Compassion, not empathy, is what the world needs

Re: “How to foster empathy” (In Focus, Dec. 4).

Empathy has become a somewhat empty word. Jesus instructed us to be compassionate, to comfort, to share, to engage, to admonish, to forgive. He called us to engage with our fellow man at a personal level.

Empathy does not require any engagement beyond a cursory recognition of another’s circumstances. Compassion et al. require that we roll up our sleeves and walk with our brothers and sisters, not just try on their shoes from a safe location.

Stephen Kenny, via online comment

Listing mortal sins

Re: “On mortal sin” (Pastoral Answers, Dec. 4).

No two people understand God or the Catholic faith exactly the same. Some want (and actually need) a list of relevant mortal sins. There is a precedent for this, as mentioned in the article: St. Paul lists some grave sins of his time.

A list of present applicable mortal (grave) sins would not be exhaustive but can help some very much. 

Let’s list some things we should never do: Any use of our procreative powers (sexual activity) outside the bond of marriage between one man and one woman — this includes but is not limited to fornication, homosexual acts including gay marriage, masturbation, prostitution, bestiality (I wouldn’t mention this grotesque activity, but the Bible does) — drunkenness, use of mind-altering drugs (unless for legitimate prescription purposes), abortion, fetal stem-cell research, in-vitro fertilization and pornography. I am sure Msgr. Charles Pope could do a better job at this, but it needs to be done nonetheless for some Catholics.

Our culture promotes all types, colors and flavors of sin, and few in society are blowing the horn to bring Americans back to right thinking.

May God bless us with those who will teach God’s children (especially adults) what is black and white, right and wrong. In the end, there is heaven and hell — that’s it. That is pretty black and white.

Joe Marincel, Flower Mound, Texas

Wise words

Re: “Post-election 2016, a call to action for Catholics” (Editorial, Nov. 27).

Your article provided many things for Catholics to ponder.

Yes, it’s time for all Christians to get to work.

Jesuit Father John A. Hardon (1914-2000) stated, “Unless we recover the zeal and the spirit of the first century Christians — unless we are willing to do what they did and to pay the price that they paid, the future of our country, the days of America are numbered.”

Alvina Lenerville, Rapid City, South Dakota

Passing on the Faith

Re: “Nuncio challenges Church to ‘accompany the young’” (Openers, Nov. 27).

Here in the year 2016, our young people carry cellphones with more capabilities, information and technology than there was on our first lunar landing module. Our faith, our Church and our Savior exist in the word — or Sacred Scripture — written 2,000 years ago.

That message is installed in the hearts of the faithful through generations of trial and error and experience. Age has taught us truth. Jesus Christ is truth. Our young are impatient, exuberant and full of raging hormones who demand from society the secrets of life immediately (if not sooner) thanks to the apps of progress.

It hasn’t changed no matter what age we live in, and only one thing remains: Young people think old people don’t understand, and old people think young people should slow down and listen to the wisdom of age.

I do not envy our clergy to make our Savior relevant to the young.

He must be more current to them. What better time than now?

Les Johnson, Akron, Ohio


Re: A Catholic radio marriage announcement (News Analysis, Oct. 30).

Not mentioned in the article was EWTN Radio, which has more than 350 affiliated stations in the United States and more than 500 stations worldwide, plus SiriusXM Channel 130.

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