However, in the midst of this one usual commenter, Small Town Guy, a retired Catholic who has found his Christian faith outside the Catholic Church, responded in a most unusual way, critical of the Catholic Church, which was neither germane to the picture that was at the root of the post, nor to the grief of Lina.
Enter into this fray, that never existed, your faithful (though not too bright) servant, on white charger, with sword drawn. Did I offer any encouragement to Lina in her time of need? Not this bozo. No, I set out to skewer Small Town Guy over his perfidy, in a perfidy for perfidy peeing contest that will undoubtedly never end well. Basically, we left Lina at the side of the road, wounded and battered by the challenges of her life.
Then, of course, we have yesterday's Gospel reading of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37. The priest and the Levite cross the road to avoid the opportunity to minister to the injured man, just life STG and I skipped by Lina and carried on our own debate.
I felt the conviction of that sinfulness on my part for the rest of the day. Then, this morning, it was in my face again, as I awoke pondering on what I had participated in, and what opportunity I had missed to show compassion to one in need.
So, I went to morning prayer with my prayer partners, and in the midst of the Liturgy of the Hours for Morning prayer was the verses of James 2:12-17.
So speak and so act as people who will be judged by the law of freedom. For the judgment is merciless to one who has not shown mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.We paused in our prayers, as I shared what I had done, with my brothers, and how God was speaking to me about my own sinfulness. I had not even told Lina to "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well." We ignored her call for help completely, so intent on being right about the Church teachings.
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.
This morning in a comment post, I asked Lina to forgive me for ignoring her need, in order to pursue my own selfish agenda.
Having urged Lina to take captive her thoughts during this trial that she is undergoing, I would do well to heed my own advice, and do so with my own thoughts.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in your love for Lina and her son, for Small Town Guy, Lady Janus, and Father Tim Moyle, and all readers of his blog.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, fill us with your blood.