Skip to comments.Idolatry of the Poor.
Posted on 09/29/2013 5:18:07 PM PDT by markomalley
No that is not what most homilies are saying. Most homilies are preaching against being indifferent to the lot of the poor. In addition to personal charity, the best way to help the poor and alleviate poverty is to create real wealth and good jobs through productive capitalism. Left wing schemes and socialism historically have made poverty and misery worse. That is why Republicans and Conservative have the moral high ground.
The 'eye of the needle' was an entrance to the temple that was made purposely small so that those who passed through would necessarily bow upon entering. A wealthy man too proud to come down off of his camel would never be able to pass through.
The Democratic Party uses the plight of the poor to push their socially progressive agenda. Voters continue to vote for them because they see that party as more compassionate toward the poor and oppressed. Because of that, they are able to convince others that their liberal social issues are also the more compassionate also.
True love for the poor does not use their suffering to advance an agenda but rather works to help them end their poverty or gives without strings attached or ulterior motives.
When I asked a fellow parishioner how she justifies voting for Obama in light of his rabid support of abortion, she said that the Democrats love the poor and the Republicans love the rich. Then she told me that without the Democrats, she would have her job helping the poor.
I asked her “Why do you need a job to help the poor?”
I got not answer.
2 Thessalonians 3:10
For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
And warriors on horses or camels could not pass through the needle sized doorway.
Good defense mechanism — very simple.
That day is here.
Leftism is not the creation of poor people. It is not the creation of "ordinary people," whom the Left time and again claims to want to "put in charge of their own lives."
I once read a leftist claim that "elites" support mysticism (religion), I suppose as a means of social control. But everyone here knows this is the exact opposite of the reality. It is poor people, ordinary people, who are most dedicated to mysticism, while elites promote materialism relentlessly. And considering that philosophy's origins among ancient Greek philosophers and nineteenth century European intellectuals, why would they?
Why some poor and ordinary people sell out and go along with these elitists is beyond me. But "ordinary people" have never been in charge of any movement of the Left.
For some people being poor takes no effort at all. I used to work long and hard to go broke. Then I realized I could go broke without working at it. I could relax and be just as poor, no schooling, no long hours, I think I have this poverty thing down to an art.
So if anyone needs help becoming poor......
You make a good point.
I heard the same reading this morning.
The money, property and prosperity are, of course, not condemned by the parable. Rather than fostering a resentment of the direction from the parable, we need to understand our love for money and property.
In my case, it does occupy my attention to the detriment of my ability to be truly focused on the brotherhood of man. I need the reminder of that failing.
“Again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven’’. Matthew, 19;24.
Our priests homily made the same points as this article.
Pingie, ping, ping. :o)
The rich man was proud of his morals, and of keeping the law, his wealth may not have had anything to do with it.
Lazarus was ashamed of the things he had done, he was a sinner and recognized it.
Oh i am so proud of not doing the things other people do.
Why don,t you do it?
Because i have no desire to.
Why be proud of not doing something you had no desire to do in the first place?
Thats it and i will pray for all of you.
Just kidding, i am the one who needs the prayers.
Even people with wealth can be poor in spirit and materially poor people can be oblivious to their spiritual poverty and need for Christ.
And warriors on horses or camels could not pass through the needle sized doorway.
So explain to me by what economic miracle the rich man could pay attention to Lazarus and remain rich?
I always saw that as the rich man having much more of this world to eschew than a poor person.
The flipside of that is that it is much easier for a poor person to keep their eye on the eternal, as their lot in the temporal has little appeal.
I don’t get your point.
When someone, with malice aforethought; I have no trouble with the merely thoughtless; does me harm, I want to ”get ‘em”.
I have to fight long and hard, and pray to overcome this temptation.
So there are sins that do not depend at all upon for their tempting power on wealth, or lack thereof. That being said, I personally find the sins of envy and greed to be much more vicious than the merely benign indifference of the hard of heart. As long as it stays indiferent, and not actively transform to malice.
Here, let me help:
There are and have been saints and sinners among the rich as well as the poor. Wealth poses unique opportunities for sin as well as paths to virtue. Remember that while Jesus said that it is difficult for a rich man to enter through the Needle's Eye as it is for him to enter into the Kingdom of God, He also that for God all things are possible. The prime temptations of the rich are pride, self-sufficiency, and a hardness of heart. But poverty presents its own temptations; jealous, envy, and greed. Both the rich and the poor are called to holiness and holiness is possible for both. Demonization of one and idolization of the other must be avoided.
BD was directing you to the website of the Catholic priest who this thread quoted for the OP. It appears that others of your own religious bent do not agree that those who have material wealth must become materially poor in order to gain heaven. In fact, he called it heresy rooted in a distortion of the Gospel as well as envy and jealousy with more than a pinch of Marxism and Socialism. Do you get the point now?
There’s the ka-boom
I agree with the quote to an extent. Of course poverty has to be sought for spiritual reasons, and possessions have to be avoided with the knowledge that they represent a spiritual danger. It does smack of Marxism to idealize the poor simply for their poverty.
However, the author is wrong to place the occasion for envy, that poverty gives, on the same level as occasion of pride, that wealth gives. Warnings against wealth are multiple in the gospel: the futility of the man with his barns, the deadlock that wealth placed the young man into, the story of Lazarus, the Beatitudes, the call to imitate “birds of the air”. There are no similar cautionary parables about poverty, no blessings are associated with prosperity in the New Testament in the same way as the Beatitudes are associated with self-denial and poverty. And we know why: a rich man CAN give his possessions away and enter a monastery or some equivalent of it if he is married. A poor man cannot do anything about his poverty. Therefore the judgment of a rich man is on the level of deeds, whereas the judgment of a poor man can only be on the level of thoughts.
That's part of the secret to multiplying wealth, and is part of why Western civilizations have been more wealthy than those who rely strictly on peon or slave labor, with systems of dukes and earls who pay "taxes" up the line (bribes, in reality) when those taxes are used to just give a "king" and his immediate circle lives of ultra luxury.
Pay the laborer his due. Even - invest in training when necessary. People have to "learn how". Choose likely candidates for this -- and treat them well enough that they'll stick around. Don't cheat them. Pay for reasonable performance of duty. Train what that duty is. Raise people up in that manner, so they can then train and raise up others.
Be a good manager, be a responsible manager. While taking care to not become too full of ones own "self" (remaining humble before God) be a good steward, whether of the buildings one is payed to keep clean and maintain, or in setting capital to work to build business and infrastructure which can be economically self-sustaining.
The opposite is called business failure. Risks must at times be taken. Some businesses can have insurance made available to them for that sort of thing...
It helps if others with capital have something of this mindset. Share the wealth justly, while working to produce that which is of value -- and overall wealth will increase across the board. It cannot help but to increase, if enough work at it while keeping eye towards what is righteous in the eyes of God (Duet. 6:6-10)-- and what is not.
A certain amount of honesty and transparency is required.
When most every joe is earning enough to get by on and then some (more than the barest, most meager amount -- such as less than it would "cost" to own the worker as outright slave) thus is earning cash, even some to spend...THEN every manufacturer and service provider can find a market. This sort of thing takes time to build. One brick at a time, much like building a house that can stand up to wind & rain. All the brick making and brick laying to build housing for every joe to live in, is part of an exponentially, overall positive result.
Giving all one's earthly wealth to others -- that can (but perhaps not in all instances) be as much a shuffling off onto others, the above sort of responsibilities of good stewardship, which is otherwise required.
I knew from first sight of your manufactured "question", that regardless of how one might try to explain how the rich man could have paid more attention to Lazarus, and thus have a hand in the "miracle" of how paying attention (to the Lazaruses -- instead of always just seeing them as mere servants for one's own need & desires) can help lead to the miracle of how the rich man can "pay attention" while remaining rich -- and how over the long term the rich become possibly even richer -- that you would reply much along the lines which you have, pretty well regardless of what I did or did not say.
Which is why I gave you the email address of the Catholic priest who wrote the article which you are having troubles with, even as that man did NOT say, in total;
for Mr. Erik Richtsteig (the [Roman] Catholic priest) who wrote the article, and from whom you took the "paid no attention to Lazarus" concept, mentioned nothing about "economic miracle", or the "rich man staying rich", but addressed ONLY the issue that "the rich man" could have "payed more attention" to Lazarus, in considering him differently -- possibly considering the man as a man with a life of his own, rather than just an "object", a servant only, the rich man betraying his own mindset and regard for poor Laz when he said "send Lazarus to bring me a drop of water".
Yeah right. Laz should suffer the heat of hell as same as the rich man-- but got very little to none(?) of the rich man's "earthly rewards" while himself possibly working for the same rich man...just because now the rich guy is extremely uncomfortable. The rich guy should have paid more attention to the future upcoming "real estate market" too, where in the end, what really does matter is location-location-location.
You seem to be suggesting that the rich man needed to, or only could have "payed attention" to poor ol' Laz, from himself not being "rich", but instead as a poor monk himself -- or should have lavished Lazarus with his own wealth for reason of Lazarus being "poor"?
It's difficult to sort out -- since you go wandering off into the weeds to go find an answer "we" are supposed to "know why", adding to that your own special situation, set-up pleadings "therefor" in your last sentence.
Become a monkish sort, or Get thee to a nunnery --- OR?
Here I have proved clue, not only for your strawman-like, additional tack-on "reasoning" to the priest's own words (with the portion you added seeming in my own eyes to not come from place of "faith" at all -- but that of fear instead, like the fear of "if I pay the workers what they are worth -- I will no longer be rich") while showing you some traces of outline of how that does not necessarily have to be, if the rich man is willing to himself "work", if only to find what to best invest in, what business models are both called for and efficient enough in overall planning to succeed, and who best to chose (and pay) in assisting in implementing those actions.
If you have any other problems, please feel free to consult a priest you may trust, and the author of the article -- if my own description of "miracle" not be sufficient.
What is praiseworthy in capitalism is not pride or greed associated with being "good manager" but the fact that capitalism is based on the same spirit of giving stuff away that Christ called us to adopt. Employment and investment are not accumulation of wealth, i.e. not being rich but being entrepreneurial and risking the riches. Successful entrepreneurs that are also living out the gospel are as few as needle-thick camels. What we all without distinction need to do is to praise poverty and learn from poverty, as Jesus did, and run away -- not from entrepreneurialism but from the spirit of prosperity. You cannot serve God and mammon.
As another told you already, it does don't say "blessed are the poor", but "blessed are the poor in spirit".
Have you emailed the priest yet? Send him a link to this thread -- then perhaps he can explain to all of us why the two of you are preaching different gospels.
Lazarus seems to be poor and for that, rewarded in heaven (Luke 16:20ff). The young man is told to give away what he has (Matthew 19:21, Mark 10:21, Luke 18:22). The apostles are told to imitate "the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns" (Matthew 6:26). The rich man is ridiculed with his treasure (Luke 12:16-35). True, all this is so because of the spiritual dimension of poverty and wealth, and not for some magical quality of poverty and prosperity, -- I believe I pointed that our a few times already.
it does don't say "blessed are the poor"
Read the Holy Bible every once in a while and you, too, will know what Jesus taught and what he didn't.
why the two of you are preaching different gospels.
It is entirely possible for two Catholics to disagree on a particular homily; but I pointed out why his view is not in full agreement with the scripture.
Tell him to "read the bible once in a while" as you have me.
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Well, are you saying that Sts Luke and Matthew disagree on what Jesus taught? Or that on this particular subject we should consult Matthew but not Luke?
Plainly, “in spirit” is not referring to their poverty being purely spiritual, but their blessedness being not material, same as any rewards for poverty. Helpful parable is that of Lazarus, where no one would say that his poverty was not material.
I rather stumbled upon that the other day, and do wonder if you would know the answers without needing search it out. If so, if it can be answered from memory, then by all means...
Yet such obscurities frequently need some searching to find. If that course need be taken, then feel free to contact the RC priest given contact information for, should any further assistance be required.
Renouncing worldly good is a common theme in Catholic Christianity and a constant attribute of sanctity.
Observe: the saint's very father is "opposing". Figures.
Once again, you have things quite backwards.
What you see as "encyclical" was titled (or subtitled, take your pick);
The quote was among a hundred others which was condemned -- by a Roman church "pope", with ratifying concurrence for that opinion by two succeeding "popes" of Rome.
Here is the ending;
"Declared and condemned as false, captious, evil-sounding, offensive to pious ears, scandalous, pernicious, rash, injurious to the Church and her practice, insulting not only to the Church but also the secular powers seditious, impious, blasphemous, suspected of heresy, and smacking of heresy itself, and, besides, favoring heretics and heresies, and also schisms, erroneous, close to heresy, many times condemned, and finally heretical, clearly renewing many heresies respectively and most especially those which are contained in the infamous propositions of Jansen, and indeed accepted in that sense in which these have been condemned.
While the quotation which "renounced" worldly goods was itself renounced BY THREE popes IN A ROW.
I told you you should have emailed that priest.
Unigentium did condemn certain 101 propositions of Quesnel, including #33, — I was not reading attentively. However, the statement about the renunciation of worldly goods is quite orthodox in itself since I am not advocating Jansenism with it, — nor was St. Francis, or Giotto. The controversy around Unigentuim resulted precisely because several of the 101 propositions were just fine by themselves: for example, #2.
If you want to talk to the Father, just talk. If you have a question to me, I’ll do my best answering. Sorry I did not pay due diligence on Unigentium, but my views are not Jansenist in the least. I don’t think that wealth is in itself sinful or dirty, I just think that anyone attracted to it should seek a cure in a monastery, if his circumstances allow, or some similar setting.
You sound upset.