Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pure Religion

I haven't been able to post on my blog for a couple of weeks.  I don't know what happened.  It left a kind of hole in my routine.
When I stopped on my morning walk several days ago to take a picture of this butterfly, it was almost like it posed for me in the slanting morning sun.  I think it's called a swallowtail.
Three weeks ago I used chapter 1 of the Letter of James for prayer.  If someone were to tell me that a certain movie or novel was immoral, I would immediately think that they were talking about sex.  That may be because of our country's Puritan background and our celibate clergy's prepoccupation with sex.
Upon reflection, though, I realized that the most popular immorality in much of our world is greed.  It's hard to notice it in myself because it is so much a part of our culture.  So when St. James tells me to keep myself from being corrupted by the culture around me, it helps me to think of greed.
In verse 27 St. James says that pure religion is caring for orphans and widows and making sure we are not corrupted by our society.  I recalled Jesus' parable in Matthew's Gospel in which Jesus tells us that we are going to be judged by whether or not we cared for the hungry and thirsty and sick and homeless and those without clothes or in prison.  I've always been struck by the fact that he says nothing about sex or church or temple.

No comments: