"Who is your neighbor and what are you doing about it?"

By Paul Dion, STL

"You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,with all your being,with all your strength,and with all your mind,and your neighbor as yourself." He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live." (Luke 10; 27)

We have all heard the old saw, "You can choose your friends but you can't choose your relatives." As a matter of fact, we can't choose our neighbors either.

Just who are these people? How do we get to love them? Why do we even have to love them? If we love them, how do we prove that we love them?

We believe that love begets love and we observe that some of the love that we put out to some of our "neighbors" has not begotten love in return. As a matter of fact, some of the love that we have put out to some of our very own relatives has not begotten love in return.

We read the story as told by Luke in the gospel quote above and the thing that is striking here is that Jesus Himself throws the challenge back on to the conscience of the questioner, "...which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers' victim?" Jesus then tells the questioner to "...go and do likewise."

We too know that the answer to the question lies on our conscience. So, answer the Burning Question: Who is your neighbor and what are you doing about it?


Is it more important to believe in God or to believe in the Church?

By Paul Dion, STL

We've all been in contact with the Catholic Church for many years now, some more, some less. And you have perhaps noticed that Catholics are true "believers" in their Church. They talk of their Church as "Our Faith".

Catholics have been accused by others, clergy and lay alike, of believing more in their Church than in God.

Some of you reading this "Burning Question" have become Catholics during the last year or so. Some of you are preparing for the moment of Baptism or full membership.

So the Burning Question this week is: What is more important, to believe in God or to believe in the Church?

If you've thought of this before, you have an opinion. If this is a new question, thank God that you are getting a chance to delve into your conscience about it. God bless you all.

Post a comment today. Share your thoughts with us about this very incisive topic.


"Should the Church welcome homosexual Catholics?"

By Paul Dion, STL

The Church is a huge place and in it there are a lot of places to go, a lot of things to see, a lot of ideas to think and a lot of lives to lead. The Church is like a quilt, most of the pieces are about the same shape and size, but they are often of different texture and different color.

The Church claims Unity as one of its marks. It is a mystery how God manages this Unity. How does God keep track of the different kinds of monks and nuns that make up the praying and missionary Church ? How does God manage all the publishing houses that claim to have the best method for teaching this and that about our Doctrine?

There are so many ways to express the Unity of the Church. There are round churches, square churches, wooden churches and stone churches. There are churches with schools and churches without schools. There are priests who are strict, and there are priests who are not. There are Catholics who participate in the liturgy every day; Catholics who only go once per week.

Some participate in the Mass on Wednesday because that's their only day off. Some only come to the front of the church and socialize all morning long, have a cup or two of coffee with a couple of donuts and go home happy because they went to church. I don't have to belabor the point. You get my drift.

Now there are also Catholics who have some much deeper differences than just their style of dress, their ministry or their pattern of attendance at Mass. There are Catholics who differ from one another by their sexual orientation. I don't mean their sex (male or female) but the orientation that dictates how human beings express intimate relationships between themselves.

There are some who are oriented toward the "opposite" sex and some who are oriented to the "same" sex. They are both Catholic. They are both baptized. They are both held to the same moral discipline. They both have the right to come to the same sacraments.

Given all that is said above, we have all experienced the behavior of Catholics toward those of different convictions. Some like to stand all during the Mass; some talk in tongues when they spiritualize their prayer; some lay hands on one another to pray for healing. And for every one of these groups, Catholics have another group who looks across the room with disdain at these weird people who dare call themselves Catholics.

So we have the case of the way the heterosexual (straight) Catholic treats the homosexual (gay) Catholic. We also have the Church as a whole which seems to be uncomfortable in reaching out with all its Spirit given grace to the homosexual Catholic.

The Burning Question is, "Should the Catholic Church welcome the Catholic with homosexual orientation?" Would this or would this not enrich the deposit of grace of the Church? Would this or would this not enrich the Communion of Saints?

Let's discuss this for a while and then we will summarize what we have and apply what the Church has to say about it to the discussion.

Let us know what you think. Post a comment