Subsidiarity and the Social Doctrine

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money [to spend]." Margaret Thatcher

“Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.” G. K. Chesterton

Subsidiarity in the Gospels

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Subsidiarity in the Gospel

Sept. 26, 2010 Luke 16: 19-31
Parable of Lazarus and the rich man.
The history of society is well represented with government bureaucrats and utopian ideologies represented by the rich man and Lazarus being the common man. This parable is not just about feeding, clothing, or giving medical assistance. It’s about restoring a person’s human dignity by helping him provide for himself. And most important of all it’s about honoring God.
Jesus is not just asking us as individuals to assist our neighbors but to enter into a covenantal relationship under God with our neighbor. Not under a state or government ideology.

September 19, 2010 Luke 16: 1-13
“no servant can serve two masters”…”You cannot serve both God and mammon.”
No where is this more important than in politics and politicians. People in these positions of power should be our greatest servants, creating politics that protect the Sovereignty of the basic building block of society---individuals and the family. Human development towards eternity is the goal.
In the proper order of things, we the people, are to use mammon to serve the Truth, the Light, and the Master. Key word being, we, not government, they work for us.

September 12, 2010 Luke 15: 1-32
Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son.
The human person . . . is and ought to be the principle, the subject, and the object of every social organization. These rights also demand participation (duties) from the person. Work honors the Creator's gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. It allows man to be charitable as he shares his blessings with others.

September 5, 2010 Luke 14: 25 – 33
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”
The worst effects of individuals and society living only for the present time is that we live beyond our means and suffer the consequences of gluttony. Prudence is required.

August 29, 2010 Luke 14: 1, 7 – 14
"When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just."
The greater the size and scope of principalities, politics, and the centrality of these powers; the smaller the rights and liberties of the common man. The corruption of worldly idol worship knows no bounds.

August 22, 2010 Luke 13: 22 – 30
“There you will weep and gnash your teeth…And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."
This time is short and eternity is forever; the promises of utopia by men in authority in this time and place are lies, as the prince of this world embodies.

August 15, 2010
Luke 1:39-56 Mary’s Magnificat
God chooses lowly humble servants just as He himself was as the son of man; why should we ever expect anything more than this. He has scattered the proud in their conceit, He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and the rich He has sent away empty.

August 8, 2010 Luke 12: 32-48
“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master's return from a wedding…Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
The higher the position of authority one attains the greater the service to others.

August 1, 2010 Luke 12: 13-21
“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
This individual lesson is exponentially greater when the state consumes and hordes great wealth and power for itself; for it’s rare that the state relinquishes such power without awful hardship and loss of life.

July 25, 2010 Luke Luke 11:1-13
The Lord’s Prayer and cooperation between friends.
All levels of society must work their parts respectively with God’s purpose the ultimate goal. For if we lived our Christian faith as we should, there would be very little need for government in our daily lives.

July 18, 2010 Luke 10:38-42
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.”
Work and Faith go together, when singularly focused we do not live out our Christian lives completely. Jesus himself worked as a carpenter for many years supporting his family and society at large. We sanctify our present world when we strive to attain an integrated life orientated towards God. Church social teaching has four basic elements: from the first three, subsidiarity, solidarity, and human dignity we can plot the various points of Catholic social teaching that give shape to the fourth---the common good. And all work towards the realization of eternity with our creator.

July 11, 2010 Luke 10:25 The Good Samaritan parable.
The topical relevance is clear; to become a brother to all we meet. The Church teaches that we must provide for our neighbors through works of Mercy. There are fourteen such works. Spiritual works include convert, instruct, counsel, comfort, bear wrongs, forgive, and pray. Corporal works are to feed, give drink, clothe, shelter, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. In these fourteen works we also have a blue print for examples in subsidiarity.
Just imagine how many of the works of Mercy could have been performed by all three who passed by instead of just several works by the Good Samaritan alone. The good works by the Samaritan may have been wasted because the other two didn’t attempt to convert, instruct, counsel, forgive, and pray for example. This is a great example of subsidiarity in the Gospel! Society and its works start and end at the lowest order. And everyone has been given special and different talents in works of mercy. Not the politically organized body.

July 4, 2010 Luke 10: 1-20 The mission of the seventy disciples---it’s the same for us.
(1) Work with your neighbor to assist and spread the good news to other neighbors. (2) Know that most people are attached to this world and time, misinformed, and exposed to devious doctrine. (3) Pray to the lord for conversions. (4) Be prepared to be like a lamb among wolves. (5) Do not have unhealthy attachments to this world and its institutions. (6) Do not procrastinate.(7) Make sure there is peace in your heart so you can bestow peace to others. (8) Faith, virtues, and morality will be rejected in part and even in whole by many. (9) Do not boast or be prideful of your work. (10) Know that your good works and name are written in heaven.

6/27/2010 Luke9: 51-62 Jesus sent disciples to villages ahead of him to prepare his way. “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” Pride, material wealth, social status, utopian schemes, and other vain glories of this world not only poison us now but for eternity. Jesus chose simple men to be messengers of his good news.

6/20/2010 Luke 9:18-24 “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” To follow Christ is to imitate him in both his ignominy and in His fearless spreading of the truth no matter the costs. Only in following Jesus standing up for truth do we achieve fullness of life here and now and for eternity. When the state no longer respects these inalienable rights it must be rejected

6/13/2010 Luke 7:36-50 A Pharisee questions Jesus about the sinful woman who is weeping while bathing His feet. How Many times do we witness worldly powers and authorities with a lack of humility, honesty, and repentance? Pride, wealth, and protection of their “position” in this time and place inhibits too often virtuous behavior

6/6/2010 Luke 9:11-17 The multiplication of loaves of bread and fish miracle. Apostles recognize that the people must feed and find shelter for themselves as individual freedom and human dignity requires. Jesus performs the miracle to foreshadow the Eucharist and not establish a collective form of governance.

5/30/2010 John 16:12-15 “Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that He will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” Jesus announces individual, not collective, gifts and responsibilities to His disciples.

5/23/2010 John 14:15-26 Conferring of the Holy Spirit “Keep my word, and my Father will love him…Those who do not love me do not keep my words” A Blessing or a curse we bring upon ourselves. Only a society of virtuous people can expect a virtuous form of self-government.

5/16/2010 John 17:20-26 "Father, I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me."
Jesus prays for his established Church and his humble disciples that they may continue his revealed purpose. He did not choose from among the haughty and powerful institutions of men.

5/09/10 John 14:23-29 “The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all I told you” Jesus prepares not only His Church but anyone who loves Him for His physical absence to continue His work. The Holy Spirit acts internally within each of us to influence our neighbors and human institutions such as government. “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed (Quote from U.S. Declaration of Independence).”

5/02/10 John 13:31-35 “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, you also should love one another.” The source and meaning of love is telling us to love one another. Powers and principalities of this world cannot love. Turning over the social doctrine to an all encompassing bureaucratic government degenerates love into a weak sentimentality.

4/25/10 John 10:27-30 “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.”
Human history is a long story of examples of what happens when tyrannical powers and principalities no longer hear His voice, know Him, or follow Him. Selfishness, greed, and inhumanity reign. What more reason could there be to limit the size of government.

4/18/2010 John 21:1-19 Simon Peter, do you love me, then follow me.
A simple fisherman will lead the Church against the powers and principalities of this world. Christ's kingdom is not built on earthly powers, but by love and faith, and who does not rule from an earthly standard throne, but from the throne of the Cross. The Church militant always stands against totalitarianism, following the Master in martyrdom when confronted with the absolute claims of earthly powers is correct.

4/11/2010 John 20:19-31 Jesus is risen; He encourages His disciples, have faith.
This time is a temporary home, don’t look for salvation here in this time like Judas Iscariot, our father’s house is our goal and eternity. The promises of powers and principalities of this time are misguided and devious.

4/04/2010 Easter Sunday Luke 24:1-12
This time and place is just a temporary home. It's in vain to look to worldly powers for salvation. Focus on your Father's house.

3/28/2010 Palm Sunday Luke 19:28-40
Lo, a son of a carpenter, our creator, our savior,our king; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass.

3/21/2010 Scribes, Pharisees, and the adulteress John 8:1-11
When ruling authorities, scribes and Pharisees, no longer prescribe to God’s precepts corruption and tyranny prevail. The self-righteous "intellectual elite" of the time are taken to school by the son of a carpenter. All glory to God!
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord Acton

3/14/2010 The Prodigal Son Luke 15:1-32 The Prodigal Son can represent us when we trust solely in worldly powers and their promises of material wealth, lust, and greed. Our hearts and lives are surely troubled until they rest in our Father’s precepts and Church teachings. The family is the original cell of social life. While other social bodies do have a duty of helping they should take care not to usurp the family’s prerogatives.

3/07/2010 Luke 13:1-9 Who are the worst sinners, repentance, and the fig tree? "We The People" fertilize and till the soil. The greater society represents the fruit of our labor or lack there of. Only a moral society with a well-developed conscience will nourish a tree that bears great fruit.

2/28,/2010 Luke 9:28-36
The Transfiguration scene with God, Jesus, Moses, Elijah, Peter, John, and James.
God reveals himself and his plan for humanity in a carpenter, slave, prophet, and three fishermen.

2/21/2010 Luke 4: 1-13
Jesus is tempted with food, health, and vain glory after fasting in the desert.
What could be more the role of the basic building block of society, the family, than feeding and administering to the health one's own and their neighbor? It’s only the vain glory of man to rule the world, promise no physical evils, and to micro-manage the every day needs of humanity. Praise and glory belong to God.

2/14/2010 Beatitudes and Woes, Luke 6:17-26
Cursed is the one who trusts solely in human institutions, who seeks his salvation in this time and world, whose heart turns away from the Lord. Blessed is the one who trusts and has hope in the Lord, being one among his fellow men, sharing ones ability and talent in the simplest form possible; to solve problems of the human condition while living in this world and all created things, and at the same time establishing a spiritual and material environment, which promotes both individual and general societal development.

2/7/10, Luke 5:1-11
"Don't be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men."
Jesus chose fishermen to start His Church and with Peter, the first Bishop, to lead His Church in His absence. Jesus could not have selected men from a community of any lower order and education.

1/31/10, Luke 4:21-30
"Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
God chose to reveal Himself as the son of a common carpenter and not a son of a powerful political authority or religious leader.

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