Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Blessed are the poor

Embracing poverty

Poverty is not sanctity


Touching on detachment and its difference from oppression: three good short articles from Episcopal Café quoting What Can One Person Do? Faith to Heal a Broken World
The State under men like Lloyd George had initiated a welfare state but now the problem seemed to be the materialism of the age. [Eric] Mascall argued that there were four orders of being: God, Man, Things, Money, and that each exists for the one before: Man for the glory of God, Things for the good of Man, Money for the production and distribution of Things. However, he argued, with man’s modern repudiation of the supremacy of God the whole scheme has not only lost its first member but had gone entirely in reverse. Things are for the production of Money, Man is for the production and consumption of Things and a very hypothetical God is for the convenience of Man. The chart:
GOD had become MONEY
MAN had become THINGS
THINGS had become MAN
MONEY had become GOD
— From Mascall’s Man: His Origins and Destiny, ‘written... at the beginning of the second war’, described by Fr Ivan Clutterbuck in The Catholic Social Conscience
I was sent to South Africa work in a slum in Johannesburg and ... I saw tremendous challenges to my beliefs in the dignity of man according to the Christian gospel... there’s a desperate need for development, again for the sake of human dignity... we are desperately poor and poverty in itself is not a good thing, is not something which God loves, and therefore I want to try to help as far as I am able to...
— Trevor Huddleston in 1966

Which of course is why many well-meaning Christians including Catholics have been socialists... this site among others explains why they are wrong.

That hypothetical God is the one of ‘I’m spiritual but not religious’ so fashionable today: ‘I’m really in charge.’

Knew a sound priest, recently departed, who was thrown out of Namibia in the 1960s for opposing apartheid. He ended up supplying at a Continuing parish.

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