eye of the cyclone

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Christians and Wall Street

Posted by lahar9jhadav on January 11, 2011

A Vision: “I will take delight in Jerusalem and rejoice in my people; weeping and cries for help shall never again be heard in her . . . Men shall build houses and live to inhabit them, plant vineyards and eat their fruit; they shall not build for others to inhabit nor plant for others to eat. My people shall live the long life of a tree, and my chosen shall enjoy the fruit of their labor. They shall not toil in vain or raise children for misfortune. . . They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, says the Lord.” — Isaiah 65: 19, 21-23, 25

A Memo to Congress: “Shame on you! you who make unjust laws and publish burdensome decrees, depriving the poor of justice, robbing the weakest of my people of their rights, despoiling the widow and plundering the orphan. What will you do when called to account, when ruin from afar confronts you? To whom will you flee for help?” — Isaiah 10:1-3

The Curse of Sodom: “This was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride of wealth and food in plenty, comfort and ease, and yet she never helped the poor and the wretched.” — Ezekiel 16:49

The Judgment of the Nations: “Then the king will say to those on his right hand, ‘You have my father’s blessing; come, enter and possess the kingdom that has been made ready for you since the world was made. For when I was hungry, you gave me food; when thirsty, you gave me drink; when I was a stranger you took me into your home, when naked you clothed me; when I was ill you came to my help, when in prison you visited me.’ Then the righteous will reply, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and fed you, or thirsty and gave you drink, a stranger and took you home, or naked and clothed you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and come to visit you?’ And the king will answer, ‘I tell you this: anything you did for one of my brothers [or sisters] here, however humble, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left hand, ‘The curse is upon you; go from my sight into the eternal fire that is ready for the devil and his angels. For when I was hungry you gave me nothing to eat, when thirsty nothing to drink; when I was a stranger you gave me no home, when I was naked you did not clothe me; when I was ill and in prison you did not come to my help.’ And they too will reply, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and did nothing for you?’ And he will answer, ‘I tell you this: anything you did not do for one of these, however humble, you did not do for me.’ ” — Matthew 25:34-45

St. John Chrysostom on true Christianity (4th Century): “This is the rule of the most perfect Christianity, its most exact definition, its highest point, namely, the seeking of the common good . . . for nothing can so make a person an imitator of Christ as caring for his neighbors.”

How to Spot a Heretic: St. Ignatius (2d Century): “Observe those who are heterodox concerning Christ Jesus’ grace, which came to us, how contrary they are to God’s will. They have no regard for a love feast, none for the widow or the orphan, the oppressed, the bound, the freed, the hungry, or the thirsty . . . they exhibit enmity and deceit in their dealings with one another. They have no regard for love; they despise the good things we expect hereafter; they regard present things as if they were durable; they ridicule him that is in affliction; they laugh at him that is in bonds.”

St. John Chrysostom: “The desire to rule is the mother of all heresies.”

St. Catherine of Siena (14th Century): “Our every principle and foundation is in the love of God and our neighbor alone; all our other activities are instruments and buildings placed on this foundation. Therefore thou shouldst not, for pleasure in the instrument or the building, desert the principal foundation in the honour of God and the love of our neighbor.”

Lactantius on equality (3rd Century): “God who creates and gives life to all human beings wants them to be equal. He put us all into the same condition of life; he made us capable of wisdom; he promised immortality to all; he excluded no one from the heavenly benefits . . . With him no one is master, no one is slave. For if he is the same father to all, we are all free by equal right.”

St. Basil on the profit motive (4th Century): “While we try to amass wealth, make piles of money, get hold of the land as our real property, overtop one another in riches, we have palpably cast off justice, and lost the common good. I should like to know how any man can be just, who is deliberately aiming to get out of someone else what he wants for himself.”

St. Ambrose on private property (4th Century): “How far will your mad lusts take you, ye rich people, till you dwell alone on the earth? Why do you at once turn nature out of doors, and claim the possession of her for your own selves? The land was made for all; why do you rich men claim it as your private property?”

“Nature produced common property. Robbery made private property.”

Privatization? – St. Gregory Nazianzen (4th Century): “Be ashamed, you who hold back what belongs to another, take as an example the justice of God, and no one will be poor. While others suffer poverty, let us not labour to hoard and pile up money. . . Let us imitate the first and most important law of God who sends his rain on the just and on sinners and makes the sun shine on all men equally. God opens up the earth, the springs, the streams and the woods to all who live in the world. He gives the air to the birds, the water to the fish, and the basic needs of life abundantly to all, without restriction or limitation or preference. These basic goods are common to all, provided by God generously and with nothing lacking. He has done this so that creatures of the same nature may receive equal gifts and that he may show us how rich is his kindness.”

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