As Christians, if we are to love as Jesus loved, we must first come to terms with suffering. Like Jesus, simply cannot be cool and detached from our fellow human beings. Our years of living as Christians will be years of suffering for and with other people. Like Jesus, we will love others only if we walk with them in the valley of darkness – the dark valley of sickness, the dark valley of moral dilemmas, the dark valley of oppressive structures and diminished rights.
And now, at the dawn of the new millennium, does the Franciscan adventure still have meaning? Does it still have any chance of success? Never has true fraternity been so longed for and at the same time so little lived. Never has the Franciscan charism been more needed than today in order to offer the total Christ to a disintegrating world which fears a brotherhood of solidarity among all human beings without exclusion.
~ Cardinal Roger Etchegaray on the occasion of the Great Franciscan Jubilee celebrated at St. John Lateran in Rome, April 9, 2000
This is the verse from Matthew: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. In the Gospel, when Jesus says these words, he’s ravenous from forty days in the desert. But he’s speaking with the devil here about a great deal more than bread. Men and women need food and shelter to survive. These things are basic to their dignity. But they need God to be fully alive. Human beings are more than a bundle of appetites. Our longings go beyond what we can see and touch and taste. We were made for God. And material answers to questions of the soul can never be more than a narcotic. The proof is all around us. So much of the suffering in modern American life—we see it every day—can be traced to our misdirected desires, and the distractions we use to feed them. We look for joy and purpose in things that can never give us either.
~ Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M.Cap., Remarks delivered October 1, 2013 at Philadelphia’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary as part of a Year of Faith discussion series, via First Things
These people will not stop till a) we stop them or b) they have utterly ransacked the economy and brought the world to its knees. The testimony of human history is that a pagan world is *always* based on a slave economy. Slavery is the norm, not the exception, for fallen man. Christ is the only one who frees from slavery and even the influence of his spirit took centuries to really penetrate a human race in which every culture took it for granted. Now that the influence of the Church is on the wane in the West, one of the very first things we should expect (and are seeing) is the immediate return of slavery and the reduction of human beings to property, first de facto and eventually de jure.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin via The Anchoress | A First Things Blog.