10 November 2008

Which one of these four texts does NOT represent God's will?

From the first reading at Mass today: For a bishop must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it (Titus 1:9).

From today’s gospel: And Jesus said to his disciples, "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, 'I repent,' you must forgive him" (Luke 17:1-4).

(St Paul, left, St Titus, right)

St John of Ávila, spiritual director of St John of God: If the simple folk live in a lukeward state, the situation is regrettable. They hurt themselves, but a remedy is possible. If, however, it is the teachers who are lukewarm, then the Lord’s warning must needs be considered: ‘Woe to him by whom they come!’ Great harm can come from lukewarmness, because it will easily spread to others and dampen their spiritual fervour’. (Sermon 55, from In Conversation with God, vol 5, Francis Fernandez, p 436).

From the editorial, The Tablet, 8 November 2008: In many respects Mr Obama's policies resonate with the social justice that the Judaeo-Christian tradition promotes, such as the relief of poverty, health care for all, new jobs to replace those lost, affordable housing, care for the environment and so on. He is a Christian, although not of the fundamentalist kind, and he has Catholic connections in his background. But it appears that some leaders of the Catholic Church, America's largest denomination, failed once more to read the signs of the times, and tried to insist that this inspiring and epoch-transforming election, this turning point in American history, was once again just about abortion. [Comment: only 46,000,000 since Roe v Wade in 1973, including 9,000,000 African-Americans who would have been of voting age, 37 percent of those aborted even though African-Americans form only around 13 percent of the population.] The laity saw things differently; indeed this time the Catholic vote was almost indistinguishable from the population as a whole. [Comment: No doubt, for The Tablet, the Holocaust is just 'one issue'.]

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