This is my closing prayer for the Moral Revolution event on Monday, September 12 at City Plaza in Concord, NH:
from the binding religion
that limits itself to
and correct opinion.
Deliver us and
make us come out
to that good and broad land
where our flourishing
is caught up
in the flourishing of all others
we cannot love you
without loving our neighbor as ourselves. Amen.
“Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.”
We who are disciples of Christ claim that our purpose on earth is to lay up treasures in heaven. But our actions often belie our words. Many Christians build for themselves fine houses, lay out splendid gardens, construct bathhouses and buy fields. It is small wonder, then, that many pagans refuse to believe what we say. “if their eyes are set on mansions in heaven,” they ask, “why are they building mansions on earth? If they put their words into practice, they would give away riches and live in simple huts.” So these pagans conclude that we do not sincerely believe in the religion we profess; and as a result they refuse to take this religion seriously. You may say that the words of Christ on these matters are too hard for you to follow; and that while your spirit is willing, your flesh is weak. My answer is that the judgement of the pagans about you is more accurate than your judgement of yourself. When the pagans accuse us of hypocrisy, many of us should plead guilty.
Saint John Chrysostom (349-407 AD)
Love your neighbor, then, and see within yourself the power by which you love your neighbor; then you will see God. (St. Augustine)
“At that time, I will deal with all who oppress you; I will save the lame, and assemble the outcasts; I will give them praise and renown in every land where they were shamed” (Zeph. 3:19).
Those who cannot see Christ in the poor are atheists indeed.