Her Doctrine and Morals

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

1 September 2019


The Sunday


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Dear Friends,

"Blessed are the eyes that see the things which you see." Our Lord spoke these words to the Apostles and through them to us. Jesus was not talking about seeing with the eyes in our heads, but rather seeing with the eyes of our hearts and minds. To see Jesus in the sense that He was speaking means that we believe in Him and all that He says, we place all our hope in Him and, most importantly, we love Him. The Apostles did all these things and therefore truly saw Jesus and were blessed. Many others saw Jesus with their eyes but they did not believe, hope, or love Him and hence they were not blessed.

We can see Jesus in this manner only in the True Church, through which He reveals Himself to us so that we may be truly blessed. It is not the possession of money that makes us rich. Nor, does the possession of knowledge make us intelligent or wise. If we have the true Faith, with true Hope, and true Love, we are richly blessed.

There are many today as there were in the days of the Apostles that see with the eyes in their heads, but not with their hearts, minds, and souls. Jesus is "seen" in the Scriptures by many heretics and schismatics, but not known or loved as He desires to be because there is a lack of true faith and true hope outside the True Church. Those standing outside the True Church are like the lawyer in the Gospel trying to trap Jesus. They have read the Scriptures but they do not truly know or understand them. The lawyer asks Jesus what he must do to possess eternal life. When Jesus asks him what the Scriptures say, he readily and correctly answers. We must love God with our entire heart, soul, strength and mind; and our neighbor as ourselves.

Realizing what a fool he has made of himself in asking for what he already knows, the lawyer tries to justify himself by seeking clarification of who constitutes his neighbor. The lawyer is only digging himself in deeper. Because he considers himself above everyone else, he thinks there are none equal to himself. He is asking Jesus to show him one who is good enough, or intelligent enough to be considered a neighbor to him. How can he love another as he loves himself if no one else is even close to being his equal?

Jesus makes it very clear how wrong the lawyer is when He gives us the parable of the Good Samaritan. Every person is our neighbor, from the richest to the poorest, from the most intelligent to the least intelligent, from the oldest to the youngest, etc. We must strive to love as the Good Samaritan loved aiding our neighbor however we can.

What is the best and greatest possession that we have? It is the true Faith. All our fellow men that are without the True Faith are wounded and half dead. Their bodies are alive, but their souls are dead in sin and darkness. We are called upon to imitate the Good Samaritan by bringing these suffering neighbors of ours to the True Faith that Jesus has left for us. We can't force them to come with us and enter the True Church, but we should do what we can through entreaty and persuasion, rather than just pass by and forget about them. In bringing them to the Church we are as the Good Samaritan bringing the wounded man to the inn. Again, we cannot force them to stay, but we can encourage and support them in building up true health of heart and soul.

Many have failed to give spiritual aid to their neighbors because they feel unqualified — they are not priests or religious. Neither was the Good Samaritan. We may not know exactly what to say or how to say it, but if we truly love then whatever we say will be of some help. True love covers over many mistakes we may make. Any help whatsoever is better than none at all. Even if all we have is the equivalent of giving only a cup of water, let us give it readily and lovingly. That little bit may be all that is really necessary to save a soul. Our efforts are not in vain if they are rejected by our neighbor. God has promised to reward us just the same as if we had done this for Him.

Those who are half-dead may need strong words, but we must not forget to soften them and help to heal their souls, rather than drive them away. The Samaritan poured wine upon the wounds to purify them. The alcohol in wine burns and cleans the wounds but it hurts and many reject this necessary pain. The harsh truth often causes such pain and rejection of the truth. God is just and we must repent and do penance, this is often so painful that those who are half-dead will not tolerate the necessary treatment. So we see that the Samaritan also used the soothing ointment of oil. Our spiritual oil is the kindness, love, and mercy of God. We must balance accordingly what is needed by our neighbor. Enough fear of punishment and of God to repent and do penance, but not so much as to lead them to despair. We must present enough of the soothing love and mercy of God but not so much as to lead them into presumption. Seldom if ever should we use one and not the other. Wine and oil were used together — strong corrections and healing compassion should likewise be combined.

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