Service at SLUH Logan Hayward, Senior Editor
What is the goal of service? There are two competing views on this issue. One view holds that physical service is absolutely necessary for salvation. Proponents of this theory may cite Christ’s words from Matthew 25: 41-43: “Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.” However, there have been saints who were unable to fulfill these requirements literally, but served God’s people through the spiritual works of mercy instead. So corporal service and spiritual service are both valid ways to achieve salvation. Of course, the ideal is to achieve both, but we shouldn’t assume that someone who spent time comforting the afflicted and praying is less worthy than someone who devoted his life to working at food shelters. The other view holds that service is absolutely necessary to save lives now. However, there are many types of service that do not save a person’s life. In fact, many people who SLUH students serve on a regular basis do not need physical help from them at all. They just need someone to be friendly
with them, to respect them, and to listen to them. Sometimes, service may not contribute to saving the world. But it might save souls. If physical service is not necessary to achieve our salvation and does not necessarily save people’s lives, why does SLUH focus on it? Service is a good in itself. It is not always a means to a good end. The action of helping another person without desiring any compensation is intrinsically good. Sometimes, we may have absolutely no success with service: we may make no difference in the lives of the people we try to help, regardless of how hard we try. Sometimes, we may not find ourselves any closer to God after an act of service. But we should still serve others. Service is like a beautiful work of art. In staring at a vibrant painting or listening to a magnificent symphony, we may not find the mysteries of the universe made clear to us. But those works of art are, by their very nature, good. Likewise, we may not think we are any closer to God after a service trip, but we naturally are closer to him, unless we are in a state of mortal sin, because we are doing something he wanted us to do. During this school year, SLUH seniors will spend a good chunk of January doing service, and freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will serve through SLUH CSP, service trips, parish youth groups, or local agencies. If we have open minds and hearts, there is a
very good chance that we will learn and see God’s presence during these acts of service. But even if we find ourselves exactly as we were before, we can still know that we have done something naturally good.
Calling All Those Who Disagree Logan Hayward, Senior Editor
The SLUH Review has a reputation as a right-wing paper. Obviously, this is because all of our political articles thus far have been of a conservative and/or libertarian bent. However, we want to include opinions from people of many political persuasions. SLUH would benefit from a true marketplace of political ideas. I firmly believe that, even though we have a limited audience, the SLUH Review has done good by contributing ideas that don’t have a lot of traction at our school. Progressives, liberals, and Democrats: it is time for you all to make your ideas known in this paper, too. People on the left and the right do not want others to define them by the beliefs of their leaders in Washington. In other words, I do not want people to think I agree with everything the Republicans say, and I don’t think liberals want people to think they agree with everything the Democrats say. Partially in order to distance ourselves from these political leaders, we adopt new labels. A right-winger, such as me, disappointed with decisions of Republicans and conservatives, might re-christen himself as a libertarian; and a left-winger who is not comfortable with the Democrats and liberals might label himself as a socialist. But our ideas go beyond these labels. It is time for us to see where we agree with each other. The politicos want to divide the American people into two easily-labeled camps. But we are more complex than that. I can name four people currently associated with the SLUH Review who have been critical of the war in Iraq. And yet, somehow, because these people write for this paper,
everyone is supposed to assume that they are all war-hawk Republicans. The SLUH Review sparks debate. We have debated political issues at our meetings. We have proposed ideas that are off the beaten path. We welcome well-reasoned arguments from the left and the right. We will not accept a liberal’s argument that abortion should remain legal, but we will also not accept a conservative’s argument that the United States should deliberately bomb innocent civilians. The Catholic Church, on the political issues on which it has voiced objective moral judgment, does not fit easily into the current political paradigm. The SLUH Review does not, either. In order to establish our reputation as an opinion paper that values the truth above political labels, let’s hear from the left and the center, too.
Is Nine Years All it Takes to Forget? Matt Geisman, Core Staff
I remember September 11th, 2001 as clearly as I’m sure any other SLUH student remembers it. I was in my school’s church, practicing for a mass with the rest of the third grade, when suddenly one of our most devout parishioners came in shouting that something terrible had happened. As soon as I got home and had access to a television, I witnessed some of the most gruesome events I have seen to this day. I watched towers one and two of the World Trade Center collapse on CNN. I watched a woman jump to her death on NBC. This woman was someone’s wife, perhaps. Someone’s daughter, definitely. More than 3,000 mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, and fiancés and children died that day. More than 3,000 American citizens lost their lives. American life had been changed forever. We lived in a new world, one of fear, uncertainty, but most of all, seemingly endless patriotic devotion. Thousands of candlelight vigils were held. American flags were flying in what seemed like every front
yard. There was a flurry of inquiries at recruiting stations across the country. Every American citizen vowed to “never forget.” So what has changed, nine years later? Have we made true on our promise to “never forget?” Sadly, the ninth anniversary of September 11th has come and gone, almost as peacefully as any other day of the year. There were no prayer services held at SLUH to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks. Nothing was said about the soldiers who enlist to defend our country’s freedom. All in all, it seems America has forgotten the true meaning of 9/11. I often look at pictures of 9/11 and wonder how forgetting so easily is possible. Perhaps, in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and instant gratification, remembering something that happened before any of these social networking sites were even founded is too hard. Perhaps the war fatigue that has set in around the country has dulled the effect of these images. Whatever the case, America has since lost the patriotic zeal it gained on the days following 9/11.
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