I arise each morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan a day.

E.B. White

“Put me down in the ‘enjoy’ column.”

Bob Sylvester

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There are endless ways in which a culture is secularized.  One is in the un-examined use of language and ideas and the meaning and inclinations they embody.

Adolphe Tanguerey says it well in his classic The Spiritual Life when he says: “The virtue of charity supernaturalizes and sanctifies the sentiment of love toward God and toward the neighbor.

What is he saying?

Our charitable instincts and actions are inclined toward God.  They unite us to God, are the consequences of our creation, are a bridge – a  link – to God the Creator.

If one thinks otherwise one misses the intimacy that is conveyed by our own instincts and acts of charity toward others.

Bled of its essence, charity loses its depth and we easily come to think that we are “special” and (then) view ourselves as rather “superior” to those to whom we extend kindness, charity.  In this, God and the experience of God is excluded and what is a spiritual reality becomes secularized and less fulfilling than it otherwise would be.

Love and charity tend the soul toward what is good.

Our impulse to good, when perceived by faith, provides an intimate relationship with God, is (for the Christian) Christian love of God and other.  Lose that reference point and we are secularized – lose the fullness of being that we once routinely understood, experienced and possessed.

When we retain the connection between God and our charitable instincts and deeds we celebrate the relationship that exists between our self and others – a fellowship, a brotherhood – the human family of all God’s children.

When you think about it – charity is a predicate to peace because it anchors us in the human community, defuses antagonism and dislike of others – life centered on self and our insecurities.

Charity consciously connected to faith sanctifies life, our existence and that or others.  It draws us into relationship with God.  It opens our life to the experience of God.  Indeed, in loving others we love God.  Properly located, charity identifies that we are all children of God.

“Social justice” is not rooted in a relationship with God.  Rather it is language that orients us toward politics, and comes from Marxist “class consciousness,” a view that is scrubbed of faith and pits one person against another.  Yes, it paves the way not for the experience of God, but the dominance of Big Brother government.

In “social justice” our fellow men and women are not seen and experineced as children of God but rather as victims of inevitable class conflict.  It draws battle lines not fellowship.

The contrast between the former view of charity and the Marxist view of “social justice” is the contrast between the unity of all of God’s children and the perpetual conflict of His children.  One gives life, the other takes it.

Does anyone really think God would make us for perpetual conflict?  Does not “social justice” advance that unlikely and erroneous proposition?

Think about it.

Shalom.

 

 

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