Only posts tagged with: Communion | Display all
Dec. 1, 2011, at 10:04pm
The last chapter of the text for tomorrow's reading circle gathering is about the spirit of communion in the Liturgy. In it, von Hildebrand explains how all genuine values have a twofold unifying power: they unify the individual person from within (interior recollection) and they unify a collection of persons into a genuine communion.
It so happens that Anthony Esolen just published a piece in which this theme of the relation between objective values and interpersonal communion is also central. Like von Hildebrand, Esolen contrasts genuine communion sustained by value with its counterfeit rooted in mere pleasure:
Here we need not consider the sadness at the heart of pleasure seeking—the …
Dec. 2, 2009, at 12:06pm
The December issue of Magnificat opens with an exceptionally beautiful and deeply personalistic meditation by Peter John Cameron, O.P. on the mystery of communion. That mystery—the mystery of a person’s being defined simultaneously by his essential self-standing and self-possession and by his being ordered-to-communion with others—is the central philosophical preoccupation of personalism.
Here is Fr. Cameron:
The loneliness that once afflicted Adam in Eden has never left us alone. Deep inside each one of us knows to be myself I need someone else. We are made with a capacity for personal life which is so profound that we cannot realize it alone. This capacity we call …
I'm Catholic - passionately! I was recently asked to chair a "Social Justice" committee in my parish (in Rochester NY - an interesting place to say the least) but I fear I'm much too conservative for this area. At heart I'm a Texan (Houston, Brownsville, College Station) and New York is hard to fathom (even after 22 years). Let's just say it's hard to relate to other "Catholics" in my neck of the woods. They have very strong feelings about immigration (along with many other topics), but no clue when it comes to the reality.
Jul. 21 at 11:16pm | See in context
Whether they're breaking the moral law could depend on whether the particular law is just, whether they know it's in force, whether there's any other way to secure their or their famiy's survival, and so on. I'm not saying there's a simple parallel between immigrants coming from a bad situation and a starving man taking the bread.
I do suspect we should all take more seriously uncomfortable notions like the universal destination of goods and teachings like "let him who has two coats give to him who has none." They're easy to explain away.
Excuse me, I've been talking about all this in the context of Catholic teaching, Chris, and I don't know if you're Catholic. Also, neither immigration nor Catholic social teaching are areas of expertise for me (at all!); I'm just sorting out ideas in my mind.
Jul. 21 at 8:12pm | See in context
Chris, welcome, and it's an interesting question. I didn't mean there was a clear parallel, just thinking out loud about how it might apply to the case of immigration. I think the case of the hungry man and the bread, according to Catholic teaching, is meant to apply to cases of urgent and imminent need, when there's no other possible way to avoid starvation. I think in that case it would be not stealing at all, rather than justified theft.
In the case of self-defense, it's not that it's still homicide, but justified homicide; rather, it's not murder at all, but justified homicide. Of course it's some kind of homicide: that's just the meaning of the word. In the case of theft, it's part of the definition that you're taking something to which you have no right--and that's what's in question, whether anyone has a right to withhold food from a starving man. But it's a very narrowly defined kind of case--that is, if I'm remembering it right.
I would never say that people entering the country illegally are not breaking the civil law--of course they are.
Jul. 21 at 8:04pm | See in context
I haven't commented on this site in a long time, but something caught my eye and I couldn't resist. Devra made a statement I've heard and seen before - "a hungry man stealing a piece of bread from a bakery is not really stealing at all" - and this rings false to me. I'm sure you're aware of the term "justifiable homicide". The point I'm trying to make is that, though it may indeed be justified (self-defence, for example), it's still homicide. Is there such a thing as "justifiable theft" when circumstances are desperate? I would say yes, but I can understand that someone else may be skeptical.
With regard to immigration, are we saying "a desperate person entering our country illiegally for work, safety, security, healthcare, education (this list could go on and on) is not really breaking the law"? Devra, I apologize if I'm taking your point too far!
I believe that what's happening on our southern border is criminal, but the "illegal immigrants" (which is what they are) are not the actual criminals (especially the unaccompanied minors). I grew up in Brownsville TX and I can't remember anything like the current situation.
Jul. 21 at 5:45pm | See in context
Governor O'Malley also refused the federal government's attempt to house the assylum-seekers in his state. And he did it in the ugliest way possible, viz. by suggesting that they wouldn't be safe, because conservatives in his state are so racist and xenophobic that they might attack. Talk is cheap.
And, again, Rhett, it seems to me that you are addressing the morality of only one side of the issue, the side where we already have agreement. No one here is suggesting that these people should just be "sent back." We all agree that they are persons who deserve love and respect, who need care and attention.
Jul. 21 at 11:26am | See in context
Finding the best word is important. E. g., inclusive language can help a person avoid a patriarchal mind set. In the document “Strangers No Longer”, already referred to in these exchanges, the terms refugee and asylum seekers are used so I’ll stick with them.
By the way, the document is very clarifying and balanced in presenting the principles applicable to the border crisis.
I would also refer to Jesus parable of the Good Samaritan. Note the bursting through of social barriers by the Samaritan: this person needs help that I can give. Second, note that he elicits help from the Inn keeper. Thirdly, note that he doesn’t neglect personal obligations-he continues on his journey.
Today’s New York Times does give examples of the leadership needed in this crisis. Governor O’Malley of Maryland says “It is contrary to everything we stand for as a people to try to summarily send children back to death.” And Mayor Stephanie Miner of Syracuse wrote to President Obama offering shelter in her city for the children.
Jul. 21 at 11:13am | See in context
I see the analogy. To the extent that it's a matter of simple injustice to cross the border illegally, it makes sense.
I guess I need to revisit what "universal destination of goods" means, exactly. I know it doesn't mean "no private property." And people have brought up the point about how a hungry man stealing a piece of bread from a bakery is not really stealing at all. So we could talk about how that does and doesn't apply here. There's also the question of what is our duty as American citizens and what is our duty as Christians, and how sharp a distinction we do or don't want to make between the two. Welcoming the stranger really is central to Christianity, and it was already central to Judaism before that. That doesn't mean we throw laws out the window, or welcome all strangers immediately and indiscriminately, but it means something.
Well, I trust that's enough to muddy up the waters for now!
Jul. 21 at 11:06am | See in context
Here is something that has happened to me more than once (I come from a dysfunctional family with boundary issues):
Someone comes into my space and takes something that belongs to me. I say, "Hey! That's mine!" The one taking responds with lectures on the Christian call to generosity and the problem of my selfishness.
I see an analogy in the way many Catholics (including Cardinal Dolan) are reviling those who justly resisting the disregard for their autonomy and moral agency.
Jul. 21 at 9:58am | See in context
That makes sense. And yes, one of the most frustrating elements of the whole situation is that throwing the law aside is conflated with being charitable. The slide into lawlessness that we've seen under the politicians currently in charge, especially, can only end in America becoming a place of more chaos and danger itself, unable to offer refuge to anybody. I see that. But I think we lack the will, not the ability, to do things like ascertain who qualifies for genuine refugee status and who doesn't, or to allow for more work visas for unskilled labor so that people don't perceive that the choice is between breaking our laws and raising their families in life-threatening conditions.
Jul. 21 at 9:53am | See in context
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