Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Answer is Love

I do not know what the future will bring, but this morning as I lay in bed I could not sleep. I was thinking about it.

We are not prepared today. We are not prepared for those who are out of work. We are not prepared for those who have lost their homes. We are not prepared for those who will lose their sources of money quickly in the future, and be in need of even the basics, like food. Many are protesting, even more each day, that the government must provide. They are protesting that companies must provide. They are protesting that those who have must give --- or they will take it. Their protests are right in only one thing: those who have must give, but the protesters are wrong-headed in their thinking if those who have are unwilling to give. If they are unwilling to give, they must be preached to, they must be given example, they must be taught, they must be loved --- so that they learn how to love.

We know of a teacher who taught those things well. We say we will follow Him. We need to be prepared to do so.

The Catholic Church is home to so many of Christ’s people. It is home to so many of his Words, and actions. It teaches what those words are and what they mean. It teaches how we should live out His actions. It teaches how to love your neighbor. And it teaches that it is not the government nor companies who must first provide for our neighbor; first, it is us.

Read the catechism on the principle of subsidiarity:

Socialism presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions.” (CCC 1883)

God has not willed to reserve to himself all exercise of power. He entrusts every creature the functions it is capable of performing. This mode of governance ought to be followed in social life. The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. (CCC 1884-5)

The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor. There are many families who are at time incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs. (CCC 2208)

I think many people in our Catholic family have forgotten these things. Perhaps many have never been taught these things. They need to be taught now. They need to be put into action now. We need to prepare now. We are a family in Christ. We are the ones called to help others. We are the first ones called to step forward, asking of God and neighbor, “What can I do?” --- for my family, first.

I am an analyst by the talents I was given. It would be easy for me to step forward with proposals for sharing and caring within my family of Christ. It would be easy for me to think that I must lead, but I would be wrong. The one to lead is the one who would not let me sleep this morning. He has the answers, the correct answers. They are not formulas and rules on how to share, like a socialist government would issue. The answers for each family many be different, for each family is different. The answers must come from Him and His Spirit, guiding each family. The answers start in family prayer, then I firmly believe, He will not let us sleep until we love one another, as He showed us how to love. Love isn’t based on what we need or what we take from another. Love is based on what we give, what we willingly give to another, as He did. He gave love to the people He met who needed love, one person at a time.

Subsidiarity: it started with Him. In each family, in each parish, we need to pray for the Gifts of the Spirit, that it might start with us.

The answer is in love.


  1. Hi, Tom. This week my favorite verse is "Do Everything in Love." 1 Corinthians 16:14. Seems relevant to everything, including taking care of family.

  2. Ah, Colleen, you are quick to go right to the heart of the matter. My fear is that there are not nearly enough Colleens in the world.

    Even as I am having these thoughts on the protesters demanding more government help, I read this yesterday: "When a man had incurred more debts than he was able to pay, he could hand over his children to his creditors, and they had to work as thralls until they had earned enough to cover their father's indebtedness. I don't believe children are told anything about this debt-servitude in the schools nowadays. But they're destined to experience it."

    Sounds like something from a conservative columnist in yesterday's paper. But it was from the book "Ida Elisabeth," written in 1932, which lay on my shelf for months, but I happened to read yesterday.

  3. This morning He woke me at 4:15 to say morning prayer and have my half hour meditation. I am a Discalced Secular Carmelite and today is the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila.

    I am living with my 94 year old mother who has pancreatic cancer and is on hospice. My younger brother has cared for my mother in our "family" condo up until now.

    My husband and family are close by. My husband has mantle-cell lymphoma which appears to be in remission, but we're waiting for more test results. We have been married for 49 years. We are praying to Padre Pio, Catherine Doughtery, John Paul II, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity and Faustino Manglano for a cure.

    Everyday is filled with God's presence and incredible miracles. I feel as if His Kingdom has come into our midst. We are so unworthy. Sometimes it seems as if the veil will lift and we will see all our family who have gone before us standing beside us and loving us into Eternity.

    How can there be so much joy in the midst of so much pain? One minute we are laughing, another we are crying... but we are always thanking Him for being with us and for providing for our every need.

    I have a blog that I haven't done much with:

    Perhaps, I should start posting the Wonders God is working for us.
    On my tombstone, which is already in place, I have my favorite Scripture verse:

  4. I am caring for my 93-year old mother, Mary Ann. I understand. Even with your husband and sibling, I am sure you often feel alone, but you, like I, know that you are not. In all our pains and joys, and sometimes loneliness, God is with us.

    I glanced at your simple blog; I suspect you have much to offer of what God has taught you. And even if no one reads it, it would give Him glory. Let me know if you decide to write again; I think it would not be a waste of my time if I read.

    I will add you and your spouse to my prayers during my visits to the chapel each day. We are all part of His family, and we should pray for one another. And He will work miracles for us, because He loves us.

  5. I thank you for your comments and promise of prayer. How grateful I am for your kindness and generosity.

    I have a Book of Prayer Requests that I literally hold up before the Throne of God everyday and pray for the spiritual, physical, emotional, financial, etc. well being of everyone who touches my life.

    I would be pleased to include you and your loved ones... most especially your beloved mother. Could you tell me her first name?

    I will try to return to blogging soon. Perhaps just sharing about me and mama! God has revealed so much to me since I moved in with mom on September 6th.

    Presently, I am studying the book by Brother Lawrence entitled: Practicing the Presence of God. It is the most simple approach to living in union with the Trinity and begging to fulfill God's will in my life.

    My goal is hidden sainthood... not being Canonized, just being purified and transformed into the Image of Jesus Christ and at the hour of my death, to hear the words: Well done, good and faithful servant! Come home now.

    I have Our Lady as my role model: gentle, humble, and totally self-giving according to the will and purpose of God. She will help me and all those who look to her and her Son!

    Thanks for being out there and letting me write to you.

    God bless you. Peace be with you!
    Mary Ann Richards

  6. My mother's name is Florence. Thank you for your prayers, Mary Ann. Re your great caring commitment, I might suggest that you look for a Caregiver's Support Group in your area; most communities have them now. They are a great help in bearing your load, and in suggesting methods to ease you and your loved one's burdens and concerns.

    I very much enjoy the writings of Brother Lawrence. "The desire for spiritual consolation must not be our purpose ... instead, let us do it out of love for God and because it is His will." (p86)

    If you like Brother Lawrence, perhaps you might also like the works of Father Jacques Philippe, such as Searching for and Maintaining Peace, or Interior Freedom. I highly recommend both.

    If you would like to write me about anything, my email address is on my profile page. If you find any wisdom or consolation in my blather written here, you can be sure it is not from me.

  7. Hi Tom,
    I wasn't able to access your name or email address. Thank you for your kind offer to be there.
    May God bless us all!


  8. Mary Ann, on the left hand side of this blog is a section titled "About Me". At the bottom is a link called "View My Complete Profile." If you click on that, you see a page which is mostly nonsense, but on the top left I have put a link to email me. Click on "email" and you'll send any thoughts/comments direct to me.