Tuesday, November 09, 2010

"God is attracted to lost souls"

This Thursday, a group which disguises itself as a Christian organization, the Westboro Baptist Church, will visit GW before it heads to Arlington National Cemetery to protest against deceased soldiers for Veterans Day.  The group is really anti-Christian in nature carrying signs that say, "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers".  Why they are coming to GW is not totally clear; they protest anywhere they can get attention and publicity.  While the situation is not normally one I would want us to get involved in, the Newman Center will participate peacefully and prayerfully with the rest of GW.  We intend to carry our own signs: "Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love" - 1 Jn 4:8 and "Love the sinner, hate the sin" - St. Augustine.

The Holy Father made an address which is applicable to the statements of the WBC.  He reminded us last week that God not only has great love and mercy for wayward sinners, He is attracted to them:

God Is Attracted to Lost Souls, Says Pontiff

Encourages Practice of Mercy Toward Others

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 31, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is affirming that God wants to save all souls, and is especially attracted to those that are lost.

The Pope stated this today in an address before praying the midday Angelus together with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.

"God excludes no one, neither the poor nor the rich," he said.

The Pontiff continued, "God does not let himself be conditioned by our human prejudices, but sees in everyone a soul to save and is especially attracted to those who are judged as lost and who think themselves so."

"Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God, has demonstrated this immense mercy, which takes nothing away from the gravity of sin, but aims always at saving the sinner, at offering him the possibility of redemption, of starting over from the beginning, of converting," the Holy Father affirmed.

Speaking about the Gospel story of Zacchaeus, Benedict XVI noted the example of God's mercy.

"When Jesus was passing through Jericho and stopped at the house of Zacchaeus, he caused a major scandal," the Pope said. "The Lord, however, knew exactly what he was doing."

"He wanted, so to speak, to gamble, and he won the bet: Zacchaeus, deeply moved by Jesus' visit, decides to change his life, and promises to restore four times what he had stolen," the Pontiff recalled.

Jesus "did not condemn him but he met his desire for salvation," the Holy Father concluded. "Let us pray to the Virgin Mary, perfect model of communion with Jesus, to be renewed by his love, and to show his mercy to others."


Anonymous said...

You make a great point, and though this is one issue the Newman Center may be reluctant to be involved in, it's a great opportunity to counter hate with God's love.

The WBC website says they are coming to GW "to remind this nation that this next generation of young people have been raised for the devil himself". They say that this generation of college students has been encouraged to disobey and hate God by their parents and professors, who have refused to do their "Deuteronomy 6 duty".

Anonymous said...

It is not only an opportunity to participate peacefully, but it can also be an act of love, and an opportunity for evangelization.

Students should also carry signs reading, "Come experience God's love," or "See what's God love truly is," and then have the mass times under each slogan and the location.