Up to this point in history the treatment and cure of homelessness has been left up to the religious, based on the inaccurate assumption that homelessness is a spiritual problem. But now people are coming out, admitting that this approach to the problem of homelessness has failed. Hopefully we will see a growing interest in a scientific approach to understanding and curing homelessness. It is time to drop the notion that homelessness is caused by a dysfunctional relationship with God, which can be cured with copious amounts of prayer and a proper belief in all the "right" things.
Claiming homelessness as a spiritual problem is Jewish and Left wing Protestant (Pentecostal, Presbyterian and such).
The reason why Catholic religious engaged in helping homeless is other: they need to set an example for other potential givers. That is the Catholic understanding of both Kings and Bishops and Monks who tended homeless and beggars. As well as seing Christ in the poor. Which is an attitude where they too need to set an example.
In fact, there is a very great danger for homeless in an unconscious parody of saying "that one is such a good Christ" because it is not this or that homeless or hungry who is Christ but any, the next one. No need whatsoever to keep someone there. There will always be poor around. THE Christ has promised us that. For poverty, any poverty except sickness itself, is no sickness. It is in part mystery. And in part morals. Both of the poor and of the rich or other givers.
Delbo/Paris II, and
23 jan 2010
*"At Vanderbilt"? Great! Do you know what Chesterton had to say about old Cornelius?