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

Monday, July 19, 2010

George MacDonald - Philanthropy

THE (ROLE) OF PHILANTHROPIST is indeed a dangerous one; and the man who would do his neighbour good must first study how not to do him evil, and must begin by pulling the beam out of his own eye.

- George MacDonald

Knox - Sanctity of Persons

YOU PASS THROUGH THE STREETS as you go to your daily work, and all those thousands of your fellow beings - faces hardened by money-getting, faces impudent with the affectation of vice, faces vacant with frivolity, faces lined with despair - and it seems to you impossible that each one of those faces, with so little recognition in it of a divine vocation or of eternal destiny, can yet represent a soul for which God cares. And yet he does care, if theology is to mean anything; cares for this one as he ... cared for the penitent thief.

- Monsignor Ronald A. Knox

I have been scanning the usual blogs and websites of my BLRS (before liver resection surgery) days so much less these days: all the shrill, worrisome voices, clammering about this imminent social catastrophe or that. A pal whom I gratefully met on Enders Island, St. Edmund's Retreat - Mark Gordon - has been retreating also from those Cassandras and spending more time listening to the orthodox voices from Mother Church.

I'm not so much following his lead as performing triage with my time here on earth. You will read more from the good guide, Monsignor Ronald Knox (above), and less about the Scimitar, the secularization of the West, and other troublesome social matters here at Chronicles. It seems important for me - for the good of my - and your - soul. Best/blessings

Sunday, July 18, 2010

16th Sunday - Ordinary Time

Old Testament Trinity (1408-25) - A. Rublev

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre,
as he sat in the entrance of his tent,
while the day was growing hot. 
Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby. 
When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them;
and bowing to the ground, he said:
"Sir, if I may ask you this favor,
please do not go on past your servant. 
Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet,
and then rest yourselves under the tree. 
Now that you have come this close to your servant,
let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves;
and afterward you may go on your way." 
The men replied, "Very well, do as you have said."

Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah,
"Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls." 
He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer,
and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. 
Then Abraham got some curds and milk,
as well as the steer that had been prepared,
and set these before the three men;
and he waited on them under the tree while they ate.

They asked Abraham, "Where is your wife Sarah?"
He replied, "There in the tent." 
One of them said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year,
and Sarah will then have a son."
Genesis 18:1-10a