Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Confession

All of the posts under the "Confession" category.

Mortal Sin Against the Fifth Commandment – Injuring Another

The Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”

stone-tablet-fifth-commandmentWillfully Injuring Or Trying to Hurt Another Person

It is not exactly the most obvious of mortal sins against this commandment, after all, why is hurting somebody a mortal sin when you don’t kill them?

When you are willfully trying to injure or hurt another person, generally speaking there is hatred in your heart. Remember that hatred is a mortal sin. You then take that hatred and give it a physical manifestation, that is hurting another person or injuring them.

The thing is, when we strike at another individual with this intention, it is not out of love. We are destroying their body. We break their bones, or tear their skin. We draw forth blood, blood that should remain within their bodies.

We are killing parts of their bodies. They may still be alive, but we are killing body parts.

St. Paul writes in the first letter to the Corinthians:

Or know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own? For you are bought with a great price. Glorify and bear God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Each and every single person, Catholic or Protestant, Muslim or Jew, Pagan or Atheist, has a body, and that body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. They also have the free will to choose to become Catholic to embrace salvation. But regardless, the body is meant as a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit to reside. Attacking another person (especially a Catholic) is desecration of the body. Physically harming a priest, bishop, cardinal or pope gives an automatic excommunication.

Boxing

What about if you are being physically harmed by an assailant? Are you allowed to defend yourself by causing physical harm to them?

Yes. We must look at St. Thomas Aquinas’ principle of double effect. Double effect is comprised of 3 principles being (taken from Wikipedia):

  1. The nature of the act is itself good, or at least morally neutral;
  2. The agent intends the good effect and not the bad either as a means to the good or as an end itself;
  3. The good effect outweighs the bad effect in circumstances sufficiently grave to justify causing the bad effect and the agent exercises due diligence to minimize the harm.

When it comes to self-defense and using the principle of double effect we find that it is okay because:

  1. The act of defending one’s self from physical harm is a good. We have every right to live.
  2. You are intending to defend yourself from the assailant. You are hurting them, but that is not your intention. You are not seeking out their injury.
  3. You are defending yourself and are using your best means to subdue the individual with the minimal damage to them as possible. That is if you have to break their arm in order to prevent further harm to come to you, then that is all you do, nothing more. Each situation is different and maybe pinning them is all you need in one circumstance. But, you are using due diligence to determine and assess your situation.

Defending one’s self is not a mortal sin. But causing physical harm is. Boxing and other forms of martial arts, for the purpose of fighting, seems to be a mortal sin as your intention is to hurt each other and cause physical harm. Taking a self-defense class and practicing on each other would fall under double-effect as you are learning so that you can defend yourself if the situation was needed down the road.

Now, St. John Chrysostom is famous for saying in regards to blasphemy:

And should you hear any one in the public thoroughfare, or in the midst of the forum, blaspheming God; go up to him and rebuke him; and should it be necessary to inflict blows, spare not to do so. Smite him on the face; strike his mouth; sanctify your hand with the blow, and if any should accuse you, and drag you to the place of justice, follow them thither; and when the judge on the bench calls you to account, say boldly that the man blasphemed the King of angels!

Notice that St. John actually encourages you to physically harm someone if they commit blasphemy. These would not be sinful to do, as someone who blasphemies against God causes insult to Him. As the blasphemer is causing insult to God, they are causing damage to themselves, and you are defending the Lord.

Intentionally injuring another person or attempting to is a mortal sin. Go to confession.

Jeff July 8, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

Mortal Sin Against the Fifth Commandment – Sterilization

The Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”

stone-tablet-fifth-commandmentSterilization

Sterilization is the act in which a man or a woman intentionally go through either a physical or chemical surgery that renders themselves incapable of reproducing. It is essentially the same as if you were to neuter your male pet or spay your female pet.

There are several different methods in which poor souls can sterilize themselves:

Vasectomy (male): When the tubes that carry the sperm are severed. Can be reversed, but is not guaranteed to be successful.

Tubal ligation (female): Similar to above. The tubes are tied so that an egg can not drop and sperm can not get to the egg. Reversal is more successful.

Hysteroscopic sterilization (female): Permanent sterilization. No reversal.

Hysterectomy (female): Removal of the uterus and potentially the womb. This is permanent. There are exceptions to this procedure.

Intentionally sterilizing yourself or forcing another individual to sterilize themselves is a mortal sin because you are killing a part of your body. You are murdering a perfectly healthy aspect as reproduction is the normal and healthy aspect of being a person.

Men are always able to reproduce, and women over time will not be able to reproduce after they go through menopause. This is natural. It is the way God created it.

sterilization

Sterilization removes God from the picture of how your body is going to reproduce. You are saying that you know when you are going to create another person. Since most of sterilizations are permanent, much like murder, you murder your body and lose the most basic aspect of advancing the human race. It also goes directly against God’s commandment in Genesis:

And God blessed them, saying:Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth. Genesis 1:28

When He said this to Adam and Eve, remember they were married and this was not a commandment to go and sleep with whoever you want. Sex is for marriage. We will go over this in the 6th Commandment.

The healthy, natural, and normal aspect of your reproduction system, despite what society and the culture tell us, is to be able to reproduce. Intentionally destroying this for selfish reasons as not wanting more children is an insult and a blasphemy to God. Similarly to the Original Sin, you become your own god.

In some instances, getting a hysterectomy is not a mortal sin. For example, if a woman develops uterine cancer and she must get a hysterectomy lest she die. This is not a mortal sin as the intention is to save the life of the woman, not to destroy her reproduction cycle. The intention must be to save the life of the patient in any surgery in which sterilization becomes an unavoidable side effect. If the purpose is to intentionally sterilize the patient, it is a mortal sin.

If you have undergone a sterilization procedure for the reason of being sterile, you need to go to confession as soon as possible. You should also attempt to reverse the procedure if you can. Remember also that this post isn’t to condemn, but to lovingly point out error so that you can return to the state of grace and be received into God’s Kingdom.

An Act of Perfect Contrition

A reader posed a question on my post in which I talk about the need for frequent confession:

Precisely HOW does one make an “act of PERFECT Contrition”? I have read a very old booklet on this subject, and it states that we must acknowledge, even if we don’t Feel any emotions thereto, the many occasions of the Love of God in our lives and in that of humanity as a whole, as a specific statement in our act of contrition, and not just focus on the just punishments. Is this right? If not, what is the right way to make an act of perfect contrition? The priests I ask say they do not know or that one isn’t necessary or that all that’s needed is to pray “Jesus Son of the Living God have Mercy on Me a Sinner”???

The Concise Catholic Dictionary of 1943 actually has the definition, much to my surprise. The CCD states specifically in the definition of contrition:

“Sorrow and detestation of sin which has been committed together with the purpose of sinning no more. It is perfect contrition if it is based on love of God, imperfect contrition (attrition) if based on a lower motive.”

Prodigal Son

Perfect contrition is when you express sorrow and detestation of sin that you have committed because of your love for God. I would say that it sounds like we do not necessarily need to express sadness or feelings because we want to, but ultimately because we have offended God, who is all good and deserving of all of our love.

I would further say that an act of perfect contrition needs to be based purely on our love of God and how we have destroyed our relationship with Him.

The example given in this pamphlet seems to be off. It appears to conflict with the very definition of what perfect contrition is if we only focus on the “love of God and the good of humanity”. I honestly don’t even see how that would lead one to sense the need to even confess.

From what I can tell based on what perfect contrition is, it appears that the priests you have asked are mistaken. To their credit, they probably have not been formed properly during their time in seminary. This is such a sad state of affairs. Pray for them.

Imperfect contrition itself is not bad, but it is not perfect or rightly ordered. Attrition is better than not having any remorse whatsoever. In the confessional, attrition will do just fine.

Realize that you have offended God and are not in the state of grace. Go to confession, confess your sins, and make the act of contrition. In your heart, resolve that you are doing it out of love for God and have the intention that you will never sin again.

Go to confession as often as you need to.

In the Catechism of the Council of Trent, there is a couple of full pages on true contrition. You can find a link to an online version here. Starting at the section entitled “The First Part of Penance” up to “The Second Part of Penance”.

Jeff June 22, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

Mortal Sin Against the Fifth Commandment – Hatred

The Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”

stone-tablet-fifth-commandmentWillfully Harboring Hatred For Another
Bigotry

Hatred is a sin that kills the heart. It destroys innocence. It is un-Christian simply because as Christians we are all called to be Christ-like. Christ does not hate anyone, but He loves us all.

Jesus mentions in both the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, that we are called to love as He does. When Jesus is asked which of all the Commandments is the greatest, we read in Matthew:

Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [40] On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets. Matthew 22:36-39

Similarly,we read in Mark:

And there came one of the scribes that had heard them reasoning together, and seeing that he had answered them well, asked him which was the first commandment of all. And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:28-31

Jesus makes it crystal clear. We are to love one another as He has loved us. We are to love our enemies and pray for them!

Jesus Christ Eucharist

Hate is the absence of love. And the absence of love is the absence of Christ. And the absence of Christ is the complete removal and disconnect from the state of grace.

There are people who upset us and the devil uses this as opportunities to tempt us into giving into hatred. Being upset with someone is not the same as hating them. Being upset with someone is a perfectly normal reaction, especially when someone does something sinful and should know better.

Bigotry is a sin because you hate someone for something that they are. What makes bigotry worse than hatred is that it is hatred specifically because of something that they are.

It is never right to hate anybody. No matter what they have done. If you are going to hate anything, hate sin. Hate sin so much that you avoid it any time it rears its ugly head. Sin destroys everything and ruins your relationship with God. Sin makes us worthy of that eternal punishment below.

If you are struggling with anger, take it to confession. God hates your sin, but He doesn’t hate you. Likewise, hate sin and not each other. The same way that Christ forgives your sin in the confessional, forgive others what they have done to you. Make amends, talk with them and depending on the situation, continue having them in your lives. If this is not a possibility and having them in your life continues pain and anger, keep them away until you have healed.

Love one another as Christ loves you. Forgive others of their trespasses, as God forgives you of your trespasses.

Jeff June 13, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

7 Reasons Why I’m Thankful For Pope Francis

One year ago, the papal conclave came to a close as white smoke was signaled from the chimney’s of the Vatican. Habemus Papem! We have a Pope! They announced Jorge Bergoglio (in Latin of course) from Argentina. Initially, I was stunned. I was actually a little nervous as some of the things going on in South America with the Church aren’t the greatest, but I wrote about my initial reactions last year.

Since it is Pope Francis’ one year anniversary, I thought I would compose a list of reasons why I am thankful for Pope Francis. I know I am sometimes critical of Pope Francis (and I am not the worst), but I love our Catholic faith deeply, and am not happy when I see the secularists and modernists of the media and enemies of the faith make our Church look bad. We all have our faults and I am working on mine.

But, without further ado, here is my list!

Perpetual Confession Chapels1. I Go To Confession More Often

Pope Francis mentioned the need for us to go to confession more often. I have made it a habit to attempt to go to confession as often as I need to. At an absolute minimum, I am going once every two weeks, similar to Pope Francis. At an absolute maximum, I go twice a week. Prior to Pope Francis’ election and during Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate, I was probably going somewhere between once every two weeks to once every two months.

The graces I have seen come from this are great. I am in the state of grace far more often and am able to be in communion with God, that is, I can tell when I’m synchronized with Him. It allows me to discern God’s will more easily. It isn’t always obvious, but it helps. It helps me to avoid sin as I examine my conscience regularly and avoid particular sins that I see that I struggle with more. I also realize that I sin far more often than I thought. I urge you to go to confession more often as well.

 

When We Idolize Priests: Father Corapi2. I Am Praying On A Daily Basis

I’ve always been fond of the Rosary. It’s a beautiful meditation on the Life of Christ through the eyes of His Mother, and our Mother Mary. Mary also promised 15 Graces for having a devotion to the Rosary and to pray it daily. I now pray the Rosary daily, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and I pray throughout the day as I feel called.

My prayer life has always been…difficult, I’ve blogged about it a few times, in my search, to help others who may also be struggling. Prayer is an important factor of our faith, as that is our time to speak to God and for Him to speak to us. If we aren’t talking to God, well, how do we know we are following His Will? Pray daily, carve out time. If you haven’t done your prayers, don’t go to bed. Prayers are greater than sleep.

denzinger3. I Spend More Time Learning My Faith

Pope Francis can be confusing at times. The media will run with this as if he’s changing teaching. When the media runs with a headline, I have to go and look up what Pope Francis really said, and then find related Scripture, Catecheses, Doctrine, etc to refute what is going on.

In another sense, I am now forced to learn my faith, so that I can defend it easier, quicker and in turn, live it out. You can’t teach something you don’t know. If you don’t know physics, you can’t teach it to someone. Whatever it is you don’t know about the faith, you are unable to teach.

When we know our faith, we can evangelize people, which leads to…

St-Paul-preaching4. I Evangelize On A Regular Basis

As Jesus Christ told us we are to “go and make disciples of all nations…” (cf Matthew 28:19). That means that when the opportunity presents itself, we must profess the Truth and defend it when it is attacked (which is quite often). If we do not defend the faith, who will?

Evangelization can take many forms, lending out books/cds, blogging, discussions with friends, family or coworkers, social media, the list goes on and on. The important thing though, is to share your Catholic faith. Be a good witness, and challenge those around you to investigate the Catholic Church with an open heart and an open mind. It is critical to bring people to the fullness of Truth. Being silent can lead the individual away from Christ. Share what you know.

5. I’m More Involved At My Parish

I’ve taught Religious Education before, but I am doing it again this year. I’m teaching 10th graders who are preparing for Confirmation in 11th grade (I’ve talked about that before though). I’m also leading a Marriage Ministry with my wife. I won’t list everything I’m doing, but I have been doing a lot more at my parish.

Chair of St. Peter6. I Have a Deeper Appreciation for the Papal Office

Seeing how much the media has twisted Pope Francis to fit into their own image, and in the same hand twisted Pope Benedict XVI into a “mean old man”, I have a deeper appreciation for the Papacy. I’ve spent more time reading into the history of the Papacy, starting all the way from Pope St. Peter to now Pope Francis. I’ve even gained an appreciation for the pre-Vatican 2 Popes.

These Popes were such a blessing to the Church, but we have forgotten about them. I highly encourage you to take a look at some of their encyclicals. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we spend most of our time talking about Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Francis. While they have contributed much to our faith, the full deposit of our faith as well as many pre-Conciliar Popes have given us much too. You can even read many old Papal documents at http://www.papalencyclicals.net/. Read them!

7. I’m Inspired To Blog More

In the last year, I have had a grand total of 92 posts (including this one). Since beginning this blog I have published 184 times. I have literally done half of my blogging in this last year alone. There is so much going on in the Church today, as well as the world, that I feel called to comment on it. It’s a fun experience.

I hope that you benefit from reading my blog, and I hope that it inspires you to live out your Catholic faith more fully and to share that faith with those around you.

Jeff March 12, 2014 2 Comments Permalink

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