Monday, March 7, 2011

The Unwritten Commandment

I sent a letter to the local paper again; it is but a small way of speaking out, proclaiming the truth we must all proclaim. But I don’t expect it to be printed for others to see, no, our news has become a source of amusement, not truth. Their printing of the truth would be like the Coliseum charging the Romans for the entertainment. No one wants to pay for the truth, yet we all must.

“Your editorial read that more well-to-do seniors of Michigan should have their pensions taxed, but of course, the state must take special care of poorer seniors. “Of course”? When did the state become a being with moral obligations?

How soon we forget the time when people of this state lamented the high welfare rates and said: “But of course, the state must care for the poor.” Then laws were changed to require ones on welfare to seek work, and the rates came down. And the people said they were happier than when on welfare.

There is no “of course” for the state to care for anyone. Isn’t the commandment that “you” love your neighbor? So what if the poorer pensioners are taxed? If needed, then their neighbor could and should care for them – you, or your family, or your neighborhood group, or your church. You should love your neighbor. And if we did this, every one of us would be better off --- and happier. The state can’t “love” anyone. Making believe that it can is just lying to ourselves, but it’s time the truth be told.”

In the Catholic Church, today is the feast day of Saints Perpetua and Felicity, two martyrs. They deemed it a great joy to have the opportunity to die for love of the Truth. We live in an unusual time of our lives right now, my friends. Perhaps more now than at any time in our life, it is a time of opportunity, an opportunity for us to show love; there are so many of our neighbors who need us. Would you have the state, or federal government, or anyone else take care of them, when it was you who were commanded: “Love Your Neighbor”?

Remember when He said: “As you did it to the least of these, you did it to Me”? Remember when He said that going to church and leading a good life, those things are not enough, because even if you should then call: “Lord, Lord”, He will say: “I do not know you.” It is one of the most paradoxical teachings of our faith: “If you wish to be high, you must aim to be low.” It’s the unwritten commandment of God: we do not have to love ourselves; He will love us.

In the readings today an obscure saint called Saint Dorotheus said: “The reason for all disturbance, if we look to its roots, is that no one finds fault with himself.” He seemed a wise man. There would be no troubles in this world today if we could stop placing ourselves first. And then we wouldn’t need that commandment, it would be instinctive for us to love our neighbor. And we would find joy in the opportunity.

That opportunity is here today.


  1. 'Love your neighbor' covers a lot of ground, much more than it did when I was 10 or 20, or even 30 years old. Come to find out, all the teachings of Jesus really hinge on this one spiritual truth. Love your neighbor. Does anyone really do that anymore? The opportunities are all around us, as you said, but it seems as if the world teaches us the exact opposite. Thanks for a sad but thought-provoking post. (I still have to comment on your previous post!)

  2. Yes, you're right kam. Perhaps it's even too sad a post. For someone proclaiming Do Not Be Anxious, I seem to be writing down many of my anxieties of late. I shall try to be more uplifting.