2020NR. 3 / 2020 (SEPTEMBRIE-DECEMBRIE)RestituiriStudii


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Abstract: Articolul prezintă numeroase mărturii despre actele de caritate creştină ale Bisericii primelor veacuri. Autorul încearcă să arate, cu câteva mărturii şi fapte din viaţa vechilor creştini, cum s-a pus şi cum s-a rezolvat, în viaţa lor grea şi eroică, problema carităţii creştine. Care este datoria ei, programul ei, care sunt mijloacele ei, care sunt posibilităţile şi roadele ei, care sunt necesităţile, sensul spiritual şi roadele acesteia. Nu există o operă practică filantropică mai îndelungată, mai variată şi mai rodnică decât a Bisericii, nici teren de acţiune caritabilă mai întins decât al ei. El este azi mare cât lumea şi plin de greutăţi. Cu atât mai bine, atât timp cât vom avea credinţă şi dragoste creştină, nimic pe lume nu ne poate opri de a face binele. Împotriva lui nu poate fi piedică.

Articol publicat în Revista BOR LXVIII, nr. 1-3/1945, pp. 20-66

Keywords: Pagan antiquity, martiryc heroism, Christian charity, Church philantrophy, charitable institutions

Summary: Christians have contributed the most beautiful pages in the history of humanity through their love for God and their fellow people. Martyric heroism and evangelical charity have elevated man to the highest degree of virtue, offering moral teachings never paralleled and not even conceivable outside Christianity. From the outset, Christianity was indeed paradoxical: Christians would lead an unusual life, angelically virtuous and otherworldly pure. Pagan Antiquity, whose culture has bequeathed to us many admirable things, was however unable to surpass in the moral realm some beautiful precepts (such as the Stoic ones) or some individual generous deeds or virtues, which however were exceptions. The society as a whole was never touched and pervaded by great  ideas and sublime feelings, such as those governing the astonishing life of Christians, a life of unfathomable love. It was something completely new, unknown and never experienced until then. „God is love,” was the Christian teaching. Certainly, the old world had also known love, but not the divine one, and Christians renewed and transformed the moral life of humanity with their  evangelical love, love for one’s neighbour – that is for every man, even one’s enemy. Pagan generosity, extended by either individuals or the state – which actually did spend great amounts – was liberality, rather than charity, because it was not motivated by love. Aid was offered out of political, social or demographic interests, out or pride, ambition or vanity. The social burden of the Church was heavy and difficult, but it carried this burden willingly despite the hardships entailed by persecutions. The Church first proceeded to identify and know all the needs, deprivations, sufferings. The names of the poor or ailing were registered and they regularly received aids. Together with the material support, the afflicted ones also received comfort and brotherly encouragement from the community. The bishops had to love the poor, and act as compassionate protectors, on a holy mission.

Teodor M. Popescu (1893-1973) – teolog, profesor universitar, traducător, scriitor și ziarist român. Este considerat unul dintre numele proeminente ale teologiei europene din secolul XX.