Catholic Action/never repealed, of Salt and Leadership

Salt flats from federal governmentJesus tells us, “What king/Melech marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?” We do discuss politics on occasion.

“Salt/מלח/ is good, but if salt itself loses its taste, with what can its flavor be restored? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.” The Hebrew word for a messenger or an angel is מַלְך. מַלְך translates as Melek, and מלח translates as Melech/ hard “CH.” Melek and Melech sound the same in Hebrew. “The message is beautiful, but if the message looses its taste, how can that taste be restored.”

The message is not external to us, a sound. The message is internal to us. It has a taste. The Kalos is alas. If the kalos becomes a moron, (the Greek word really is moran) how can it be arithmetic.” The Greek word is arithmetic. It means growth. How can we preach the message Melek, if the message loses its taste in us? Our task as Christians is to bring the message to the world/Cosmos. Cosmetic also comes from the Greek, and it is the technique of bring order, the cosmos, to the cosmos. That is the Christian message.

This past week I had the task of discussing Catholicism to a non-Catholic. He had recently talked with a church going Catholic, an advanced member of a Catholic men’s fraternal organization. That man had discussed politics with this non-Catholic. That church member had described her opponent as “Crooked…” and “Dishonest…” John Kennedy had once said, “My brother Bob doesn’t want to be in government – he promised Dad he’d go straight.” He also said, “Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but they don’t want them to become politicians in the process.” Being dishonest seems to be part of the job. If politicians were honest about when the troops would land on D Day, the landings would not have gone so well. Politics is a game of chess. The goal is to keep the other side guessing your intentions. By engaging in name calling, this Catholic took his salt, his message, and threw it on the ground and ground it into the dirt. He chose to be juvenile and mean spirited. The non-Catholic saw this and recognized it for what it was. We must always be salt, examples for the world. Even if the charge of dishonesty is true, it is, When they go low, we go high.”

When we discuss politics, we need to discuss Kavanah//intention. We need to discuss if we promote life, bring the message/Melech salt to the world. Deuteronomy 30 tells us that the message is not over there, wherever that is. It is in our hearts. We have only to look into our hearts to find it. It is Boker Chaim, choosing life in every moment of our lives. It is looking at the poor and asking, “What can I do to promote life for this person?” It is looking at the immigrants on our shores and asking, “What can I do to promote life, life in all of its potentiality, for this person. Do my economic and political affinities promote life, at every stage of life?

ThanksgivingA Pope of blessed memory once wrote, “Truly, all of us in the Church are called to form that unique Body, whose Head is Christ; “closely joined,” as the Apostle Paul teaches, “and knit together through every joint of the system according to the functioning in due measure of each single part.” [1] The Body increases and gradually perfects itself in the bond of charity. Now, if in this work of “building up the body of Christ”[2] it is Our primary duty to teach, to point out the correct way to follow, to propose the means to be used, to admonish and paternally exhort. It is also the duty of Our beloved children, dispersed throughout the world, to heed Our words…”
He also wrote, “We wish to recall those numerous works of zeal for the good of the Church, society, and individuals under the general name of “Catholic Action,” which by the grace of God flourish throughout the world… The field of Catholic Action is extremely vast. In itself it does not exclude anything, in any manner, direct or indirect, which pertains to the divine mission of the Church.

The force of the evangelical counsels is so powerful that it strengthens and firmly establishes the precepts of the natural law. The fruitfulness of the doctrine and morality taught by Jesus Christ is so limitless that providentially it sustains and promotes the material welfare of the individual, the family, and society… They seek to restore Jesus Christ to the family, the school and society by re-establishing the principle that human authority represents the authority of God. They take to heart the interests of the people, especially those of the working and agricultural classes, not only by inculcating in the hearts of everybody a true religious spirit (the only true fount of consolation among the troubles of this life) but also by endeavoring to dry their tears, to alleviate their sufferings, and to improve their economic condition by wise measures. They strive, in a word, to make public laws conformable to justice and amend or suppress those which are not so. Finally, they defend and support in a true Catholic spirit the rights of God in all things…

This concession places a duty on all Catholics to prepare themselves prudently and seriously for political life in case they may be called to it. It is of the utmost importance that the same activity be extended to a suitable preparation and organization for political life. This was already recommended by the Circular of December 3, 1904, issued by the general Presidency of Economic Works in Italy. At the same time the other principles which regulate the conscience of every true Catholic must be inculcated and put into practice. Above all else he must remember to be and to act in every circumstance as a true Catholic, accepting and fulfilling public offices with the firm and constant resolution of promoting by every means the social and economic welfare of the country and particularly of the people, according to the maxims of a truly Christian civilization, and at the same time defending the supreme interests of the Church, which are those of religion and justice.

Our USCCB website tells us that there are 250 Catholic Colleges and Universities in our land graduating 70,000 students each year. Our great excuse for our current situation is that there is nobody to vote for. Maybe we need a synod to discuss why we have not followed the words of our Pope of Blessed memory in this document, IL FERMO PROPOSITO, and developed leaders we can vote for. One side insists the poor are like caviar, ready to be sliced and diced before we are born. The other insists the poor are like fish, “Wait until they are sufficient size, then they are fair game.” The theory is that we must choose the lessor of two evils. To choose the lesser of two evils is still to choose evil. Jerry Garcia of the Dead. The Catholic choice is to renounce that false choice. It is to choose life. Choosing life and choosing the lessor of two evils are not the same thing. Why have we not developed ourselves to run for office and promote the General Welfare, which has been Catholic Social tradition since at least the fourth century? Have we not had enough time? The Pope wrote these words in 1905 and our Catholic Colleges and Universities have been around at least since that time.

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