Saturday, May 16, 2009

More on helping the needy

I just saw a commercial for (I believe) a local company that has instituted an awesome plan. The company does heating, plumbing, cooling, etc... type work and offers reduced prices on their services in exchange for at least five canned goods. The commercial advertised $50 off ($97 to $47) an air conditioning repair or $50 off any other service. This concept may not be new but its new to me. It seems like an excellent way not only to help the needy but also to set an example for the community. Good for them!!

Quote of the ___________

More of an excerpt than a quote:

"There is a limit to human charity," said Lady Outram, trembling all over.
"There is," said Father Brown dryly, "and that is the real difference between human charity and Christian charity. . . For it seems to me that you only pardon the sins that you don't really think sinful. You only forgive criminals when they commit what you don't regard as crimes, but rather as conventions. So you tolerate a conventional duel, just as you tolerate a conventional divorce. You forgive because there isn't anything to be forgiven."
"But hang it all," cried Mallow, "you don't expect us to be able to pardon a vile thing like this?"
"No," said the priest, "but we have to be able to pardon it."
He stood up abruptly and looked round at them.
"We have to touch such men, not with a barge pole, but with a benediction," he said. "We have to say the word that will save them from hell. We alone are left to deliver them from despair when your human charity deserts them. Go on your own prim-rose path pardoning all your favorite vices and being generous to your fashionable crimes; and leave us in the darkness, vampires of the night, to console those who really need consolation; who do things really indefensible, things that neither the world nor they themselves can defend; and none but a priest will pardon. Leave us with the men who commit the mean and revolting and real crimes; mean as St. Peter when the cock crew, and yet the dawn came."
-The Secret of Father Brown, "The Chief Mourner of Marne"
Thank God for priests, the Church, and confession!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

What to do with the poor

At one of the Church's here in Steubenville there is always at least one person begging for money as people head in for mass. I've been confronted by these people many times and more often than not (I am a college student after all) I don't have any money. I also happen to know that these people don't respond to invitations to meals (i.e. not money). My problem is that I would like to help these people but I don't want to give them money for two reason: (1) I have very little and (2) I don't know what they would spend it on. So what do we do in a situation like this? It has gotten to the point that I literally turn the other way and hurry into Church because I just don't know what to say or do. Help!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Conscience and Bananas

Imagine this scenario:

A person believes, for whatever reason, that eating bananas is sinful. This person's friends (including even a priest) have told him that this is not true. Still, for some unexplained reason, the person continues to believe that eating bananas is sinful. If this person then went ahead and ate a banana, would he be sinning?

I know the example is a bit strange, but it illumines an important point: the "sinfullness" of an action doesn't just depend on the action itself, but also on whether or not we believe (that is, our conscience tell us) that the action is good or bad. If the person above ate a banana, it would be sinful. The reason is that his conscience told him that eating bananas was wrong, yet he did it anyways. In other words he did what he believed was wrong.

Now for ignorance:

A modern day doctor fails to properly diagnose a patient who has AIDs, instead diagnosing the patient with some other condition. This doctor is acting on vincible ignorance and is morally culpable for the state of the patient. In this day and age, there is no reason to miss an AIDs diagnosis.

If a doctor in the 50s were to do the same thing - misdiagnose a patient who had AIDs - he would be acting on invicible ignorance - ignorance that cannot be overcome by himself. There was too little known about AIDs in the 50s for him to make the proper diagnosis. Therefore the doctor is not morally culpable.

These are all reasons that our conscience must be formed properly. It must be formed within the context of the Faith and the Church to properly know what is true and good and what is false and bad.

I'm Back!

Finals are finished, papers are penned, and graduation is gone. My undergraduate college career is officially over. It still hasn't really sunk in and I don't think it will until next fall, when for the first time in about 16 years I won't be going to school. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I can't wait to begin posting on a regular basis again.