This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
Thursday, February 6, 2020
WINTER FASHION WEEK
Sirach, Chapter 15, Verse 1
the LORD will do this; whoever is practiced in the Law will come to Wisdom.
in the law means to follow the commandment of God and
the commandment of God is love.
Your freedom is a
gift from God but with it comes human responsibility. God, who sees everything,
is neither the cause nor the occasion of sin. We have the power to choose our
behavior and we are responsible for both the good and the evil we do.
Deceivers are those who hold the Lord
responsible for their sins.
We can choose to harm, or we can choose to
As the former Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond
Tutu became a leading human rights advocate who has championed causes such
as poverty, racism, homophobia, sexism, HIV/AIDS and war. He received the Nobel
Peace Prize in 1989 and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. In his
newest work, The Book of Forgiving(co-authored
with his daughter, Mpho Tutu), he offers four steps to forgiving and healing:
Telling the Story
Naming the Hurt
Renewing or Releasing the Relationship
Here, we discuss this process, how his
experiences with apartheid relate to it, and how he answers those who’ve
·Your first step to forgiveness and healing is
to “admit the wrong and acknowledge the harm.”
that just dredge up old pain?For both the offender and the victim, the
pain is there, often unacknowledged and that is when it can cause harm through
festering. When I ignore a physical wound, it does not go away. No, it festers
and goes bad. It may be initially painful to open up a wound, but then it can
be cleaned out and cauterized. And you can pour a healing balm.
·Another step you list is “asking for…and
you forgive someone who doesn’t think they’ve done anything wrong? That is a very important issue. If forgiving depended on the culprit
owning up, then the victim would always be at the mercy of the perpetrator. The
victim would be bound in the shackles of victimhood. That is why forgiving
is a gift to the forgiver as well as to the perpetrator. As the victim, you
offer the gift of your forgiving to the perpetrator who may or may not
appropriate the gift, but it has been offered and thereby it liberates the
victim. Jesus prayed that His Father should forgive the men who were nailing
Him to the cross even as they were doing so; He even found an excuse for them
and so really offered His forgiveness thereby. He did not wait until they asked
for His forgiveness. Of course, it would have been far better if they had been
penitent and asked for His forgiveness. It was a gift He was giving to Himself
as well, which released Him from being filled with self-pity, an unhealthy
psychological state. It would be grossly unfair to the victim to be dependent
on the whim of the perpetrator. It would make him or her a victim twice over.
The gift has been given. It is up to the intended recipient to appropriate it.
The outside air is fresh and invigorating and it is always there. If you
are in a dank and stuffy room, you can enjoy that fresh air if you open the
windows. It is up to you.
·RNS: In a post entitled, “Why Desmond Tutu is
Wrong,” Lesley Leyland Fields suggests that your notion that we forgive “for
ourselves” is “killing biblical forgiveness.” She says, “Biblical forgiveness
is a gift first to the offender and to Christ.” How do you respond?
I have already pointed how it is important,
very important to give oneself that gift, of letting go of resentment and anger
which diminish oneself. The self is quite important in who we are. Jesus
quoting the Torah answers the question, “Which is the greatest law?” by saying,
“The first is Thou shalt love The Lord thy God with all….” And then He adds,
“The second is, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. That is the highest
approbation one can hope for about a proper self-love. We know the havoc that
has been caused by those with a feeble self-image, weak self-esteem. They will
usually throw their weight around trying to fill the hollow inside them.
Offering forgiveness prevents us from being destroyed by a corrosive
resentment. It helps us grow in being magnanimous.
·RNS: Fields also says that Biblical forgiveness
is “not about letting go of the past, but about redeeming the past.
If “redeeming the past” means “not allowing
the past to haunt you, to have a stranglehold on you” then I’m happy to let her
use her phrase.
·RNS: You mention that sometimes the final
step is “releasing” rather than “renewing” the relationship. How do you know
which is the right path?
There are the fairly obvious ones: an abusive
relationship should be easy to identify though often one of the most
difficult to end; or one where you are likely to be misled into risky
behavior–like excessive drinking, experimenting with dangerous substances,
etcetera. But there are other more subtle ones such as friendships that can
lead to infidelity and other things. In the end, we know the relationships we
Our redemption has a social dimension
because "God, in Christ, redeems not only the individual person, but also
. . . social relations." To believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in
everyone means realizing that he seeks to penetrate every human situation and
all social bonds. . . . Accepting the first proclamation, which invites us to
receive God's love and to love him in return with the very love which is his
gift, brings forth in our lives and actions a primary and fundamental response:
to desire, seek and protect the good of others.
(Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium,
As a nation, we share many blessings and
strengths, including a tradition of religious freedom and political
participation. However, as a people, we face serious challenges that are both
political and moral. This has always been so and as Catholics we are called to
participate in public life in a manner consistent with the mission of our Lord,
a mission that he has called us to share. As Pope Francis teaches,
authentic faith . . . always involves a deep desire to change the world, to
transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it. We love
this magnificent planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family
which dwells here, with all its tragedies and struggles, it hopes and
aspirations, its strengths and weaknesses. The earth is our common home and all
of us are brothers and sisters. If indeed "the just ordering of society
and of the state is a central responsibility of politics," the Church,
"cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for
justice." (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 183)
In this fight for justice, God gives us a
special gift, hope, which Pope Benedict describes in Caritas in Veritate
as "burst[ing] into our lives as something not due to us, something that
transcends every law of justice" (no. 34). Thus, we take up the task of
serving the common good with joy and hope, confident that God, who "so
loved the world that he gave his only Son," walks with us and strengthens
us on the way (Jn 3:16). God is love, and he desires that we help to build a
"civilization of love"-one in which all human beings have the freedom
and opportunity to experience the love of God and live out that love by making
a free gift of themselves to one another. Pope Francis encourages us in Evangelii
Gaudium to meditate on the inseparable bond between our acceptance of
the message of salvation and genuine fraternal love . . . God's word teaches
that our brothers and sisters are the prolongation of the incarnation for each
of us: "As you did it to one of these, the least of my brethren, you did
it to me" (Mt 25:40). The way we treat others has a transcendent
dimension: "The measure you give will be the measure you get" (Mt
7:2). It corresponds to the mercy which God has shown us: "Be merciful,
just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do
not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven;
give, and it will be given to you . . . For the measure you give will be the
measure you get back" (Lk 6:36-38). What these passages make clear is the
absolute priority of "going forth from ourselves toward our brothers and
sisters" as one of the two great commandments which ground every moral
norm and as the clearest sign for discerning spiritual growth in response to
God's completely free gift. (no. 179)
Love compels us "to 'go into all the
world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation' (Mk 16:15)" (Evangelii
Gaudium, no. 181). "Here," Pope Francis continues, "'the
creation' refers to every aspect of human life; consequently, 'the mission of
proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ has a universal destination. Its
mandate of charity encompasses all dimensions of existence, all individuals,
all areas of community life, and all peoples. Nothing human can be alien to
it'" (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 181). This "mandate"
includes our engagement in political life. Series will Continue…
stay ahead of the fashion curve here. Officially known as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week,
this biannual bash is New York City’s single-largest media event, attracting
more than 100,000 fashion-industry insiders from around the world.