Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Knox - Beyond Charity Alone

ALL THROUGH THE CENTURIES the Church has had to act in great measure as a nursing mother to the faithful, not content to be merely their teacher in the faith; providing schools, hospitals, orphanages, tending the sick, relieving the poor, burying the dead; she has drawn a whole network of charitable institutions across the world, vying with one another in the service of men's bodies. And always, that is not the point. With the other Christianities there is a constant risk that their spiritual message will lose itself in philanthropic endeavour. The movement which began in an access of burning zeal for men's souls will have been replaced, a century or two later, by a vast organization, religious in name, but merely philanthropic in purpose. With the Catholic Church, so much older than these others, it has never been so. Her message is of the world beyond; on it her eyes are set; she tends, feeds, teaches her children distractedly, only that she may point them to heaven; she will not lose her soul in what the world calls charity.

- Ronald A. Knox

No comments: