Protecting your personal possessions


#1

I read in Catholicism for Dummies that the Church recognizes the right to protect your property but scripture says Luke 6:30 “Give to every one that asketh thee, and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.”

I am confused now. :confused:


#2

I would also like to know the answer, so i am replying to keep updated.


#3

i would look to the catechism. a lot of the sayings in the bible are tempered in church teaching. the passage you are quoting is probably the ideal that we should strive for.


#4

An interesting question, and a tough one. I looked up some commentaries on Luke 6:30, which refer also to Matthew 5:42 which is very similar.
Here is a link to those commentaries (see the left column).
The verse you cite comes shortly after the Beatitudes, in which Jesus tells us that they are blessed who are poor, hungry, weeping, and mistreated by others. Do we believe that? Do you really believe that? If we accept that, and that’s a big if, then we may understand what Jesus says next, that we should not resist one who strikes us, takes our cloak or other property, or (in Matthew’s version) presses us into service (makes us work). Because if those things happen, we are blessed. Right? :confused:

This is a hard teaching, but some of the commentaries (cited above) soften it.

Here’s how I look at it. The greatest commandments are that we should love God and love one another. Therefore our ownership of property should be oriented toward love. The Catechism teaches that the ownership of property is legitimate for meeting our basic needs and those of our families and others in our charge. Beyond that, we can use our property and spend our money in ways that are compatible with love: helping those around us, promoting good will, building up our community, and providing for the material needs of the Church.

Ellicott’s Commentary, available from the link given above, suggests how we may respond with love when someone asks to have something of ours:

That which the words really teach as the ideal of the perfect life which we ought to aim at, is the loving and the giving temper that sees in every request made to us the expression of a want of some kind, which we are to consider as a call to thoughtful inquiry how best to meet the want, giving what is asked for if we honestly believe that it is really for the good of him who asks, giving something else if that would seem to be really better for him. Rightly understood, the words do not bid us idly give alms to the idle or the impostor.


#5

The word “take” is not the same as “steal”. It could mean that the person(poor) in need who takes(needs) something, we shouldn’t put pressure on them in their case to give it back since they are in need.

And if we interpret “take” as “steal”, it may mean that it is the poor person who has to resort to this to obtain his needs, we shouldn’t deprive them of this by asking for it back.

The reason I say this is that in the O.T. God is always advacating the people to help the poor in any number of ways. As I recall, a person is suppose to do some kind of charity act at least once a year without expecting any recompense. And the farmer is not to gather up the last bit of grain from his field so that the poor may have something too.

So in the vein of this thought, it would seem that, he that takes it, is in need and is the poor that is referred to.

And if this isn’t the literal meaning word for word, it is a spiritual one.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.


#6

It’s usually trouble when Scripture is pulled out in isolation. Consider this from Our Lord in Luke:

39 But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have been awake and[a] would not have left his house to be broken into.


#7

good point, that’s probably referring to satan?


#8

I read that as 2 separate matters.

  1. You are permitted to protect your possessions.
  2. You are asked to do acts of charity

closed #9

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