Conservatives believe some men, corporate CEOs, and business owners are by nature good and do not need regulation. Liberals believe the writings of John Locke who noted that no man is a fair judge in his own case. That includes the corporate CEO, our religious leaders, the union chiefs, and our political leaders.
St. Augustine whose mural is on our altar gave us our vocabulary, “original sin.” We are all imperfect human beings trying to get from conception to the grave in one piece. God made us all in his image, as our Catholic doctrine has always taught. This brings us to the third definition of “Life.” It relates how God made us in his image and likeness. How we treat our neighbor, is how we treat God who is in our neighbor. Genesis 4:10. This definition takes up where the prior definition leaves off. Deuteronomy 30:
This Mitzvah I give you today is not too wondrous or remote for you… It is something very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart… Choose life, that you and your descendants may live.”
This is one of the famous 613 Mitzvah of Jewish traditions. How is this Mitzvah? All life is life in potentiality. Exodus 20:26 tells us, ‘You will not ascend to my altar by steps.’ Either we are going up or we are going down. Either we increase life in all of its potentiality or we decrease it. We will use this definition of life throughout the remainder of the debate.
God made us all in his image and likeness, liberal and conservative. Catholic Catechism, section 1701. “Social justice can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of man.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 1929.
When we stand before the Eucharistic altar, we see how this works. Little Flower parish makes the scene a little clearer. We descend from the back of the church until we reach the steps to the altar. At our Cathedral, we again see steps. This reminds us of our trip to Mt. Sinai, and our trip up to the transfiguration. We walk up and down hills and valleys until we arrive at the promised mountain. Mt. Sinai is a volcano, and we represent this with incense. We stand at Sinai, again, for the first time, each time we attend Mass.
We all like to say the Pledge of Allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the republic, for which it stands. Catholics need to define just what we mean by a republic. St. Augustine gives Catholics our definition of a republic:
As among the different sounds, which proceed from lyres, flutes, and the human voice, a conductor maintains a certain harmony, which a cultivated ear cannot endure to hear disturbed. He elicits this in full, absolute concordiam by the modulation of voices unlike one another. Where we allow reason to modulate the diverse elements of the state, we obtain perfect concord from the upper, lower, and middle classes as from various sounds. What musicians call harmony, is concord in matters of state, the strictest bond and best security of any republic, and which by no ingenuity can be retained where justice is extinct.
“Faithful Discipleship as presented in tradition of authoritative Catholic social teaching,” is all about creating this concordium, in English concord. A Hebrew word for God, is Abba, Father. Jesus is the Lamb of God. The Aramaic word for Lamb is “Omer.” The Aramaic word for “Word” is Omer. Lambs of course say, “Bah.” Bah is Hebrew for to come or the one who is to come. Ah Ha bah is the Hebrew word for Love.
It is welcoming each other into our communities with all of our faults and all of our failures. St. John tells us in 1 John 4:7, “Love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”
This is part 3 of a series. Please click here for part 2
Please click here for part 1