Saturday, August 2, 2014


It may be true that some people become Catholic and remain Catholic because of the social connections and the witness of faith that others give to them. It is nice to feel as though one belongs to a world wide family with a common faith and common mission. This is very appealing to many people.

But this feeling of belonging can be accomplished through many other religious and/or secular venues. There is nothing unique about Catholicism in terms of feeling like one belongs to a worldwide family with a common faith and mission.

Catholicism goes beyond the horizontal, although the horizontal is certainly important. The Church goes directly to God in a vertical way but with a horizontal twist.

The Church also claims to have the fullness of Truth, meaning God and all our doctrines and morals.

The Church also claims to open the small door and narrow path that leads to heaven.

Ultimately the goal of being a Catholic is the salvation of our souls, nothing more and nothing less.

This is accomplished through Faith and Good Works.

Faith is very personal but needs God's grace and the horizontal support of others. Good Works are very important to salvation too for both faith and good works are necessary. Good works can be very personal and private or we can join with others in religious or secular venues to accomplish good works especially assistance to the needy and sick.

Parishes in the Catholic Church are created to enable Catholics to live sacramental lives, to be taught the truth and to be sent to live as good Catholics performing good works.

Parishes help Catholics to know, love and serve Jesus Christ in this life and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.


Gene said...

Exactly, Fr….and salvation comes through right belief and all that follows, I say follows, from it, which includes membership in the Holy Catholic Church.

George said...

"Good Works are very important to salvation too for both faith and good works are necessary."
The good works we do are external manifestations of our faith. If you have faith, where are the works which manifest that faith and give glory to God? Are we to be no more than like cattle out in the field to whom God provides the food and water of salvation but who do nothing but exist, and consume, and bask in the sunlight of His Love? One can give to charity, give clothes to the poor, help the homeless, and visit the sick. One can also do spiritual works, such as praying for healing or the conversion of sinners, comforting those in sorrow, bearing wrongs and forgiving injuries. One must do these things. As St James says, faith without works is dead. As is written in the Gospel “(Do) you want proof that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was made complete by the works Our faith is completed by our works. Faith is one part of our response to God’s love, our works are the other completing part of that response.
We play our part and co-operate with the Holy Spirit in salvation through our prayers and good works.Religious faith is an acceptance of a gift from God. It is not just an act of the will although it is that. It is not just an affirmation of belief in the Creed, although it is that also. If a person has faith, then there should be a external manifestation which gives evidence of that. Others should see evidence of your faith in what you do and say and how you act.
I know it is not because of anything that I do that I am saved, but just as such bad works and any sinful actions that I do will be found against me if I do not repent and receive forgiveness, such good works that I done will be found in my favor. Why would God consider and hold against us those things by which we have offended Him and not on the other hand not consider those good works we have also done? After all, those good works which we do and present back to God have great value imparted to them by the redemptive suffering and death of Christ Jesus. What we receive from God by faith, we take and do our part and then present it back to Him, and in doing so our faith is confirmed by our good works. In doing this, we honor His Love for us and also satisfy His Justice."

Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini (1839-1905):

"Faith is necessary to good works, and good works are necessary to faith. Works make faith the source of salvation, and faith make the works worthy of merit. Without good works faith is unproductive, without faith good works are ineffective. The stronger the faith, the more copious the good works, and vice-versa, plenty of good works increase the vitality of faith.


John Nolan said...

I would like to return to this blog to make some comments about parishes. My father was the headmaster of a Catholic school and was therefore very much tied to the parish, to the extent that we gave up having a telephone for ten years because it was too easy for the PP to get in touch with him. For most of my teens we went to Mass at the parish church; this coincided with the post-V2 liturgical changes which I knew instinctively were wrong, but had little to compare them with. By 1967 there was no Latin left and the church (a historic building and one of the first to be built after the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829) had been wreckovated to an extent which would not have been allowed nowadays.

While at University I realized that my Catholicism was not simply something I was brought up with, but was intellectually compelling and unanswerable; but at that time (early 1970s) the gulf between what went on in Catholic parishes and what I understood to be the Roman tradition yawned ever wider.

Two things then happened. In 1973 I took a teaching job in Mansfield, Notts. where the PP still had his principal Mass in Latin and celebrated ad orientem (this was not uncommon in those days although a lot of pressure was being put upon them to conform). Then I wandered into the London Oratory one Sunday morning in August 1974 to find a Solemn Latin Mass with all the Gregorian Propers and Haydn's Nelson Mass. It was of course Novus Ordo, but not in the way it was normally done.

Since then, my parish has been the Universal Church. If I could narrow it down, I would say that the Oratorians and St Philip Neri are a parish in a sense - the nearest to me is the Oxford Oratory (40 minutes). Despite the fact that I can sing and teach Gregorian Chant, no local parish would be interested in making use of my services - I've tried it and it doesn't work. However, if you are prepared to go here, there and everywhere, there are opportunities and perhaps we are being challenged in a way we weren't fifty years ago.

Cameron said...

Where's Part I?

Gene said...

Part one was eaten by Pelagius...

rcg said...

My experiences parallel John Nolan's withe addition of about ten years. I am not remotely as knowledgable or trained but I did notice a shift in what the Parishes wanted from us and it was clearly tilted not only toward the Spirit of Vatican II but toward severing ties with those parts of Church history important to those of us of a more traditional bent. I had the impression that the endless apologies for things the Church had done were an incremental confession that the Church was wrong up until about 1968 and needed to start over. The folks that I know who are the most dead set against the EF are Methodist converts. I will let that speak for itself.

I literally thank God everyday for the FSSP and what they have brought to my town. Our parishioners all seem to be refugees in some respect, many literally so. This fire is still spreading, it may not be as fearsome to the liberals under Pope Francis. That is good for there is no value in a forced schism.