Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

St. Paul

All of the posts under the "St. Paul" category.

Expect Unnecessary Divisions During the Synod

A year ago to the day I wrote a post about division, specifically citing St. Paul and how those who embrace novelties contrary to Catholicism are the ones who divide, not those who stick to the traditions handed down by Jesus Christ and His Bride. I named this post “Novelty Divides” because anything that is new and not given by Christ or His Church causes us to divorce ourselves from the Truth. It causes divisions.

Battle_of_Vienna_1683_11

The Synod of the Family begins on Monday. We know for a fact that many of the bishops and Cardinals who are present in Rome are actually wolves in shepherd’s clothing. They have made their opposition to the Catholic faith known by publicly supporting adultery, divorce, remarriage, and homosexuality. The bishops’ conference in Germany has announced they will break apart from the Roman Catholic Church if the Synod does not allow for those divorced, remarried, and actively homosexual to receive Holy Communion. These wicked men spit in the face of Our Lord and tell Him that they know better than Him and that they are better than God. We know that this isn’t only the German bishops and Cardinals who will be at the Synod, but many bishops and Cardinals who will be at the Synod. There are even reports breaking today that the Synod’s final report is already being drafted. It appears that the Synod is only for show.

During the last several weeks we have seen attention intentionally taken away from the Synod and placed on a supposed schism of the SSPX, when indeed the SSPX is undoubtedly one of our allies in this fight against the heretics at the Synod. Instead of focusing our energies productively resisting the changes to Truth that these wolves are calling for, we had to instead defend our fellow Catholics (yes, the SSPX is Catholic), from unnecessary attacks that cut at the heart of charity, in which the SSPX were targeted as being the greatest enemy of our day. The SSPX has canonical impediments that need to be resolved, but this pales in comparison to bishops and Cardinals actively promoting heresy at the Synod. The issues of the SSPX pale in comparison to bishops and Cardinals threatening schism if they do not get what they want.

But this isn’t enough for the enemy, as all of the talk surrounding the SSPX has fizzled out. He needs the faithful to be divided further. Instead of using an easy scapegoat like the SSPX to draw attention away from his dealings in Rome, he begins to work on dividing the faithful Catholics themselves. While there is a very small group of Catholics who give a bad name for the rest of us, this is not a time in which to draw labels to them that many other Catholics sometimes identify with. Attitude adjustments need to be made by this minute few, but to bring this up only several days prior to the Synod and to use language that is generally used to berate faithful Catholics, is poor timing, especially when we do spiritual battle in only a few days.

All Catholics who defend the Church and Her teachings need to stick together in this unprecedented time in Church history. We all have our own issues and skeletons we bring along with us. That’s part of living a life in which we turn away from sin to face and follow Our Lord. But nitpicking our brothers and sisters for character flaws and venial sins during this time, which Bishop Athanasius Schneider calls the fourth greatest crisis in the history of the Church will only cause further division amongst faithful Catholics who are trying to defend the Church. These attempts at correction, while honorable as they may be, are not appropriate at this time, and since they do indeed cause division amongst the faithful, are not of God, but rather of the enemy.

Expect many more attacks and attempts to further divide the faithful during the Synod of the Family. Pray, fast, and do penance that Church teaching will be upheld at the Synod. Remember, during this time when the Church is being attacked from within, that we need to stick together like an army, lest we fall into the temptation of battling each other. Because if the faithful are busy bickering amongst themselves, then we will fail to pay attention to the real division occurring in Rome by a mutual enemy of us all; Satan.

Jeff October 2, 2015 1 Comment Permalink

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

The Fallacy of Always Being Joyful

I’ve noticed for quite some time that there is a new buzzword in the world of Catholicism. No, I’m not talking about the ‘New Evangelization’ here. I’m speaking specifically about the word ‘joy’.

Now, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with having joy or being in a state of joy. I consider myself to be joyful most of the time as I am always in the mood for a good joke and a fun time.

However, my concern is that all we talk about lately is that Christians have to have joy in order to be successful at Evangelization. As if that is a requirement for being a disciple of Jesus Christ as well as a Catholic in Good Standing. To me, we are overusing this word and making the word become a sappy and emotional feel-good term, as opposed to the true joy that Jesus refers to in the Gospels.

If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. John 15:10-12

Jesus is clear here. If we follow the commandments that Jesus has laid down before us, as well as the Commandments that God our Father has given us, we will have the joy that Christ has and gives because we are in that state of grace.

Similarly, when Jesus is telling the disciples that He will be taken up and crucified and will no longer be with them, they are upset. He says to them:

Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. John 16:20-24

When you go out to run a race, you more than likely are not thinking or even feeling joy. As you are running, the pain in your legs and the lactic acid build up begins to ache and throb. More than likely, this is not a joyful experience. Many times you may feel the desire or the urge to quit, but you push through. Finally, after your continuing success, you see the finish line. Inspired by this sight, you begin to push harder and run faster. A joy begins to arise as you know you are almost done with your race. You push harder and harder until finally, you cross the finish line, puffing and panting and suddenly a rush of joy sweeps over you. This is authentic joy as Jesus hints at.

This is the type of joy we are to strive for as Catholics. We shouldn’t settle for the counterfeit joy of feeling emotional and good and giddy and happy. Being a disciple isn’t always a joyful experience. Jesus warns us that following Him means the world will hate us because it hated Him first.

He warns us that the Gates of Heaven are narrow, and the Gates of Hell are wide. He warns us that our family will hate us because we follow Him. Jesus even mentions that we are going to have to sacrifice. None of these things are joyful in themselves.

What makes them joyful in the Catholic sense of the word, is the fact that we are created to love and serve our Lord, Jesus Christ. We are to follow His will for us. When we follow His will, we may experience moments of joy, however, there are moments when we do not. The false dichotomy that we will experience joy can lead the person who follows this mentality to think that they are not following God’s will because they do not feel joy. There are many instances in which following God’s will, will in fact not feel or seem joyful.

The faithful who stands up for an end to abortion or in defense of traditional marriage may get fired from his job. There is joy in standing up for God, but the doubts and uncertainty of where the next paycheck will come will not be a joyful experience. Thankfully, God will provide to his faithful.

We have confused smiling and laughter with joy, which is thanks to our wonderful culture who either ignorantly or purposefully do this. If you Google Image St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Joseph or really, just about any Saint you can think of, you will find that they rarely are seen smiling. They are serious and stern, but the holiness radiates around them. Heck, look at the images of Our Lady in all of her different apparitions. Not many smiles.

St. Peter Doesn't Smile

St. Peter Doesn’t Smile

St. Joseph Hardly Smiles

St. Joseph Hardly Smiles

Pope St. Pius X Barely Smiles

Pope St. Pius X Barely Smiles

St. Paul Doesn't Smile

St. Paul Doesn’t Smile

I know some traditionalists would argue with me (and that’s fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion), but I see nothing wrong with smiling. But putting an emphasis on smiling and being a good Catholic is a lie and doesn’t stand when looking at the history of the Catholic faith. Catholicism is based on intellect, not on emotion. Emotion plays a role from time to time, but the majority of the time it is logic and truth.

Life isn’t always joyful. For proof, look at the Rosary as given to us by Our Lady. We don’t have 3 sets of Joyful mysteries. We have a set of Joyful mysteries, a set of Sorrowful mysteries, and a set of Glorious mysteries (we also have a set of Luminous mysteries that were given to us by Blessed Pope John Paul II as a suggestion, so it is not required to pray these). The argument that we must be joyful at all times is a farce of an argument as even Jesus stated that we must be ready and stand watch for the thief that comes at night.

The next time you see someone who is devout in their faith, but seems “non-joyful” or even “angry” at something, before you jump to criticisms and accuse them as such, take a step back and look at the deeper under-linings of why they are such. It may just be that they are interiorly following Christ and are upset that others are not.

Read the follow-up post, You Can’t Always Be Joyful

Jeff February 27, 2014 3 Comments Permalink

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