Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Culpability, Responsibility, & Actual Ability...Yours, Mine, Ours???

Culpability, Responsibility, & Actual Ability.... When we stand back and think about how we are supposed to live our daily lives; these "-abilities" play a major role. When we chose to follow Christ we are culpable for our actions, that is pretty easy to understand and accept. We then take the responsibility of our own actions and we use our personal physical ability to carry out the tasks the fruits of these actions are our own.

But what about our neighbor's actions? Are we responsible or culpable for those? If we know that our neighbor is going to act sinfully to hurt himself or another person does any of the culpability (or blame) fall upon us? Yes, sometimes even though an action is brought about by another person's physical abilities we still carry the culpability. This occurs when we have knowledge of the sinful actions and ignore our responsibility to follow Christ's example "admonish the sinner." Admonishing the Sinner is a Spiritual Work of Mercy, different from judging a sinner, admonishing is aimed toward changing the sinner's heart and returning them to the mystical body of Christ. If I pray for my neighbor is that enough to remove my culpability? Not always, for example a Church needs to be built and we pray to God to help us build the new Church; materials are provided... someone still needs to be God's hands on earth and build the Church. The same can be said for admonishing the sinner, we can pray for God's wisdom and direction, and although sometimes unpleasant we must be God's hands on earth. Christ told us in John 18:36 "his kingdom is not of this world," and in the modern world it is the trend to allow all people the "don't ask, don't tell" privilege even in regards to their immortal soul. When we are looking to live as Christ, we must do so fearlessly and not follow the trends... His kingdom is not of this world and we want as many souls to enjoy paradise as possible.

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