In any community, to honor is to love
FREE Catholic Classes
By Mary Regina Morrell
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Phil. 4:8
I have always found great wisdom in the Chinese proverb: "One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade."
It speaks so simply, and yet so profoundly, of the interconnectedness of the human family.
But when the trees planted are really cell-phone monopoles in very poor disguise, you can be certain there will be no shade, nor would anyone sit in it if there were.
In my community this battle began a year ago, when a large communications company went before our zoning board with an application to erect a monopole in our residential neighborhood. They were welcomed by a not-for-profit organization housed in our community which was seeking to gain revenue through land-use income.
The outcry from the community was loud and strong, citing health, safety and aesthetic concerns as reasons to prevent the monopole from going up. Fortunately for us, the zoning board denied the application and we were delighted with the outcome.
That was until last week when we discovered the company had gone to Superior Court where the decision had been overturned. The zoning board has since decided that an appeal would be too costly and so it seems we have lost the battle.
In the course of the fight, through the writing of many letters and nights spent in angry musings, I finally realized that while I was angry with all those who enabled this to happen, the real issue - the real sore spot -- for me had become the failure of one member of the community, the non-profit organization, to honor the rest of the community.
St. Paul would understand completely.
His letters to the early Christian communities were admonitions stressing the importance of the Spirit to community life and the appropriate response of individuals living a life of faith animated by that Spirit.
For Paul the Spirit was the unifying force of the community, expressed in a common purpose by individuals who honored each other by attention to the other's needs, being especially mindful of doing what was best for the community's weaker members.
Paul also made the point that what was permissible by culture or law was not always right. This is a wisdom that all of God's children should fully embrace.
For any community, be it a neighborhood, a parish, a school, an office or a family, honoring the other must be a foundational premise for peace and prosperity to reign. Sometimes this requires that we drop the "it's all about me," attitude and concentrate more on how we can best serve others.
"A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor's," wrote Richard Whately, an Oxford philosopher, social reformer and once Anglican Archbishop of Dublin.
Surely his thought was a reflection of his understanding of the second part of the Greatest Commandment as Jesus spoke it, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself."
St. Paul explained it again in his letter to the Roman community, "Love does no wrong to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."
In this day and age we have come to expect that profit driven entities will do just about anything they can to increase their revenues. It's infuriating, but certainly the wound is not so deep as when inflicted by one of our own.
So, for me, it's back to the battle, or maybe it's more appropriate to say "on to the next battle" because, in addition to teaching the greatest commandment Jesus also taught us the value of faithful persistence.
Jesus may have lost the battle, if we look at his death through the eyes of his unbelieving contemporaries, but he certainly won the war.
Diocese of Metuchen
http://www.diometuchen.org NJ, US
Mary Regina Morrell - Associate Director, Office of Religious Education, 732 562-1990
community, honor, cell tower, monopole
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.