Why the Poor?
#11
(12-01-2011, 07:45 PM)Pilgrim Wrote:
(12-01-2011, 06:58 PM)Habitual_Ritual Wrote:
(12-01-2011, 05:07 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: Many during the time of Christ believed there was a relation between one's social standing and one's holiness.  Thus, many pharisees condemned the poor as sinners on the grounds that they were poor and thus God must hate them.  In contrary the wealthy must be loved by God because they were wealthy. 

Christ in praising the poor was shattering this type of thinking. 

And then the Lutherans resurrected this diabolical worldview...

Well, Luther had to do something to stay on the good side of those German princes.  Otherwise, he would have ended up a crispy critter...

Now let's remember that Luther only wanted to purify and reform the Church, not start his own. :eyeroll:
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#12
The produce of the earth is ultimately common to all men. We are all created with nothing--it is God who gives us all we have. Often He gives to us through others and He calls upon us, especially as the members of His incarnate Son's Mystical Body, to be His "arm," so to speak, that reaches out and distributes. He provides to us so that we may provide to others. Giving to the poor, therefore, makes the providence, charity, justice, and mercy of God visible and present in this world. Likewise, by participating in this work of God, it also conforms us to Him, which is ultimately what salvation is all about (be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect--He provides to those without, so must we).

Here's a bunch of Saint quotes from St. Robert Bellarmine's "On Dying Well" which show that what we are given by God is for the purpose of providing to others:

St. Robert Wrote:The passages from the Fathers are chiefly these: St. Basil, in his Sermon to the Rich, thus speaks: "And thou, art thou not a robber, because what thou hast received to be given away, thou supposest to be thy own?" And a little farther he continues: " Wherefore, as much as thou art able to give, so much dost thou injure the poor." And St. Ambrose, in his 81st Sermon, says: "What injustice do I commit, if, whilst I do not steal the goods of others, I keep diligently what is my own? impudent word! Dost thou say thy own ? What is this ? It is no less a crime to steal than it is not to give to the poor out of thy abundance." St. Jerome thus writes in his Epistle to Hedibias: " If you possess more than is necessary for your subsistence, give it away, and thus you will be a creditor." St. John Chrysostom says in his 34th Homily to the people of Antioch: "Do you possess anything of your own ? The interest of the poor is entrusted to you, whether the estate is yours by your own just labours, or you have acquired it by inheritance." St. Augustine, in his Tract on the 147th Psalm: “Our superfluous wealth belongs to the poor; when it is not given to them, we possess what we have no right to retain.” St. Leo thus speaks: “Temporal goods are given to us by the liberality of God, and He will demand an account of them, for they were committed to us for disposal as well as possession.”

And St. Gregory, in the third part of his Pastoral Care: “Those are to be admonished, who, whilst they desire not the goods of others, do not distribute their own; that so they may carefully remember, that as the common origin of all men is from the earth, so also its produce is common to them all: in vain, then, they think themselves innocent, who appropriate to themselves the common gifts of God.” St. Bernard, in his Epistle to Henry, archbishop of Sens, saith: “It is ours, for the poor cry out for what you squander; you cruelly take away from us what you spend foolishly.” St. Thomas also writes: “The superfluous riches which many possess, by the natural law belong to the support of the poor”; and again: “The Lord requires us to give to the poor not only the tenth part, but all of our superfluous wealth.” In fine, the same author, in the fourth book of his “Sentences,” asserts that this is the common opinion of all theologians. I add also, that if one be inclined to contend that, taking the strict letter of the law, he is not bound to give his superfluous riches to the poor; he is obliged to do so, at least by the law of charity. It matters little whether we are condemned to hell through want of justice or of charity.
http://www.goodcatholicbooks.org/pdf/bel...g-well.pdf

As an aside, Social Justice, properly so-called, is a Catholic concept.

Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris Wrote:32. In this same Encyclical of Ours We have shown that the means of saving the world of today from the lamentable ruin into which a moral liberalism has plunged us, are neither the class-struggle nor terror, nor yet the autocratic abuse of State power, but rather the infusion of social justice and the sentiment of Christian love into the social-economic order. We have indicated how a sound prosperity is to be restored according to the true principles of a sane corporative system which respects the proper hierarchic structure of society; and how all the occupational groups should be fused into a harmonious unity inspired by the principle of the common good. And the genuine and chief function of public and civil authority consists precisely in the efficacious furthering of this harmony and coordination of all social forces.
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51. In reality, besides commutative justice, there is also social justice with its own set obligations, from which neither employers nor workingmen can escape. Now it is of the very essence of social justice to demand for each individual all that is necessary for the common good. But just as in the living organism it is impossible to provide for the good of the whole unless each single part and each individual member is given what it needs for the exercise of its proper functions, so it is impossible to care for the social organism and the good of society as a unit unless each single part and each individual member -- that is to say, each individual man in the dignity of his human personality -- is supplied with all that is necessary for the exercise of his social functions. If social justice be satisfied, the result will be an intense activity in economic life as a whole, pursued in tranquillity and order. This activity will be proof of the health of the social body, just as the health of the human body is recognized in the undisturbed regularity and perfect efficiency of the whole organism.

52. But social justice cannot be said to have been satisfied as long as workingmen are denied a salary that will enable them to secure proper sustenance for themselves and for their families; as long as they are denied the opportunity of acquiring a modest fortune and forestalling the plague of universal pauperism; as long as they cannot make suitable provision through public or private insurance for old age, for periods of illness and unemployment. In a word, to repeat what has been said in Our Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno: "Then only will the economic and social order be soundly established and attain its ends, when it offers, to all and to each, all those goods which the wealth and resources of nature, technical science and the corporate organization of social affairs can give. These goods should be sufficient to supply all necessities and reasonable comforts, and to uplift men to that higher standard of life which, provided it be used with prudence, is not only not a hindrance but is of singular help to virtue."[37]
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11DIVIN.HTM

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#13
(12-01-2011, 05:31 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: Three ways to look at this...

God is close to the poor, the widow and the orphan, the sick and the suffering, because they symbolize in their bodies, in their very lives, the soul's need for God. He is our food, our husband, our father, our physician, the Source of life. In reality, we are all born “poor” and in need of God's grace.

Poverty of soul, in the context of the beatitudes, means to be unattached to material things, so that God fills the soul. It means dependence on God for one's true happiness. The rich man can too easily fall into depending on his material wealth to make him happy. 

To care for the poor and less fortunate is living the second of the two great commandments: love of neighbor. Those who have more give to those who have less. As Jesus poured out his life for all of us, we should follow his example by generous giving.

This.
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#14
(12-01-2011, 06:12 PM)Tim Wrote: What the poor in spirit and the poor share in common is that the passing world does not effect them, much. If you're broke you're not scheming to make more do-re-mi, and conquer the ant hill, but turn your eyes to God for help. It affords you the time and ability to turn your attention to Him. If you're not sure of where the next meal is coming, we turn to God for help. It fosters a continuous relationship with the Lord. Of course this implies that you have faith. In a way it is complete recognition that we can do nothing without God. The poor for his next meal or a new icebox,and the poor in spirit knowing he is only steward of God's property.

tim

+1
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#15
I just remembered another reason....compassion! Duh! One of the most awesome passages in the Old Testament.

Exodus 22: 20-27 Wrote:Thus says the Lord: You shall not oppress or afflict the resident alien, for you were once aliens residing in the land of Egypt. You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry. My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans.

If you lend money to my people, the poor among you, you must not be like a money lender; you must not demand interest from them. If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, you shall return it to him before sunset; for this is his only covering; it is the cloak for his body. What will he sleep in? If he cries out to me, I will listen; for I am compassionate.
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#16
(12-03-2011, 10:36 AM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: I just remembered another reason....compassion! Duh! One of the most awesome passages in the Old Testament.

Exodus 22: 20-27 Wrote:Thus says the Lord: You shall not oppress or afflict the resident alien, for you were once aliens residing in the land of Egypt. You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry. My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans.

If you lend money to my people, the poor among you, you must not be like a money lender; you must not demand interest from them. If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, you shall return it to him before sunset; for this is his only covering; it is the cloak for his body. What will he sleep in? If he cries out to me, I will listen; for I am compassionate.

The second paragraph in Lisa's quote points out the poor are God's people, and that usury is a sin which calls out to heaven. Boy Oh boy we as in all of us do not take this usury stuff seriously enough either. If the Lord mentions the poors cloak as his only covering, what do you think He says about liar loans and then taking their houses away ? 

tim
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