2 Maccabees, Chapter 8, Verse 12-13 When Judas learned of Nicanor’s advance and informed his companions about the approach of the army,...
Friday, March 4, 2016
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Isaiah, Chapter 54, verse 4
Do not fear, you shall not be put to shame; do not be discouraged, you shall not be disgraced. For the shame of your youth you shall forget, the reproach of your widowhood no longer remember.
Isaiah here is speaking of the Eternal Covenant of Peace from God. Our shame was that we as a people by our transgressions killed Christ, who was the messiah and our spiritual spouse, thus becoming widows, as a people. Isaiah tells us in advance that God in his love will no longer remember our reproaches. He will make us free, He will give us peace.
The next verse of Isaiah makes this clear, “For your husband is your Maker; the LORD of hosts is his name, Your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, called God of all the earth.”
Does our nation not realize that if we are the spouse of the God of all the earth, that we are committing murder of God’s own spiritual children through the legalization of abortion?
Our Holy Father states that peace can only come when we confront the truth.
Jesus declared “I am the truth” (John 14: 6) and told Pontius Pilate “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth” (John 18: 37). Because he is the Son of God, Jesus is the truth about who God is, and, because he is fully human, he is the truth about the human person.
What is that truth? First, that God is Love, love that is willing to give all, even life itself, for the good of the beloved. Second, that the human person is precious to God, precious enough to die for.
When this truth is denied, the human person becomes subhuman, an object, or a threat. It becomes easy to destroy a mass of cells viewed as a threat. The human person may seem like a cancer on humanity and be treated as such, rather than as an individual for whom Jesus suffered and died.
When we consider God valued the human person as so precious enough to die for we should make a concerted effort to aid others.
The giving of Alms has everything to do with devotions and piety. Almsgiving is a powerful form of prayer. “Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness…It is better to give alms than t store up gold; for almsgiving saves one from death and expiates every sin. Those who regularly give alms shall enjoy a full life” (Tob 12:8-9) To give alms is to give to God. If we are giving alms righteously then most likely we are doing it though some form of fasting giving from our substance. The giving of Alms should not philanthropy with a smiling photo op and boost to our pride. The earliest Christians knew they could not make a good Communion if they neglected the poor. St. Ignatius noted that the twin marks of heresy are the neglect of the poor and neglect of the Eucharist. “The mystery of the poor is this: that they are Jesus and what you do for them you do to him.” (Dorothy Day) The Eucharist is the key to a civilization of love. It saves us from misguided tenderness and feel-good philanthropy, because it gives us the grace to sacrifice as Jesus did. Our main focus must be widows and orphans. (Single parents and children) “Widows and orphan are to be revered like the altar of sacrifice.” (Pope Paul VI) We should give as much as we can and we should give it responsibly making sure the alms are not wasted.
Mormons in their almsgiving, for example, do fast offerings in addition to tithing. This offering accompanies a monthly 24-hour fast. All the money that would have been spent to buy food during those 24 hours is donated to the Church for the purpose of feeding the hungry and caring for the needy.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 33. Almsgiving.
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