Letters to the Editor: November 1985
I was intensely moved by Robert E. Langfelder’s letter on Ignazio Silone and Robert Coles (Sept.). Langfelder pointed to the importance of treating the individuals we meet, wherever we meet them, with compassion and respect. At the same time, he made it clear, through the voices of Silone and Coles, that the Bible and the gospels are not ideology.
Both the political Left and Right are usually selective in the scriptural passages they use to rationalize their actions. They dangerously manipulate the clear voice of Scripture, which goes far beyond ideology.
Your magazine is one of the few clear voices we are offered today. I can’t thank you enough for the essays and critical pieces of your writers — which for me are truly gifts. Compassion has no ideology. I plan to be a subscriber until I breathe my last breath.
Director, Social Outreach, Loyola College in Maryland
In “God is Mercy” (July-Aug.), L. Brent Bozell indicated the low estate of the concept of the Divine Mercy since Aquinas — until John Paul. While I knew nothing of Sister Faustina or of the neglect of the attribute of mercy, I think it curious that, quite independently since 1975 (five years before I became Roman Catholic), or earlier, the concept of the Divine Mercy has loomed ever larger in my thoughts, as witness the title of my earlier book A Severe Mercy, in which I told of our Christian group at Oxford using “Go under the Mercy” at partings — a phrase drawn from a novel (Descent into Hell) by Charles Williams. And my book ended with the words: “Under the Mercy.”
Although I haven’t seen one, I’m told that some Christians are wearing a button with those words upon it. My new book is named Under the Mercy, its theme being that all my life I have lived under the Mercy, and so we all have. The phrase, Peter Kreeft said one time, is “metaphysically exact…a three-word road map for many souls.” He also said of its increasing use: “A fire is spreading,” and in light of Bozell’s account of Sister Faustina’s vision, I cannot but wonder whether there is a connection known only by our merciful Lord.
Just a note to tell you that your magazine, the U.S. bishops’ pastoral letter on our economy, and Church teaching have all been catalysts in my recent decision to accept employment as a business agent for a local union affiliated with the AFL-CIO.
San Francisco, California
I am wondering why you published the ridiculous letter from Melissa Scheffey (Sept.) canceling her subscription because of reading Juli Loesch’s article against abortion (May).
If, as Scheffey says, having a baby is always an available “option,” what is wrong with Loesch’s suggestion that having a baby is a “better option” than having an abortion?
And if Scheffey truly supports, as she says she does, Loesch’s pro-birth position, then what purpose is served by Scheffey’s canceling her subscription?
Theodore L. Munson
A Better Choice
In response to Melissa Scheffey, whose letter (Sept.) attacked Juli Loesch, I would like to say that Loesch’s position that having a baby is a “better option” than having an abortion is not at all “ridiculous,” as Scheffey claims. An unborn baby may be unwanted by some, but, thank God, not by all. Adoption is certainly a “better option” than an abortion, as well as a positive pro-life “choice.”
Princeton, New Jersey
It is quite difficult to find people who share the religious convictions which engender the NOR. I find myself saying to myself, “I thought I was the only one who had such ideas, but the NOR proves that I’m not the only person who thinks this way, etc.”
I suspect there are a few other people in or around State College, Pennsylvania, who read the NOR regularly. Mutual support is very important for any long-term spiritual growth, so I’m figuring that if I could find some others in my area who subscribe to the NOR, we might be able to form some sort of study or discussion group, in order to help clarify our own respective ideas and realize more fully the type of “educated” laity that writers like Chesterton seemed to have in mind.
State College, Pennsylvania
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