Brian R Corbin's Reflections on Religion and Life

Living Your Faith as Citizens and Leaders in Politics, Culture, Society and Business

Day of my baptism

Today, July 29th, marks the 49th year of my baptism in the Catholic Community. On this day, about 11 days after my birth, my god parents took me to my parish Church, St. John’s Parish in Winslow Maine. I am grateful for that moment of grace.

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Martha — disciple of Jesus, sister to Mary and Lazarus. We hear the story in the Gospel of Luke how Jesus visits Martha, Mary and Lazarus’ home. Martha is quite upset. She has been serving the meal, cleaning, getting things in order while her sister and brother listen to Jesus.

Jesus calms Martha down: Mary has chosen to listen to the Word . Come, join us.

Hmmm..Is this a slap on activists?

I don’t think so….this powerful story appears right after the parable of Jesus about the Good Samaritan. There, this outsider, a religious person, stops, heals, carries, and cares for a broken man. The priest and levite — certainly religious men — are in a hurry to go do their religious obligations but do not even “see” the half dead man….or are even in fear that if they touch this half dead man, then they will be ritually impure. The Good Samaritan stops. Connects his deeply held religious beliefs and acts on them: to heal the broken man in his path. He becomes his neighbor as he lives out the two fold commandments: Love God and Love Neighbor.

So too Jesus tells Martha…come listen as we break bread to share the good news. Hospitality is important, but come listen to the Good News of God’s love. Come connect ones love of neighbor with love of God.

In the reading for the Liturgy today, we proclaim from the First Letter of St. John that God is love, and we can only see and know God by the love we share with each other. God loved us first. We are called to continue that love….with each and every person in our path. Like the Good Samaritan. Like the love of Martha and Mary and Lazarus. Like the Love that IS God.

How does your baptismal call and experience form your understanding of the connection between love of God and love of Neighbor

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Catholic Relief Services responds to hel

Catholic Relief Services responds to help Somalians struggling with famine

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thank you so much for all your wonderful

thank you so much for all your wonderful birthday wishes. Much appreciate it. Your words provided much joy, Thanks

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Witness of the Gospel in the world of ch

Witness of the Gospel in the world of charity – July 15, 40 yrs ago, Paul VI instituted the Pontifical Council Cor Unum

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Where do some of our economic ideas come from?

There are times while reading newspapers’ opinion columns, and watching 24/7 newscasts, that I become somewhat confused about the best and most moral way to interject politics into the economy, especially during this continued Great Recession. I too wonder what our tax policy should espouse.  I try to imagine the proper role of the government in regulations of markets. Then I realize that there is the rub to all this:  Can we even talk about morals and the economy in the same sentence?  No where do I read or hear on radio or TV any call for a moral review of our economic policies and perspectives.  Add to that, there are few if any commentaries in the current public discourse about how the tenets of our faith traditions, especially Roman Catholicism, can shed light on economic fundamentals and consequences.

Angus Sibley’s “The ‘Poisoned Spring’ of Economic Libertarianism; Menger, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard: A Critique from Catholic Social Teaching of the ‘Austrian School’ of Economics” (Pax Romana/CMICA-USA, 2011) provides such a critique and analysis of our global political economy that led to the Great Recession of 2008/9, and its current aftermath.  Sibley argues that the philosophical-theological perspective of Catholic social theory can and does bring much to the debate about the role of the state and the economy.  His most important contribution, in this reader’s estimation, is his critical review and analysis of the hyper-competitive, outrageous anti-statism and supra-individualistic ideology of the libertarian movement based in the Austrian School of Economics.  Sibley methodologically articulates and deconstructs the philosophical underpinnings of notable economists from the Austrian School, namely, Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich von Hayek.  The author then directly criticizes the failed and disingenuous attempt, he calls it ‘heresy,’ by some Catholic thinkers, like Michael Novak and Robert Sirico, of justifying Austrian libertarianism within Roman Catholic social thought.

This book provides an excellent review of how philosophical assumptions can parade as immutable laws of nature, rejecting any interference from governmental regulations and moralists.   Sibley sheds light on the fundamental assumptions of our current debates in political economy that are rooted in a specific school of economics which “believes” in immutable laws detached from human life.  He offers reflections from the Catholic moral tradition to provide a counter-weight to the assumption that economics is a non-moral activity.  This book is ideal for business ethics, history of ideas, and/or political economy classes.

Filed under: consumerism, Culture, Economic Policy, Market Place, morals, Personal Reflections, Politics, Social Doctrine, Social Justice