Today's readings explains everything with such simplicity:
Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.
In all circumstances give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not despise prophetic utterances.
Test everything; retain what is good.
Refrain from every kind of evil.
May the God of peace make you perfectly holy
and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body,
be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful,
and he will also accomplish it.
Why do so many make it so complicated?
In response to this blog post about authentic justice and mercy, a commenter posted something that conveyed convictions that the motive for the theft was entitlement by an illegal immigrant and the response to the theft should not include forgiveness and compassion.
And we wonder why the Francis believes people who want their families catechized with the tools for salvation are merciless?
I feel like there's an awful lot of rational people fleeing to polar opposite extremist positions.
This was about theft by a poor, pregnant woman. Forgiveness and mercy doesn't mean we forbear deportation - just like the jury did not forbear conviction. Whether or not she is in the country illegally is an entirely separate matter. The jury was looking at the theft and they responded by illustrating how justice and mercy coexist. If I were sitting on that jury, I likely would have been compelled to compensate for the merciless and unforgiving attitude of the victim.
Are we not concerned about the conversion of illegal aliens? Are they nuisances that don't exist in the Kingdom of God?
No matter what happens to them, there is nothing outside of sitting them on a steel bench inside of a locked facility until deportation?
Are we supposed to be checking the legal status of every one who crosses our path before we administer the spiritual works of mercy?
This trajectory is not going to diminish the damage Pope Francis will do. He uses it for fuel to burn Church teaching. We can't be reactionary. Rome has been overcome and they're holding the temporal goods of the Church hostage. This is the time to be strategic, thoughtful about which direction to now go.
When my daughter was home on leave, we watched the movie Patton. The movie illustrates how everyone on every side of everything observed every move, used their head to figure out where the enemy was going, and the best strategy to defeat the advance of evil while preserving the lives of their own. They tweaked their strategy with every single step in the advance of evil.
The occupants of Rome do not know the symbiosis of the law, justice and spiritual works of mercy. They are clueless. I think it's really important, at this time, to verbalize how it works. This jury did it perfectly.
Maybe it would be helpful walk through how we found ourselves under the tyranny of the folks trampling everything in Rome.
Before Vatican II, we had people who wanted to have sex outside of Sacramental Marriage and use contraception so the sex would not produce commitment and a child.
Priests and nuns taught the significance and practice of keeping ones soul in a state of grace as the ONLY means of salvation. Sanctifying Grace caused long lines for confession and every seat in the pew was filled at every Mass.
But a few handfuls of people were mad at the Church. People who came back from Vatican II thought they were given permission to stop teaching things that make the handful of people mad.
Laws on Commandments make a handful of people mad, so it made sense to them to burden millions with lawlessness on the chance the handful would come to Church.
They certainly got the numbers right. The stunts they pulled left a handful in the pews, that is for sure.
Two generations of robbing Christ's people of the tools that help us make healthy choices, now 90% of Catholics are mad about Church teaching, the pews are empty and the world is on the verge of collapse from catastrophic diabolical disorientation. And the real kicker is, they still think hijacking and distorting the mission of "Vatican II" was a winning strategy. They actually think they did a fantastic job and there needs to be more of the same.
People don't even know what 'gender' they are! The complexity of the insanity against the simplicity of the answers really drives home how low intellectual deterioration has sunk. I'm reminded of that joke: "If you don't know your gender, look inside of your pants.....You're welcome!"
Along comes the Francis and the synod. They decide three generations of lawlessness didn't work, so let us tell people 2000 years of Church teaching and those who teach it are hateful and bad, and adultery and contraception is good. The fix is in.
The cray-cray is mind boggling.
Children in healthy families get mad at parents who teach healthy boundaries. It comes with the territory. Good, effective parents suck it up.
Good parents don't say, our children are mad, so let us lift prohibitions of the Commandments. They don't find solutions in teaching good is bad and bad is good. They don't teach androgyny and hang porn around the house. They don't tell their children they will "accompany" their children to the bordello.
But scorching the earth by withdrawing love and bearing down with excessive criticism and punishment, withholding all mercy from a defiant child is not effective. It drives the child further away. The keys to success lie in upholding the truth AND LAW with genuine love, sometimes you let them experience consequences. Other times, you show them mercy and forgiveness, hope for redemption -- along with a LOT of prayer of fasting, Holy Sacrifices. You have to let your kid off the hook once in a while, show them their worth, encourage them to rise to it. If you don't give them a good balance, you will destroy them.
To me, the perfect example of effective parenting came from St. John Paul II. He took two generations of uncatechized and patiently and constantly explained the beauty and efficacy of Church teaching. He never waivered or diluted. He just kept writing encyclicals - beautiful and faithful encyclicals. He was - and is - loving and affectionate.
I've told this story before, but it bears repeating: Back in the days when I was mad at the Church about contraception, I remember Pope John Paul II riding through Africa telling the poverty-stricken women not to use contraception. Boy, did I get hot under the collar and defensive. Put me right over the edge. I stayed that way for a while. But the combination of his affection and faithful voice, while continuing to make me mad, also made me curious. I genuinely liked him and wanted to know how he reached his convictions, so I read Theology of the Body. I was hooked. I got it, though in my stubbornness I was still skeptical. But I kept hunting down and reading his encyclicals. When he spoke, I was much more attentive and open to his messages.
It took me two years of reading Church teaching, the Deposit of Faith, the Saints, before I finally could admit I was dead wrong. It's a process. Taking the position of the parish busybody to criticize every minor infraction of decorum and every wimper of tiny tots is not helping the pilgrims in the pews. It's not just about us. You've got to figure out what's important and what isn't important and only react to what is important. I do NOT mean what is important to JUST YOU. I mean what is important to the overall health of you AND everyone around you.
In his homily today, the priest took 'in all circumstances give thanks for this is the will of God for you' and explained that everything happens for a reason. I don't know about that. Sometimes the reason is we are stupid and make bad decisions. LOL.
Please, let's play it smarter!