On false freedom and “intrinsically evil” acts James Schall S.J.

On false freedom and “intrinsically evil” acts

James Schall S.J.

Today, in a culture dominated by the presumption of an unlimited “freedom” to define ourselves as we see fit, many things that were once commonly discussed and understood cannot be openly and frankly spoken of without their advocates being shouted down, vilified, silenced, or otherwise marginalized.

Contrarily, “identity politics” has little concern with our freedom. Whether we like it or not, we are born with an identity that defines us by our color, genes, or heritage. Our loyalties are more tribal than rational. We spend our time and energy demanding that others recognize us. We are all victims of everyone else’s prejudices.

A basic, calm understanding of what a thing is seldom finds a welcome audience in universities, media, or pulpit. Few places are willing to consider the reason why things are said to be as they are. The older idea of a “liberal education” has almost disappeared with nary a trace. Students once had the capacity to accurately define evils of every sort without necessarily being implicated in the evil itself. The ability to define what is evil is itself a good. The deliberate doing of what is intrinsically evil, while not defining it as such, constitutes the disorder affecting the world both inside and outside of ourselves, as well as inside and outside of both Church and state.

Most people, no doubt, have at least heard that some act, religion, or saying is “intrinsically evil”. This concept, however, is often said to be preposterous. Even mentioning its possibility indicates bias. It is a threat to those who deny that any evil is “intrinsic”.

In the literature, “intrinsically evil acts” are often listed as aspects of Catholic thought. But there is nothing peculiarly Catholic about them. They are not considered “revealed” doctrines; they are at bottom conclusions of natural reason, with roots in the principle of contradiction. They apply to all men of whatever era or culture, and they presuppose an existing order in nature, including in human nature. Their two simplest formulations are the command: “Do good; avoid evil” and the Socratic: “It is never right to do wrong.”

As an example, many called the dropping of the atom bomb on Japan during the Second World War an “intrinsically evil” act. Others at the time, including President Truman, saw the atomic bomb as a lesser evil compared to invading Japan with the much greater loss of life and property that such an invasion would entail for both sides.

Christ said that divorce, from the “beginning”, was prohibited in spite of Moses’ temporary dispensation because of what He called the “hardness of men’s hearts”. The prohibition was evidently restored because a greater good was at stake. This “greater good” issue is still with us. It manifests itself in ongoing family crises that undermine the very foundations of our society. The Ruth Institute’s series of testimonies of children of divorce argues that modern divorce concepts are not seen from the viewpoint of children, but from the viewpoint of adults. Yet the old natural law on which the prohibition of divorce was maintained was first concerned with the proper home of the child, one that had a father, a mother, and usually other siblings. No other relationship could duplicate what a family was designed to do.

The notion that certain acts that we freely choose to engage in are “intrinsically evil” is obviously intended to inform men that they should not commit such acts no matter how “reasonable” the temptation to do them may seem at the time. The Machiavellian principle that we are free to do both good and evil is presented as a widening of our liberty. It is in fact a justification of the “do evil” alternative. The evil that results from them will always outweigh any apparent good that was hoped for in their doing. This result seems to be especially true when it is the state that mandates or permits the “intrinsic evil” by law and enforces the same against the conscience and good of those who see the act to be “intrinsically evil.” Of course, an “intrinsically evil” act will work out its dire consequences whether it is acknowledged to be evil or not. It will have its dire effects even if it is called, as it so often is, a “human right.” But the point of calling it an “intrinsically” evil act is that it cannot be presented under the guise of what is good.

II.

In today’s world, the two now public activities that are usually called “intrinsically evil” are sodomy and abortion, especially the deliberate killing of a child born alive but unwanted by its parents. The so-called “logic” of abortion has finally worked itself out in public. The “right” to terminate any life, wanted or unwanted, young or old, could not stop at birth. It had to include the “right” to a dead child if it is the “right” of a mother or father to terminate the life of the child at any age. It will end in a civil “obligation” (that is, a right and duty) to assisted suicide after a certain age or type of illness.

Abortion, however, is simply an application of the old fifth commandment, itself natural reasoning, about not murdering another. This commandment presupposed a law in nature that was discoverable by the human mind. If it was not “intrinsically evil” to kill another innocent person, our own lives at any age could be immediately in jeopardy from someone who denied the existence of an “intrinsically evil” act when it came to our own lives.

Secondly, within a decade or so, many countries passed from considering sodomy an “intrinsic evil” to it becoming a positive good and a “human right”. Its “evilness” was related to the idea that an order is found in nature. We can understand what things are for. The relation of male and female had an intrinsic purpose in its relation to the bringing forth new human life into the world. Male-to-male and female-to-female relations are by nature sterile; no new life can come of them. They are intrinsically “in vain”, to use Aristotle’s phrase. Each human child requires (is owed) a father and a mother, and at least three irreplaceable, mutual relationships: husband to wife, father to child, mother to child. To deprive a child of this twofold relationship is an “intrinsic” evil.

To conclude, our public order today bases itself on its own positive laws that in fact and in principle deny the existence of “intrinsically evil” acts. But their legal denial does not prevent their existential consequences. Such are the real origins of our civil turmoil. What we have is a civil society that defines and enforces as good law what is in fact an “intrinsic evil”. The positive or civil law brooks no law higher than itself. The natural law, however, remains in existence. What is “intrinsically evil” remains so even when it is called a good civil law. Its consequences continue to carry themselves out in individual and civil law.

What we now see working itself more clearly among us—this time in a presumed democratic, not totalitarian, society—is what happens when truth and error stand in direct contradiction to each other. The origins of the mob scenes we are seeing, the refusals to deal with the other, and the designating “intrinsic evils” as “rights” are all located here. The civil laws will continue to unravel what in the natural order belongs together. The natural law will be defined precisely as itself an “intrinsic evil”. And the civil law will finally forbid any expression (“hate language”) of natural law that would imply a disorder in civil law. Such is the logic and, increasingly and quickly, such is the “reality” of that unreality.

About James V. Schall, S.J. 

James V. Schall, S.J. taught political philosophy at Georgetown University for many years until recently retiring. He is the author of numerous books and countless essays on philosophy, theology, education, morality, and other topics. His most recent book is On Islam: A Chronological Record, 2002-2018 (Ignatius Press, 2018). Visit his site, “Another Sort of Learning”, for more about his writings and work.

Intriguing & thought-provoking

               Matthew 11:15: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

 Can you recall the first time you heard these words of Christ? I recall hearing them while I was still in high school. Even now, after all of these 50+ years, they still give me pause for reflection.

 Mark 4:9 “And he said: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Luke 8:8 “And other some fell upon good ground; and being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundredfold. Saying these things, he cried out: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

John 8:43 “Why do you not know my speech? Because you cannot hear my word“.

 Matthew 13:13 “Therefore do I speak to them in parables: because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand”

 Matthew 13:16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.”

Matthew 13: 41-45 “The Son of man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the just shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Matthew 15:10 “And [Jesus] having called together the multitudes unto him, he said to them: Hear ye and understand.”

Mark 4: 11-14 “And he said to them: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but to them that are without, all things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand: lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. And he saith to them: Are you ignorant of this parable? and how shall you know all parables? He that soweth, soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown, and as soon as they have heard, immediately Satan cometh and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.”

 Luke 8:13 “Now they upon the rock, are they who when they hear, receive the word with joy: and these have no roots; for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation, they fall away.”

Luke 8:18 “Take heed therefore how you hear. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given: [MORE] and whosoever hath not, that also which he thinketh he hath, shall be taken away from him.”

John 8:47 “He that is of God, heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God.”

John 10:16 “And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.”

What does Christ mean? “Cannot hear?”

 God Bless you!

Patrick

What is a mortal sin? Philip Kosloski |

What is a mortal sin?

Philip Kosloski |

The concept of a mortal sin is a biblical one, as well as something that appeals to natural reason.

Sin is not an easy topic to discuss, as we don’t like to admit our many faults and failings. However, if we do not examine ourselves and probe deeper into our sins and sin itself, we may not ever find true happiness in this life or the life to come.

Among the many facets in the topic of sin is the recognition of mortal sins. This is a classification that encompasses sins that sever our relationship with God.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines mortal sin as “a grave violation of God’s law;” adding that such a sin “turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him“(CCC 1855).

Furthermore, “When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object … whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery” (CCC 1856).

This concept of types of sin that are more grave than others is a biblical one and can be found in the First Letter to John.

There is sin which is mortal …. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal. (1 John 5:16-17)

We might consider that Jesus also pointed his listeners to distinctions in “levels” of sin. He spoke about the sins of the heart that “defile” as something distinct from the various rules the Pharisees enjoined on their followers.

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man. (Matthew 15:18-20)

Before any further discussion of sin, however, we should take a moment to speak of God’s readiness to forgive. Pope Francis likes to say that God never gets tired of forgiving.

The problem is that we ourselves tire, we do not want to ask, we grow weary of asking for forgiveness. He never tires of forgiving, but at times we get tired of asking for forgiveness.

Let us never tire, let us never tire! He is the loving Father who always pardons, who has that heart of mercy for us all. And let us too learn to be merciful to everyone. Let us invoke the intercession of Our Lady who held in her arms the Mercy of God made man.

Now, to understand mortal sin further, we must also consider that in addition to the objective component to mortal sin (the sin itself), there is also a subjective element that must be taken into consideration (factors in the person committing the sin).

In order for a sin to be mortal, to sever our relationship with God, it must meet three specific qualifications as laid out by the Catechism.

Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin. (CCC 1859)

To summarize the three qualifications, a mortal sin must be grave matter, committed with full knowledge and the person must have complete consent.

This means that “unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense” (CCC 1860). Also, when a person is forced to commit a grave offense, the sin is no longer mortal in nature.

Common sense of sin

The concept of a mortal sin is one that is in accord with natural reason , since we seem to know within our hearts there exists certain offenses that are greater than others. Stealing a candy bar from a store is bad, but stealing bread from a homeless person is something even worse.

If we find that we have committed mortal sin, the important part is to go to confession. In this sacrament, our sins, even if they are mortal, can be wiped clean by the mercy of God, who is already ready to receive us back into his fold and restore our relationship with him. End Quotes

What makes a sin “grave”?

Curtis Perry CC

Fr. Ryan Connors |

Most people know the difference between a mortal and a venial sin. But what constitutes a sin of “grave matter”?

Thousands of school children across the country will spend this Lent preparing for their first Confession. They will memorize the Act of Contrition and learn the practice of examining their conscience. In parishes committed to presenting the fullness of the Church’s moral teaching, they also will learn the difference between mortal and venial sin.

The distinction between mortal and venial sin corresponds to the commonsense notion that some sins are more serious than others. St. John speaks of this distinction in his First Letter (5:17).

Mortal sin refers to a grave sin which ruptures our friendship with God. The loss of sanctifying grace results from this choice against God and His law. Venial or lesser sin weakens charity and impedes growth in the spiritual life. It does not, however, result in the loss of the charity that God gives us, the basis for friendship with God.

Like so many school children before them, this year’s first penitents will learn that mortal sin consists in knowingly and deliberately committing a sin of grave matter. But how do we know if a sin is grave?

A grave sin is defined by its object—what sort of act one has chosen. The kind of act involved in grave sin is one whereby the sinner, by the very nature of the act, turns against God. This turning can be direct, as in the case of idolatry or apostasy, or it can result from some act of disobedience to God’s commands. The refusal to worship God on Sunday, for example, constitutes a grave turning against His commandments.

Pope John Paul II reminded the Church of the real harm that grave sin introduces into life, as an act which not only gravely offends God, but “ends in turning against man himself” (Reconciliatio et paenitentia, no. 17).

This teaching helps us to appreciate the grave nature of certain acts in and of themselves. Even if committed without full knowledge or a full act of the will, a grave sin remains an obstacle to man’s flourishing and a rupture in the human community.

The Code of Canon Law reminds Catholics that one who has committed a grave sin should refrain from receiving Holy Communion (CIC 916). Catholics are obliged to confess all grave sins not yet brought to the confessional (CIC 988 § 1). All that is to say, grave sin is serious business.

People often ask if a list exists of all sins of grave matter. Given the varieties of human action, such a list is impossible to draw up. In the absence of such a list, however, the Ten Commandments remain the best available guide. As the commandments themselves reveal, some areas of life admit more easily of there being greater and lesser sins. The seventh commandment forbidding stealing, for example, admits of both grave and light matter. Pilfering a day’s wage ruptures the human community in a way that stealing a candy bar does not. The eighth commandment prohibits both vicious lies—sins of grave matter—and so-called white-lies, sins of light matter but nonetheless contrary to human dignity.

Conjugal love occupies an important place in Catholic teaching. It stands out among the goods that God has made for us to enjoy. Unlike money, which one can have in greater or lesser amounts, conjugal love cannot be divided. It is all or nothing. The choice for sexual pleasure involves either the marital embrace or an act of unchastity. Accordingly, no sin against the sixth commandment can be considered a light affair. The ninth commandment forbidding impure thoughts, on the other hand, may admit of light matter.

Taking the life of an innocent person would indisputably be grave matter. Other sins against the fifth commandment could also be considered grave under certain circumstances. Ruining another’s reputation with slander or gossip could so drastically affect one’s livelihood that this sin should by no means be taken lightly. (Inserted by PJM… Abortion is murder and hence always a Mortal sin’ but so too is supporting in ANYWAY abortion; which means that one cannot vote for, or even give finical aid to any National Candidate that advocates and supports Abortion; SADLY this means that no Christian and CERTAINLY All Catholics may not, and cannot VOTE for ANY National Democratic Party candidate, given their Party Platform, without committing a Mortal sin. The Church cannot tell anyone who to vote for; but at the same time is Gravely Obligated to TEACH who we cannot vote for, “Catholic politicians who flaunt their religious faith. BUT do not prove it by their actions; with their life choices; but support the Party Platform and advocate and vote for abortion “rights,” are themselves in Mortal sin. The fifth commandment is “Thou Shalt NOT kill”; God/s Law not only that of the Catholic Church.)

Sin does not represent the violation of an arbitrary whim, like the rules of a board game. Instead, sin contradicts the truth about the human person. The moral law is like the law of gravity—it is built into human nature. In just the same way, a sin of grave matter means a serious one, serious in its object. The gravity of sins is not arbitrarily assigned. A sin against human life or human love, a choice against God and His Church constitutes a serious wound to man’s capacity for true happiness.

While some theologians may hesitate to talk about grave sin, school kids at parishes across our country are learning its plain truth just fine. End Quotes

 

“Do Your Best To Explain Romans 5”

Do Your Best To Explain Romans 5

One chapter I’ve been reading maybe more than any other chapter in the Bible, that is Romans 5. Since it’s a description of the atonement, it’s a very central chapter of the Bible. Do your best to explain the whole, or just a part of Romans 5. Let us discuss this chapter and do our best to understand it. Christ love, P” {Not Patrick}

https://conservativecolloquium.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/a-catholic-reading-of-the-book-of-romans/

 “Most Reverend” Father John A. Hardon S. J.; one of the most respected Theologians of the 20th Century {May he rest in Peace} taught this about TRUTH:

“Truth is the condition of grace; it is the source of grace; it is the channel of grace; it is the Divinely Ordained requirement of grace.”

This explains I think the huge and ever-growing multiplicity of non-Catholic-Christian Churches; EACH with its own set of faith beliefs, based upon their self-interpretation of the Bible…. Where is the Truth in this reality?  I am not saying that they have no grace”; I put forth that rather they have insufficient grace.

In taking up this challenge to explain Romans chapter Five, I wish to acknowledge the comprehensive and thought-provoking work of Mr. Tony Listi, from the above shared site that I encourage all to visit. All my quotes from Mr. Listi will be noted in script….

I will began my attempt to explain Romans chapter five by pointing out a few critical and foundational facts.

The book of Roman’s is far more a peninsula than the island many desire it, or perhaps, only obediently think it to be.

The Bible is a Catholic Book. By this I mean that it was a book “birthed” by and through the RCC; it is assembled {OT}, and fully authored {NT} by men historically known today to have been Early Catholics. This is historically provable, and hence not debatable.

The Bible was fully authored by the end of the 1st. Century; some 1,400 years prior to the Reformation’s Founder; Martin Luther; who was an apostate Catholic Monk’s launching the smorgasbord he made of the Catholic Faith into his personal religion designed as a “better” and easier alternative to Catholicism.

The Bible’s full assembly and Canon date to the 4th Century, still about 1,000 years prior to the illegitimate {not biblically provable as God desired} birth of Protestantism, in the 16th. Century.

The God Inspired Bible, was assembled and authored by Catholics; who at the time of its assembly and authorship; intended exclusively for fellow Catholics. It is quite unlikely that these Fathers would have foreseen the Great Eastern Schism of 1054 AD, or the later Protestant revolution of the 16th And once again history proves this point, making it undebatable.

For the sake of continuity, like Mr. Listi, I to will use the RSV Bible.

The Bible itself warns against building the foundation of Faith on just one book; one teaching.

Because the Bible is a “Catholic Book”; one can, could and should understand why Jesus entrusted its teachings to the one Church and Faith that He Personally founded; the RCC, which is also historically provable, and even Biblically provable when correctly understood/

Another preliminary point is the need to recognize that the terms ”Faith” and “Obedience” are inseperatable in order to gain a right understanding of Paul’s teachings, especially in Roman’s Chapter Five.

Matt.4:4 “But he answered, “It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”

2Tim.3:16 -17 “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

2Pet.1:18 – 21 “We heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word made more sure. You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.  First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

2Pet.3:14 – 18 “Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen”

  • Because Roman’s chapter five is only part of Paul’s teaching; it is prudent to look at and include passages from other verses that ”flesh out” and better reflect the fullness of Paul’s instructions.

I now begin my review and comments pertaining to the Book of Romans’; Chapter Five.

Rom. 1: 5-7 “through whom WE  have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
[6] including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ;
[7] To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:

REPLY: Verse 5:

1 The “WE” here are Catholics

2 Obedience of faith refers to the Catholic-faith; full “obedience” not being an option, but a command. SEE Eph. 4:5 and Mt 28: 19-20

Verse 6:

To belong to Christ demands full knowledge of what HE wishes to teach and convey; there is no room here for one’s personal opinions.

Verse seven

Hence the name: Roman Catholic Church

1: 11-12 “[11] For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, [12] that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine

REPLY: verses 2-4 Deal with Divine Justice: “Judge not least you also be judged”; “look first into your own eye before trying to remove the plank from your brothers eye” {Mt 7:3}

2: 2-10 “[2] We know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who do such things. [3] Do you suppose, O man, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? [4] Or do you presume upon the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not know that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? [5] But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. [6] For he will render to every man according to his works: [7] to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; [8] but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. [9] There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, [10] but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.

Verse 5: Seems to be addressed to the Converted- Jewish community. Advising them to open their ears and their hearts to GOD’S Truths.

Verse 6: is an “actions DO HAVE consequences” lesson. What we do and why we do it matters. … Each of us will be judged on what we did, or failed to do {WORKS}

Verses 7-8: teaches us to place God first in all of our decisions: {Mt. 6:33} and that we will be judged on what we do or fail to do.

Verses 9-10:  God in order to be GOD; must and will each of us fairly; on what we do or fail to do; NOT on our past beliefs.  Once converted the scales of Divine Justice looks to the present and future; not the past.

2: 12-23 “[12]All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. [13] For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified

REPLY: Verses 12: Speaks of foreknowledge of sin; here Paul addresses the Jews who could and should have known the written Laws of God through Moses {the Commandants; precepts and ordinances}; because to know something is wrong and then do it anyway increases one’s personal culpability.

Verse 13: Teaches simply knowing God’s Truths, does not excuse not actually doing them; such actions increases one’s personal guilt. In other words God does not seek OUR opinions of His commands, precepts and ordnances. God expects full obedience.

2:20 [20] a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth — [21] you then who teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal?

REPLY: Verse 21: What teachers “teach” ought to be learned by themselves too.

Verse 22: This then is a lesson of guilt by foreknowledge. When a teacher does not practice wat “they preach,” they are guilty of not only the sin; bit also their foreknowledge of it and the scandal their example has set.

3:20-21 -26 [21] But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, [22] the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction;
[23] since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [24] they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, [25] whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; [26] it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.”

Verse 21 1 is the same teaching of 2:22 above

2 Is the introduction of FAITH as an element of Justification; and once again ties obedience to what God demands as part and partial of Faith’s part in Justification. One cannot be Justified without knowing {and consequently incurring the obligation of obedience}; the absolute necessity of Jesus Christ and his Offer of graces.

3 All without distinction who are saved, are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ and knowledge of Him. “Faith.”

4 There is a necessary connection, a union between faith and grace that is undeniable, inescapable, and absolutely essential.

5 One cannot without, knowledge of Jesus and His grace, work their way into heaven; hence works alone {without grace} are worthless.

5 Nor can {will} Faith Alone result in Justification {Faith & grace are necessarily inseperatable}

6 Everyone will be judged based on what we did, could have done, and should have done {or known}. Gal. 2: 6: Judgement will be based upon what we should know, do and not do. Verse 6: teaches that faith in action is manifested through WORKS of charity.

7 Makes clear that God neither seeks nor desires OUR personal opinions and interpretations; but does demand that all listen to HIS Church and His Teachers.  Lk 10:16

Echoing the 2nd. Letter of James; Paul teaches that “Faith without charity is nothing.” James 2: 14-26

Mr. Listi: QUOTE: Again, Paul reiterates more explicitly now that everyone has sinned and thus is in need of “redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” The forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ, and thus our justification before God, is a free gift of God’s grace. And this forgiveness/justification (combined with our obedience when we are not sinning) is our salvation. We receive this forgiveness/justification “through faith.”


However, notice that he says that this forgiveness is for “former sins.” How on earth does the Protestant explain this? According to common- Protestantism, all sins (past, present, and future) are forgiven instantly the moment one professes faith in Jesus. As a Catholic, the only thing I can think of is that St. Paul has baptism in mind, which does forgive all previous sins but NOT the sins that one commits after baptism. Another sacrament is required to forgive those future sins after they have been committed
“  END QUOTES

8: Verse 23 This is correct: Paul was indeed speaking of Sacramental Baptism which Verse #25 verifies.

4:2-8 [2] For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. [3] For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” [4] Now to one who works, his wages are not reckoned as a gift but as his due. [5] And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness. [6] So also David pronounces a blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works: [7] “Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; [8] blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not reckon his sin.”

REPLY:

Verse 2: No one can be Justified {saved} though works of THE LAW; nor ANY works unless combined with Faith, obedience and grace.

Verse 3: Abraham was as evidenced by this accounting Justified by all three necessary elements: By Faith; By Obedience which led to God’s grace.

Verse 4: It WE who choose for ourselves heaven or hell.

Verse 5: It is Faith; manifested in obedience that led to knowledge of Jesus and belief in Him through grace that saves

Verse 7:

  • It is our Amazing God who forgives; requiring only true sorrow {repentance} and then demands that we make a serious attempt to not sin that way again, with the aid of His grace {Firm purpose of amendment}.
  • Yahweh was satisfied with perhaps, a more liberal {pre-grace of Christ} condition of seeking forgiveness from G_D, whom they acknowledged as being able to forgive and willing to “cover over” {blot out} their sins.

Verse 8: This means that “blessed is the man who does not sin after being Baptized” {Douay Bible Commentary} And likewise Blessed is the man who having sinned after Baptism frequents the Sacrament of Confession {John 20:19-23}.

 

4: 14-16 “[14] If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. [15] For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. 16] That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants — not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all,

Verse 14: Is speaking of Jews and the Law Moses handed on to THEM.

4: 21-25 “[21] fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
[22] That is why his faith was “reckoned to him as righteousness.” [23] But the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, [24] but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, [25] who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification. 

[1] Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. [2] Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. [3] More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, [4] and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, [5] and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us

 5: 9-11 “[9] Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. [10] For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. [11] Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.

  5:16-19 “[16] And the free gift is not like the effect of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. [17] If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. [18] Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. [19] For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

5:20-21 [20] Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, [21] so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

6: 1-6 “[1]What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?[2] By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? [3] Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? [4] We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. [5] For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. [6] We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.

6: 14-16 “[14] For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. 15] What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! [16] Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 

6: 20-23 “[20]When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
[21] But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. [22] But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. [23] For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

8: 1-2 “[1]There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
[2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death

8: 9-13 [9]But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
[10] But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. [11] If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you. 12]So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh –[13] for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.

8: 29-30 “[29] For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.
[30] And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified. 

8: 35-39 “[35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? [36] As it is written, “For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” [37] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. [38] For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  [39] nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

9:30-32 “[30] What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; [31] but that Israel who pursued the righteousness which is based on law did not succeed in fulfilling that law. [32] Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 

13: 1-2 [1] Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. [2] Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

Luke.10: 16 “He who hears YOU hears me, and he who rejects YOU rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”  

Jn. 17:20[17] Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. [18] As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. [19] And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. [20] “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word…”

Mt. 10: 1-8 “[1] And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity.
[2] The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zeb’edee, and John his brother; [3] Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; [4] Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. [5] These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, [6] but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. [7] And preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
[8] Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.

13: 11-14 [11] Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; [12] the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; [13] let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. [14] But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

14: 1 [1] As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions.

15: 18- 20 [18] For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has wrought through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, [19] by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that from Jerusalem and as far round as Illyr’icum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ,
[20] thus making it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on another man’s foundation,

John 21: 14: 17 “[14] This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. [15] When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to HIM, “Feed my lambs.” [16] A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to HIM, “Tend my sheep.” [17] He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to HIM, “Feed my sheep. “

To Jesus THROUGH Mary,

Patrick

Pray Like a Child By Fr. Paul D. Scalia

Pray Like a Child

By Fr. Paul D. Scalia

 

“He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father . . .’” So begins our Lord’s beautiful catechesis on prayer. (Lk. 11:1-13) We should linger over that first word: Father. To say Father means to be a child. To say it authentically requires knowing oneself to be a child of God. So our Lord’s very first word on prayer contains the principle of divine filiation – our being children of God in the Son, able to go to the Father through, with, and in Him. Christian prayer rests on this fundamental truth. All prayer flows from our identity as children of God. Father is both the first and the last word on prayer.

In fact, the straightforward request that prompts our Lord’s instruction already indicates the childlike attitude necessary for prayer: “[O]ne of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us how to pray.’” The first step of prayer is to realize, like this disciple, that we do not know how to pray as we ought. (Rom. 8:26) Prayer begins not with our strength and knowledge but with our weakness and docility.

This truth is off putting to the proud but consoling to anyone who has tried to pray and found himself lacking. Praying requires the acknowledgement that we need to be instructed. In effect, every prayer begins with “Lord, teach me how to pray.”

An essential component of this childlike prayer is perseverance. We see this in the Patriarch Abraham, whose prayer anticipates that of the children of God. (cf. Gen. 18:20-32) In his haggling over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, he resembles a child negotiating a later bedtime. With the perseverance of a child who has set his heart on something and will not be dissuaded, Abraham keeps returning to the Lord with a new proposal.

But there is a notable difference between Abraham’s perseverance and ours. He appeals to the justice of God, Who will not sweep away the innocent with the guilty. He cries out, Should not the judge of all the world act with justice? Indeed, He should. But we appeal to God’s mercy even more. We ask Him to restrain His wrath and to assist us not because we deserve or have merited it but because we have a radical need for it. Our weakness lays claim to His assistance.

(INSERTED by Pjm) Luke 18: 16-17 “[16] But Jesus, calling them together, said: Suffer children to come to me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. [17] Amen, I say to you: Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a child, shall not enter into it.”)

 It is this appeal to the Father’s mercy that our Lord emphasizes in His instructions. We have confidence in our prayer to the Father not because we have an absolute right to His gifts but because we know ourselves to be His children. For that reason, we can keep returning to Him. For if we who are wicked know how to show mercy, how much more will our heavenly Father hasten to help us?

Of course, knowing the awful end of Sodom and Gomorrah, we might think that Abraham had wasted his time and effort. What did all that haggling get him? Nothing, it seems. Which raises another dimension of genuinely childlike prayer: abandonment to the Father’s will. A trusting child rests in the knowledge that his Father’s will is supremely good. If a prayer has gone “unanswered,” it is because his Father knows better and has a greater good in mind.

We see this disposition in our Lord Himself as He prays that most childlike prayer: “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.”(Mk. 14:36)

In a certain sense, that greater good is already realized in the act of prayer itself. Abraham’s prayer was not wasted because by way of it he grew in his capacity to trust and to enter into conversation with God. Yes, we should bring our earthly needs to our Father. We can, however, become so focused on the outward, external answer to our prayers – the “fixing” of the situation – that we overlook the interior effect that praying itself has on us.

Our Father does not simply want to solve all our problems for us. He wants something more for us. He desires that we draw closer to Him in our prayer by entrusting our cares to Him. And if He does solve our problems, it is so that in experiencing His power and goodness we will trust Him even more.

All of which brings us to that last, mysterious line in our Lord’s catechesis: “[H]ow much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?” We seek and ask for many things in prayer. We knock (sometimes bang) on the door of heaven with various requests. But our Lord’s words indicate that the ultimate end of our petitions is not this or that thing, but something greater: indeed, the Spirit Himself.

Our Father always answers our prayers (either yes or no) with a view to giving or increasing the gift of His Spirit. We might intend our prayer only for this or that situation. He intends it for more, for drawing us closer to Himself. He desires not so much that we receive what we think we need here and now but that we grow in union with Him.

Whether we realize it or not, our prayer is always directed to this increase of the Spirit, the Spirit of Sonship, Who prays from within us and enables us to cry out, Abba! Father! End Quotes

 

 

 

Do Protestants HIDE from God or does God possibly hide from them? Another “I AM a Catholic Lesson:” by Pat Miron  

 

Do Protestants HIDE from God or does God possibly hide from them?

Another “I AM a Catholic Lesson:”

by Pat Miron  

This one based on ideas expressed in THE SPIRIT OF THE LITURGY; by then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. {More recently: Pope Benedict XVI}

Those ideas placed in quotations are for the most part from the above referenced book, and are too be credited to this good and holy man.

There is I think, in the terms of why discovering God in the both the manner possible and the precise method that Christ would have us discover Faith; through a hidden; a “new modality of Presence” that while available to “all”; nevertheless, being illogical [meaning here NOT discernable by strictly human means] and therefore quite commonly difficult, if not darn right impossible to rightly discern [because it relies on the offer and acceptance of God’s specific Graces] which God must choose to offer, and then mortal men must freely choose to accept; which in turn leads to a very tenuous, precarious, profoundly complex  reality. … The “New modality” mentioned above is by the way; “new” only to those, who for whatever their personal reason, whatever is their own excuse, their own willingness or ability to experience truth as it is; remains as it ought, a matter between the Divine- Sublime Godhead, and the limitations imposed by God on mortal men, who are challenged to uncover and then discover the singularity of religious, of Faith God’s necessarily singular truths.

While God does hide Himself from some of us; evidence of His reality is contained in everything in the universe that He Created, maintains and exposes to us specifically so that we can and might discover Him; we alone, his humanity are gifted with the essential attributes indispensable to discover the Mystery of who [and where] is God; and then freely choose to accept Him or to reject Him; and thereby select our place of eternal existence. And yes, I do mean heaven or hell. God’s Divine Justice obligates Himself to OFFER at least sufficient grace to everyone for their possible salvation; thus no one has the excuse of not being able to attain their own personal salvation.

What is clear; or at-least ought to be is that God Remains here in our midst. Far less clear is that JESUS too remains here in our midst.

“He who has seen me, has seen the Father” {John 14:9} informs and teaches us the profound complexity of a God who heretofore choose to remain hidden; concealed in clouds, fire and wind, rather than expose Himself to men’s scrutiny. WHY God would later choose to lower Himself to the degradation, the baseness, the commonness, and imperfections of humanity remains one of the Great Mysteries confronting humanity today.  Yet history affirms that it did happen. And that God remains in our midst. This mystery persist and leads to one of the critical and essential motives for the Incarnation to have taken place, which is that mortal men, who in times and history past would not even; could not even, as their Law prohibited it; express verbally out loud the name of Yahweh- God.  We have Has now seen God, motivated by His Desire to be in a closer; a far more intimate relationship With His Created humanity choose to; not only reveal Himself in a manner never before evidenced; but inexplicitly, as “one of us.” Like us in every way but sin, in order that men might choose to merit their salvation and avoid sins through His Direct intercession. Even to the extent of the Real Presence of Jesus actually remaining available to us; always and everywhere in His Catholic Church’s.

Just why this; the greatest event in the history of humanity took place is further exposed and revealed in the mystery of Christ spoken words while hanging on the Cross for our collective and individual sin: {John 19: 25-30}

“ [25]Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’ s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. [26] When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. [27] After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own. [28] Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst. [29]Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar and hyssop, put it to his mouth. [30] Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.”

While these passages are pregnant with hidden meanings for His humanity; I would like to cull and to expose and to bring into the light of God’s Truths, one teaching in particular.  … Jesus while on the Cross, mere moments from Death shouted I THIRST”…. What a strange thing to shout, and even stranger thing to teach in His waning moments, especially if God was speaking only of a slacked human thirst. …

OF COURSE Christ was thirsty; after all He has been up for more than a day; was deprived of all food and liquids; was severely scourged and crowned with thorns, and then forced to carry His Cross, a cross that weighed more that He did to the HILL of crucifixion; so it is profoundly logical, that our Crucified God meant MORE than a mere human thirst in this painfully shared expression.  … It was extremely agonizing for Christ to speak anything from the Cross which was designed to “teach by example” rather than words; and explains why Christ spoke only seven times. Seven by the way in Jewish parlance & in the Jewish tradition of numbers having meanings beyond their numerical equivalence, represented “perfect and or complete.” That too is one of the hidden messages intended for all of us.  But the Lesson that explains Christ proclamation: “I THIRST!” , is intended to let us know that while Jesus the man dies, as all men will do; Jesus was also, and always God. As God; Jesus desired to do even more that all that He had done; including Dying for humanities “Redemption”; which, by way does not mean necessarily also “salvation”. “Redemption was for and does include all of humanity; past, present and future; and is God’s gift to all; while salvation is more limited and depends on man’s chosen relationship; man’s knowledge and awareness of God, and then man’s, and man’s obedient and humble response to God’s Presence in our Midst, through Jesus in “Person” and the Holy Spirit in “Spirit.”

The “I THIRST” was a declaration that He desired to do even more; and WOULD Do More.

This “MORE” IS accomplished in two explicit, and  precisely defined biblical teachings; in nearly unfathomable ways: John 19:25 teaches us that Jesus literally gives Mary, His Mother to all of humanity as OUR Mother too; to aid; and to DIRECT all Souls to Her Son. NOT to replace Him; but to aid humanity in knowing Jesus Her Son as She knows Him, and then leading all Souls to Him. Secondly; Jesus does the unimaginable; the unthinkable; and were it not taught by Him personally; the incomprehensible.  BUT Jesus did fulfill, did complete His desire to do “MORE” by choosing to; and then actually; Really, Truly, and Substanually remaining in our midst; not is “spirit alone”; not as some mere “symbol”; not as just a “sign”; BUT REALLY Jesus and REALLY Jesus Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Testimony of this Truth is found taught by FIVE different Bible authors: Matthew 26:26-26; Mark 14: 22+24; Luke 22: 19-21; John ALL of Chapter six but especially verses 48-50 & 56-57[48] I am the bread of life. [49] Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. [50] This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die. & [56] For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed[57] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him

Exactly how this happens remains a mystery. We DO however know this: Catholic Holy Communion is FROM God the Father; OF God the Son; BY God the Holy Spirit through the hands, ad actions of His Chosen Priest.

JOHN 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

 

This is further evidenced by Saint Paul a late date Apostle and a Jewish Convert, who did not “come to KNOW Christ” until AFTER Christ Resurrection 1st. Corinthians 11: 26-30  “ [23] For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. [24] And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. [25] In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.

[26] For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. [27] Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord[28] But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. [29] For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. [30] Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep.”

This “judgment” means choosing hell over heaven; Satan over Christ without out repenting and confessing and having one’s sins forgiven in  the manner taught by Christ: John 20:19-23… . And the “sleep: here means choosing eternal damnation.

But my friend, today’s Lesson is not primarily about the Most Holy Eucharist; we’ve covered that topic in prior Lessons. Nor is it about the How or Why’s of the Eucharist, as that too has been previously covered, Today I wish to discuss the “WHERE” this miraculous event takes place and point out the significant differences in Protestant and Catholic “Worship services.

Worship is by man; but its objective; its goal is to fulfill in great part the reason humanity exist, which is to recognize God for who and what He is. ALL worship services should have as their focus; God First. And as best as we are able to actually focus on giving God the Glory He seeks; that He alone is worthy of and thereby aim to fulfill the actual reason for our existence. This   That leads us to understand that man exist for God; but also in a relationship way; God also exist for man. Only humanity is enabled to “Know, Love, Serve and Obey God.” That then defines man’s reason to exist: Isaiah 43 verses 7 & 21

If we do not meet God on His terms, under His Conditions, with His truths, with and in our manmade designs for worship; we may never attain the summit of truly “Divine Worship” and only settle for what makes us feel good about ourselves. We might well not only miss our opportunity to meet, to greet, and to be in a very personal; even an intimate relationship with our God; I fear, our actions prove that we may not even truly know God. That my friends is the risk of worship services that aim to please the masses; and relegate God to a very common secondary emphasis. We forsake the opportunity for the truly sublime and simply settle for what I choose to be “mine.”  …  By our choosing to Miss God; we greatly enhance the possibility of actually not even truly knowing God. Most certainly we do choose the opportunity NOT  to meet God “face to face” while yet here on earth! We become so wrapped up in ourselves; what I like; what makes me feel good, that it does not even occur to us that in remaking God into OUR image of him; we leave little or no room for Him to remake US in HIS image.

I will now share some passages out of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI] book:   … THE SPIRIT OF THE LITURGY

Liturgy Definition by: Father John A. Hardon’s Catholic Dictionary:

I have admittedly taken some {but NOT all} of these passages out of their original context to make them more relevant to this discussion… Patrick Miron

LITURGY.” A public service, duty, or work. In Scripture it refers to the religious duties to be performed by priests and levites in the Temple, {Exodus 28:1-4 & Numbers 8:13-15} especially those related to the Sacrifice; in Christian use among the Eastern Churches it means the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

In present day usage liturgy is the official public worship of the Church and is thus distinguished from private devotion. It is the special title of the Eucharist, and the administration of the sacraments with the annexed use of the sacramentals.

From a theological viewpoint, the liturgy is the exercise now on earth of Christ’s priestly office, as distinct from his role as teacher and ruler of his people. Christ performs this priestly office as Head of his Mystical Body, so that Head and members together offer the sacred liturgy. Its function, therefore, is twofold: to give honor and praise to God, which is worship, and to obtain blessings for the human race, which is sanctification. (Etym. Latin liturgia; from Greek leitos, of the people + ergon, work: leitourgia, public duty, public worship.)”

From Joseph Ratzinger’s book:

  1. “It is this: steadfast adherence to the law of God, {the 1st. &3td Catholic- Commandments} which orders human affairs rightly, that is, by organizing them as realities that come from God and are meant to return God.”

 

  1. “Worship” that is the right kind of cult, of relationship with God, is essential for the right kind of human existence in the world.” {page 20}

 

  1. “Man himself cannot simply ‘make worship’. If God does not reveal Himself, man is clutching at empty space. … When God does not reveal Himself, man can, of course, from the sense of God within him build altars to the ‘unknown god.’ “ {Acts 17:23} –{page 21}

 

  1. “Liturgy includes some kind of “institution”. It cannot spring from imagination, our own creativity —- then it would remain just a cry in the dark or mere self-affirmation. Liturgy implies a real relationship with another, who reveals Himself to us and gives our existence a new direction.” {page 22}

 

  1. {Inserted by Pat Miron: these man-made, man remodeled liturgies is what is being addressed here} Liturgy is no longer going up to God, but drawing God down into one’s own world.” {page 22}

 

  1. If God does not reveal Himself; man is clutching empty spaces …. When God does not reveal Himself man can, of course from the sense of God within him, build altars to the unknown god’ {Acts 17:23} The Apostasy is more subtle. There is no obvious turning away from God to the false gods.”{page 22}

 

  1. “The apostasy is more subtle. There is no obvious turning away from God to false gods. Outwardly, the people remain attached to the same God.{again inserted by Pat Miron… OR SO THEY THINK…. ‘Worship is no longer going up to God, but drawing God to one’s own world” {page 22}

 

  1. “Man is using God, and in reality, even if not outwardly discernible, he is placing himself above God. … Worship becomes a feast that the community gives itself, a festival of self-affirmation. … Ultimately it is no longer concerned with God but gives oneself a nice little alternative world, manufactured from one’s own resources. Then Liturgy {no longer being primarily Sacred …inserted by Pat Miron} really becomes pointless.” {page 23}

 

  1. “God makes His Dwelling in the world: Heaven and earth are united.” … :Now if worship rightly understood, is the soul covenant, then it not only saves mankind but is also meant to draw the whole of reality into communion with God.”

 

  1. “But everything is bound up with freedom, and the creatures {us Christians who} has the freedom to turn the positive ‘exitus =exit’ around , as it were to rupture it … to say no to the ‘raditus’ = return: this is the refusal to be dependentLove is seen as dependence and is rejected. And we discover that Redemption now has need of the Redeemer. The {early Church} Fathers saw this, and for them the parable of the Lost Sheep; and the Ram caught in the thorn bush” represents man in general.” {Genesis 22:4-14} {page 33}

 

  1. “Of necessity {worship} takes place as a struggle for atonement, forgiveness, reconciliation. The awareness of guilt weighs down on mankind. Worship is the attempt, to be found at every stage of history, to overcome guilt and to bring back the worlds and one’s own life into right order. {INSERTED BY PAT MIRON: It is precisely this fact that leads to the enormous “grace-merit-gap” between all Catholic Mass Worship services, and any and all other non-Catholic Christian worship services. Because even in the modernity of today’s{Catholic} “Ordinary” form of the Mass’; Jesus Christ is still present; still available and still wanting to be in the most possible of all possible intimate relationships with us. It is the reality of God… Jesus Himself in Person in Catholic Holy Communion that no other type of service can duplicate; and therefore leave all of them ‘wanting’ in a way that remains impossible to fulfill.} …. “The only real gift man should give to God is himself.” {Again inserted by Pat Miron… and this ‘gift’ of oneself is precisely what joins God to man and man to God in Catholic Holy Communion, and creates the unfillable gap that exist between our worship services and all those of competing faiths.  {Please read: 1 John 1:6-7, 1 John5: 16-17 & John 20:19-23}

12 “The Christian {read here as ‘Catholic’} theology of worship —- beginning with St. John the Baptist {Behold the Lamb of God …. John 1: 29 “The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world” ….’ Here the rules are laid down for the Sacrifice of the Passover Lamb {male unblemished} as the center of the liturgical year and of Israel’s memorial faith, which is at the same time an everlasting foundation of faith.’ ” … ‘More precious than sacrifice is obedience; submission more precious that the fat of rams.’ {Hosea 6:9 & Mt. 9:13, 12:7} … {pages 38-39}

Catholic Holy Communion is FROM God the Father; OF God the Son BY God the Holy Spirit. And is historical, biblical and through “Eucharistic Miracles”; is even visually verifiable; such is the desire of Our God to be truly known by all men:

http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/a3.html

Mt. 26:26-28, Mk.14: 22-23, Lk. 22: 19-21 … & 1st. Cor. 11: 26-30

John 6: “[51] I am the living bread which came down from heaven. [52] If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. [53] The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? [54] {**} Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. [55] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.

{** inserted from explanation by Douay Bible} } [54] Eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood: To receive the body and blood of Christ, is a divine precept, insinuated in this text; which the faithful fulfil, though they receive but in one kind; because in one kind they receive both body and blood, which cannot be separated from each other. Hence, life eternal is here promised to the worthy receiving, though but in one kind. Ver. 52. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world. Ver. 58. He that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. Ver. 59. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.

[56] For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. [57] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. [58] As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. [59]

It is this Reality that fosters the title of this Lesson. Do Protestants {and some Catholics, who too lack or refuse sufficient Grace} miss God? And Does God Hide Himself from them by limiting their faith and understanding?  Yes and YES!

Missing Christ IS “missing God”. Our God who seeks OBEDIENCE more than Sacrifice foresaw the Protestant Revolution, and knew that His Son would be denied; ignored; and overlooked not because of a lack of clear biblical-teaching; but rather because mortal men usurped the right to what God wants, commands and Ordains, and prefer to develop their own methods; actually dictating to God, how He will forgive their sins; and how there Godless Presence; accepting at times the Holy Spirit; but missing Christ who desires to be in their midst

Exod.19: [5] “Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine”

Deut.27: [10] “You shall therefore obey the voice of the LORD your God, keeping his commandments and his statutes, which I command you this day.”

Rom.1: [5]” through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations”

Rom.2: [8] “but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.”

John 3: 35-36 “[35] the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. [36] He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.   {No-one can claim to belief in the Son if they do not accept His Teaching & His Teaching AUTHORITY:

Mt. 28: 16-20 [16] And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. [17] And seeing him they adored: but some doubted. [18] And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. [19] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. …READ Mt. 10:1-8 and compare it to this final teaching of Jesus Christ recorded by St. Matthew, if you doubt this.

Acts 20:26-30 “26] Wherefore I take you to witness this day, that I am clear from the blood of all men; [27] For I have not spared to declare unto you all the counsel of God. [28] Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. [29] I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. [30] And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them”

Now friend look how Martian Luther {a former & now an apostate Catholic priest” changed this text to suit HIS new competing religion}….

Luther’s original bible translated from German into English: Acts 20: 26-30 “NIV 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. NIV 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. NIV 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. NIV 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. NIV 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.

http://www.biblestudytools.com/parallel-bible/passage/?q=acts+20:+26-30&t=lut&t2=niv

FROM THE KING JAMES bible:

Acts 20:26-30

KJV 26 Wherefore I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all men. KJV 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. KJV 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. KJV 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. KJV 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise , speaking perverse things , to draw away disciples after them.”

http://www.biblestudytools.com/parallel-bible/passage/?q=acts+20:+26-30&t=lut&t2=kjv

I will end this by sharing that the bible IS a “Catholic Book” and that the ONLY “Christian Faith” to exist for at least a thousand years after the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is today’s Catholic Church. So whatever your current faith beliefs they have as the foundation; our Catholic Faith beliefs and teachings.

The very same Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger; as Pope Benedict XVI, had this insight to share:

“THERE CANNOT BE YOUR TRUTH AND MY TRUTH OR THERE WOULD BE NO TRUTH.”

May God’s continued Grace and Blessings be yours

Patrick Miron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Why Women Don’t Preach at Mass” by Mother Angelica

Foundress of EWTN, Mother Angelica. (EWTN)

Why Women Don’t Need to Preach at Mass

COMMENTARY: You don’t need a collar to evangelize the Good News.

Catherine Hadro

On the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, an online debate broke out amongst Catholics about women giving homilies. This stemmed from a tweet by Jesuit priest Father James Martin who wrote, in part: “It is stupefying to me that women cannot preach at Mass.” The tweet linked to an America magazine article written by a woman who used to preach at Mass before restrictions were enforced.

The Church, according to canon law, teaches that “the diocesan bishop may never dispense from the norm, which reserves the homily to the sacred ministers.”

As a Catholic woman, albeit not standing behind a pulpit, I would still love to contribute my thoughts on the matter.

Women’s voices, and actions, have helped to shape the course of Church history from its very beginning. This week alone is evidence of that. On Monday, we celebrated St. Mary Magdalene, the first person in Scripture to encounter our Risen Lord. It was St. Mary Magdalene, a woman, who proclaimed to the disciples that she had “seen the Lord” (John 20:18). She is the “Apostle to the Apostles” — and she didn’t need a pulpit to be so.

Every single Catholic woman, by virtue of our baptismal call to evangelize, must imitate St. Mary Magdalene’s example in witnessing to Christ’s life, death and resurrection. For many modern-day Catholics, the clearest reference of preaching we have may be our local priest giving a homily at Sunday Mass. However, if we restrict ourselves to thinking that’s the most influential way to share the good news, we are severely lacking in creativity and vision and are falling prey to clericalism.

I am reminded of the many female Catholic saints who flood the Church with their holy example, not only this week, but throughout the entire liturgical calendar. St. Catherine of Siena was counselor to Pope Urban VI and exhorted him to return to Rome from his exile in France. He listened, and she was declared a doctor of the Church. Another doctor of the Church, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, also never preached behind a pulpit at Mass but still managed to minister to many souls. Two and half years before her death, Thérèse began writing down her childhood memories, and, soon after, her Story of a Soul became a modern spiritual classic read by millions. This seems an unlikely accomplishment for a woman who never left her cloistered convent, but the Lord makes a way.

A more modern example of a Catholic woman powerfully proclaiming truth is EWTN’s own foundress, Mother Angelica. The Poor Clare nun created a TV studio out of an Alabama garage where she would speak boldly week after week, looking directly into the camera lens as if she were talking to you. Her influence surpassed the efforts of the U.S. bishops, and, today, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.

This American Catholic media pioneer did not shy away from sharing her opinions about the unique role men and women offer the Church. As recalled in her biography Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles by Raymond Arroyo, Mother Angelica once said, “Women in the priesthood, that’s just a power play, that’s ridiculous. As it is women have more power in the Church than anybody. They built and run the schools. God has designed that men be priests, and we can’t afford to deny God his sovereign rights.”

It is only through a lens of clericalism, or false esteem for clergy, that we view preaching at Mass as the summit of sharing our voice in the Church and forget the influence we can have beyond the pulpit. If we as women have such a unique witness and perspective, why would we want to conform to male priesthood in sharing that? The pulpit is not our platform.

Your platform as a Catholic woman may be your family dinner table, or your social media page, or your Bible study, and these are all beautiful. As the host of EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, my primary platform happens to be a television show. The point is: You don’t need a pulpit to preach, and you don’t need a collar to evangelize the Good News. You must discern for yourself how to use your voice, and as the saints remind us time and time again, God will show you the way if you ask him.

As our beloved Church suffers from a clergy sexual-abuse crisis, now is the time to be creative with how we use our voice! Now is the time to embrace our call to evangelization! Now is the time for us, as women, the ones who sat at the foot of the cross during the Crucifixion, to be the face of the Church today.

 Catherine Hadro writes from Washington.

She is the host and producer of EWTN Pro-Life Weekly.