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09 July 2017


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Melanie B

"I look back at the corporal works of mercy, which are so much easier to understand. Feeding the hungry is a work of mercy; but force-feeding even the dangerously malnourished is a work of cruelty. Giving drink to a thirsty man is a work of mercy; waterboarding him is not. Visiting the sick is merciful; barging in on one who needs privacy and quiet is not."

Oh I really, really like the analogies from the corporal works of mercy. Those give such concrete images of physical equivalents of the kind of spiritual abuse: force-feeding Truth to the ignorant, drowning the doubtful in easy platitudes, barging in on the mentally and spiritually infirm to gift them with the wonders of your dazzling presence.

That last bit about what is in one's competence is really good too. semper sed non pro semper.

Karen Edmisten

They do not know that they need to have a relationship with a person -- must be fratres -- before they can exert fraternal correction.

Yes. The crux of the issue.


I have heard a priest mention that, although one is always called to instruct the ignorant and warn the sinner, you particularly are not always called to instruct or admonish this person: if you know, with a reasonable and prudent examination of the situation and your relationship, that you won't get through, for instance, or (esp for warning/admonishing) if you really just aren't the closest person to them, in an intimate enough relationship that it would make the admonishing appropriate. I sort of think of the first situation as similar to the just-war piece that requires the war be able to bring about the sought-for outcome.

I really like the bits you pulled from the encyclopedia - spells it out nicely. Now I know where to come back for clarification :)

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I think I read something somewhere about this

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