Saturday, 28 September 2013

Mixing up charity and pity

Several people in formation line mix up charity with pity. Of late we on the staff in the Seminary have been taking a lot of flak for having asked half a dozen of our students to discontinue at the end of last year.  We had our valid and genuine reasons for doing so.  Yet very many seem to see this as unfair to them.  (Thankfully, no one is saying that we have been partial!).

I believe charity is when we have a sustained follow up of the student and help him in all possible fields to do what is right and good, and in the best manner possible; and then, after all this, if we still find that he will not be able to take on the role of a leader, of an animator, of a good shepherd, then in all honesty and goodwill we tell the person to discontinue.  That is charity... to him, to ourselves and to the Church.

Pity, on the other hand, is when someone who has not done any bit of help all along, but then comes up and says that the person should be given another chance. Has he done anything all along the year to help the individual?  No!  Pity, in this sense, is born of an illusory sense of well being of oneself in comparison to another, who happens to be in tears for all the choices he has made all along, in which I took no part,  not even took notice of.

Mixing these two is a very dangerous and foolish gamble!

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