Today we remember St Alphonsus.He lived between 1696 – 1787. He was born into a noble family and studied Law. He felt drawn to the priesthood. His father was not happy with this choice but he went ahead nonetheless. After Ordination, he started working with the poor and neglected, reaching out to young street people and helping them in their faith journey. He was a cultured man attracted to music, the arts and poetry. He used these skills in the service of the gospel. He started working with the poorest and most abandoned and devoted his time and skills to helping and empowering them. Alphonsus also started a new congregation now known as the Redemptorists. He wrote prolifically about many areas of spirituality. He is known in a special way for his work on moral Theology. He reacted against the rigourism of the times that had crept into the Church. This rigourism was not the gospel. It simply was not authentic Christian teaching. There was an elitism and a legalism that just was not the practice and teaching of Jesus. There are sadly some groups that tend to be this way inclined today. They tend to be judgmental and over-emphasise letter rather than the spirit of the law. They do not meet people where they are and walk with them with compassion. Healthy Christian living and teaching is neither rigid nor lax!
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