Monday, April 9, 2018

NEW PAPAL EXHORTATION NOT BAD ESPECIALLY NEED FOR SPIRIYUAL COMBAT AND WILL MAKE SOME PROGRESSIVES UNEASY WITH ITS DEVIL TALK

FROM VATICAN NEWS:

A guide to Christianity for the 21st Century: the new Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis

On April 9, which this year marks the transferred Solemnity of the Annunciation, the Vatican releases the latest Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis: Gaudete et exsultate: On the call to holiness in today’s world.
By Christopher Wells
“The Lord asks everything of us, and in return offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created.”
In his third Apostolic Exhortation (following Evangelii gaudium and Amoris laetitia) Pope Francis reflects on the call to holiness, and how we can respond to that call in the modern world. “My modest goal” in the Exhortation, Pope Francis says, “is to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time.”
The five chapters of Gaudete et exsultate follow a logical progression, beginning with a consideration of the call to holiness as it is in itself. The Holy Father than examines two “subtle enemies of holiness,” namely, contemporary gnosticism and contemporary pelagianism.

Holiness in living the Beatitudes
 

The heart of Gaudete et exsultate is dedicated to the idea that holiness means following Jesus. In this third chapter, Pope Francis considers each of the Beatitudes as embodying what it means to be holy. But if the Beatitudes show us what holiness means, the Gospel also shows us the criterion by which we will be judged: “I was hungry and you gave me food… thirsty and you gave me drink… a stranger and you welcomed me… naked and you clothed me… sick and you took care of me… in prison and you visited me.”
Pope Francis devotes the fourth chapter of Gaudete et exsultate to “certain aspects of the call to holiness” that he feels “will prove especially meaningful” in today’s world: perseverance, patience and meekness; joy and a sense of humour; boldness and passion; the communal dimension of holiness; constant prayer.

Spiritual combat and discernment
 

Finally, the Exhortation makes practical suggestions for living out the call to holiness. “The Christian life is a constant battle,” the Pope says. “We need strength and courage to withstand the temptations of the devil and to proclaim the Gospel.” In the fifth chapter, he speaks about the need for “combat” and vigilance, and calls us to exercise the gift of discernment, “which is all the more necessary today,” in a world with so many distractions that keep us from hearing the Lord’s voice.
“It is my hope,” Pope Francis concludes, “that these pages will prove helpful by enabling the whole Church to devote herself anew to promoting the desire for holiness.”
The full text of the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et exsultate can be found on the Holy See website.
COPIED FROM CRUX:


In Gaudete et Exsultate , Pope answers ‘Amoris’ critics: Don’t ‘reduce, constrict’ Gospel

In Gaudete et Exsultate , Pope answers ‘Amoris’ critics: Don’t ‘reduce, constrict’ Gospel
Pope Francis leaves St. Peter's Square at the Vatican after a Mass on the Sunday of Divine Mercy, Sunday, April 8, 2018. (Credit: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia.)
Although a new document from Pope Francis on holiness reflects permanent themes in his thinking and in Catholic spirituality, in context, it also offers indirect commentary on two recent burning questions: First, what does the pope really believe about Hell, the afterlife, and the spiritual realm? Second, how would he answer critics such as the several hundred who gathered in Rome on Saturday to contest his 2016 document Amoris Laetitia?
With the release of his new apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate on Monday, and almost without trying, the pontiff addressed both points.
  • While Francis doesn’t deal with Hell, he makes clear he obviously believes in a Devil and takes his malign influence seriously, saying the Devil is not “a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea.”
  • Francis is also well aware of his critics over the merciful line expressed in Amoris, in a moment in which the document just marked the second anniversary of its release on Sunday, and he takes a dim view of what’s driving them.
“Contrary to the promptings of the Spirit, the life of the Church can become a museum piece or the possession of a select few,” the pope writes. “This can occur when some groups of Christians give excessive importance to certain rules, customs or ways of acting. The Gospel then tends to be reduced and constricted, deprived of its simplicity, allure and savor.”
“This may well be a subtle form of Pelagianism, for it appears to subject the life of grace to certain human structures,” Francis said. “It can affect groups, movements and communities, and it explains why so often they begin with an intense life in the Spirit, only to end up fossilized… or corrupt.”
In the course of the document, Francis also delivers a full frontal critique of a form of Catholic pro-life activism that becomes focused on the abortion issue at the exclusion of other matters, such as immigration.
Francis’s attitude on Hell became a hot topic after an alleged “interview” with 93-year-old Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari briefly created a frenzy that came to be known as “Hellgate.” While the new document doesn’t shed any light on that front, it does confirm that for this pope, the Devil, anyway, is decidedly real.
The final chapter of the new document, “Spiritual combat, vigilance and discernment,” is a call to be both alert against the temptation of the Devil, who the pope says is “more than a myth,” but also to trust in the “powerful weapons that the Lord has given us” to face this “spiritual combat”: Faith-filled prayer, meditation on the word of God, the celebration of Mass, Eucharistic adoration, sacramental Reconciliation, works of charity, community life, missionary outreach.
Subtitled “On the call to holiness in the contemporary world,” the text of Gaudete et Exsultate is presented by the pope as an attempt to “re-propose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.”
Compared to Francis’s last apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, dedicated to exploring the “Christian proclamation on the family,” Gaudete et exsultate is a short document. The 2016 text had 256 pages, almost five times the 44 pages in the document released Monday.
In effect, the exhortation is an attack against two modern day heresies - Gnosticism and Pelagianism, and two related ideologies. In the course of describing them, Francis offers some critical words about what he sees as certain distortions of the pro-life cause.
“[A] harmful ideological error is found in those who find suspect the social engagement of others, seeing it as superficial, worldly, secular, materialist, communist or populist,” Francis wrote. Those who fall under this category, he said, at times reduce this social engagement to “one particular ethical issue or cause that they themselves defend.”
To exemplify, he speaks about the defense of the unborn, which “needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person.”
Yet, he argues, the lives of those yet to be born cannot be the only ones defended: “Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.”
An ideal of holiness that ignores justice amidst a world in which some live only “for the latest consumer goods,” while others live their entire lives in abject poverty “cannot be upheld.”
In a move that is bound to enrage some of the pope’s most conservative critics, he doubled down on this issue, saying that the situation of immigrants is often presented as a lesser issue, with some Catholics considering it “a secondary issue compared to the ‘grave’ bioethical questions.”
Quoting Matthew’s passage, Francis argued: “Can we not realize that this is exactly what Jesus demands of us, when he tells us that in welcoming the stranger we welcome him?”

A call for ordinary saints

The “Universal call to Sainthood” was outlined by a document from the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, and Francis picks up on it, saying that it’s not only a call for bishops, priests and consecrated people, nor only for those who live a life dedicated exclusively to prayer.
Real history, he writes, is made up by the witness to Christ offered by the “humblest members” of the people of God.
Though there are some testimonies that may prove inspiring, Christians shouldn’t “grow discouraged before examples of holiness that appear unattainable,” recognizing instead that there are many ways of bearing witness.
Here, the pope dedicates a graph to the “genius of woman,” seen in “feminine styles of holiness,” an essential means of reflecting “God’s holiness in this world.”
“I think too of all those unknown or forgotten women who, each in her own way, sustained and transformed families and communities by the power of their witness,” he wrote.
He expands on the twin dangers of Gnosticism and Pelagianism.
Those who yield to the latter mindset, the pontiff wrote, may speak warmly of God’s grace, but ultimately trust in their own powers and feel superior because they “remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style.”
When they tell “the weak that all things can be accomplished with God’s grace,” Francis wrote, they project that all is attainable by mere human will. “They fail to realize that ‘not everyone can do everything,’ and that in this life human weaknesses are not healed completely and once and for all by grace,” he wrote, quoting St. Bonaventure.
This leads to a “self-centered and elitist complacency, bereft of true love,” translated into a variety of ways of thinking and acting, which include obsessing over the law, being absorbed with social and political advantages, being “punctilious” over the Church’s “liturgy, doctrine and prestige,” and an excessive concern with self-help programs.

What’s holiness about?

According to Francis, “nothing is more enlightening than turning to Jesus’ words and seeing his way of teaching the truth.”
Here, he writes about the Beatitudes, found in the Books of Matthew and Luke, calling them a “Christian identity card,” meaning the response to the question “What must one do to be a good Christian?”
Francis lists the eight Beatitudes, which always begin with “Blessed are those who,” and include those who are poor in spirit, are meek, are capable of mourning, have hunger and thirst for righteousness, are merciful, are pure of heart, are peacemakers and are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
Following these principles, Francis writes after detailing each, “is holiness,” and warns that Jesus himself acknowledged following him means “going against the flow.”
“Persecutions are not a reality of the past, for today too we experience them, whether by the shedding of blood, as is the case with so many contemporary martyrs, or by more subtle means, by slander and lies,” Francis writes.
Holiness, Francis writes, is not about “swooning in mystic rapture,” but about following the Beatitudes and Matthew 25, which is a call to recognize Jesus in the poor and the suffering: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”
Jesus’ demands, the pope adds, are “uncompromising,” and as such, he sees it as his duty to ask Christians to accept them in a spirit of “genuine openness,” without any “ifs or buts.”
As if expecting that this point might be contested by some within his own fold, Francis says that “This is not a notion invented by some Pope, or a momentary fad,” quoting from the Book of Exodus, in the Old Testament, to further make his point: “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you yourselves were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
Neither worship and prayer alone, nor following certain ethical norms, are enough to give glory to God, the pontiff wrote, because even though “the primacy belongs to our relationship with God,” we cannot forget “that the ultimate criterion on which our lives will be judged is what we have done for others.”

30 comments:

Victor said...

That last paragraph above is amazing, ”that the ultimate criterion on which our lives will be judged is what we have done for others.” It seems to throw justification by faith alone out the window. For all this talk against Gnosticism, it seems that social justice is being put ahead of God.

Moreover, as AP reports: "Pope Francis is calling for ordinary Catholics to live holy lives in whatever they do, stressing that the 'saints next door' are more pleasing to God than religious elites who insist on perfect adherence to rules and doctrine." All those poor Catholics throughout the centuries who tried so hard to conform as best thy could to the teachings of the Church for the love of God must be rotting in hell for not being those "saints next door," who ought to have determined for themselves (through discernment?) what is good and evil in order to be "holy" instead of looking at what the rules and doctrines of the Church teach on this. What is the point of the Church then?

Mark Thomas said...

I have not read the Exhortation in full. However, everything that I've so far in the Exhortation has been beautiful and helpful to me.

The Exhortation has blessed me. I can't wait to read the Exhortation in full.

I view Pope Francis as God-loving man...a holy man...a tremendous Pontiff.

I am very thankful to God that in Pope Francis, our Heavenly Father has chosen for us a holy and great Pontiff.

May our Majestic God bestow upon His Holiness Pope Francis many happy and blessed years.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Sarducci said...

Pope Francis Puts Caring for Migrants and Opposing Abortion on Equal Footing
By JASON HOROWITZ
New York Times
APRIL 9, 2018

VATICAN CITY — Caring for migrants and the poor is as holy a pursuit as opposing abortion, Pope Francis declared in a major document issued by the Vatican on Monday morning.

Pushing back against conservative critics within the church who argue that the 81-year-old pope’s focus on social issues has led him to lose sight of the true doctrine, Pope Francis again cast himself, and the mission of the Roman Catholic Church, in a more progressive light.

“The other harmful ideological error is found in those who find suspect the social engagement of others, seeing it as superficial, worldly, secular, materialist, communist or populist,” Pope Francis wrote in an apostolic exhortation on the subject of holiness issued Monday morning. “Our defense of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned.”

The pope’s vision of holiness explicitly highlights migrants, whose plight he has sought to elevate to global attention perhaps more than any other issue.

“We often hear it said that, with respect to relativism and the flaws of our present world, the situation of migrants, for example, is a lesser issue,” he said.“Some Catholics consider it a secondary issue compared to the ‘grave’ bioethical questions.”

“That a politician looking for votes might say such a thing is understandable, but not a Christian,” he continued, adding that welcoming the stranger at the door was fundamental to the faith. “This is not a notion invented by some Pope, or a momentary fad.”

Sarducci said...


The pope’s 103-page document — an apostolic exhortation titled “Gaudete et Exsultate,” or “Rejoice and Be Glad” — is less authoritative than a papal encyclical, but is nevertheless an important teaching pronouncement. At its outset, Francis makes clear that it is not meant “to be a treatise on holiness” but to “re-propose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time.”

As he put it elsewhere in the document, “Seeing and acting with mercy: That is holiness.” That statement is a distilled expression of Francis’ vision of the church, which is consistent with a view articulated by Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin, the archbishop of Chicago who died in 1996, and who called for a “consistent ethic of life” that wove issues of life and social justice into a “seamless garment.”

The pope is reminding his church to “expand our view,” said Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, the vicar general of Rome.

Throughout the document, Francis urges followers to be less consumed with showy demonstrations of faith and piousness than with patiently and lovingly raising children, working hard to support families and representing what he called “the middle class of holiness.”

“In their daily perseverance, I see the holiness of the Church militant,” Francis wrote, using a phrase that has been appropriated by archconservatives critical of his papacy. The pope’s allies have described the fringe Catholic website Church Militant as openly in favor of political “ultraconservatism.”

But a majority of the document is a rumination on what constitutes an effective and true practice of holiness.

Sarducci said...

While he says “ the silence of prolonged prayer” is critical, Francis adds that holiness at times requires the faithful to be loud and active, and says it “is not healthy” to seek prayer while disdaining service.

He cautions against a cold reason untethered from spirituality, and warns against an overemphasis on the power of human will alone, “as if it were something pure, perfect, all-powerful, to which grace is then added.”

In doing so, he suggests that prosperity and power gospels fail to realize that not everyone can do everything. Holiness requires humility, he says, and a lack of “acknowledgment of our limitations prevents grace from working more effectively within us.”

In a section of the document titled “Signs of Holiness in Today’s World,” the pope explicitly laments a modern culture that includes “the self-content bred by consumerism; individualism; and all those forms of ersatz spirituality — having nothing to do with God — that dominate the current religious marketplace.”

The pope, like many others, is also worried that social networks like Facebook feed into the hedonism and consumerism that “can prove our downfall” and are, in short, a waste of time.

“When we allow ourselves to be caught up in superficial information, instant communication and virtual reality, we can waste precious time,” he says, adding that “all of us, but especially the young, are immersed in a culture of zapping.”

At a news conference introducing the exhortation Monday afternoon, the Vatican presented a promotional video in which a mediocre and unholy life was illustrated by a young man playing video games, while a holy life was living joyfully with one’s family. But the video, like Francis, most emphasized the need to care for the poor and to welcome migrants.

Sarducci said...





To highlight that point, the Vatican offered interviews with Mohammad Jawad Haidari, a Muslim refugee from Afghanistan. Asked what he thought about the pope explicitly putting the care for migrants on the same footing as opposition to abortion, he said, “It was a surprise, and a revolutionary text with respect of the vision I had before of the Christian world.”

Conservatives inside the Vatican have argued for years that the pope is leading the faithful astray, especially with a previous apostolic exhortation — “Amoris Laetitia,” or “The Joy of Love” — that signaled a pastoral path for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive holy communion.

That possibility, which critics have called heretical and schismatic, has been a rallying cry for a small but committed group of traditionalists.

When asked if the document on holiness was a response to those critics, the panelists at the Vatican news conference on Monday, including Archbishop De Donatis, looked uncomfortably at one other for several seconds before giving a roundabout answer.

But some of the passages seemed intended as a rebuke to the canon lawyers and archconservative cardinals leading the opposition to Pope Francis.

In the document, the pope excoriates Christians taking the path of “an obsession with the law, an absorption with social and political advantages, a punctilious concern for the Church’s liturgy, doctrine and prestige.” They should instead be passionate about “seeking out the lost,” he writes.

He is also withering in his criticism of the hostile tenor that often reverberates throughout the conservative Catholic blogosphere.

“Christians, too, can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet,” Francis said, citing vicious examples of defamation in some Catholic outlets where “people look to compensate for their own discontent by lashing out at others.” He adds that in upholding some commandments, they ignore the forbidding of bearing false witness and vilification. “Here we see how the unguarded tongue, set on fire by hell, sets all things ablaze,” he says.

The pope has been less critical of his liberal interlocutors, including those who sometimes put words in his mouth. One favorite, if infamously unreliable, narrator of the pope’s conversations, recently caused a controversy when he asserted that the pontiff did not believe in hell.

But in “Rejoice and Be Glad,” Francis indicated that he had no doubt the devil is real.

“We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea,” he writes. “This mistake would lead us to let down our guard.”

In the devil’s arsenal is the spreading of gossip, which the pope disdains, but he also expresses an intolerance for the intolerant and close-minded.

In another poke at conservative critics inside the Vatican hierarchy, he bemoans those who would prefer a self-righteous and orthodox minority to the tough work of spreading peace by embracing “even those who are a bit odd, troublesome or difficult.”

“Sowing peace all around us,” he writes. “That is holiness.”

Follow Jason Horowitz on Twitter: @jasondhorowitz.

Henry said...

No, the "devil talk" won't make progressives nervous. They'll just dismiss it as phoney baloney smoke and mirrors--since already they know he doesn't believe in hell, no need to take throwaway devil comments seriously.

Mark Thomas said...

Hell exists, according to #115 of Pope Francis' new Exhortation.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Among my favorite parts of Pope Francis' Exhortation:

How, if you will, simple things that we can do to advance our holiness.

16. "This holiness to which the Lord calls you will grow through small gestures. Here is an example: a woman goes shopping, she meets a neighbor and they begin to speak, and the gossip starts. But she says in her heart: “No, I will not speak badly of anyone”. This is a step forward in holiness.

"Later, at home, one of her children wants to talk to her about his hopes and dreams, and even though she is tired, she sits down and listens with patience and love. That is another sacrifice that brings holiness.

"Later she experiences some anxiety, but recalling the love of the Virgin Mary, she takes her rosary and prays with faith. Yet another path of holiness.

"Later still, she goes out onto the street, encounters a poor person and stops to say a kind word to him. One more step."
=============================================================

Pope Francis' Exhortation has blessed and excited me. I can't wait to distribute to relatives and friends...and strangers...copies of the Holy Father's beautiful, tremendous Exhortation.

Deo gratias for Pope Francis.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

"Spiritual Combat"...from the Pope's Exhortation:

#162.

"God’s word invites us clearly to “stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11) and to “quench all the flaming darts of the evil one” (Eph 6:16).

"For this spiritual combat, we can count on the powerful weapons that the Lord has given us: faith-filled prayer, meditation on the word of God, the celebration of Mass, Eucharistic adoration, sacramental Reconciliation, works of charity, community life, missionary outreach."
=================================================================

I am confident that for many people, the Pope's fantasic Exhortation will bless them abundantly.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Marc said...

For someone who rails against neo-Pelagianism so much, he sure sounds like a Pelagian.

I don't know (or care) whether Francis thinks hell exists -- his opinion doesn't change reality. But I do know that it is possible to deny the existence of hell and still discuss the existence of the devil. It is analogous to the way modernists discuss the Resurrection using Christian-sounding words, but with a decidedly anti-Christian meaning. In fact, that sort of double-talk was specifically addressed by Pope St. Pius X in Pascendi.

I am now convinced, though, that Mark Thomas is commenting in jest. There's just no way in hell (pardon) he's a real person who actually holds these positions.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc even if what the pope reportedly said is true, even if just speaking speculatively about it, there is no denial of hell, because the unsaved don't go to heaven, they are annihilated. This nothingness is hell. The abode of the devil and his minions isn't discussed, but if the pope believes in their existence why didn't God annihilate him?

The pope's supposed speculation on hell is heterodox but it is still a form of damnation.

Marc said...

Father, It is more than "heterodox" to suggest that hell is annihilation. It is heretical because it denies the immortality of the soul and because it denies the eternal punishment of hell.

But you're right -- Francis didn't deny the existence of hell as such. He just postulated that there are no human souls in hell since they are annihilated. I'd just point out that it is difficult for something that no longer exists to "weap" and "gnash teeth."

Marc said...

Pardon my last comment -- I shouldn't have agreed so quickly. I went back and read what Francis is alleged to have said. And it is, "There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls."

So, it is not accurate to say "there is no denial of hell."

Victor said...

26. It is not healthy to love silence while fleeing interaction with others, to want peace and quiet while avoiding activity, to seek prayer while disdaining service. Everything can be accepted and integrated into our life in this world, and become a part of our path to holiness. We are called to be contemplatives even in the midst of action, and to grow in holiness by responsibly and generously carrying out our proper mission.

Apart from not making much sense (contemplation in the midst of action as if contemplation were not action or that everything can be accepted!), I see that the pope is trying to complete the job of destroying the religious orders that was started after the Council. Why does this pope have to attack everyone to advance his agenda? He is clearly attacking Cdl Sarah here (The Power of Silence), and all the mystics in the history of the Church, not to mention the desert Fathers. Does he not understand that every individual has a different vocation in life? Sorry, but the incompetence is just beyond me.

ByzRC said...

Quoting Matthew’s passage, Francis argued: “Can we not realize that this is exactly what Jesus demands of us, when he tells us that in welcoming the stranger we welcome him?”

This is challenging to accept in light of the waves of immigrants that have gone into Europe having a differing belief system and world view from those native to those lands.

rcg said...

How is the Pope’s version Hell, where being removed from knowing God is our punishment, different from Gnosticism? And doesn’t this imply that we can win the sin game by simply outlasting the Creator of Heaven and Earth? This sounds like Satan’s tactic, to me.

Pacem in Terris said...

"Gaudete et Exsultate"

115. Christians too can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication. Even in Catholic media, limits can be overstepped, defamation and slander can become commonplace, and all ethical standards and respect for the good name of others can be abandoned. The result is a dangerous dichotomy, since things can be said there that would be unacceptable in public discourse, and people look to compensate for their own discontent by lashing out at others. It is striking that at times, in claiming to uphold the other commandments, they completely ignore the eighth, which forbids bearing false witness or lying, and ruthlessly vilify others. Here we see how the unguarded tongue, set on fire by hell, sets all things ablaze (cf. Jas 3:6).

Gene said...

When you get to Hell, for the first million years, you have to read Mark Thomas posts. The next million is Kavanaugh homilies...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Pacem, atheists can't be more polite in written communications than some Catholics. If only annihilation awaits those Catholics who break the 8th Commandment as God destroys what was thought to be their immortal soul, what use is it to challenge us to be nice as this is the new Pelagiasm which says our goodness, not God's grace, earns us immortality for a mortal soul in heaven?

Anonymous said...

Cough, cough

In the document, the pope excoriates Christians taking the path of “an obsession with the law, an absorption with social and political advantages, a punctilious concern for the Church’s liturgy, doctrine and prestige.” They should instead be passionate about “seeking out the lost,” he writes.

He is also withering in his criticism of the hostile tenor that often reverberates throughout the conservative Catholic blogosphere.

“Christians, too, can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet,” Francis said, citing vicious examples of defamation in some Catholic outlets where “people look to compensate for their own discontent by lashing out at others.” He adds that in upholding some commandments, they ignore the forbidding of bearing false witness and vilification. “Here we see how the unguarded tongue, set on fire by hell, sets all things ablaze,” he says.

TJM said...

Gene,

Now that WOULD be hell!!!

Marc said...

The law comes from God, and clearly God is "obsessed with the law." He told people, among other things, that those who love Him will keep his law and that anyone who instructs others to break His law will suffer eternal punishment for having done so.

God is also very concerned about liturgy. Historically, God has given very clear instructions about things liturgical, including architecture, vestments, and actions. Through his Church, God has provided very exacting liturgical rubrics that have historically bound under pain of mortal sin.

God is concerned about doctrine too. He sent the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, His very own Son and Truth Himself, into the world in order to teach the proper doctrine. He established a Church that has held up the importance of right doctrine from the very beginning. He especially selected St. Paul, for example, to write in the Holy Bible about the importance of right doctrine and the need to follow that doctrine even if an angel from God should attempt to teach otherwise.

And God is concerned about prestige. He is, after all, the Creator of the universe who, in the very first commandment, bound the world to worship Him and Him alone.

People are passionate about seeking the lost. What are we to do with these lost when we find them, though? Christ tells us that we are to care for them and deliver them to the loving care of the Church. An attachment to the law, the liturgy, and doctrine of the Church is precisely the gift that we are trying to give to the lost when we find them. That is the means of sanctification and salvation -- it is the gift of Christ himself and the eternal life for which He has made us.

TJM said...

Anonymous Kavanaugh at 9:07

Cough Cough,

But Santita fails to include a condemnation of the vipers at the National Anti-Catholic Reporter. Talk about venom and hate!

Henry said...

Gene,

I don't know how I could be induced in Hell to read adolescent babblings that I won't read on Earth. But perhaps it would be fitting punishment for the Devil to compel him to read them aloud to those present down there.

Pacem in Terris said...

Be nice for the sake of being nice. Remember, virtue is its own reward.

Marc said...

Being nice isn't a virtue.

TJM said...

Marc,

Don't you smell the eau de Kavanaugh?

John Nolan said...

'Here we see how the unguarded tongue, set on fire by hell, sets all things ablaze'.

In the light of recent events, PF is surely referring to himself.

And if using intemperate language about fellow Catholics is to be deprecated as a sin against the eighth Commandment, it might be as well if he acknowledged that he has done the same on more than one occasion.

He keeps giving himself away. If punctilious adherence to liturgy and doctrine is to be deplored, then sloppiness in liturgy and ambivalence in doctrine is presumably to be commended.



TJM said...

John Nolan,

I would LOVE to see you school Pope Francis. He's surrounded by sycophants and yes men and is not used to having his strange notions challenged. The damage he is causing will takes decades to undo. If I were not fervent in my Faith I would leave the Church based on his shoddy "leadership." Fortunately my beliefs are not subject to who currently occupies the throne of St. Peter. Although I am fairly well versed in Church history I cannot come up with a single past pope since the Protestant Revolt who was as unfit for the papacy as PF.