instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, October 06, 2014

Lesson for the catechist

Someone in RCIA mentioned the common misconception of Jesus as someone who simply loves everyone uncritically. One of the catechists replied that, while the Gospels do tell of Jesus spending time with sinners, in no case does He leave a sinner thinking the sin was okay.

Another catechist then mentioned one of the reasons -- less often mentioned than moral cowardice -- fraternal correction in charity is so often left undone: If I point out your sins, you just might point out mine.

As he described the unspoken conspiracy, I thought of St. Thomas's observation that, "There can be concord in evil between wicked men." This is the start of his sed contra against the proposition that peace is the same as concord; he goes on to write:

But "there is no peace to the wicked." Therefore peace is not the same as concord.
The question comes up in the context of peace considered as one of the interior acts of charity (the others are joy and mercy).

Which brings me back to the distinction between Divine love and humanistic love I wrote briefly about a couple of weeks ago. In a relativistic society, the god of love loves that you love whatever it is that you happen to love, and he'd love it if his devotees also loved that. In such a society, the Christian has to teach -- starting, perhaps, with himself -- that correction-free concord is not an act of love, it is an act of convenience.