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Author Topic: Some tough words from the Church Fathers.  (Read 7778 times) Average Rating: 0
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Bogoliubtsy
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« on: January 14, 2010, 01:40:00 AM »

Property is theft.
- St. Basil the Great

We who share one mind and soul obviously have no misgivings about community in property.
- Tertullian

All things belong to God, who is our Father and the father of all things. We are all of the same family; all of us are brothers. And among brothers it is best and most equal that all inherit equal portions.
- St. Gregory of Nyssa

Share everything with your brother. Do not say "it is private property." If you share what is everlasting, you should be willing to share that much more the things that do not last.
- the Didache

Give a loaf of bread yourself; someone else can give a cup of wine, and another clothes. In this way one man's property is relieved by your joint effort.
- St. Gregory of Nyssa

The rich take what belongs to everyone, and claim that they have the right to own it, to monopolize it.
- St. Basil the Great

I am criticized often for my continual attacks on the rich. Yes: because the rich continually attack the poor.
– St. John Chrysostom

You a have thousand excuses for robbing your brother. “His house stands in my light,” you say; or “Only tramps go there.” You force them to move…
– St. John Chrysostom

It isn’t because the affluent are unable to provide food easily that men go hungry; it is because the affluent are cruel and inhuman…Every day the Church here feeds 3,000 people. Besides this, the Church daily helps provide food and clothes for prisoners, the hospitalized, pilgrims, cripples, churchmen, and others. If only ten people were willing to do this, there wouldn’t be a single poor man left in town.
– St. John Chrysostom

Those who oppress the poor must know that their sentence is heavier because of those they try to hurt. The more they press their power over these wretched lives, the more terrible their future condemnation and punishment will be.
– St. Isidore

Some think that the Old Testament is stricter than the New, but they judge wrongly; they are fooling themselves. The Old Law did not punish the desire to hold on to wealth; it punished theft. But now the rich man is not condemned for taking the property of others; rather, he is condemned for not giving his property away.
– St. Gregory the Great

You are not making a gift of what is yours to the poor man, but you are giving him back what is his. You have been appropriating things that are meant to be for the common use of everyone. The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.
- St. Ambrose

God has ordered all things to be produced so that there should be food in common for all, and that the earth should be the common possession of all. Nature, therefore, has produced a common right for all, but greed has made it a right for few.
- St. Ambrose

What keeps you from giving now? Isn’t the poor man there? Aren’t your own warehouses full? Isn’t the reward promised? The command is clear: the hungry man is dying now, the naked man is freezing now, the man in debt is beaten now- and you want him to wait until tomorrow? “I am not doing any harm,” you say. “I just want to keep what I own, that’s all.” Your own! ... You are like someone who sits down in a theater and keeps every one else away, saying what is there for everyone’s use is his own. … If everyone took only what he needed and gave the rest to those in need, there would be no such thing a rich and poor. After all, didn’t you come into this life naked? And won’t you return to the earth naked?
– St. Basil the Great

Who is the greedy man? One for whom plenty does not suffice. Who defrauds others? One who keeps for himself what belongs to everyone. Aren’t you greedy, don’t you defraud, when you keep for yourself what was given to give away? When someone steals a man’s clothes, we call him a thief. Shouldn’t we give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not?
– St. Basil the Great

The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry person; the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to the person who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the person with no shoes; the money which you put in the bank belongs to the poor. You do wrong to everyone you could help, but fail to help.
– St. Basil the Great

You may say "words are alright; but gold is better." Talking to you is like talking to a lustful man about chastity: when one says something against him keeping a mistress, the mention of her name only goes to heat up his lust. How can I make you realize the misery of the poor? How can I make you understand that your wealth comes from their weeping?
- St. Basil the Great

The bread which the rich eat belongs to others more than them. They live on stolen goods. What they pay comes from what they have seized....You have gold dug up from mines, only to re-bury it. And how many lives are buried with it! And this wealth is kept for whom? For your heir, who waits idly to receive it....it is not the poor who are cursed, but the rich. Scripture says of the rich, not of the poor, that the man who increases the price of corn will be cursed....who is the wise man? The one who shows compassion on the poor, who sees the poor as natural members of his family.
- St. Ambrose

It is the poor who mine gold, though they are denied gold; they are forced to work for what they cannot keep.
- St. Ambrose

You have the power to save so many from death, but you do not care to do so- and the price of the ring on your hand could save the lives of a multitude!
- St. Ambrose

Wealth, which lead the men the wrong way so often, is seen less for its own qualities than for the human misery it stands for. The large rooms of which you are so proud are in fact your shame. They are big enough to hold crowds- and also big enough to shut out the voice of the poor. True, even if the voice were heard it would be ignored....the poor man cries before your house, and you pay no attention. There is your brother naked and crying! And you stand confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.
- St. Ambrose

The Lord ate from a common bowl, and asked his disciples to sit on the grass. He washed their feet with a towel wrapped around his waist- He, who is the Lord of the universe! He drank water from a jar of earthenware, with the Samaritan woman. Christ made use his aim, not extravagance.
- St. Clement

When the Son of Man comes in majesty, when he sits on the throne of glory, when all people are gathered and he divides the good from the bad, what praise will he give those on his right hand? He will praise them only for works of kindness and charity; he will hold them as done for himself. For the One who made our nature his own did not hold himself back in any way from the most simple human thing. And what curse will there be for those on his left hand? Only that they neglected love; that they were inhumanly harsh and denied mercy to the oppressed. It is though there were no other virtues with the first group, and as though there were no other sins than those of the other.
- Pope St. Leo the Great

Let us abandon luxury, we will not regret it.
- Tertullian

The price of the Kingdom is the food you give to those who need it.
- Pope St. Leo the Great

Feeding the hungry is a greater work than raising the dead.
- St. John Chrysostom

We are not to throw away things that can benefit our neighbor. Goods are called good because they can be used for good. They are instruments of good in the hands of those who use them properly.
- St. Clement

Houses of hospitality must be built for the poor in every city of every diocese.
- The Council of Nicea

Every family should have a room where Christ is welcome in the person of the hungry and thirsty stranger.
- St. John Chrysostom


Excessive spacing removed from post to make quoting of this rather long post less stressful on our bandwidth and on our readers (by request of Fr. George) -PtA
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 05:53:16 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged

"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2010, 01:53:04 AM »

Property is theft.

- St. Basil the Great

Taking your heart (your property) to the grave with you when it could be used to save the life of a brother or sister - is that theft?


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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2010, 02:02:34 AM »

I've never known a "diehard" Orthodox Christian who spends hours and hours on an Orthodox forum to have a flippant response to his own Church Fathers.

 Tell us, then, the point of choosing these particular sayings?  What lesson are you trying to impart?  Looks to me like you got called out.  Wink
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2010, 02:04:30 AM »

I've never known a "diehard" Orthodox Christian who spends hours and hours on an Orthodox forum to have a flippant response to his own Church Fathers.

 Tell us, then, the point of choosing these particular sayings?  What lesson are you trying to impart?  Looks to me like you got called out.  Wink

They are hard sayings because they relate to a much overlooked issue within the Orthodox world- the Church's relationship, and responsibility to, the poor. The point is to show, in part, the difficulty of living the Gospel and to highlight the shortcomings of the Orthodox world in this respect. If I had taken some abortion and/or sex related "hard sayings", maybe that would have gone over better.  Wink
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 02:05:19 AM by Bogoliubtsy » Logged

"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2010, 02:09:02 AM »

Taking your heart (your property) to the grave with you when it could be used to save the life of a brother or sister - is that theft?

It is a shame more people aren't organ/body donors.
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2010, 02:13:57 AM »

I've never known a "diehard" Orthodox Christian who spends hours and hours on an Orthodox forum to have a flippant response to his own Church Fathers.

 Tell us, then, the point of choosing these particular sayings?  What lesson are you trying to impart?  Looks to me like you got called out.  Wink

They are hard sayings because they relate to a much overlooked issue within the Orthodox world- the Church's relationship, and responsibility to, the poor. The point is to show, in part, the difficulty of living the Gospel and to highlight the shortcomings of the Orthodox world in this respect. If I had taken some abortion and/or sex related "hard sayings", maybe that would have gone over better.  Wink
It is "and" not "or."
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2010, 02:16:33 AM »

I've never known a "diehard" Orthodox Christian who spends hours and hours on an Orthodox forum to have a flippant response to his own Church Fathers.

 Tell us, then, the point of choosing these particular sayings?  What lesson are you trying to impart?  Looks to me like you got called out.  Wink

They are hard sayings because they relate to a much overlooked issue within the Orthodox world- the Church's relationship, and responsibility to, the poor. The point is to show, in part, the difficulty of living the Gospel and to highlight the shortcomings of the Orthodox world in this respect. If I had taken some abortion and/or sex related "hard sayings", maybe that would have gone over better.  Wink
It is "and" not "or."

Ah, yes. Now I've got your interest. Of course. The poor? Injustice? That's not your speed.
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2010, 02:20:35 AM »

The quotes were presented on this blog

http://orthodoxchristian-postmodern.blogspot.com/2010/01/christian-communism-church-fathers-on.html
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2010, 02:22:36 AM »


Yes, they were. Not my blog, but found them interesting and powerful.
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"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2010, 02:34:32 AM »



400 free soup kitchens operated by the Church and volunteers in the diocese of Moscow.
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2010, 02:40:59 AM »



400 free soup kitchens operated by the Church and volunteers in the diocese of Moscow.

Well, job done. I guess we can pack it in then.
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"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2010, 02:42:51 AM »

There is actually a lot going on that is sponsored by Orthodox Churches. Here are a few examples:

http://www.pravmir.com/article_122.html

http://holycrossonline.org/our_ministries/outreach_ministries/baltimore_city_homeless/

http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20090123/NEWS/901230321/Clients-say-Perth-Amboy-soup-kitchen-features-good-food-and-friendly-volunteers

http://saintjohnwonderworker.org/

http://www.focusnorthamerica.org/


Within the Russian Church Abroad:

The parish of Holy Transfiguration in Los Angeles collects and distributes over $20,000 per year for the homeless and needy.

St. John the Baptist Parish in Washington, D.C. distributes over $50,000 per year.

Bogoliubtsy,  If your parish is not undertaking any help for the poor, it's probably time to have a chat with your priest and the Parish Council

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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2010, 02:44:22 AM »

http://www.iocc.org/news/1-13-10haiti.aspx

IOCC Mobilizes Disaster Response for Haiti Earthquake

January 13, 2010

Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) — International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is
responding to the most devastating earthquake to hit the island nation of Haiti
in 200 years. Authorities have not put an estimate of how many were killed by
yesterday's magnitude 7.0 earthquake, but thousands are feared dead. People are
still trapped in destroyed buildings and leveled shantytowns and there is
growing concern about the lack of sanitation, water and electricity.

IOCC has mobilized its disaster response team and is coordinating with our
Orthodox and ecumenical partners to monitor and respond to the emerging needs in
Haiti. "Our prayers are with the people of Haiti who have lost loved ones in
this disaster that has brought even more suffering to one of the poorest nations
in the hemisphere," said IOCC Executive Director & CEO Constantine M.
Triantafilou. "IOCC will be working with our fellow ACT Alliance members who are
already in place to provide humanitarian aid to those affected by the
earthquake."



HELP SPEED RELIEF TO HAITI TODAY!


You can help the victims of disasters around the world, like the Haiti
Earthquake, by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency
Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support
through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to
help those in need. To make a gift, please visit www.iocc.org, call toll free at
1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box
630225, Baltimore, Md. 21263-0225.

Orthodox faithful and parishes are encouraged to begin assembling hygiene kits
and emergency clean up buckets to be shipped to Haiti. For information on
hygiene kits, click here. For information on emergency clean up buckets, click
here.

IOCC, founded in 1992 as the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing
Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has
implemented over $300 million in relief and development programs in 33 countries
around the world.


Media: Contact Amal Morcos at 410-243-9820 or (cell) 443-823-3489.
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2010, 02:46:27 AM »

^ These are great endeavors - absolutely. But, as a whole, the Church seems lacking in ministry to the poor in comparison to the emphasis given to this task by other churches. And, even if we are "doing our best", so to speak, there is always more to do in a world where the gap between obscene wealth and poverty is growing greater every day. Perhaps it's something like repentance- can we ever be satisfied and say, "we're doing enough" ?
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2010, 03:36:26 AM »

^ These are great endeavors - absolutely. But, as a whole, the Church seems lacking in ministry to the poor in comparison to the emphasis given to this task by other churches. And, even if we are "doing our best", so to speak, there is always more to do in a world where the gap between obscene wealth and poverty is growing greater every day. Perhaps it's something like repentance- can we ever be satisfied and say, "we're doing enough" ?

So 'fess up.  What are you doing in your parish?  What are you doing personally out there is the world of the needy and the desparate?   Three of our boys help out at the Catholic nuns' soup kitchen.   One of our ladies, an accountant, does the books for the Cancer Society for free - that sort of stuff.  You...?  Your parish?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 03:37:13 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2010, 03:40:26 AM »

In other words, do good works instead of slinging mud on an internet forum?
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« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2010, 04:54:12 AM »

Property is theft.

- St. Basil the Great



We who share one mind and soul obviously have no misgivings about community in property.


- Tertullian


All things belong to God, who is our Father and the father of all things. We are all of the same family; all of us are brothers. And among brothers it is best and most equal that all inherit equal portions.

- St. Gregory of Nyssa


Share everything with your brother. Do not say "it is private property." If you share what is everlasting, you should be willing to share that much more the things that do not last.


- the Didache


Give a loaf of bread yourself; someone else can give a cup of wine, and another clothes. In this way one man's property is relieved by your joint effort.

- St. Gregory of Nyssa


The rich take what belongs to everyone, and claim that they have the right to own it, to monopolize it.

- St. Basil the Great


I am criticized often for my continual attacks on the rich. Yes: because the rich continually attack the poor.


– St. John Chrysostom



You a have thousand excuses for robbing your brother. “His house stands in my light,” you say; or “Only tramps go there.” You force them to move…

– St. John Chrysostom




It isn’t because the affluent are unable to provide food easily that men go hungry; it is because the affluent are cruel and inhuman…Every day the Church here feeds 3,000 people. Besides this, the Church daily helps provide food and clothes for prisoners, the hospitalized, pilgrims, cripples, churchmen, and others. If only ten people were willing to do this, there wouldn’t be a single poor man left in town.

– St. John Chrysostom



Those who oppress the poor must know that their sentence is heavier because of those they try to hurt. The more they press their power over these wretched lives, the more terrible their future condemnation and punishment will be.


– St. Isidore



Some think that the Old Testament is stricter than the New, but they judge wrongly; they are fooling themselves. The Old Law did not punish the desire to hold on to wealth; it punished theft. But now the rich man is not condemned for taking the property of others; rather, he is condemned for not giving his property away.

– St. Gregory the Great


You are not making a gift of what is yours to the poor man, but you are giving him back what is his. You have been appropriating things that are meant to be for the common use of everyone. The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.

- St. Ambrose


God has ordered all things to be produced so that there should be food in common for all, and that the earth should be the common possession of all. Nature, therefore, has produced a common right for all, but greed has made it a right for few.

- St. Ambrose


What keeps you from giving now? Isn’t the poor man there? Aren’t your own warehouses full? Isn’t the reward promised? The command is clear: the hungry man is dying now, the naked man is freezing now, the man in debt is beaten now- and you want him to wait until tomorrow? “I am not doing any harm,” you say. “I just want to keep what I own, that’s all.” Your own! ... You are like someone who sits down in a theater and keeps every one else away, saying what is there for everyone’s use is his own. … If everyone took only what he needed and gave the rest to those in need, there would be no such thing a rich and poor. After all, didn’t you come into this life naked? And won’t you return to the earth naked?

– St. Basil the Great



Who is the greedy man? One for whom plenty does not suffice. Who defrauds others? One who keeps for himself what belongs to everyone. Aren’t you greedy, don’t you defraud, when you keep for yourself what was given to give away? When someone steals a man’s clothes, we call him a thief. Shouldn’t we give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not?

– St. Basil the Great




The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry person; the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to the person who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the person with no shoes; the money which you put in the bank belongs to the poor. You do wrong to everyone you could help, but fail to help.


– St. Basil the Great



You may say "words are alright; but gold is better." Talking to you is like talking to a lustful man about chastity: when one says something against him keeping a mistress, the mention of her name only goes to heat up his lust. How can I make you realize the misery of the poor? How can I make you understand that your wealth comes from their weeping?

- St. Basil the Great


The bread which the rich eat belongs to others more than them. They live on stolen goods. What they pay comes from what they have seized....You have gold dug up from mines, only to re-bury it. And how many lives are buried with it! And this wealth is kept for whom? For your heir, who waits idly to receive it....it is not the poor who are cursed, but the rich. Scripture says of the rich, not of the poor, that the man who increases the price of corn will be cursed....who is the wise man? The one who shows compassion on the poor, who sees the poor as natural members of his family.

- St. Ambrose


It is the poor who mine gold, though they are denied gold; they are forced to work for what they cannot keep.

- St. Ambrose


You have the power to save so many from death, but you do not care to do so- and the price of the ring on your hand could save the lives of a multitude!

- St. Ambrose


Wealth, which lead the men the wrong way so often, is seen less for its own qualities than for the human misery it stands for. The large rooms of which you are so proud are in fact your shame. They are big enough to hold crowds- and also big enough to shut out the voice of the poor. True, even if the voice were heard it would be ignored....the poor man cries before your house, and you pay no attention. There is your brother naked and crying! And you stand confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.

- St. Ambrose



The Lord ate from a common bowl, and asked his disciples to sit on the grass. He washed their feet with a towel wrapped around his waist- He, who is the Lord of the universe! He drank water from a jar of earthenware, with the Samaritan woman. Christ made use his aim, not extravagance.

- St. Clement


When the Son of Man comes in majesty, when he sits on the throne of glory, when all people are gathered and he divides the good from the bad, what praise will he give those on his right hand? He will praise them only for works of kindness and charity; he will hold them as done for himself. For the One who made our nature his own did not hold himself back in any way from the most simple human thing. And what curse will there be for those on his left hand? Only that they neglected love; that they were inhumanly harsh and denied mercy to the oppressed. It is though there were no other virtues with the first group, and as though there were no other sins than those of the other.

- Pope St. Leo the Great


Let us abandon luxury, we will not regret it.

- Tertullian


The price of the Kingdom is the food you give to those who need it.

- Pope St. Leo the Great


Feeding the hungry is a greater work than raising the dead.

- St. John Chrysostom


We are not to throw away things that can benefit our neighbor. Goods are called good because they can be used for good. They are instruments of good in the hands of those who use them properly.

- St. Clement


Houses of hospitality must be built for the poor in every city of every diocese.

- The Council of Nicea


Every family should have a room where Christ is welcome in the person of the hungry and thirsty stranger.

- St. John Chrysostom

Thank you for these great quotes!

I am reminded of Blessed Augustine, who wrote: "The King asked the pirate, 'What is your idea in infesting the sea?' To which the priate replied, 'The same idea as you. But because you do it with a mighty fleet, they call you a king. I do it with a small boat, and therefore I am called a thief.'"

I also like Dorothy Day's comment: "If you feed the poor, they call you a saint. If you ask why they are poor, they call you a communist."

But above all, I meditate upon what Our Lady the Virgin Mariyam prophesied:

"His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty." [St. Luke 2:50-53]

Marxism is a demonic plagiarizing of the Gospels, stripped of their spritual substance and power. That is why all the humanistic efforts of Marx, Mao, and their ilk have failed; but the prophetic utterances of Our Lady shall surely be fullfilled.

Selam
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 04:55:33 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2010, 05:03:28 AM »


Property is theft.

- St. Basil the Great



We who share one mind and soul obviously have no misgivings about community in property.


- Tertullian


All things belong to God, who is our Father and the father of all things. We are all of the same family; all of us are brothers. And among brothers it is best and most equal that all inherit equal portions.

- St. Gregory of Nyssa


Share everything with your brother. Do not say "it is private property." If you share what is everlasting, you should be willing to share that much more the things that do not last.


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« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2010, 05:04:25 AM »


I've never known a "diehard" Orthodox Christian who spends hours and hours on an Orthodox forum to have a flippant response to his own Church Fathers.

 laugh
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« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2010, 05:05:55 AM »

Property is theft.

- St. Basil the Great

Taking your heart (your property) to the grave with you when it could be used to save the life of a brother or sister - is that theft?




One is part of one's subsistence. One is not. The question is a poor one because it doesn't realize this key difference.
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« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2010, 05:06:48 AM »

I've never known a "diehard" Orthodox Christian who spends hours and hours on an Orthodox forum to have a flippant response to his own Church Fathers.
Not to the Fathers. Just to their misuse.

They're not being misused. The quotes make it abundantly clear that the Fathers were far more Socialist than you would like to admit.
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« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2010, 06:44:51 AM »

Property is theft.

- St. Basil the Great

Taking your heart (your property) to the grave with you when it could be used to save the life of a brother or sister - is that theft?

One is part of one's subsistence. One is not. The question is a poor one because it doesn't realize this key difference.

It has not been taken into account that with the departure of the soul from the body organs cease to be part of one's subsistence.  They are dead and already beginning the process of decay.
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« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2010, 06:55:03 AM »

^ These are great endeavors - absolutely. But, as a whole, the Church seems lacking in ministry to the poor in comparison to the emphasis given to this task by other churches.

In whose estimation?  Yours? Somehow I doubt the Church, or anything in lock step with your little world view, will ever measure up to your yardstick.  But I guess the Church and the universe will just have to go on....

Quote
And, even if we are "doing our best", so to speak, there is always more to do in a world where the gap between obscene wealth and poverty is growing greater every day. Perhaps it's something like repentance- can we ever be satisfied and say, "we're doing enough" ?

No one, except you, is saying (or rather accusing) "we have done enough."
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« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2010, 06:55:10 AM »

Property is theft.

- St. Basil the Great

Taking your heart (your property) to the grave with you when it could be used to save the life of a brother or sister - is that theft?

One is part of one's subsistence. One is not. The question is a poor one because it doesn't realize this key difference.

It has not been taken into account that with the departure of the soul from the body organs cease to be part of one's subsistence.  They are dead and already beginning the process of decay.

Such a notion seems to render the veneration of relics preposterous.
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« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2010, 07:10:52 AM »

^ These are great endeavors - absolutely. But, as a whole, the Church seems lacking in ministry to the poor in comparison to the emphasis given to this task by other churches. And, even if we are "doing our best", so to speak, there is always more to do in a world where the gap between obscene wealth and poverty is growing greater every day. Perhaps it's something like repentance- can we ever be satisfied and say, "we're doing enough" ?

So 'fess up.  What are you doing in your parish?  What are you doing personally out there is the world of the needy and the desparate?   Three of our boys help out at the Catholic nuns' soup kitchen.   One of our ladies, an accountant, does the books for the Cancer Society for free - that sort of stuff.  You...?  Your parish?
Father, Bogo has shown he is full of good intentions.  He doesn't actually have to DO anything.  Isn't it enough to rant on about about a wealth gap?
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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2010, 07:13:25 AM »

I've never known a "diehard" Orthodox Christian who spends hours and hours on an Orthodox forum to have a flippant response to his own Church Fathers.

 Tell us, then, the point of choosing these particular sayings?  What lesson are you trying to impart?  Looks to me like you got called out.  Wink

They are hard sayings because they relate to a much overlooked issue within the Orthodox world- the Church's relationship, and responsibility to, the poor. The point is to show, in part, the difficulty of living the Gospel and to highlight the shortcomings of the Orthodox world in this respect. If I had taken some abortion and/or sex related "hard sayings", maybe that would have gone over better.  Wink
It is "and" not "or."

Ah, yes. Now I've got your interest. Of course. The poor? Injustice? That's not your speed.
Why?  Because I don't call throwing money out the window a poverty fightiing program? (more details would be "political").
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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2010, 07:16:02 AM »

Property is theft.

- St. Basil the Great

Taking your heart (your property) to the grave with you when it could be used to save the life of a brother or sister - is that theft?

One is part of one's subsistence. One is not. The question is a poor one because it doesn't realize this key difference.

It has not been taken into account that with the departure of the soul from the body organs cease to be part of one's subsistence.  They are dead and already beginning the process of decay.

Such a notion seems to render the veneration of relics preposterous.

How so?  If trhe heart or the liver of someone who is later venerated as a Saint is donated at death to another brother or sister, why would that render the veneration of his relics preposterous?    For example, do we have the heart and liver of Saint John the Baptist for veneration?  No, we don't but the veneration of his head and his arm is not rendered preposterous thereby.
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« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2010, 11:00:04 AM »

To be fare. We have a lot of secular organizations today that do the work that St. basil and the Orthodox church started. Hospitals, soup and food kitchens exc. are no longer just church organizations. In fact most of them are now completely secularized in The USA. I know of Two major RC hospitals that turned secular in the past year alone. I personally don't like how these secular institutions are structured. I think they defraud the poor in that they are run just like corporate America. Even though they are non profit the CEO's and higher ups receive very modest salaries similar to many other secular corporations. In many cases the money is used up well before it gets to the mouths of the poor. If you do give. Be careful and do a little research first.
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« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2010, 11:18:25 AM »

I know of instances where resources could be used more intelligently within  and from without of a parish but are not. These complications are within a context in which there is no wrongdoing but certain issues need to be addressed more than others but also one cannot judge right or wrong of those who choose to allocate their money to what they understand to be right. Things can be complicated even when there is honesty but wisdom sometimes lacking in choosing priorities.
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« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2010, 01:30:55 PM »

]Not true, is it? Please, tell me that this is true, please, please, please. Sad Sad Sad
I'm having a crisis right now. Seriously, my hands are shaking. If St. Basil, after saying all those wonderful things about the Holy Trinity, also came up with this quote, then I'm most probably going to build a temple in his name. Dear God, someone, please, in which work did St. Basil say that? Anyone?

This is just speculation, but some of these quotes, including the one of St. Basil, might have been directed towards a monastic audience. It would make more sense, I think, if that was the case. In monastic literature we also sometimes see an idea expressed that your clothes should be so crappy that you could throw them outside the door of your place, and leave them for three days, and no one would steal them. Are we gonna follow that idea as well? Wink
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« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2010, 02:03:20 PM »

]Not true, is it? Please, tell me that this is true, please, please, please. Sad Sad Sad
I'm having a crisis right now. Seriously, my hands are shaking. If St. Basil, after saying all those wonderful things about the Holy Trinity, also came up with this quote, then I'm most probably going to build a temple in his name. Dear God, someone, please, in which work did St. Basil say that? Anyone?

This is just speculation, but some of these quotes, including the one of St. Basil, might have been directed towards a monastic audience. It would make more sense, I think, if that was the case. In monastic literature we also sometimes see an idea expressed that your clothes should be so crappy that you could throw them outside the door of your place, and leave them for three days, and no one would steal them. Are we gonna follow that idea as well? Wink

Don't apply context: it ruins propaganda.
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« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2010, 02:12:45 PM »

]Not true, is it? Please, tell me that this is true, please, please, please. Sad Sad Sad
I'm having a crisis right now. Seriously, my hands are shaking. If St. Basil, after saying all those wonderful things about the Holy Trinity, also came up with this quote, then I'm most probably going to build a temple in his name. Dear God, someone, please, in which work did St. Basil say that? Anyone?

This is just speculation, but some of these quotes, including the one of St. Basil, might have been directed towards a monastic audience. It would make more sense, I think, if that was the case.

I completely agree. Not that these quotes cannot work outside a monastic setting, but context is always important.  This type of cut-and-paste quoting is very Scholastic and goes against the phronema and orthopraxis of the Eastern Orthodox model.  Fr. Philotheos calls it 'Scholastic influenced neo-Patristic' in his highly recommended book   Functional and Dysfunctional Christianity.
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« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2010, 02:14:01 PM »

^ These are great endeavors - absolutely. But, as a whole, the Church seems lacking in ministry to the poor in comparison to the emphasis given to this task by other churches. And, even if we are "doing our best", so to speak, there is always more to do in a world where the gap between obscene wealth and poverty is growing greater every day. Perhaps it's something like repentance- can we ever be satisfied and say, "we're doing enough" ?

So 'fess up.  What are you doing in your parish?  What are you doing personally out there is the world of the needy and the desparate?   Three of our boys help out at the Catholic nuns' soup kitchen.   One of our ladies, an accountant, does the books for the Cancer Society for free - that sort of stuff.  You...?  Your parish?

I don't think it's proper to toot one's own horn in this respect, anymore than it's wise to boast of fasting. However, I've worked in homeless shelters, tutored inner city kids, volunteered at my former parish's "food pantry", as well as being involved with organizations that work for more systemic changes in society that will alleviate poverty.  This type of organizational involvement that challenges the structures that create poverty takes up more of my time. I currently don't have a parish, but am hoping, when time permits, to begin helping out in the local Salvation Army and/or Episcopal Church's soup kitchen down the block from me.

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« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2010, 02:16:06 PM »


Property is theft.

- St. Basil the Great



We who share one mind and soul obviously have no misgivings about community in property.


- Tertullian


All things belong to God, who is our Father and the father of all things. We are all of the same family; all of us are brothers. And among brothers it is best and most equal that all inherit equal portions.

- St. Gregory of Nyssa


Share everything with your brother. Do not say "it is private property." If you share what is everlasting, you should be willing to share that much more the things that do not last.


- the Didache

...

 Kiss

Are you Christian?

I like to think so. Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2010, 02:17:32 PM »

^ These are great endeavors - absolutely. But, as a whole, the Church seems lacking in ministry to the poor in comparison to the emphasis given to this task by other churches. And, even if we are "doing our best", so to speak, there is always more to do in a world where the gap between obscene wealth and poverty is growing greater every day. Perhaps it's something like repentance- can we ever be satisfied and say, "we're doing enough" ?

So 'fess up.  What are you doing in your parish?  What are you doing personally out there is the world of the needy and the desparate?   Three of our boys help out at the Catholic nuns' soup kitchen.   One of our ladies, an accountant, does the books for the Cancer Society for free - that sort of stuff.  You...?  Your parish?
Father, Bogo has shown he is full of good intentions.  He doesn't actually have to DO anything.  Isn't it enough to rant on about about a wealth gap?

You don't know a darn thing about my person life, so watch it.
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« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2010, 02:33:42 PM »

These Fathers sure sound like bleeding heart liberals.  laugh
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« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2010, 02:34:03 PM »

Quote
Help the poor or join them?
The ideal would be, I think, to join the poor in their poverty, as we see so many saints did. But few are willing to take literally the commandment "Sell all you have, give it to the poor...".
St. Anthony, St. Arsenios and others did.
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« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2010, 02:49:45 PM »

I've never known a "diehard" Orthodox Christian who spends hours and hours on an Orthodox forum to have a flippant response to his own Church Fathers.

 Tell us, then, the point of choosing these particular sayings?  What lesson are you trying to impart?  Looks to me like you got called out.  Wink

They are hard sayings because they relate to a much overlooked issue within the Orthodox world- the Church's relationship, and responsibility to, the poor. The point is to show, in part, the difficulty of living the Gospel and to highlight the shortcomings of the Orthodox world in this respect. If I had taken some abortion and/or sex related "hard sayings", maybe that would have gone over better.  Wink
It is "and" not "or."

Ah, yes. Now I've got your interest. Of course. The poor? Injustice? That's not your speed.

Mathew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

http://kingjbible.com/matthew/7.htm

Put your money where your mouth is.   
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« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2010, 02:53:11 PM »

I've never known a "diehard" Orthodox Christian who spends hours and hours on an Orthodox forum to have a flippant response to his own Church Fathers.

 Tell us, then, the point of choosing these particular sayings?  What lesson are you trying to impart?  Looks to me like you got called out.  Wink

They are hard sayings because they relate to a much overlooked issue within the Orthodox world- the Church's relationship, and responsibility to, the poor. The point is to show, in part, the difficulty of living the Gospel and to highlight the shortcomings of the Orthodox world in this respect. If I had taken some abortion and/or sex related "hard sayings", maybe that would have gone over better.  Wink
It is "and" not "or."

Ah, yes. Now I've got your interest. Of course. The poor? Injustice? That's not your speed.

Mathew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

http://kingjbible.com/matthew/7.htm

Put your money where your mouth is.   

I'm a hypocrite because I brought up the fact that Christians should pay attention to the poor? Or that issues of sexuality (minimally mentioned in the NT) seem to take precedence among many Christians?   

Put my money where my mouth is?  How do you know what I do with my money?  I'd also like to point out that these fathers castigate the RICH. I am not rich.
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« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2010, 03:04:26 PM »

I've never known a "diehard" Orthodox Christian who spends hours and hours on an Orthodox forum to have a flippant response to his own Church Fathers.

 Tell us, then, the point of choosing these particular sayings?  What lesson are you trying to impart?  Looks to me like you got called out.  Wink

They are hard sayings because they relate to a much overlooked issue within the Orthodox world- the Church's relationship, and responsibility to, the poor. The point is to show, in part, the difficulty of living the Gospel and to highlight the shortcomings of the Orthodox world in this respect. If I had taken some abortion and/or sex related "hard sayings", maybe that would have gone over better.  Wink
It is "and" not "or."

Ah, yes. Now I've got your interest. Of course. The poor? Injustice? That's not your speed.

Mathew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

http://kingjbible.com/matthew/7.htm

Put your money where your mouth is.   

I'm a hypocrite because I brought up the fact that Christians should pay attention to the poor? Or that issues of sexuality (minimally mentioned in the NT) seem to take precedence among many Christians?   

Put my money where my mouth is?  How do you know what I do with my money?  I'd also like to point out that these fathers castigate the RICH. I am not rich.

How you see Christ speaking to you is definitely YOUR business and not MINE. But since you're asking ME the question, you're a hypocrite because you should be worried about the log that's in your eye instead of the speck that is in anyone else's.  If you were preocupied with the log, tried to cut down the log, and realize the log is a log in your eye (which I can only assume is a huge problem), then the very nature of your post would be mitigated instantaneously.

The fathers you quoted are castigating the rich...sure...and i'm just going to leave that comment to those who have already tackled it:

]Not true, is it? Please, tell me that this is true, please, please, please. Sad Sad Sad
I'm having a crisis right now. Seriously, my hands are shaking. If St. Basil, after saying all those wonderful things about the Holy Trinity, also came up with this quote, then I'm most probably going to build a temple in his name. Dear God, someone, please, in which work did St. Basil say that? Anyone?

This is just speculation, but some of these quotes, including the one of St. Basil, might have been directed towards a monastic audience. It would make more sense, I think, if that was the case. In monastic literature we also sometimes see an idea expressed that your clothes should be so crappy that you could throw them outside the door of your place, and leave them for three days, and no one would steal them. Are we gonna follow that idea as well? Wink

Don't apply context: it ruins propaganda.

Putting your money where your mouth is...well...that's just an expression, and a action. Putting something somewhere requires action.  I'm calling you to action in what it is that you are even trying to talk about. If you focus on that (like the log), you won't focus trying to tell the rest of us what to do, which plainly is none of your business. 

Whether you are rich or not is a moot point considering:
Mathew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
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« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2010, 03:20:13 PM »

I've never known a "diehard" Orthodox Christian who spends hours and hours on an Orthodox forum to have a flippant response to his own Church Fathers.

 Tell us, then, the point of choosing these particular sayings?  What lesson are you trying to impart?  Looks to me like you got called out.  Wink

They are hard sayings because they relate to a much overlooked issue within the Orthodox world- the Church's relationship, and responsibility to, the poor. The point is to show, in part, the difficulty of living the Gospel and to highlight the shortcomings of the Orthodox world in this respect. If I had taken some abortion and/or sex related "hard sayings", maybe that would have gone over better.  Wink
It is "and" not "or."

Ah, yes. Now I've got your interest. Of course. The poor? Injustice? That's not your speed.

Mathew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

http://kingjbible.com/matthew/7.htm

Put your money where your mouth is.   

I'm a hypocrite because I brought up the fact that Christians should pay attention to the poor? Or that issues of sexuality (minimally mentioned in the NT) seem to take precedence among many Christians?   

Put my money where my mouth is?  How do you know what I do with my money?  I'd also like to point out that these fathers castigate the RICH. I am not rich.

How you see Christ speaking to you is definitely YOUR business and not MINE. But since you're asking ME the question, you're a hypocrite because you should be worried about the log that's in your eye instead of the speck that is in anyone else's.  If you were preocupied with the log, tried to cut down the log, and realize the log is a log in your eye (which I can only assume is a huge problem), then the very nature of your post would be mitigated instantaneously.

The fathers you quoted are castigating the rich...sure...and i'm just going to leave that comment to those who have already tackled it:


I posted quotes from the fathers on the rich and poor, and expressed my view that the Church does not do enough to help the poor, and that calls for telling me to take a look at the log in my own eye?  If I had put up some typical quotes about not judging, or fasting, or some sexually related matter, all would most likely be well here. 

Where is the HYPOCRISY in posting quotes from the fathers on wealth and poverty?
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"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2010, 05:37:19 PM »

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Hard sayings of the Fathers or prooftexting for Marx?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 05:49:23 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2010, 06:06:48 PM »

Interesting that someone who denies the bodily resurrection of Christ, the single most important doctrine of the Christian faith, would presume to use a list of proof texts from the Fathers (forcefully removed from their contexts) to lecture Orthodox Christians on what he perceives to be their charitable obligations.  Yes, we will be judged by our practice of Matthew 25, but without the Resurrection, what is the Church but yet another merely human social organization, of which the world has likely seen far too many already?  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not to be found in charitable work for the poor per se.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is that He is risen from the dead.  All of the Church's other charitable work must flow out of that ultimate act of Divine charity.
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« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2010, 06:10:01 PM »

Bogoliubtsy,
Thanks for starting this thread. Loving our neighbours as our self is the keystone of Christian praxis, and one of the things I wonder in this new "Global Village" is what the answer to the Gospel question "Who is my neighbour?" is now. Christ's answer in the Gospel was the Good Samaritan, but he physically had contact with the suffering man he helped. Has it changed at all as a result of things like the speed of information and the internet? Are the people I chat to on OCnet and on the phone my neighbours? What about people I know of as suffering from poverty on the other side of the world- are they my neighbours even though we have never spoken or met or seen one another?  St. Paul collected money from the Church in Rome to send to the Church in Jerusalem whom they had never met- is that the same? Was that different because it was the CHurch helping the Church?
In the early Church, property was held in common. Clearly people had their own houses, but they shared what they had among the Church, but somehow I sense this is different to the commandment to love our neighbour. I'm not quite clear how, but it does seem different.

In monastic literature we also sometimes see an idea expressed that your clothes should be so crappy that you could throw them outside the door of your place, and leave them for three days, and no one would steal them. Are we gonna follow that idea as well? Wink
When you get to my age, you start dressing for comfort rather than style, and I bet if I left my current everyday clothes outside, no one would steal them. In fact, I park on the street and I haven't locked my car for over eight years and no one has stolen it!

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If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
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Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2010, 06:13:03 PM »

To point out the hypocrisy in one's words or conduct is appropriate, since this is a judgment of behavior and ideas.  To call someone a hypocrite is an ad hominem in that you're attacking the person.  With that distinction in mind, let us stop calling each other hypocrites.  Jesus did that, but that doesn't mean you have the spiritual discernment to make that judgment yourself.
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