The Mandate for Caring for the Needy

Helga, who runs a soup kitchen for orphan children, has just told Sr Carlotta that after a particularly violent day she nearly “left the children to God” and retired, but had changed her mind.

Sr. Carlotta, responds:

That’s good. You can’t just leave them to God when God has left them to us.”

From Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card.

Today’s Psalm

I am reminded of the radically different moral sensibility we moderns bring to the discussion in contrast to the biblical writers. Psalm 149 is one of the psalter selections in today’s lectionary readings, where we find this (vs. 6ff)

Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and the two-edged swords in their hands,
to execute vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples,
to bind their kings with fetters
and their nobles with chains of iron,
to execute on them the judgment decreed.
This is glory for all his faithful ones.
Praise the Lord!

I usually think of the phrase “to execute judgment” metaphorically. But it has a rather literal and gory sense in this text.

… ooh boy.

Morality and Discipline

Morality is the attempt to do the right thing, whether I have the skills or ability to do it or not.

Discipline is practice, repetition, stick-to-itiveness, so that I can develop the skills or ability to do what my will and body want me to do.

Religion tells me to be moral. Christianity tells me to be disciplined so that God can transform me.