Samedi le 15 mars 2014
Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest abducted in Crimea

2014-03-15 Vatican Radio In a serious escalation of tension in Crimea, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest was kidnapped on Saturday. Sources in Ukraine say Father Mykola Kvych, a pastor and a Ukrainian military chaplain, was abducted by pro-Russian forces after celebrating the liturgy. “Every abduction is a terrible event for everybody involved,” said Bishop Borys Gudziak, the Eparch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Eparchy. “It’s a gross violation of human rights and God-given human dignity.” He expressed his grave concern about the repercussions of the kidnapping of Father Kvych. Earlier this month, Ukrainian Greek Catholic priests received oral and written threats warning them to leave Crimea. Many priests, however, have chosen to remain with their people. “Our priests and bishops have been very close to the people,” said Bishop Borys. “We’ve been inspired by the example of Our Lord [Who] went a long distance from fellowship with the Father to incarnate Himself and be in our reality.” He said they have also been inspired by the words of Pope Francis “who said a pastor needs to have the smell of his sheep. And our pastors have been with the people, and they’re today with the people enduring this occupation in the Crimea.” With the whereabouts of Father Mykola unknown, Bishop Borys made a special appeal “to the authorities of the Russian Orthodox Church, who have in direct or indirect ways supported these moves for the for the occupation of Crimea to do everything in their power to have Father Kvych released and to stop the persecution of Catholic priests and Catholic faithful on this peninsula.”
6:52:57 PM

"Although human nature itself is drawn to special kindness towards these times of life, that is towards the old and children, still the authority of the Rule should also provide for them. Let their weakness be always taken into account, and let them by no means be held to the rigor of the Rule with regard to food. On the contrary, let a kind consideration be shown to them, and let them eat before the regular hours." Source: Rule of Saint Benedict

A few thoughts, inspired about kindness…

There is a very fine point that can easily be missed here if we don't examine St. Benedict's words carefully. There is a distinct difference between the *natural* kindness of human nature that shows sympathy and kindness to souls in need, and *supernatural* charity. Now it is of course a highly praiseworthy and truly wonderful thing to be a humanitarian and the world needs all it can get! But for the charity of human nature to be elevated to the supernatural virtue of Charity requires that an entirely different motive for the action be the genesis of our undertakings.

Don't misunderstand me, here. Working with the underprivileged or the elderly or any other group or soul in need is much to be admired and imitated. Never-the-less, if the underlying reason for these good actions is merely sympathy or vague feelings of injustice or any other human emotion and not, at root, the love of Almighty God, then as praise worthy as the works are they are not Supernatural Charity. Think I'm being too tough? Too old fashioned? Not PC? Well, if you're familiar with St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians Chapter 13 you will remember this: ***"And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."*** We're talking "agape" or "caritas" here, Beloveds, not human love but a love above natural human love.

St. Benedict's Instructions seem very plain that the authority of the Holy Rule and the love of Almighty God must be behind our treatment of the needy and the ill. But there is a "caveat" here, too. We must be EXTREMELY vigilant that we are not tainted with even the faintest whiff of Pride in anything we do, remembering what the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict (echoing the Gospels) tells us quite plainly. Left to ourselves we are only capable of sin. Any good we do is by the Grace of God. To feel Pride at anything we do is foolish and makes idols of our false-self.

8:28:51 AM