Friday, October 19, 2012

Gifts and avarice...

'They all love gifts and allow themselves to be carried away by retributions...'

I searched for a story I read last week about a Cardinal, or a Bishop refusing a gift, or an honor from a gay group or charity.  I can't recall the details - my apologies to those who want proof, links, and scholarship with everything I post or write.  (Found a link to the story - it was Cardinal Woelki )

The story doesn't make much difference - to me at least, nor does the source of the gift or honor matter as far as I'm concerned.  I'm only mentioning the incident to say that it seems to me, it would be better for all Cardinals and Bishops to refuse gifts and honors from any group or institution, be it Catholic or non-Catholic, gay, straight, political, whatever.

I'm currently re-reading Archbishop Weakland's memoirs, and he writes about honors and awards and bishoprics and such things as rewards or even punishments.  This may help explain why I think it is better to refuse, or at least be vigilant about such potentially corrupting influences and favors from outside sources and special interest groups. 

Yet here's another thought, albeit off topic:  What if Weakland had the humility to have refused the position of Archbishop of Milwaukee?

Anyway, once again I'll refer you to what John of the Cross had to say about such things:
"If a man gives way to concupiscence or joy about temporal goods, his sanctity and keen interest will be insufficient to prevent this injury. (Blunting of the mind in relation to God, darkening of God's goods, etc.) God therefore warned us through Moses: 'Do not receive gifts that blind even the prudent.' [Ex. 23:8] This admonition was directed toward those who were to be judges, since their judgement must be clear and alert, which would not be the case if they were to covet and rejoice in gifts.

Similarly God commanded Moses to appoint as judges those who abhorred avarice, that their judgement would not be blunted by gratification of the passions. He speaks not merely of a lack of desire but of the abhorrence of avarice. (...)
'They all love gifts and allow themselves to be carried away by retributions, and they do not judge the orphan, and the widow's cause does not come to them and their attention.' [Is. 1:23]" - Ascent Bk III, Ch. 19: 4,6

Even bloggers can be bought. 


  1. "Even bloggers can be bought."

    What's been your best offer? I haven't had one yet.

    1. I haven't had one yet that attracted me. ;)


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