Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

— James 1:27

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Verse of the Day

  1. Widows and orphans… hmm… I’ve been divorced for 34 years, raised three children alone, always had them in church, lived it at home, and now, by the grace of God they are all walking with Christ, but I was an aberration, and so are they. The Church needs to be its BEST critic, and the truth is, the Church is failing miserably to take care of the widows and orphans, because the widows and orphans aren’t just women whose husbands have died and children in an orphanage. The single women raising children alone and the children living with one parent because the other has left are also “the widows and orphans.” Single/divorced/widowed women with or without children are falling through the cracks, because some don’t want to have to deal with them and some just outright judge them for the mistakes they might have made. The Church doesn’t really believe that “all sins are the same in the eyes of God” and/or “However you judge, you shall be judged.” The Church just doesn’t know what to do with us. Pity, because they’re really missing out.

    Like

    1. Hi Sara, Thanks so much for a very poignant insight.

      You do a really good job of drawing out the content of this verse.

      The verse is not to be read in a way devoiding it of its spirit of meaning.

      Much like when Jesus speaks about the poor. It’s not about then dissecting the poor as “Good Poor” or “Bad Poor”.

      It’s about going deeper in the subject and learning how to better help.

      I recently was involved in a meeting of prisoner fellowship through the Jesuits and I was told to stop thinking about “helping” or “volunteering”.

      That I was there just as another person and as a friend. That “my hearts liberation was tied up with the liberation of anothers heart”.

      That even if there were no prisoners there we would have the same meeting because it was a fellowship of friends.

      I would say though that we have to be balanced in our criticism.

      It’s true we have such a long way to go in the process of being the true salt of the earth and learning how to love with a love that goes all the way to giving up oneself and its attachments yet I think we can rejoice that there is a lot helping people in varied situations.

      We Christians have some of the single best charities on the face of this planet that devout the largest percentage to the actual work versus saleries and pay. People believe, they really do.

      We operate food kitchens all across the world.

      We operate non profit schools in the inner cities to help with getting kids out of gang culture. Even just reading to young kids.

      We operate prisoner fellowships both inside and out.

      The list goes on and on.

      Your right we have a super long way to go and like you said we have to combat a climiate that views people as “Other”. This is a human tendency and it’s by going past oneself in the idea of selfless service that it gets overtaken.

      Maybe you are being called to help those who like you could have used a different kind of “aide”.

      That needed friendship and companionship and support.

      Maybe you are one that is called to do what has been done in other places for the exact reasons you noted 🙂

      Thanks again for such a wonderful reply. I think it’s replies like this that help keep us all on our toes. Like you said we need to be our own best critics. Always pushing ourselves, always over turning all the stones, and always saying “Hey what about this!” “Are we royally screwing up here?!”

      But we also have to balance that with what good we are doing and have hope because of a spirit of what has been done and what will be done 🙂 So that we don’t go into the groove of hopelessness and and fiery anger that a lot of our brothers and sisters get consumned in never actually helping.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right, it is about balance. I’ve observed living in the South for 10 years out of my 70, that the culture of areas have a lot to do with how readily people are accepted into the community of believers. In the Episcopal Church of the Central Gulf Coast, I never once experienced anything but total acceptance of my singleness. The same was true of the Church of God (Cleveland Tenn) that my children and I attended for several years in Birmingham. However, and I don’t like to admit it because of being from the North, in every one of the denominations that I attended for several months before moving on, single and divorced people were not warmly welcomed into the community. I ended up in a church my ex-husband and I helped start in the late 70s and have found a wonderful community of believers in the Friends Church (Quaker), the denomination in which I was raised. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

        Like

      2. Thank you Sara for sharing 🙂 It is witnesses like yours that help bring awareness, and with that awareness positive developments.

        I am so glad you found a place of worship that you can feel comfortable in.

        I myself have found a really wonderful Marian center to volunteer with (It’s an outreach of the Madonna House Apostolate based out of Canada).

        If you ever told me I would be working in a soup kitchen of the Catholic faith and loving ever minute of it I’d call you crazy 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ryken, Thanks for visiting the blog!

      The answer to that is probably quite long as it draws on a lot of themes from scripture in short form one can probably gather some insight by passages like:

      Galatians 5:22-23

      But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

      James 3:17-18

      But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

      In general the Sermon on the Mount kind of sums it up. A loving heart filled with the virtue of charity is part of the purity God is looking for.

      Maybe a good post for me to do in the future 🙂

      Like

  2. So to keep myself unpolluted from the world I should have a loving heart filled with charity? But what about 1st John 1:15, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the father is not in them.”? How do I reconcile your idea and that bible verse?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi again Ryken,

    I am not sure how familiar you are with scripture or christian tradition but within the scriptures “The world” usually refers to the lower ways humans can live and interact with each other.

    Love of things, trying to isolate yourself from the pain of others, objectifying people.

    Simply I would describe it as the opposite of self-giving love.

    Since replies on a wordpress blog are somewhat limited I would recommend meeting with different pastors or theologians.

    Also continue your studies in an independent manner. The big thing is to draw out the content of your own life and the fullness of yourself rather than ever limit it down.

    And remember to love. Intrinsically you know what it means to love and share in a very deep and personal moment with another and the communion/healing that can bring.

    That would be considered the mission of the church. For however many faults we have.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s