Thursday, April 16, 2015

We Must Obey God Rather Than Men

The antipathy of the current administration to all things Christian makes todays readings and commentary particularly appropriate. (See yesterday's post.)

The first reading, Acts 5:27-33, describes the questioning of the Apostles by the Sanhedrin. They say, "We gave you strict orders, did we not, to stop teaching in that name?" To which the Apostles respond, "We must obey God rather than men."

And from the Gospel, John 3:31-36, "The ONE WHO comes from above is above all." Amen.

I can't say enough good things about the series In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez. (Not to be confused with another title, Conversations with God, which I do NOT recommend.) Fernandez' series is like daily spiritual direction based on the reading of the day.  It's WONDERFUL!!!  It's orthodox, insightful, and intelligent.  I've never been disappointed with a single day's meditation.

Today's Commentary is from Volume Two: Lent and Eastertide.

Fernandez writes:
     The fortitude and conviction of the first Christians is what Our Lord is also asking from his followers today, when, in certain environments, there breathes a climate of indifference or even direct attack, more or less veiled, on true human and Christian values.
This volume was first published in 1987. Today the attacks are unveiled and even come from our own government. (See yesterday's post.)
     The effective protection of fundamental individual rights, the right to life from the very moment of conception, the protection of marriage and the family, equality of opportunities in education and in work, freedom of education and of speech, religious freedom, personal security, contribution to world peace, all form part of the common good for which Christians should be prepared to fight.
     Passivity in the face of such important affairs would really be a lamentable error and omission-- at times grave-- of the duty to contribute to the common good.
Well.... that got my attention.  He goes on...
     One cannot praise a political action or social regulation or work of art when it becomes transformed into an instrument for evil.  It is a question of strict morality and therefore of common sense.  Who would praise an insult to his own mother just because it was composed in verse which had perfect rhythm?
Indeed.  In reference to abortion and other "abominable crimes," Fernandez writes:
Whatever little each person is able to do, he should do it, especially should he be in public life....It lies in the hands of everybody, of each individual, provided he acts with supernatural outlook and with common sense, to make this world which God has given us to live in, into a more human place and a means of sanctification.  If we strive to fulfill our social duties, whether we live in a big city or in a little out-of-the-way village, with an important job in society or a lowly one, even though we may think our contribution is tiny, we shall be faithful to Our Lord.
We must speak the truth courageously, send the emails, make the phone calls, sign the petitions, and pray, pray, pray.

Come Holy Spirit.

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