The good Samaritan

God knows, — or I hope He knows, — I try to avoid subtlety in these Idleposts; that I mean to focus exclusively on what is obvious; upon things that are as plaigne as daeg. So too, in any pieces I write elsewhere (such as yesterday, here). For sure, I am not one of these “German philosophers,” from the time since Albertus Magnus. (Who had the same “barn door” policy.) Give me the broad side of a barn door, and I will try to hit it. Of course, I often miss.

As an addendum to my link, let me mention a fairly clear point about the Parable of the Good Samaritan, which was told in church this morning, the Eighth Sunday After Pentecost. I would hope gentle reader knows the story. It is Christ’s answer to the question, Who is my neighbour? It is the man beaten, robbed, and left crumpled in a ditch — quite regardless of anyone’s race, creed, or colour.

Notice that the good Samaritan stops, himself, rather than just reaching for his cellphone and dialling “nine-one-one.” That he attends to the injured party, directly. That he takes the poor man to an inn, and pays for this shelter, out of his own wallet. That he makes only a deposit, promising to pay the balance on his return — prudently to assure that the man will be well treated. (This is something I have noticed in many Lives of Saints: that they are canny, that they are not suckers. That they do know how the world works.)

Mother Teresa of Calcutta is, as I have mentioned before, a great heroine of mine (from sight as well as reading). She took upon herself a considerable number (countless thousands; millions and counting if we include her sisters) of what could be called “good Samaritan” activities; done almost invariably out of public view (and never in public view by intention). She also lectured people from time to time, imparting to them a constant instruction: “Do it yourself!”

Our contemporary way is to seek publicity, and lobby. Bucket after bucket of sanctimony is poured, along with “symbolic gestures.” We demand that other people show some responsibility. We demand that the government take care of it. We demand that the State provide welfare services, with mountainous overheads, and then, that they “make the rich pay.” This is what makes us feel good about ourselves.

We do not do what, for instance, the cops in Dallas were doing the other day: running towards the gunfire to protect innocent black people from getting shot. It was their job, of course, but also an affirmation of who is their neighbour.

Now consider, yea, this excerpt from the long and windy July Prayer Intentions of a certain Pope Francis, forwarded to me by an unhappy priest:

“That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity and amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.”

All this drivel about inequality; about “love” for an abstract socio-economic group; all these cant phrases from the twisting, serpentine Marxist past. One tires of it.