“The Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it." Mt 13:46
Often great thinkers and saints come along at a time in church history when there is division, even chaos, and rage. Alphonse Liguori is one of those. Reacting to the harshness of Jansenism, which taught that everything of creation is intrinsically evil, Alphonse helped the church reclaim a moral theology that today might be called “virtue ethics.” More concerned with building up the good in people than rooting out every small sin, Alphonse brought civility, understanding, compassion and kindness back to moral theology.
The task today seems very similar. Sometimes the Catholic church is known more for what it condemns than what it promotes, but even a quick view of church teaching reveals a comprehensive concern for the human family. While the press trumpets the church’s condemnation of abortion (not the woman who aborts!), the bishops remind us that we must have an “option for the poor and vulnerable,” and promotes health care for all, just to name two, if we are going to have an authentically formed Catholic conscience.
Today, practice virtue and justice.
What do you think it means to be a faith filled citizen in the United States today?