To Help vs To Do No Harm?

Today’s post is a reblog of a post from October 10, 2013

Passionist Partners' Blog

Father Sebastian McDonald, C.P. Father Sebastian McDonald, C.P.

Students in training to become medical doctors early on encounter some foundational principles for conducting themselves in the medical profession.  And one principle goes back a long way, to the Greek world and the wording of the Hippocratic oath: DO NO HARM. That’s the first rule for a budding physician to learn: not DO GOOD, but, rather, DO NO HARM.

It’s interesting that a budding doctor is advised to void injuring someone, before being counseled to help someone.  There’s an issue here of comparing good and evil, and it applies beyond the medical field into the personal and private field of our own personal lives.  If one of us was asked: what is more important: to avoid hurting someone, or to do something good for someone, how would I answer that question?

For instance, if I found myself before someone, and I had to make a sudden decision between “don’t hurt…

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Commentators Analyze the Significance of Pope Francis’ Meeting With Kim Davis

“Aaron Jay Ledesma, a gay Catholic who was invited to the White House to help welcome Pope Francis last week, said the meeting between the pope and Davis does not in any way change his opinion of the pontiff.

” ‘The pope met so many people on his trip to the United States, so who am I to judge who he meets,’ Ledesma told HuffPost. ‘The meeting itself does not bother me — if anything she probably needs it.’

“What does bother him, Ledesma said, is that Kim Davis would use the meeting to push an agenda.

Bondings 2.0

Yesterday’s news about Pope Francis’ meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples, went viral very quickly and evoked very strong reactions in people.  In almost four years of blogging, I can’t think of any story that has generated as many comments so quickly from our readers as this one has.  The news certainly struck a nerve in people’s minds and hearts.  How significant is this news?  Is it just overblown hype or a gesture which reveals the pope’s beliefs?

Pope Francis

New Ways Ministry issued a response to this news yesterday, and you can read it by clicking here.  Today, we offer some commentary from others on the matter.

Two leading Catholic commentators, Father James Martin, SJ, an America magazine editor, and John Allen, Jr., an editor of Crux, both offered explanations to try to downplay the importance…

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A Path, a Task and a Key

Dave O'Donnell
Dave O’Donnell

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them… (MK 9:2-10)

I believe that everything Jesus claimed about Himself, applies to each and every one of us. It seems clear to me the Father gave Jesus the task to show us the way to travel, a path back to our Father in heaven. The Transfiguration of Jesus and the appearance of Moses and Elijah show us that God provided Jesus with guides to assist Him with His task (teach us the way) on His journey to the cross.


The Father gave Jesus a Path (to journey) a task (to do) a cross (to overcome) and a key (to make it possible). The Key is Jesus’ consent—that only He can give—“Not my will but Thine be done”. (Jesus never left His source the Father)


God will never abandon us even when we abandon God. I believe God gives everyone of us a path, a task, a cross and a key and heaven is our home and destination.



This Week’s Posts


Father Sebastian McDonald, C.P.
Father Sebastian McDonald, C.P.

…They look strange, their speech patterns are out of the ordinary, their modes of behavior are off the beaten path, their dress styles are ill-kempt and out of style. The last thing in the world we would think of calling them is “holy”…  CPP Blog



Dave O'Donnell
Dave O’Donnell

…Mark tells us: “This is a time of fulfillment. The kingdom is at hand. Repent and believe…” This suggests to me…  CPP Blog



Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Three hundred years ago, St. Paul of the Cross told us of the importance of living simply…In today’s TEDxWhitefish talk Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus give us an update on Paul’s idea.
CPP Blog



How to Save Rainforests


The Sierra Club, founded in 1892 published Passionst, Fr. Thomas Berry’s The Dream of the Earth in 1988. Almost 30 years later, the world continues to learn more about this beautiful home of which Thomas wrote.


Reading Berry’s book, awoke me to the evidence that the earth is being crucified today. That led to a promise in my first covenant with the Partners, to do whatever I could to share this new found information. I find it encouraging that Tasso Azevedo in the above TED Talk continues this agenda of bringing awareness to our mother earth’ s plight.

2014 Midterm Elections, Get Out The Vote!



The Blog


Since 2004, WordPress has set out with an ambitious goal in mind — to democratize publishing and put state-of-the-art tools in front of publishers both large and small across the planet. We believe strongly in this vision because when more people have access to powerful tools on the web, that in-turn empowers them to do great things and publish amazing content. We feel the same way when it comes to democratizing, well, democracy — and in just a few weeks, citizens across the United States will have a unique opportunity to flex their political muscle and vote in the 2014 Midterm Elections.

For our part, we want to provide our US-based users a set of resources to help them make a smart, informed decision when it comes to who they will vote for. We also want to provide a toolkit so that they can get more information on where to…

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Partners’ Forum

Reflection for Sunday, September 28, 2014

By Dave O’Donnell

IMG_0035The first reading this coming Sunday tells us that man’s and God’s ways are not the same and that sin has consequences that can be ameliorated by correcting ones errors. God does not punish sin, but I must take personal responsibility and change my ways to be freed from sins’ consequences.


In Sunday’s Gospel selection, Jesus is talking to the chief priest and elders saying: “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did.” (Mt 21: 31 – 32)


Jesus tells us: “The Kingdom of God is within.” The way of righteousness is a path to the kingdom of God within. It requires only the personal responsibility of acceptance with peace and love to follow.


I’ve read (I think it was the Jesuit scripture scholar, John McKenzie) that the word kingdom is more precisely translated as reign. When I say the reign of God is within, it speaks more powerfully to me than if I say the kingdom…. When I reject the reign of God who is it who takes the helm? Paul says it is the flesh. I understand Paul to mean it is my ego. Neither the flesh nor the ego is bad, but they are prone to excesses. It is the ways of the flesh and the ego that provide the consequences of sin. It is important for me to know that God does not punish sin.