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Today is Quinquagesima Sunday. Today’s reading is from St. Paul to the Corinthians, and anyone who has ever been at wedding must surely have this famous, if not the most famous Epistle passage firmly embedded, written in indelible ink in ones mind. But just in case…, St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians writes:
THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Therefore, using mathematical notation we can define the following relationship:
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor” ≠ Charity
Now that we have an understanding about what “charity” is and IS NOT, we go to the From Rome blog for a translation of the homily that Francis gave on the 15th of Februray 2015, i.e. Quinquagesima Sunday. Here is the relevant passage: (see here)
Consequently, charity cannot be neutral, ascetic, indifferent, tepid or impartial! Charity is contagious, it impassions, it risks, it co-involves! Because true charity is always unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous! (cf. 1 Cor. 13). Charity is creative in finding a proper language to communicate with all who have been considered incurable and hence untouchable. To find the just language … Contact is the true communicative language, the same affective language which transmitted healing to the leper. How many cures we can accomplish and transmit by learning this language of contact! He was a leper and he became an announcer of God’s love. The Gospel says: « But he went off and set out proclaiming and publishing the deed » (Mk, 1:45).
Now, I do not know about you, but it would appear that what St. Paul is instructing
Francis the Corinthians about, might not be the same thing that Francis has in mind, when using the word “charity”. Paul writes “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” So how does this square with what Francis said, i.e. “Charity is creative in finding a proper language to communicate with all who have been considered incurable and hence untouchable. To find the just language …” and How many cures we can accomplish and transmit by learning this language of contact! .
Now once again, I don’t know about you, but it would appear that “whatever “creativity” that Francis’
“god of surprises” “charity” possesses, according to St. Paul, this “creativity” “…whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”
Here is the From Rome explanation of the
heresy error that Francis introduces:
Unfortunately, the healing of the leper by Our Lord, was not what the Pope is proposing. He was not healed by contact with another human body, or by human words; he was healed by an act of the Will and Power of God Himself, the Incarnate One, and hence the Anointed par excellence, the Christ.
And though we are all called to have the charity to help the sick and the outcast, we cannot head or love in the same manner God does. For God first loves a thing, and only then does it come into being; and when He finds moral depravity, He first wills to cure it and then the immoral person if he accepts the grace, becomes good.
We on the other hand cannot command the power of God or the grace of God or the mercy of God and apply it to whomsoever we wish, or to whichsoever category of sinner we want.
That is why Christ commanded the Apostles to preach, first, faith and penance, then to lay hands upon those who believed.
This point needs to be emphasized. There is absolutely no case in the entire Gospel where a non-believer was cured by Our Lord.
This point needs more emphasis. There is absolutely no case in all of Scripture where God has revealed, said, promised or declared that He has any desire to heal or cure the impenitent.
Now, one possible explanation for Francis making this “rookie mistake (?)” could be related to that provided by Mr. Jack Tollers in his essay titled “Who is Pope Francis”, when he writes (see here):
Take Bergoglio, for example. His studies amount to nothing substantial. The Jesuits over here have no professors worthy of the name, the subjects were tossed about in an un-scholarly manner, the philosophy would never be properly taught (and, it would only be crassly digested Suárez in the best of cases). The theology seats had been all but captured by badly trained Jesuits who were prone to repeat the last of Teilhard’s work, or Rahner’s, when not divulging the Liberation Theology’s tenets (the Nouvelle Theologie never made it over here, few people could read French or German, and St. Thomas was all but perfectly ignored).
Yep, sounds just like a “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” to use St. Paul’s metaphor.
That’s the ticket!
Which leaves me with an observation. What are the odds that Francis made “charity” the theme of his homily, most likely not being cognizant of the fact that he is delivering that homily on Quinquagesima Sunday, or the Sunday when the proper reading is devoted to real Charity?
I will leave you, dear reader to answer this question.
However, I continuously keep having this recurring though, namely: I wonder if this could be another instance when real “God of surprises”, i.e. Holy Spirit did a little “lio” on Francis.