Wednesday, June 24, 2015

HOW MUST MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH, IN PARTICULAR, THE CLERGY REACT TO THE DISORDERS OF ORIGNIAL SIN THAT LEAD TO ACTUAL SIN?


Don't get me wrong. I'm all in favor of condemning actual sin and calling sinners to repentance. I don't chastise people when they go to confession to me. I offer them the healing grace of the mercy of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Ultimately, the role of the Church is to help a disordered world (due to Original and Actual Sin) to be reconciled to God and go to heaven. We can't fix the world, try as we may and we must try! Without this reconciliation, though, disordered humans and the world they live in go to hell in a handbag. The Church's ministry is to prevent as many people as possible from going to hell, recognizing the truth Jesus told us in Tuesday's Gospel for the daily Mass from Matthew 7:12-14 the following:

 “Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few.”


There have been many societal trends in the last 50 years that are destructive. Yes, the proliferation of abortions leading to the deaths of millions upon millions of children is a tragedy for these children and society. But it also is a tragedy for those who have abortions, encourage them, and perform them. The loss of someone's immortal soul to hell is a tragedy and something the Church tries to reverse through pro-active action to prevent abortions  and avert damnation of those doing it or causing it through the Sacrament of Penance.

The same is true of the sexual revolution of the 1960's which is kicked into a higher notch with the gay revolution and same sex marriage in so many places and perhaps soon all over the USA depending on the Supreme Court. I don't think there is any way for the Church to reverse this trend any time soon wring out hands as we may.

All we can do is preach morality and when it comes to sex, modesty and chastity, two of secular society's "f" words, not to be spoken in polite company without some real push back and ridicule from those who squirm at these two words. 

We'll have to compromise with secular society in agreeing that couples (now, could be multiple partners in the future) who are in committed relationships, sexual or otherwise, should receive the same benefits from the state as those in natural marriage as God designs. I think we can quibble with adoption of children or some other facets of this civil arrangement, but that is a side show.

What we must do is to warn people to enter through the narrow gate to heaven and to recognize that the road that leads to destruction is wide and many choose it.  We can't stop those who are hell-bent on going to hell. And that's the way it is.


6 comments:

Angry Augustinian said...

I have never liked the statement, "hate the sin love the sinner." There is something theologically wrong with it…Scripture views man as a whole, our actions flow from who we are. Even in Paul, the whole man is tormented by this "sin that dwelleth in me." Repentance is of the whole person…the entire being is fallen, sinful, skewed from God's image. The whole person must be restored. If we "hate the sin and love the sinner," then does God forgive only the behavior and leave the rest of the man unredeemed? The way the phrase is used today makes it sound like any heinous and awful crime is simply waved off by some flippant and trite statement. Paul's eloquent preaching in Romans means that the whole man is fallen, the whole man is unworthy to stand before God unless redeemed by the blood of Christ. We have a somewhat schizophrenic way of looking at this.

Dialogue said...

Angry has a point. After all, God did not condemn Satan's rebellious action to Hell, but Satan's very being. Similarly, God will not condemn fornication, contraception, adultery or divorce to Hell, but the human beings who commit these evils.

The sin/sinner approach is similar to the gun control debate, with one side blaming the guns for crimes, and the other side blaming the criminals.

rcg said...

Excellent point, AA. Are we not scrubbed of the last blemish in Purgetory? We don't shed them like snake skin and leave behind.

Angry Augustinian said...

Dialogue, yeah ol' Satan…"him the Almighty Power hurled, headlong flaming, from the ethereal sky with hideous ruin and combustion, down to bottomless perdition, there to dwell in adamantine chains and penal fire who dost defy the Omnipotent to arms…" But, he is raising his head more and more in our time…and this with God's permission. Christ have mercy!

Anonymous said...

Father, within the next 18 hours, the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to rule on constitutionality of "same-sex" marriage. If the court (as many fear) says "yes" on that question, should Canon 915 (denial of Holy Communion) be invoked by Washington's bishop (or rather archbishop)? After all, it is not mathematically possible for the Court to say "yes" without Catholic support, as the court is majority Catholic (including, incredibly, all 5 GOP-appointed justices).

For those with long memories, if the court regretfully says "si" tomorrow, we may be able to trace that decision to the year 1986, when Democrats retook control of the US Senate. In 1987, then-President Reagan nominated Robert Bork, a conservative, but the Democrats made him out to be a freak, like a segregation supporter and pro-life, and he was defeated. Later came Anthony Kennedy as his replacement...so now you know the rest of the story...

Mary R said...

This is one of the best commentaries I have seen on the issues surrounding the sexual revolution. I agree that all you can do is to continue to preach about morality and bring sinners to the Sacrament of Penance. I also agree that we may have to compromise on issues such as civil marriage.