them the face of our Lord. How I wish, he said, that Christians could kneel in veneration when a poor person enters the church.

    How are we to interpret these things? Can we chalk these up to a simple — albeit recurring and evolving — mistake? And perhaps more importantly, how might we faithful go about expressing our concerns in a way that we might have reasonable hope that this be corrected?" This reply to the article, I found very helpful

    Matthew Rensch • a year ago
    "Greetings to all. I'd like to make a contribution; hopefully it will be helpful.
    The source of confusion, it seems to me, is that we have two/one commandment(s) that admit the possibility of being distinguished OR of being taken as one. The Gospel texts consider them as separate commandments. When the commandments are distinguished, the Love of God must be said to be the greater commandment. After all, as Steve showed so well, Love of Neighbor derives from Love of God. If other humans did not exist, we would still love God. But if God did not exist, we would not be bound to love our neighbor.
    In reply, many have emphasized that love of God requires love of neighbor. They run together. Of course they do. But, the point is, (and Br. Jonah conceded this point to Steve) if we distinguish these commandments, then Love of God is the greater commandment. And if conflation hides this fact, then it is at least something that can/should be clarified. (Which, I think Steve showed, the Catechism of Trent, Part III, Ch. 5, does very well).
    However, these two commandments are treated by Vatican II as one commandment. The pro-council folks have to show Steve why this is not a problematic conflation. Can we? I think so:
    1) First, because various texts seem to do this. 1 John 3:23 says "this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another." Here we have a two-part commandment treated as a singular commandment. Again, Paul's words to the Galatians (Gal 5:14) seem to say that the entire law, which must include love of God, can be (albeit ambiguously) summed up in "you shall love your neighbor as yourself." So the bible gives precedent to overlook possible (and valid!) distinctions and summarize multiple commandments into one.
    2) Now, if we (i.e., the council) decides to treat these two distinguishable commandments as one, what can we say about it? We have to say that this commandment, comprised of the two greatest commandments, is the greatest commandment. We can look to Mark 12:30 for support, since he says that no commandment is greater than these two.
    In summary, then, the council looks to the bible (1 John 3:23, 4:20, Romans 13, Gal 5:14) to treat these two commandments together as one commandment. Then it says that this commandment, considered as one, is the greatest commandment. Does this deny that, when distinguished, there is an order between the two parts? Well, Steve, what do you think?
    3) An Analogy: Let's consider the two hypothetical commandments: "do good to man's soul" and "do good to man's body." Of these two, the first is obviously greater, since it is the greater part of man, and is the reason that we love man's body. Now of course, they run together, since you cannot love a man's soul if you are maliciously beating up his body. Nevertheless, if we distinguish them, the love of soul obviously has priority.
    Now, if we ignore the distinction between them, and summarize both commandments as one, saying "the love of man" then what do we have? We have one commandment that comprises a two-part or two-fold commandment. And it seems licit that we attribute to the two-compressed-into-one in a general way the same attributes that we attribute to the two commandments distinguished from each other.
    So, does Vatican II conflate the two commandments? Absolutely. Is this problematic? No."
    Here is the author's comments:
    "Christ said that A is the first commandment and B is the second. This document says A+B is the first commandment. It's simply false. It's a conflation.
    Even if we were to accept somehow that A+B is the first commandment, what then becomes the second? Can we re-arrange Christ's own words at whim?
    I can't see any way around the fact that stated the way it is, this is an erroneous assertion. And while it is troubling enough by itself, when we see it coupled with GS #12 and related efforts at anthropocentrism -- most of which have been hugely successful and have thus diminished the sacred mysteries -- it looks less like an accident and more like an agenda piece.
    As a refresher on GS #12:
    "According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown."
    And here is Bishop Schneider on the central problem in today's Church:
    "I think this issue of the reception of Holy Communion by the remarried will blow up and show the real crisis in the Church. The real crisis of the Church is anthropocentrism, forgetting the Christocentrism. Indeed, this is the deepest evil, when man or the clergy are putting themselves in the centre when they are celebrating liturgy and when they are changing the revealed truth of God, e.g. concerning the Sixth Commandment and human sexuality.
    The crisis reveals itself also in the manner in which the Eucharistic Lord is treated. The Eucharist is at the heart of the Church. When the heart is weak, the whole body is weak. So when the practice around the Eucharist is weak, then the heart and the life of the Church is weak. And when people have no more supernatural vision of God in the Eucharist then they will start the worship of man, and then also doctrine will change to the desire of man.
    ‘This crisis is when we place ourselves, including the priests, at the centre and when God is put in the corner and this is happening also materially. The Blessed Sacrament is sometimes in a cupboard away from the centre and the chair of the priest is in the centre. We have already been in this situation for 40 or 50 years and there is the real danger that God and his Commandments and laws will be put on the side and the human natural desiring in the centre. There is causal connection between the Eucharistic and the doctrinal crisis.
    ‘Our first duty as human beings is to adore God, not us, but Him. Unfortunately, the liturgical practice of the last 40 years has been very anthropocentric.
    'Participating in liturgy is firstly not about doing things but praying and worshipping, to love God with all your soul. This is true participation, to be united with God in your soul. Exterior participation is not essential.
    ‘The crisis is really this: we have not put Christ or God at the centre. And Christ is God incarnated. Our problem today is that we put away the incarnation. We have eclipsed it. If God remains in my mind only as an idea, this is Gnostic. In other religions e.g. Jews, Muslims, God is not incarnated. For them, God is in the book, but He is not concrete. Only in Christianity, and really in the Catholic Church, is the incarnation fully realised and this has to be stressed therefore also in every point of the liturgy. God is here and really present. So every detail has meaning.
    ‘We are living in an un-Christian society, in a new paganism. The temptation today for the clergy is to adapt to the new world to the new paganism, to be collaborationists. We are in a similar situation to the first centuries, when the majority of the society was pagan, and Christianity was discriminated against.'

    He quotes Bishop Schneider who I greatly admire and I highlighted the one sentence that I have no trouble in accepting it is true. Some people appear ready to throw our Eucharistic Lord "under the bus"

    God Bless

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