Monday in the Octave of Corpus Christi
2 Samuel, Chapter 14, Verse 14-15
14 We must indeed die; we are then like water that is poured out on the ground and cannot be gathered up. Yet, though God does not bring back to life, he does devise means so as not to banish anyone from him. 15 And now, if I have presumed to speak to the king of this matter, it is because the people have given me cause to FEAR. And so, your servant thought: ‘Let me speak to the king. Perhaps he will grant the petition of his servant.
Here David is in a quandary; his beloved son has murdered his brother and should be punished. Yet…how can David save his living son and still be just. Joab brings in a wise woman who points out God does not bring the dead to life but devises ways of returning the banished.
Justice and Mercy
A specific feature of the ethics of St. Thomas is that it puts compassion and justice into the closest connection possible to each other. “Justice without mercy is cruel”, says Thomas. But “Mercy without justice is the mother of dissolution"—and, one might add, therefore cruel as well. This close connection between justice and mercy is not sufficiently obvious in human life. The reason for this is not merely the fact that people are often merciless. Rather, it is much more due to the finite character of human existence, which makes all the virtues in the life of the soul appear to be separated from each other and their exercise separate as well. This of course also applies to the virtues of justice and charity, the juxtaposition of which may highlight this fact of separation with particular clarity, so that justice and mercy may sometimes appear to us as as downright opposing intentions. The situation is different with God. “The work of divine justice always presupposes the work of mercy and it founded in it,” says Thomas. So, if God is merciful, then He is not in opposition to justice.
Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling
of The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix
on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
III. Worthy Reception of Holy Communion – Conforming our life with Christ
64. There are situations when we can honor God more by abstaining from Holy Communion than by satisfying a personal desire to sacramentally receive Him in communion. I know of a Catholic mother who because she did not want to show irreverence or contempt for what is truly the Body and Blood of Christ, abstained from Holy Communion for several years because she was living in an irregular marriage. This was the case even though she still faithfully attended Mass with her children each week and was a regular Eucharistic adorer at her parish because of her deep faith and devotion to Christ present in the Eucharist. She, nonetheless, would not present herself for Communion. She was raised to understand that Christian believers should avoid receiving Holy Communion unworthily. Aware of the scriptural admonitions and the teachings of the Church she would offer up her sacramental encounter with the Lord and make instead a spiritual communion each Sunday. So much was her young son clearly edified by her quiet example of faith and fidelity that he became a moral theologian and now teaches moral theology at a Catholic seminary.
65. In this perennial teaching that is scriptural and clear, Holy Communion is meant to be the consummation of the loving union between Jesus the Bridegroom and His Bride the Church, between Him and each believer. The Church invites everyone to the Wedding Banquet while at the same time commits herself to helping everyone arrive properly dressed in a purified baptismal garment, lest the greatest Gift – the Eucharist – becomes his or her spiritual destruction.
66. For this reason, the Church requires Catholic leaders who have publicly supported gravely immoral laws such as abortion and euthanasia to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until they publicly repent and receive the Sacrament of Penance. Not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion and euthanasia. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is an intrinsically grave sin and that there is a grave and clear obligation for all Catholics to oppose them by conscientious objection. “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law or vote for it’” (Evangelium Vitae, 73). The Aparecida document, which Pope Francis is acknowledged as one of the main authors during his time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, teaches clearly: “We hope that legislators [and] heads of government … will defend and protect [the dignity of human life] from the abominable crimes of abortion and euthanasia; that is their responsibility…. We must adhere to ‘eucharistic coherence,’ that is, be conscious that they cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and family are encouraged. This responsibility weighs particularly over legislators, heads of governments, and health professionals.”
67. In the current political climate of our country, the Church can be easily accused of favoring one party and singling out politicians of a certain party with such a teaching. However, the Church is only faithfully reaffirming its perennial teaching on the Eucharist and the worthy reception of Holy Communion which applies to every single person. Eucharistic coherence means that our “Amen” at Holy Communion includes not only the recognition of the Real Presence but also a communion bound together by embracing and living Christ’s entire teaching handed down to us through the Church.
68. The Holy Eucharist is the ongoing Redemption of the world through Christ’s real presence among and within us. The Lord Jesus in the Eucharist in whom we believe and from whom we are sustained, wants to bring our whole life into communion with Him, so that we may not only live because of Him but also live for Him and with Him. Jesus also wishes to live through us, to love through us and to preach and serve through us. For Jesus to do so, we need to make the Eucharist the source and summit of our whole life, allow Him to fill us with awe and wonder, to live with a great faith in Him and His words and follow Him more closely along the path that leads to eternal life.
To be continued…
· Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels
· Monday: Litany of Humility