Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Leviticus, Chapter 25, Verse 36
Do not exact interest in advance or accrued interest, but out of fear of God let your kindred live with you.

Everyone serves something. Some serve gain, some serve pleasure, some serve others but the wise person serves the Lord not out of servile fear but Holy fear; that is out of love.

Can we say with Joshua say, “As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Jos. 24:15) If we serve the Lord our own house should be open to our own kindred. If everyone did this would we have any who are homeless? Search your hearts; do you have kindred who are in need? Sustain them especially widows and orphans; by the way the divorced are the same as widows and orphans. Real charity is looking after widows and orphans.
In the summer of 2011, four Air Force officers deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During their stay there, they discovered beautiful hand-crafted artisan scarfs produced by a group of local women. Over time, it was brought to light that all of these women had tragically lost their husbands to the Taliban and now had the responsibility of providing for their families – most of which was through the sales of their handmade crafts. This fact brought a realization to the four Air Force Officers that a vehicle of empowerment for the local population did not exist. Thus, Flying Scarfs was officially founded, and with it, a business means through which the local Afghani widows could continue to find financial stability.
Today, via their work with Flying Scarfs, these four social entrepreneurs have reshaped the manner in which many Americans think about social change. Through a lens of free market capitalism and micro-economic development, Flying Scarfs is an enterprise dedicated to the empowerment of the artisans not just in Afghanistan, but around the world. What was once just a small goal of providing employment for the Afghan widows after Americans had withdrawn from Afghanistan has now turned into a worldwide mission to find and aid other individuals in similar situations.
Flying Scarfs is a not-for-profit team of military officers and volunteers that seek to be an engine of change by building the necessary bridges so that underdeveloped countries may one day flourish in a global economy. Our goal is to promote microeconomic development around the world in order to provide comprehensive networks of stability with a concentration in providing opportunities for women to succeed.
In short, this means we buy from the “small guys” through localized economies while promoting peace, both at home and abroad. We intend to ultimately make a change by providing a "hand up" rather than a "handout."[1]


What Is Marriage?[2]

Marriage is a lifelong partnership of the whole of life, of mutual and exclusive fidelity, established by mutual consent between a man and a woman, and ordered towards the good of the spouses and the procreation of offspring. As the Second Vatican Council reminds us, marriage is not a purely human institution: the intimate partnership of life and the love which constitutes the married state has been established by the creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . For God himself is the author of marriage. Moreover, God has endowed marriage with certain essential attributes, without which marriage cannot exist as he intends. The Church has taught through the ages that marriage is an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman. This union, once validly entered and consummated, gives rise to a bond that cannot be dissolved by the will of the spouses. Marriage thus created is a faithful, privileged sphere of intimacy between the spouses that lasts until death. Marriage is not merely a private institution, however. It is the foundation for the family, where children learn the values and virtues that will make good Christians as well as good citizens. The importance of marriage for children and for the upbringing of the next generation highlights the importance of marriage for all society. Conjugal love, the love proper to marriage, is present in the commitment to the complete and total gift of self between husband and wife. Conjugal love establishes a unique communion of persons through the relationship of mutual self-giving and receiving between husband and wife, a relationship by which ―a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body [flesh]‖(Gn 2:24).The Second Vatican Council speaks about conjugal love in words of great beauty: The Lord, wishing to bestow special gifts of grace and divine love on married love, has restored, perfected, and elevated it. A love like that, bringing together the human and the divine, leads the partners to a free and mutual self-giving, experienced in tenderness and action, and permeating their entire lives; this love is actually developed and increased by its generous exercise in conjugal love one can see something of how Christ loves his Church (Eph 5:25).


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