Loving your enemies and turning the other cheek. I'm finding this very difficult
#1
I don't know about other people, but the New World Order gets me down. I find being angry and vindictive much easier than being loving and forgiving. One day, I was talking to a co-student of mine from Russia who surprised me by saying: "No, you are actually a good guy, in Russia, we speak of more brutal things." I was really surprised by his comments. I told him: "well, ok, but I don't feel like a good guy."

Do you think "turning the other cheek" and "loving your enemies" means handling the current dilemma by the example of Christ on the cross, or do think this means one's personal enemies, who are fellow Christians, and that we should be tolerant and patient with them as such to keep our Catholic Church a house undivided? In other words, do you think the more militant crusaders were rightly defending and defeating potential enemies and as such, were not violating "turning the other cheek"  or "loving our enemies?"

I mean, we have jails, we have punishments and we have laws. If the government enacts laws that are either blasphemous and/or socially disasterous, (I think birth control and divorce qualify) and some one says to you "judge not" or "God is a God of forgiveness" what does a Catholic do? How about a Freemason as a "representative" or a Moslem or a Jew?

The more that I think about it, I think Christ said a house divided cannot stand. The privatized, separation of church and state, "you mow the lawn and pay your taxes and I don't care what you do" Protestant mentality seems very shallow. I think what the Bible is referring to is brother and sister Christians who have offended us, but I also can see the other side.

What do you think? Can you direct me to Saints or Doctors who have spoken of this?   
Reply
#2
If this was concrete, then it would be impossible to have a police department in a Catholic country.  As far as not judging, I don't judge anyone.  But I will judge his actions. 

Russians are very interesting people.  They are somewhat like Jews.  Very sober, serious people, with a lot of negativity that is rather entertaining.  That is the men.  The Russian women are really twisted.  Granted this is an overall generalization.
Reply
#3
You're confusing "turning the other cheek" with confronting problems and wrongs.

When someone personally acts against you, you are to turn the other cheek and forgive them.  That doesn't mean you don't stand up for the Church or fight for what is right.

The modern mindset is to say that telling someone their religion is false is a sin of sorts.  It is not.  It may not be prudent to bring it up, and that is a valid reason, but to avoid bringing it up under the guise of "turning the other cheek" is to confuse the meaning.

Further, God forgives the penitent.  You have to say - and mean - that you're sorry.  If someone doesn't believe that they are doing wrong, or doesn't repent, they won't be forgiven.  So someone who gives up the Faith because the Prot mega-church gives free daycare is in the soup.  I won't say that God will not forgive them, but I will say it is a precarious position to be in.

So, to summarize, we turn the other cheek when someone wrongs us.  We try to forgive and do the right thing no matter what others do.  We don't see revenge, and we try to bear the cross of injustice as much as is reasonable and prudent.

But when someone attacks the Church, or an innocent needs to be defended, or we see someone doing something wrong, that is much, much different.

As far as the Crusades go, much of that was the defending of the innocent as the Muslims violently took over Christian lands.  They weren't being killed because they were the wrong religion, but rather in response to their violent actions and persecution of Christians; and IMO that response would be justified even if they were fellow Catholics.

And as far as representatives of other religions go, we shouldn't revolt if that's what you mean.  But we should strive for a Catholic government by peaceable and legal means in every country.  The best way to do that in the US is to convert people to the Faith, then when the electorate is made up of faithful Catholics instead of Obama-justifiers, good Catholics will be elected and the laws will legally be changed.  Converting one's fellow man to the Faith is the best and most long-lasting way to change things on the political scale anyhow.  Having Catholics in government while the country is filled with people who think sinful behavior is OK, including apostate Catholics, is just putting lipstick on a pig.
Reply
#4
(05-21-2010, 05:00 PM)James02 Wrote: Russians are very interesting people.  They are somewhat like Jews.  Very sober, serious people, with a lot of negativity that is rather entertaining.  That is the men.  The Russian women are really twisted.  Granted this is an overall generalization.

I like the Russian people and culture very much.  They are very down to earth, common sense, hard working, etc.  They have a long and beautiful heritage they can be proud of, except for the Communism fiasco.

Their government, on the other hand, is of the devil.
Reply
#5
(05-21-2010, 05:00 PM)James02 Wrote: If this was concrete, then it would be impossible to have a police department in a Catholic country.  As far as not judging, I don't judge anyone.  But I will judge his actions. 

Russians are very interesting people.  They are somewhat like Jews.  Very sober, serious people, with a lot of negativity that is rather entertaining.  That is the men.  The Russian women are really twisted.  Granted this is an overall generalization.

Hmmm. The last Russian I worked with was about 27 and lived in his mom's basement. He desperately sought the legalization of prostitution and drugs, and he couldn't live without his alcohol. His life dream was to die as the driver of a car full of gasoline colliding at full speed into a police station. He was hoping for a glorious explosion.
Reply
#6
mistman Wrote:What do you think? Can you direct me to Saints or Doctors who have spoken of this?   


"Only the person who becomes irate without reason, sins. Whoever becomes irate for a just reason is not guilty. Because, if ire were lacking, the science of God would not progress, judgments would not be sound, and crimes would not be repressed. Further, the person who does not become irate when he has cause to be, sins. For an unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices: it fosters negligence, and stimulates not only the wicked, but above all the good, to do wrong."


- St. John Chrysostom
Reply
#7
You find it easier being angry and vindictive rather than loving and forgiving because you are fallen and a sinner like the rest of us as St. Robert Bellarmine explains:

St. Robert Bellarmine Wrote:Now, the reason why the sight of an enemy makes the blood boil in the very veins of some people is this, that they are animals who have not yet learnt to bring the motions of the inferior part of the soul, which are common both to mankind and to the brute creation, under the domain of reason; whereas spiritual men are not subject to these motions of the flesh, but know how to keep them in check; are not angry with those who have injured them, but, on the contrary, pity them, and by showing them acts of kindness strive to bring them to peace and unity.
http://www.cfpeople.org/Books/7Words/7Wordsp2.htm#T4

I like what Quis said though. We are to turn the other cheek and forgive offenses against us, but that does not mean we neglect to seek justice through just means. Similarly, love means seeking the good of the other-- his temporal, but more importantly, his spiritual good. In regards to our enemies, loving them means returning evil for good. If they curse us, we should bless them. We should pray for their salvation, feed them if they are hungry, offer fraternal correction, etc., etc. However, justice is also a good and aids in sanctification which is why, for example, it is not contrary to love to turn over a criminal to the authorities so they may execute justice.

In regards to non-Catholic rulers, St. Paul states we must be subject to them because all authority comes from God. However, any command they give that is contrary to the divine or natural law need not be obeyed, since the ruler would have exceeded the authority given him by God.

Anyway, here's a few more Doctors of the Church on the issues of anger, judgment, compassion, etc.

(05-22-2010, 03:27 AM)Joshua Wrote:
"Only the person who becomes irate without reason, sins. Whoever becomes irate for a just reason is not guilty. Because, if ire were lacking, the science of God would not progress, judgments would not be sound, and crimes would not be repressed. Further, the person who does not become irate when he has cause to be, sins. For an unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices: it fosters negligence, and stimulates not only the wicked, but above all the good, to do wrong."


- St. John Chrysostom

This needs to be put into context. St. Thomas explains:

St. Thomas Wrote:Chrysostom [Hom. xi in Matth. in the Opus Imperfectum, falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] says: "He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins. For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but even the good to do wrong."

Anger may be understood in two ways. On one way, as a simple movement of the will, whereby one inflicts punishment, not through passion, but in virtue of a judgment of the reason: and thus without doubt lack of anger is a sin. This is the sense in which anger is taken in the saying of Chrysostom, for he says (Hom. xi in Matth., in the Opus Imperfectum, falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom): "Anger, when it has a cause, is not anger but judgment.
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3158.htm

Furthermore, St. Thomas explains when this kind of judgment is lawful:

St. Thomas Wrote:Judgment is lawful in so far as it is an act  of justice. Now it follows from what has been stated above (1, ad 1,3) that three conditions are requisite for a judgment to be an act  of justice: first, that it proceed from the inclination of justice; secondly, that it come from one who is in authority; thirdly, that it be pronounced according to the right ruling of prudence. If any one of these be lacking, the judgment  will be faulty and unlawful.
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3060.htm

So, basically, the quote attributed to St. John Chrysostom applies to those with the authority to judge and execute justice, such as a temporal ruler, religious superior, parent, etc.

(both these entire sections, on anger and judgment, are very good read on these topics)

In general, however, harboring anger can destroy one's own soul. If we read about various sins and whatnot, and we just get all ticked off at the sinners, it really doesn't do any good.

St Ephrem Wrote:If you are angry  against your neighbour, you are angry against God; and if you bear anger in your heart, against your Lord is your boldness uplifted. If in envy  you rebuke, wicked  is all your reproof. But if charity dwell in you, you have on earth no enemy. And if you are a true son of peace, you will stir up wrath  in no man. If you are just and upright, you will not do wrong to your fellow. And if you love to be angry, be angry along with the wicked and it will become you; if to wage war you seek, lo! Satan is your adversary; if you desire to revile, against the demons display your curses. If you should insult the King's image, you shall pay the penalty of murder; and if you revile a man, you revile the image of God. Do honour to your neighbour, and lo! You have honoured God. But if you would dishonour Him, in wrath assail your neighbour!
----
You have a spiritual nature; the soul is the image of the Creator; honour the image of God, by being in agreement with all men. Remember death, and be not angry, that your peace be not of constraint. As long as your life remains to you, cleanse your soul  from wrath; for if it should go to Sheol with you, your road will be straight to Gehenna. Keep not anger in your heart; hold not fury in your soul; you have not power over your soul, save to do that which is good. You are bought with the blood of God;  you are redeemed by the passion  of Christ; for your sake He suffered death, that you might die to your sins. His face endured spitting, that you might not shrink from scorn. Vinegar  and gall did He drink, that you might be set apart from wrath. He received stripes on His body, that you might not fear suffering. If you are in truth  His servant, fear  your holy Lord; if you are His true  disciple, walk in your Master's footsteps. Endure  scorn from your brother, that you may be the companion of Christ. Display  not anger against man, that you be not set apart from your Redeemer.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3707.htm

Again, being scandalized and judgmental of sinners in the wrong sense rather than having compassion for them can be harmful to our own soul:

St. Catherine of Sienas Dialogue Wrote:(this is God the Father speaking] And not only in the case of good, but even when he sees something evidently sinful, he does not fall into judgment, but rather into true and holy compassion, interceding with Me for sinners and saying, with perfect humility: 'To-day it is your turn, and tomorrow it will be mine unless the Divine Grace preserve me.'.....Another thing is necessary for you to arrive at this union and purity, namely, that you should never judge the will of man in anything that you may see done or said by any creature whatsoever, either to yourself or to others. My will alone should you consider, both in them and in yourself. And, if you should see evident sins or defects, draw out of those thorns the rose, that is to say, offer them to Me, with holy compassion. In the case of injuries done to yourself, judge that My will permits this in order to prove virtue in yourself, and in My other servants, esteeming that he who acts thus does so as the instrument of My will; perceiving, moreover, that such apparent sinners may frequently have a good intention, for no one can judge the secrets of the heart of man. That which you do not see you should not judge in your mind, even though it may externally be open mortal sin, seeing nothing in others, but My will, not in order to judge, but, as has been said, with holy compassion. In this way you will arrive at perfect purity, because acting thus, your mind will not be scandalized, either in Me or in your neighbor. Otherwise you fall into contempt of your neighbor, if you judge his evil will towards you, instead of My will acting in him. Such contempt and scandal separates the soul from Me, and prevents perfection, and, in some cases, deprives a man of grace, more or less according to the gravity of his contempt, and the hatred which his judgment has conceived against his neighbor.
http://www.ewtn.com/library/SOURCES/CATHDIAL.HTM


I think St. Bernard explains best the proper balance we must have. First, if we do not feel compassion for sinners, it means we have no knowledge of our own sins and that our own heart has become so hardened by sin that even our humanity is lacking! But at the same time we must have a zeal for justice and righteousness that comes from our desire not to see Our Lord offended, but rather loved.

St. Bernard Wrote:If any man, conscious of his own sins, refuses to be angry when he sees a fellowman committing an offence, but instead approaches him with a love and sympathy that comfort him like the sweetest balsam, here is something whose source we know, about which you have already heard, but perhaps without grasping its significance. What I said is, when a man reflects on his own conduct he ought to feel impelled to be gentle with all. Following the wise counsel of St Paul, he must learn to love those who are caught in habits of sin, not forgetting that he himself is open to temptation. Is it not in this very thing that love of neighbor is rooted, as the commandment reveals: You must love your neighbor as yourself"?....Where human nature has not been perverted by sin it possesses this pleasant balsam that induces compassionate tenderness toward sinners and not an angry severity.
----
Like one who has divested himself entirely of that humanity by which he would wish others to assist him in time of need, he himself will not assist them in their need. He who bears the name of man judges, spurns, ridicules other men; the guilty one condemns the sinners, failing to consider himself lest he himself be tempted. As I have pointed out, nature can never shake off this evil by its own strength, nor regain the oil of innate kindness once it has been destroyed. But what nature cannot do, grace can. And therefore the man on whom the merciful unction of the Holy Spirit deigns to pour out again the grace of its gentleness, will be immediately restored to a truly human condition, and will obtain from grace gifts far greater than nature could bestow. In his faith and gentleness it will make him holy and will endow him with something more than oil, with balsam in the vineyards of En-gedi.
----
For if you love the Lord Jesus with all your heart, all your mind, all your strength, can you see him endure injuries and contempt and keep a quiet mind? Surely not. Carried away by a burning ardor for justice, “like a hero fighting-mad with wine," with the resolute zeal of Phinehas, you would say with David: "My zeal consumes me because my foes forget your words;" or with the Lord: "Zeal for your house devours me.'' The wine then is that burning zeal pressed from the grape-cluster of Cyprus: the love of Christ - a cup that intoxicates. Again, "our God is a consuming fire," and when the Prophet feels inflamed with divine love he describes it as a fire sent from heaven into his bones. So when fraternal love gives you gentleness like oil, and divine love inspires you with zeal like wine, you may feel secure in your purpose to heal the wounds of the man who fell among brigands, you are equipped for the work of the good Samaritan. You may repeat, too, with the assurance of the bride: "My beloved is to me a cluster of grapes of Cyprus among the vines of En-gedi;" meaning that the fraternal love that I exercise, my zeal for righteousness, is the fruit of my beloved's love in me.
http://www.pathsoflove.com/bernard/songo...mon44.html
Reply
#8
(05-21-2010, 05:02 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: And as far as representatives of other religions go, we shouldn't revolt if that's what you mean.  But we should strive for a Catholic government by peaceable and legal means in every country.  The best way to do that in the US is to convert people to the Faith, ...  Converting one's fellow man to the Faith is the best and most long-lasting way to change things on the political scale anyhow.

:thumb:
Reply
#9
SaintSebastian Wrote:This needs to be put into context. St. Thomas explains:

St. Thomas Wrote:Chrysostom [Hom. xi in Matth. in the Opus Imperfectum, falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] says: "He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins. For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but even the good to do wrong."

Anger may be understood in two ways. On one way, as a simple movement of the will, whereby one inflicts punishment, not through passion, but in virtue of a judgment of the reason: and thus without doubt lack of anger is a sin. This is the sense in which anger is taken in the saying of Chrysostom, for he says (Hom. xi in Matth., in the Opus Imperfectum, falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom): "Anger, when it has a cause, is not anger but judgment.
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3158.htm

Yes this is indeed the context, however the judgment by virtue of reason spoken of by Aquinas here is not equivalent to the judgement by virtue of office (authority) that you go on to speak of. The capacity to judge and act upon judgments that are deduced from right reason is a fundamental exercise of a right-ordered conscience and will present (at least potentially) in every man.

St. Thomas Wrote:Since, however, every man, for as much as he is rational, has a share in ruling according to the judgment of reason, he is proportionately competent to have prudence.

Man is master of his actions through the judgment of his reason, wherefore as to the movements that forestall that judgment, it is not in man's power to prevent them as a whole, i.e. so that none of them arise, although his reason is able to check each one, if it arise.

Anger (when righteous) is, hence, nothing more than a movement of the will and a manifestation of our judgment of right-ordered reason that is, as Aquinas states, of the domain of all men.

Aquinas even goes as far as to say that being devoid of an inclination to righteous anger is a sign of spiritual lethargy and can be considered a vice insofar as it indicative of an atrophied will.

St. Thomas Wrote:Hence the movement of anger in the sensitive appetite cannot be lacking altogether, unless the movement of the will be altogether lacking or weak. Consequently lack of the passion of anger is also a vice, even as the lack of movement in the will directed to punishment by the judgment of reason.

In Corde Regis Christi,
Joshua
Reply
#10
Joshua, I figured that's what you probably meant (I should have said so in my post), but I thought it was good to clarify because it seemed mistman was worried more about a tendency toward a vindictive anger which wasn't spurring him on to any kind of righteous action, but which left him simply stewing, embittered, entertaining vengeful feelings, and complaining. That quote alone left open the question as to what is a good reason for righteous anger which St. Thomas answers.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)