Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

7.3.1 Introduction

The Helplessness of the Helper

Making the experience that you are unable to help is a big problem. Either when you realize you simply do not have the time to adequately care for the person who needs it or when that person blocks or rejects help. Often the problems may also  be so large that one person’s resources are not enough.

For example, even highly trained emergency physicians may feel helpless sometimes, even if they have the best resources at their disposal. 

You must be aware of your helplessness, accept it, and not overplay it. It can only be conquered in prayer and in conversation with others. 

The Ambivalence of Love

Since Freud, the ambivalence of love has been abundantly clear: loving others is always also a form of loving oneself. That’s not really a problem; one just has to be aware of it. 

In diaconicon actions, degrading love and sincere love can be very similar. 

The Abuse of Social Institutions:

For example: the problem of free-loaders

This problem is as old as the church’s commandment to love others.

Paul already stated “Whoever does not want to work, should not eat” (2 Thess. 2:10)

Here even Ambrosius, the Bishop of Milan, had to set boundaries in the encouragement to love others. Equally relevant today is his reference to impoverished people who have retreated in shame. What these people often need less than cash help in navigating a world that has become too complex for them. For example, figuring out what state assistance they are entitled to, help going to the correct authorities and filling out paperwork. What is often especially necessary to these people is help from young people in navigating the complex world of modern communication technology.