Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Reformed Catholicity" Is A Word-Game For Smart People With Too Much Time

I would rather someone pick up a Bible and say, "Based on this string of passages, your doctrine is wrong here, here, and here" than someone who wants to claim the universal faith AND the right to interpret the Bible his own way. If you're Reformed, you're not Catholic. To say that you are truly "catholic" is a claim, which (blessedly) is made by both the Reformed and the Catholic Church. But you have to give each group credit: they want unity as far as possible, but they don't pretend it's closer than it is. They don't pretend that the differing dogmas are just semantics.

But that's why the historical challenge is so devastating from the Catholic Church: She points back in history and says, "To the extent we agree, was it not formed here at the Council? Was not the Holy Father the head of the apostolic college even then? Are not the heroes of the early battles in the visible Church Catholic heroes?" Biblicism cannot account for this rule of faith. You can agree with the rule of faith using your Bible; you can't create it. Biblicism can't account for the Bible; how can it account for the true faith?

One cannot be both the arbiter of divine revelation, and a humble receiver of it at the same time. Against this rock Sola Scriptura must be dashed. The one who dances on both sides thinks he does well, but he merely founds his own heresy.

5 Thoughts While Listening To Michael Bolton

5. This cat could top the charts with "Happy Birthday To You." Man alive.

4. Just so we understand each other, there is a 0% chance I'm not buying the new Streisand "Partners" album. Stevie Wonder, Babyface, Lionel, and John Legend. Are you kidding? She could have slept through the entire album, and it would still rule.

3. He doesn't know how he's supposed to live without you, but man, it sounds good.

2. I don't know what the Isley Brothers were upset about. "Love Is A Wonderful Thing" was a huge hit for Bolton, and a much better version. They sued it out of existence, even though they'll get royalties until their grandkids are 97. You make pop music, not life-saving drugs. Get over yourself.

1. Eeek, what an awful song! I can't believe Bolton lost the case! Nothing alike.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"anywhere in a Catholic rite" (CCC, 2180)

I take "Catholic rite" to mean, "in communion with the Bishop of Rome." Otherwise, the Sunday obligation is not fulfilled by a presence at even a true Eucharist celebrated by those not in communion with him, unless no other option exists.

That's my read of it, unless I'm missing something. Feel free to attend an Orthodox liturgy; just go to a Catholic one, also.

5 Thoughts For Today

5. I'd say the Incarnation proves God is pretty "man-centered," but that's just me.

4. You could just say, "I don't believe you are saved, and thus, I accord your Scriptural arguments no consideration." It would save me time.

3. The logical consequence of having a makeshift "magisterium of scholarship" is being at the mercy of majority scholarly opinion, as in the opinion that John 8:1-8 isn't really in the Bible, or Mark 16:9-20. Put this in your, "Conservative Protestantism is liberal Protestantism waiting to happen" file.

2. I could have gone to worship with the Lutherans (or the soon to be formed Reformed) or to a Catholic Mass, in 15-something. What I can't get you to understand, Reformed Biblicist Guy, is exactly the power of this question: What makes you right, and the papist wrong? It does no good to point back from today to Calvin or whomever, because in that time, all options are live. The question of authority is ultimately, the only one that matters.

1. If the Church hierarchy is corrupt, the question turns to revelation. If something is supernaturally revealed, any number of grievous failures to abide by its dictates do not invalidate it. This is what so many fail to realize: The (Protestant) Reformation inaugurated a new method of ascertaining and receiving revelation. That's why the claim that nothing really changed from the early Church in the work of the "Reformers" is untenable. The deposit of faith and the manner of knowing it would not change, no matter what moral turpitude ensued. So, why the new doctrine? If the new contentions are correct, one is placed in a tenuous position regarding earlier truths articulated by the older means. I feel like Devin Rose has already said this. Buy his books! I'm sure they are great, if I ever get around to reading them.

Outside A State Of Grace, And Fear

I'm in this debate forum with Catholics and Reformed, and the Reformed keep saying, "Catholic doctrine compels one to conclude that one could and does go from regenerate to unregenerate and back again. And that's no way to live." Let me tell you about that.

I would not say I know for certain that I'd have gone to Hell if I died. God's mercy is...

But I know the worst part of judging yourself unworthy to receive the Eucharist, the Bread of Life, is that when you're really stuck, you don't care. Lesser sins really don't do what the grave ones do. You can experience what it means to cut yourself off from God. There is no doubt of it; we are different people at times like that. You lose the direction of your life; you sense yourself choosing against what you know to be true, because something earthly is preferable, for any number of reasons.

But mercy comes again. God says, "Hey! This isn't what you want. This isn't who you are. Come back!" Being in a state of mortal sin (or quite probably so) is like cutting off a dear friend for no good reason. You just ignore them, as if they don't exist. Except the friend is God. One other thing: It's way worse than giving people time and space; that happens. That's OK. But if you are hating God, there is no talking; there is no future, and no past. This is why people persisting in grave sin stop going to Mass: nowhere does God speak louder (or softer, as the case may be) than in the Sacrifice of the Mass, and they know it.

The only thing I'm afraid of is turning into the guy who doesn't care to hear God's voice anymore. That is Hell on Earth, a foretaste of damnation, when Love will fall silent forever.

I Get That It Gets You, Leticia

I enjoyed it. But then, I like pop, and I like Madonna, in spite of herself. There is something about "faith and sex and God," as Counting Crows say. McLaren is right about that, even if he doesn't know much of what he speaks.

This isn't the first time I've read your blog, by the way. If you are a "crazy-face," we need a few more. Grace teaches us the twin truth that we have no right to be in communion with God, but here we are, provided that we continue in His kindness. I come to know that this continuing does not consist in effort, but in giving and receiving. If it had been said that we are passive in the reception of grace by various dissenters, its kernel of truth is that grace is not native or natural to us.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Read This. Seriously.

Of course, we Catholics don't believe "religion" and "politics" are like the potatoes and lima beans on the plate of life which should never touch. Buahaha! But seriously, someone have the stones to challenge the Johnson Amendment! So long as we weren't lurching toward tyranny, it'd be fun to watch avowed secularists and relativists (attempt to) explain why their morality should be imposed on churches and ecclesial communities, even if those groups flouted the prohibitions of the law.

What inherent authority (beyond good old monopolies on coercive force) would sanction the taxation of groups who refused to comply? Just dare them to take away the tax exemption. What common good justifies the restriction of political activities by churches? I can't think of one. There is a difference between accepting pluralism to an extent for peace, and making pluralism the highest civic virtue.

You probably know for whom your pastor voted. You know who he might suggest if you asked. What's the point of this charade of pretending we're achieving some good by forcing them to stay out of it?

Theologians Speak Heresy

Shocking, I know. Yet it's not only because they are wrong--though they might be, depending on the context--or that they lack any shred of living faith in any form, though of course, that's entirely possible. There are other contexts where you need the freedom to be wrong, to consider even the logical outcome of the most odious theological conclusions. Speculative theology, for one. So, I think this is the main reason the Holy Father was so...conciliatory toward positions I'm sure he could readily identify as "temptations" or even occasions for sin. He doesn't know precisely why they are being offered in any one case, and even if he did, he doesn't ever close the door on an opportunity for conversion, even a bishop! When we say "conversion," by the way, we mean the ongoing process of being conformed to the image of Christ. So, a justified person undergoes conversion; an unjustified person certainly could. Obviously, I was confused by this for a long time, as a former Reformed person. But in Catholic thought, justification and sanctification are two different terms to talk about the same thing. They are not synonymous exactly, because you are talking about holiness from two different directions.

Here's the Holy Father's closing address.

Personally, I'm excited. There are a lot of people who doubted that he would even speak such words. In my opinion, "faithful" in (conservative) American parlance means, "not an abortionist, not a hippie, not an NPR listener, not a Mass-skipper." There's some good things in there, and there's some cultural preferences in there, too. Anyway, that isn't what it really means. And some of those "faithful" need some more faith. Are they just mad because Burke wasn't elected pope? This is the successor of Peter, man. We're not talking about the GOP primary. Rick Santorum will never be pope, God love him. Just because you meet somebody "faithful", it doesn't mean that their judgments in what the pope/Church should do or say are right. Just sayin.' For the record, I love Rick Santorum. Actually, I kinda like NPR, too, in small doses. I'm still wondering why Raddatz is getting all this noise for bad moderation of the VP debate in '12; I loved it. I digress.

Take a deep breath. Read a good catechism. Remember that JP II kissed a Koran, and Paul VI was like the Dwight Eisenhower of popes, and not in a good way. Both those cats are definitely in Heaven now. [You need to stop mixing metaphors.--ed.] I know. I'm sorry, but not.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Gravy Train, Thy Name Is Fred Noltie

I should like subscribe by e-mail or something. How did I miss this most recent post? Was I asleep when they taught that section of the Catechism? [No, man. It's like Dukeman et al. say: no one reads the Catechism.--ed.] I aspire to! Somebody is!

I would look quizzically at the CINOs in college (let the reader understand) who told me they got "days" instead of absolution. They boasted about it. I never knew why until I heard the stories of St. John Vianney, who could read souls. He'd tell you he knows you're not repentant, so come back in 3 days. It's not even a hard bar to clear: if you want to be free of a "besetting sin," in the evangelical parlance, he'll absolve you, even if he knows you may need practice in virtue before it's gone.

Anyway, the Church is exceedingly merciful these days, but it's not "mercy" to say sin is no longer sin. I used to feel like some of my readers: call down fire from Heaven on all the sinners! But then, perfect Light revealed I'm not much to write home about. So I'm a huge fan of being asked if I've made peace with a certain sin, and if I intend not to fall into it again. This is that "discipline" people are always saying the Church lacks. Ahem.

Important Things Are Often Not Complicated

It's like this for a ton of things. In baseball, sometimes winning and losing is separated by a base hit up the middle, or a bunt. In theology, if your idea of the "Church" leads unquestionably to mutually exclusive doctrines concerning the same question coexisting, it must be false. That which Christ promised to protect is not the US Senate. I realize that this opens up unpleasant and scary possibilities, but trust me, you will not die, and Jesus is waiting for you.

11 vs. 15

Nope, it's not a Grand Slam bracket when Federer has a bad day; it's the dilemma that made me a Catholic. Here's the Westminster Confession Of Faith, Chapter XI, "Of Justification" in its entirety:

 I.Those whom God effectually calls, He also freely justifies;[1] not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them,[2] they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.[3]
II. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification:[4] yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love.[5]
III. Christ, by His obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real and full satisfaction to His Father's justice in their behalf.[6] Yet, in as much as He was given by the Father for them;[7] and His obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead;[8] and both, freely, not for any thing in them; their justification is only of free grace;[9]that both the exact justice, and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.[10]
IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect,[11] and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification:[12] nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit does, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.[13]
V. God does continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified;[14] and although they can never fall from the state of justification,[15] yet they may, by their sins, fall under God's fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.[16]
VI. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament.[17]

Right out of the gate, no infused righteousness. Fine. But if it is "no dead faith, but worketh by love," (true) WHO CARES? It's God's love, and God's work alone, allegedly. You don't need to get Him off the hook for a dead faith. You'd only say this because you were defensive about it, but logically, you don't need it. Hold that thought.

Here's Chapter XV, "Of Repentance Unto Life," in its entirety:

I. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace,[1] the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the Gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.[2]
II. By it, a sinner, out of the sight and sense not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature, and righteous law of God; and upon the apprehension of His mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God,[3] purposing and endeavouring to walk with Him in all the ways of His commandments.[4]
III. Although repentance is not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof,[5] which is the act of God's free grace in Christ,[6] yet it is of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.[7]
IV. As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation;[8] so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.[9]
V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man's duty to endeavor to repent of his particular sins, particularly.[10]
VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof;[11] upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy;[12] so he that scandelizeth his brother, or the Church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended;[13] who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.[14]

Articles III and V make no sense, and together with Ch. XI, art. I, form an irreconcilable dilemma: If the righteousness of Christ has already been imputed to me, how does God the Father even see my sins, much less expect repentance for them? And why would pardon be denied if repentance is lacking, if the sins have already been forgiven?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sola Scriptura And Perspicuity Denied, In One Sentence

It is not reasonable to hold set of doctrines x, in contradistinction to doctrines y, based upon a shared appeal to the Scriptures, in that the dispute alone demonstrates the appeal not dispositive.

In English: Neither man has any reason to believe that the Holy Spirit is not speaking to him. So either God is lying or in error, or this isn't the way to figure out what God said.

Pretty simple, but you actually have to consider in humility that the other guy might not be Satanically deceived, simply because he disagrees. If you see this in good faith often enough, you'll doubt not God, but this hermeneutical method.

I Could Just Water Stuff Down

I could make non-negotiables into adiaphora, and I could remain blissfully uncritical about my interpretations, and where I got them, in order to believe in perspicuity and Sola Scriptura. But my problem was, I believed that God couldn't lie, or err. Which means that, whether I believed my interpretation or another, I had to face the reality that Scripture would not adjudicate between them; each retains a plausibility structure which itself causes enough doubt that preference and cultural inertia are the only basis upon which to choose. I can think of nothing more unfitting for something that purports to be from Heaven. Ben Carmack, Gregory Shane Morris, and Tim Dukeman may not be willing to face the implications of it, but I couldn't ignore it. Sorry, guys.

The whole Reformation is self-refuting.

The Truth Is...

I'm not unsympathetic to arguments like this one. Indeed, the very fact that a phrase like "Cosby conversation" (where a black man speaks the truth about the harm black America does to itself, that a white person isn't allowed to say) exists shows that many have justly tired of the race grievance industry.

BUT...I happened to see that one David McCallum was exonerated of murder, after 29 years in prison. I hoped before I clicked that he was white. It happens sometimes, right? But no. Frankly, in that moment, it was not hard to imagine what much of black America was thinking: "Great. One guy. What about all the others? And the ones who died before justice was served?" I believe in the greatness of what America stands for; I believe it's the best to live and die on the Earth. I don't believe in that ideal enough to not look frankly at where things actually stand, as opposed to where we want them to be.

I believe in structural racism and white privilege. There are mountains of proof, for one thing. NBC (or one of the news organizations) runs an experiment. They have 3 white teenage boys deface a car. Most people walk by bemused; some talk to them, saying, "Just don't do it to my car; I can't afford it!" Three calls to police. One guy got angry about the immorality, and nearly came to blows with the kids. But generally, "not my problem." You know where this will go. NBC's got its black actors ready to go. They're going to run the same experiment. Before they begin, they receive 2 calls to police about the black actors sleeping in their own car. And how many calls to police did they receive? More than thirty. And no one was laughing this time. This wasn't south Alabama, by the way; it was outside Boston.

And simply to say it doesn't mean that some disgruntled Black Studies major with a major axe to grind isn't a whining ninny. There are plenty of people with no one to blame but themselves. Still, we need to begin with a frank recognition that Dr. King didn't wave a magic wand at the March on Washington.

Realizing that "Driving While Black" (for example) is a thing, and that I will never experience it doesn't mean that I hate myself, or all others like me. It means rather that justice is not zero-sum; I don't have to lose for my brother to win. But I may have benefited from lots of "winning" that never should have happened.

Just some thoughts.

5 Thoughts For Today

5. I agree that "Kasper The Unfriendly Ghost" is funny, and does reflect the orthodox opinion of His Eminence's views regarding divorce and re-marriage, but it likely borders on a lack of charity. Let us instead pray His Eminence is merely misinformed, and that he changes course while the opportunity remains.

4. Anti-Catholic bigotry is real. It would simply merit a mention alongside anything that opposes Christ but for the fact that other Christians engage in it also! And to be direct, that's biting the (divine) hand that feeds you, whether you know it or not.

3. I try to practice a "gradualism" in eating my candy nowadays, with less success than in years past! Nomnomnom!

2. We need a win. Go Cards!

1. Dear Facebook,

I do not know why you have deactivated the great Bob Lozano's Facebook account, but his witty banter is comedy gold. You have made it appear that I enjoy talking to myself, and for this, you have earned my scorn. "If [Facebook] cannot accept that small weakness, then we will be forced, unhappily, to seek an alliance with someone like the Ferengi. [like LinkedIn or something]"

It's Not Always A Happy Story

If any of you listen to the Bobby Bones radio show in the mornings, you may know that their colleague Amy's mom is dying of cancer. I can't find the link right now, but suffice to say, it is heartbreaking. There may be a mercy in the time to say goodbye, but I look back now, and I'm glad I lost my dad suddenly, and before I was me. Sometimes certain people are just the kind who torture themselves with what they should have said and done; I am one of those people.

We have only one enemy greater than death, which is sin that kills our souls. Find true goodness and forgiveness in Christ and the Church while we have time. Death doesn't wait until all the fences are mended. We need to know mercy for the most important relationship of all.

This culture offers us easy believism, and a humanistic universalism, as if merely being human were enough. You probably know their magisterial declaration by heart: "He's in a better place." Don't mistake that human goodness which even the most evil cannot fully suppress by wickedness for a free pass to the joy of Heaven!

This stern warning probably doesn't apply to these poor people I mentioned. We pray for all involved, that their final days together are salted with the joy of redemption in Christ, the hope of the resurrection of the body, and the everlasting peace of fellowship with God.

Everybody Loves Reagan (Lk 11:47-54)

I chose a provocative title to grab you again. Maybe those of you not in the habit of reading the day's Gospel will do it, just to see what I say. Well, that's vain. Then again, this blog fits in that misty grey between public and private space.

I couldn't get pop culture out of my head as I read this. Do you remember that part in Les Miserables fairly early on, when the king gives the slain labor leader a state funeral, though he orchestrated his death? That's exactly what I imagine when I read Jesus here. There may have been a great many people who were fond of being God's chosen people, but wanted no part of what God requires. God seems to remind us again and again that His grace is for something; we don't get to hoard blessings, or, if you will, to bury talents.

Would I be angry if God showed mercy to the wrong sorts of people? Would I cling to some work of God in the past, or some privilege of mercy he granted, but not to Him? That's exactly what Jesus is asking here, and he's saying that's exactly what his adversaries have done. He had said, "In vain you search the Scriptures, thinking that by them, you have life...but Moses wrote about me." If your heart is soft, you're ready for whatever God wants to do. If not, His own Son becomes a problem that must be erased. He ended a powerful prophetic utterance about the destruction of the Temple (and the suffering of the people) in another part of this Gospel with these words: "All this shall come upon you because you did not recognize the moment of your visitation." There is no point in a cultural Christianity without Christ. He can see right through it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Want To Make This Clear

I studied political science as an undergraduate. Whether I learned anything is a debatable proposition, but what this area of study does is shed light on how (especially) our government works, or at least how it's supposed to work. If you study it long enough, you pick up an ingrained bias against reactionaries; you appreciate the system. You begin to understand why enemies deliver glowing tributes at an opponent's funeral. We say, "We've got a good system; we have reason to be proud, optimistic, etc."

I will never forget the day my favorite instructor put me in my place about Senator Charles Schumer. I was complaining rather vociferously about his obnoxious liberal-ness, and my instructor simply said, "Hey. Senator Schumer loves his country, and he serves his constituents well." (We can argue that supporting abortion doesn't serve anyone, but you get the idea.)

I am inclined and sympathetic to that species of person who tells everyone else to stop overreacting. Mark Shea, Alan Noble, *cough, cough*. In any event, I need to say something a bit jarring, so prepare yourself. If in fact this nation was and is the fullest expression of classical liberalism, it is doomed. It was probably doomed from the start. Classical liberalism is flawed in its very telos, the end it puts forward for mankind, whether as individuals, or in groups. Why? Because its notion of "freedom" is negative only; that is, it only concerns itself with freedom from coercion, primarily via the government. If you pardon the bad grammar, though, what is freedom for? What is the purpose for which my individual freedom ought not to be unduly limited? Here's the key, friends: If you don't posit Natural Law, which itself points toward man's destiny in union with God, it's only a matter of time before justice itself hangs by the thread of majority opinion. If "government shouldn't legislate morality," as we so often hear, it will impose its own. And a morality imposed by a government "by the people" will be as capricious and arbitrary as our vices will take us. You can't found a country that not only permits pluralism for the sake of peace, but elevates it to the highest virtue, and expect to survive.

It may do us some good to re-visit our founding documents, but it would be better to reconsider the basis of law itself. A great many people have yearned for the days when fiscal and social conservatives would re-unite. I maintain that the philosophical commitments that allowed them to separate may be the end of our society as we know it.

I Can't Help It

I told you so. It still doesn't mean the war was prudent or just in its waging, but it does in large measure vindicate George W. Bush, and his honesty. I await the progressive apologies with bated breath.

It's cool; when they paint Rubio as some dangerous reactionary, pining for the days of George W. Bush, I'll be happy to point out what they said then. [Didn't you vote in 2008 against the foreign policy of George W. Bush?--ed.] Yes. I thought we were on the wrong road, and have been for a long time. But for the record, I never believed the president had bad intent.

One weird aspect of this for a non-interventionist like myself is that I join with hawks in criticizing the waging of the war, in limiting it for PR purposes. A war more quickly concluded makes for the swift return of peace and justice. On the other hand, an unjust means cannot be used to achieve a just end (e.g., atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki).

I hate it when that happens.

That's The Craziest Thing I Ever Heard (Lk 11:37-41)

This reads as a typical tearing into the Pharisees at first, and we'd probably just let it wash over with little more than a self-satisfied chuckle, but for the fact that Jesus wants us to hear this, and apply it to ourselves some way. Look at v. 41; if you are a good little papist reading this liturgically, you don't have the verse number, but do yourself a favor and pick up a Bible. Now, this may be the only time that the New American Bible is superior for both accuracy and clarity, at least in English, to the RSV.

Look here at the NAB rendering: "But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

Give alms?!? What kind of Mickey Mouse Pelagian operation is being run here? Indeed, what we might call the Crass Pelagian Reading says, "See? Salvation by works. You want to be saved? Try harder and do stuff." But wait! What sort of error did these Pharisees make? They strained out a gnat, and swallowed a camel. Same thing in Matthew 23, and other places. What sort of person gives alms without a thought? A person who is on fire with supernatural love. A merely religious person isn't going to sacrifice his own comfort for love of God and neighbor; he will rather be invested in making it appear so.

The profoundly Christian aspect of this is that if we find ourselves disinclined to give and serve in this way, we have to pray for the grace to do it, to live with open hands toward all blessings. We can't simply work up the courage to be "good people"; we have to taste the transforming love of God. While it is true that God requires us to give the alms, and not merely metaphysically suppose that Christ has given them for us, we are but creatures, and we have no capacity for friendship or similarity with God unless He makes it possible. Christ is not calling us to a religion of self-help, but in union with the Church, I have to call malarkey on that "imputation of Christ's active obedience" stuff, because frankly, Christ would rather have my active obedience.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Listen To Father

This. I have no further comment on it. I am too simple a man and theologian to waste time worrying about who said what, or to wring my hands, as they say, about dissenters (even if they are bishops). We have the Catechism (and numerous other good ones) if we ourselves have any doubt concerning what we are to believe and do. This had better be enough, because nothing more has been said.

Lord, we pray that you will give us loving hearts that welcome sinners, and that, by the burning fire of charity that wells up within us, we may be instruments of Your love for their conversion. Forgive us and teach us, we ask, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

When The Fascists Do Come...

They will be too stupid or evil to care about justification, Sola Scriptura, or whatever else. As I have said many times, they will ask us if we are with Jesus, or with them. And we'll die together. That will not relieve you of the right and the duty of reconciling with holy mother Church, but it probably will make it easier.

Turning from a "red" martyrdom to a "white" one, did you know that temptation is a participation in the sufferings of Christ? I might have known this intellectually, but not really. I found it highly encouraging, myself.

Know that if you sense a need to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and go there, you may have failed--as we all do--but you are not a failure. In fact, you are on the road to success. Our adversary will tell you that you are hopeless, and that God does not love you. Anything to keep you from receiving the very mercy you want and need. Don't listen.