Monday, June 17, 2002

There are days, like today, when I feel that repentant sinners are so much more fun than saints. I'm glad that my Church is filled with them. I want to live and thrive in a world of adults... A world where men are virile and women are enduring. I like being a grown-up and I love living Catholic.

Catholics live in a world of sin, and suffering and human degradation. We love sinners and hate sins. We know the true value of tolerance - that it "cannot be neutral about what is good, for its purpose is to guard goods and avert evils.... [We know] the real reason that we sometimes tolerate evils or put up with injuries to good: We do it to prevent graver evils, or to advance greater goods."

Catholics do what we might to transform our battered world. We do it knowing that our best efforts will always fall short of the goal. We acknowledge that we walk, in exile, through a "valley of tears". We do not and we will not rest in the "shadow of the valley of death."

Catholics endlessly strive to build a society based on Caritas which is "humble charity". We "realistically will the real good (which..[ none of us] may yet recognize) of the other as other. [We] seeks the real as lungs crave air...[we] are ready to follow evidence."

"An almost infallible sign of the presence of caritas is the steady exercise of realistic judgment. A civilization of caritas is a civilization acutely aware of, and provident for, human sinfulness. To ask too much of human beings in service to caritas is not fair to them; it is to fall short of caritas...The perfect must not be allowed to become the enemy of the good. The economics of caritas is realistic, not utopian"

Catholics fall down and with the help of the Church, we get up... Again, ...and again, ...and again. We know the justice of God through His Mercy.

Catholics are a nation of people who remain always open to suffering in service to each other. Like our Savior Himself, we are permanently and deliberately vulnerable to heartbreak, knowing that time and time again the 'heart must be broken so that it can be remade'. We live, even in our degradation, as a light to the nations.


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