Monday, January 7, 2019

Sunday Sermon, December 16 -- The Right to War, the Right to Private Property, the Love of the Poor (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi)

St John the Baptist gives an implicit approval of both just war and private property when the people come to ask him "What should we do?"  To the rich, he does not deny the right to private property, but only says they should be generous to the poor. And, to the soldiers, he does not deny the right of nations to go to war (in just circumstances), but only commands them to be good soldiers.

Nations have a right to wage war either for their own defense or the defense of their rights, or even for the defense of weaker peoples who are suffering oppression. Still, this should only be a last resort - as war does bring much suffering.  The right of nations to wage war is a safeguard to check unjust aggression and greed.

Individuals have a right to private property, and this is why communism and socialism are true heresies which Catholics must reject. Socialist strive to take the wealth of the rich and redistribute it to the poor, and they further strive to subject the family to the whim of the State (redefining the nature of marriage and family life). We note that the democratic party in the USA is dangerous close to socialism, and the Church (Bl Pius IX and St John XXIII especially) has stated that a Catholic cannot be a socialist.

But private wealth is meant to be not only for the benefit of the rich, but also to be used to relieve the sufferings of the poor. If we desire to grow in a love for the poor (which is one of the essential fruits of the Christmas mystery), we can look to the great saints (like St Wenceslaus) and to our Lord (who became poor so that we might be made spiritually rich).

Listen online [here]!


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