Paul’s Sense of Balance!

2 Thessalonians 3:14-15
If any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not look on him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

Paul here strikes a balance which so many on the polarized “left” and “right” in the modern Church fail to strike.  On the one hand, obedience to apostolic teaching is not optional, but necessary (contra certain self-appointed “dissenters” in the Church).  Rejection of that teaching is rejection of Christ.  On the other hand, the key to healing the Church is not (contra certain self-appointed inquisitors) to declare those whose obedience is weak to be “enemies of the Faith.”  It is love, not polarization and power, that is at the heart of the apostolic gospel.  On those rare occasions when the bishops say, “Have nothing to do” with someone who has rejected the Faith of Christ, this should be a cause for grief and prayer that the sinner will repent in shame for his sins, not a cause for gloating or factionalism.  Only love can heal and only love can bring back those who are estranged.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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  • Guest

    Catholic politicians come to mind. Pray for their return to the Faith of Christ. They could be doing so much, for so many.