Tuesday, February 7, 2017

ON SECOND THOUGHT, ALTHOUGH HIS HOLINESS SHOULD BE CLEARER, HIS HOLINESS WAS RIGHT ON THE MARK ABOUT HIS COMMANDMENTS STATEMENT AND RIGIDITY


As I have written before, Pope Francis is the 1970's theology/discipline personified. I know this, because what His Holiness teaches is what I was taught by the Suplicians at St. Mary's Seminary in Roland Park, Baltimore.

Much of what we were taught came from South America, the Jesuits and liberation theology as well as Vatican II as a clean break from what the Church was in the awful bad-old days when more than 90% of Catholics practiced their faith by attending Mass (of course it was purely on the fear of Hell and breaking the Church's law on the obligation to attend Mass under the pain of mortal sin and eternal damnation.)

But, what the heck, if that gets people to Mass, so be it, if hellfire and damnation work for you.

But one of the things I appreciated from my 1970's theology was that the 10 Commandments, in fact all religious law, is based upon the "LEAST YOU CAN DO" not the most. What can I get by with and still be a good Catholic and go to heaven.

The least you can do is not take God's name in vain and worship idols.

The least you can do is not kill, steal, bear false witness and so on. You get the picture.

What Jesus does is not to supplant the minimum of any law let alone the 10 Commandments, but to call people to do more, to do the maximum which is based upon love and do the most, not the least in order to squeak by.

So I go to Mass not just to fulfill my obligation but because I love God and neighbor as Jesus taught and want to be with other Catholics to thank God for Jesus' Sacrifice that saves me from Hell by hearing God's Word, being challenged to live a holy life every day and repenting of that which is unholy.

I think this is what Pope Francis' is teaching although English translations of His Holiness Italian homilies might betray what His Holiness is saying. And of course reading what someone says can be completely different from hear how someone says something important. There are nuances in voice inflection, eye contact and facial features missing in the written.

6 comments:

Gene said...

But, we are still commanded and required to do the least.

God is love said...

IT IS WHAT YOU DO. HIS ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. EVEN IF WE MISUNDERSTOOD HIS WORDS, WE WOULD SEE WHAT HE IS DOING. IF BOTH WORDS AND ACTIONS ARE CONFUSING AND MOSTLY NOT GOOD IT IS CLEAR WHAT HIS BELIEF SYSTEMARIA IS. GOD BLESS.

Henry said...

"So I go to Mass not just to fulfill my obligation but because . . . "

Fulfilling your obligation to worship God as he intends is the primary reason for attending Mass, and whatever you get out of it towards living a better life is secondary.

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it . . . "

Victor said...

Meditábor in mandátis tuis, quæ diléxi valde: et
levábo manus meas ad mandáta tua, quæ diléxi.

(I will meditate on Thy commandments, which I have loved
exceedingly: and I will lift up my hands to Thy
commandments, which I have loved.)

-Offertory from the Second Sunday in Lent (Psalm 118. 47, 48)

rcg said...

One of my biggest complaints about the NO is how many people justify sloppines as the least that is needed. When operating In the Presence it seems like you would want to make whatever you do a solid as possible. Never plan to land on the far lip of the chasm you jump.

Dialogue said...

rcg,

What's fascinating is that a sloppy priest offering the EF could hardly be noticed as such by anyone but another priest. It's as if the EF Mass has a layer of Teflon around it.