Thursday, November 8, 2007


Rom 14:7-12 (emphasis mine)

Brothers and sisters:
None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.
For if we live, we live for the Lord,
and if we die, we die for the Lord;
so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
For this is why Christ died and came to life,
that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Why then do you judge your brother or sister?
Or you, why do you look down on your brother or sister?
For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God;
for it is written:
As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me,
and every tongue shall give praise to God.
So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God.

Today’s reading reminds me of an issue that has been coming up a lot in my life lately, separating the sinner from the sin. How do I effectively teach this concept to my daughters? How do we welcome people into our homes, but not their behavior, in order to not condone it or send mixed messages to our children? What of the friends who come to stay who live together out of wedlock? What of the family member who chooses to live a gay lifestyle? What of the loved one who greatly wrongs another family member? Where is the line between using our judgment to protect our family and not judging our fellow sinner?


patjrsmom said...

There are certain things in our house that just aren't allowed, specifically because they are obvious assaults on what we are trying to teach our children. That being said, there are many subversive things (you don't tend to *see* someone living a gay lifestyle-even though we know it's their choice) that we have simply explained the person's choice, that we love the person but that it is not what we, as Catholics, believe to be the Truth. We've even referenced the catechism with our older kids to show where the Church teachings can be found. And, we encourage prayer for those who have left the church or who deliberately choose not to live their lives the way Jesus taught us. Good question. Looking forward to hearing others answers.


Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Charity is in order. We can never be wrong with charity.

And again, as Jane said, to explain it all to our kids and refernce it with the Catechism and the Bible.

God bless,

Milehimama said...

Thank you for the thoughtful comment on my blog.

Part of loving the sinner, is to discourage them from sinning (admonishing the sinner is a spiritual work of mercy.) So, if two unmarried come over for a stay, the LOVING thing to do is to help them avoid the occasion of sin by sleeping separately (even for one night). Gently, though... gentle as doves.

Have you read Mother Teresa's book "No Greater Love"? It is very helpful in helping me to see Christ in the poor, in the sinner, in everyone.

Also. Remember that "judgement" (i.e., presuming on someone's spiritual state and or eternal destination) and "discernment" are two very different things, even though we use the word "judge" for both of them in the English language.

Family members living a gay lifestyle, I would treat the same as family members living a fornicating lifestyle - St. Paul lumps them together in Scripture - that is, love the person, but help your family avoid the near occasion of sin, and scandal. Some people, it's easier to do than others, depending on how freely one talks about their sexuality, which really has no place in front of children, gay or straight.

Yeah. That was really preachy and not very clear. Sorry, it's the best I can come up with in a combox! :)