A Word of Caution
Updated. This site is not about me. As I described in About, the purpose of this site is twofold. First, I wish to explore and try to understand the intersection of politics, religion and culture – what many refer to as the public square. Second, I would like to share my perspective with you. It is my hope that this site will supplement information you already have and aid you in your quest.
But make no mistake; we are all on a quest together. This site however, and other online sources and social networking sites for that matter, is not meant to be a substitute for community. Please take what you learn online and process it through your lived experience in your community. The danger of being “connected”, that is to say the ethical implication of being too attached to the world online is that we become disconnected to any sense of accountability to and responsibility for our local community.
So read blog posts, engage the online world, instagram and tweet away, but never lose your connection to the community right in front of you.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?
So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called “the friend of God.”
See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route?
For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
If you need help finding a community, check out masstimes.org. It’s a great resource to help you find a Catholic church anywhere in the world. Catholics are people of community, so find a church and you find a community.
Many thanks to my coworker, Marty, who got me thinking about this topic, and to Dr. Dan O’Brien of Ascension Health whose recent lecture, “Diverging Roads: Cultural and Political Trends Impact on Catholic Healthcare,” drove the point home.
Revised: May 8, 2017