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Thursday 23 May 2013

More points on atheists and salvation

The net is going crazy with the Pope's comments on atheists and salvation.

More clarification seems necessary. First of all, if an atheist is presented with the Truth of God's existence and openly rejects this Truth for life, there can be no salvation, as that person has made a choice. Can he have a death-bed conversion? Of course. But, one cannot count on dying in bed.

Second,  the merits of grace gained in and through Christ are in the Catholic Church. This is our teaching. So, if someone purposefully rejects the Church, when they have been given insight into that truth in some way, (people reject truth for many reasons), they could be sinning against the Holy Spirit, which is the gravest of all sins. One who knows the Truth and rejects it sins against the Spirit.

Third, to separate Christ and the Church is heresy. Protestants do this, sadly, The CCC is clear about this. We are one in Christ in the Church. All salvation comes through the Church and through Christ, which is the mystery of His setting up the Church on earth.

The Church is communion with Jesus
787 From the beginning, Jesus associated his disciples with his own life, revealed the mystery of the Kingdom to them, and gave them a share in his mission, joy, and sufferings.215 Jesus spoke of a still more intimate communion between him and those who would follow him: "Abide in me, and I in you. . . . I am the vine, you are the branches."216 And he proclaimed a mysterious and real communion between his own body and ours: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."217
788 When his visible presence was taken from them, Jesus did not leave his disciples orphans. He promised to remain with them until the end of time; he sent them his Spirit.218 As a result communion with Jesus has become, in a way, more intense: "By communicating his Spirit, Christ mystically constitutes as his body those brothers of his who are called together from every nation."219
789 The comparison of the Church with the body casts light on the intimate bond between Christ and his Church. Not only is she gathered around him; she is united in him, in his body. Three aspects of the Church as the Body of Christ are to be more specifically noted: the unity of all her members with each other as a result of their union with Christ; Christ as head of the Body; and the Church as bride of Christ.
"One Body"
790 Believers who respond to God's word and become members of Christ's Body, become intimately united with him: "In that body the life of Christ is communicated to those who believe, and who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ in his Passion and glorification."220 This is especially true of Baptism, which unites us to Christ's death and Resurrection, and the Eucharist, by which "really sharing in the body of the Lord, . . . we are taken up into communion with him and with one another."221

Father Z has suggested that there may be bad translations regarding the Pope's talk. I hope so, as the entire thing has opened a can of worms online.

UPDATE: No Anonymous comments will be accepted, remember, please.

Christ, not government, saves.....

The real reasons behind these closings are not being shared, of course.

Logically, richer areas have better parental involvement and better buildings, etc. Taxes pay for schools. In very poor areas, many people are not paying taxes and, therefore, the school systems suffer.

If the majority of a population is on welfare, the schools will suffer.

The problem is the larger infrastructure of the lack of jobs, and the lack of the will to work.

Until the end of 2010, I worked for several years with at-risk-students. These students were usually Latino and Black minority students who were the first in their families to try to get a higher education. Some were genuilly trying to break out of the generational mode of poverty and even violence.

Some were not. Some girls got pregnant merely to stay on housing benefit. When the time for that gift ran out, they would get pregnant again. This is what their moms and grandmothers did.

Some were using grant money, sent to them, rather than the college, for drugs. They did not care if they had to pay back that money or could not sign up again for courses until their debt was paid. They would take the 5000 dollars and disappear.

Some, mostly the Latino girls, were thankfully ambitious, competitive and trying to break out of poverty. However, the culture fought against them, such as families demanding they get married and have children and be on welfare. Generations of lifestyles are hard to change.

Those who succeeded in breaking out of the chains of poverty moved out of their neighborhoods, sometimes against their families' selfish wishes, got jobs, and did, in turn, send money back to their families. But, their new jobs were not in the failing neighborhoods, where their old schools suffered from the lack of tax money and safe education.

Increasingly, teachers no longer wanted to work in dangerous areas. Can you blame them? I was threatened more than once even at the college level by violent students, who were coming out of backgrounds of family prostitution and the slavery of welfare.

The reasons are not merely money, but the conversion of minds and hearts. Most of the youth I worked with were not church-goers or even Christian. Some bragged that they had had four abortions. Some were Christians and they shared with me that they felt the pain of the split in the communities. There was little discussion between the Obama blacks and the Evangelical blacks, for instance.

To save schools in dying neighborhoods is a complicated matter. Jobs must be created and families strengthened to the point where parents support their children's desires for a better life. Only Christ can change this type of slavery to sin and poverty. Only evangelization, and not politics, will move the hearts of those who have lost their communities.

Too many Catholics, including priests and seminarians in America, think in terms of politics solving the problems of our cities. No. Only Christ can solve these huge problems.

Until we really evangelize the inner cities, schools will close and neighborhoods will dissolve into gang centers where no one is safe. I have seen this happen. I lived in Illinois and Iowa, and saw this happening in those two states.

The Evil of Relativism-the denial of free will and hell

I cannot believe this. I am astounded. A religious person, in a habit, said that there was no difference between good and evil in a person. What did she mean? Does she not believe in objective evil?
Ojective Evil and the Ten Commandments-no good, no evil? That is the logical end of her beliefs.

A person is good if they are in the state of grace and exemplify good deeds. A person is bad if they are not in the state of grace and exemplify horrible deeds, such as abortion, contraception, murder, incest and homosexual activity.

We become what we believe and do. Can God save us from sin and from ourselves? Of course, thanks be to God.

The sister who expressed this does not make a distinction between good and bad. She has become completely relativized in her thought.

Relativism minimizes personal responsibility and merely sees people as victims.

We are not victims, usually. We make choices daily for good or for evil.

Either we are progressing towards perfection or we are not.

The Ten Commandments are the MINIMUM for the Catholic, not the maximum. The Ten Commandments are the starting point for holiness.

I cannot discuss holiness with a complete relativist who denies free will and objective good and evil.

Are there some circumstances with mitigate evil? Yes, but some actions are always intrinsically evil and even if guilt is lessened, sin is sin.

If a nun in an order who teaches publicly believes in the complete relativism of actions and choices, her audience is in trouble.

Those who tolerate evil must look at themselves. Are they tolerating evil in their own lives?

And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away.Matthew 11:12

This means you and this means me. Unless we allow God to strip us of our own evil, how can we discern?

Those who deny personal responsibility for sin also deny hell.

Both of these ideas are heresies. Note how Dante in the diagram above calls those in hell by their main sins-the gluttonous, the heretics, and so on.

We choose what we are and what we shall be in eternity. We choose.

Why again? Why was this young man not helped by men?

Why did it take the police twenty minutes to get to the Woolwich site yesterday? Why?

And, why were people taking photos and videos on their phones AND NOT HELPING THE YOUNG MAN?

Immigration problems and not dealing with the violent talk in the religious circles which feeds this type of murder led to this.

This guy is great.

Pray for the three Tyburn nuns in Nigeria

The Church is not rich

a bit of righteous anger today....

The Church in Europe is poor. Why do people think otherwise? Do I need to give examples? There will come a day in England when there will be many closed church buildings.

Thanks to wiki for St. Benedict's Church in Paddlesworth
It has been the coldest winter and spring for centuries in England and Scotland and most of the churches have not been able to heat the buildings. It is very cold during Mass, believe me, and Adoration. Many older people wear many layers and suffer in churches. I know women who tell me how hard it is on them to go to daily Mass and Adoration because of sitting in the cold. But, they do it. The same is true for the convents and monasteries.  In Tyburn, there was not heat, although out of charity, the Novice Mistress brought me a space heater and I used a hot water bottle. It is very cold there. The sisters from Peru and the Philippines suffer. In some convents and seminaries in Europe, there is only cold water in the rooms for washing, not hot.

Beds in most Church properties are very old. Cobh had new mattresses  but the ones in Tyburn and some seminaries are older than some of the parents or even grandparents, of the students! Food is good, but minimal, and much less than what Americans would be used to eating daily. There are few fat seminarians and most priests are thin. All the nuns are very thin, except for one with a medical condition. As Mother Novice Mistress told me, "If you stay here, you will lose weight."

One of a group of nuns visited Tyburn from America and said to Mother that the life was "spartan". It is both by choice and by necessity.

I am really not understanding two things:

One, why the Catholic laity is so stingy here and two; why people assume the Church has money. It emphatically does not. I know some parishes where the parish councils had to collect money for the priest's car, as his area of ministry was so large he could not afford the petrol. I know families which go to Spain on holiday two or three times a year and do not tithe.

Tithing is not the norm here in England, Scotland and Wales, nor it is in Ireland. People may give a pound or a euro at Mass and that is it. I have talked with priests about this, but the Catholics do not regularly support the Church. There are some big donors, such as the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk, but those types of donors have become more rare, as families fall away from the Church.

When I ask for help, I am asking for help from my readers, as there are no other resources. Groups tend to give to the Third World very generously  which is good. But, the truth is that there are many nuns and seminarians who are suffering from a very low standard of living.

When I was in Cobh, some of the guests complained about the sparse and low quality of food. I said to them that the nuns depended on the laity for donations. One couple left food baskets outside the door there of vegetables, enough for about three dinners. One lady gives some vegetables to London Tyburn. The nuns do not have endowments or savings. They also feed the poorer than themselves. They drink the worst tea and the worst coffee. They live in rooms which make American prisons look like posh hotels. And, yet people think these groups have money. Yes, penance is part of the Rule, as is poverty. But, there is a difference between poverty and penury. Diocesan priests and sems do not make a vow of poverty.

Look into your own hearts and do not pass on the responsibility for giving to others. There may be no "others". If God calls a poor man to the priesthood from a poor family, who should help but the laity? He will be their priest and serve them. 

By the way, I am stopping Anonymous comments. I have to do this as the nastiest ones are coming in, of course, under Anonymous. This is cowardice, by the way.
Choose a name and use it, please.

Finally, back up on my theme of perfection

If you think you can hold beliefs contrary to the teaching of the Church and be holy, you are dead wrong. Following false seers and believing what you want will lead you to hell. Salvation is through the Catholic Church and purposefully remaining in ignorance is the fault of many Catholic adults, who cannot enter the road to holiness without being orthodox. If one is a charismatic and not following the guidelines of the bishops or Rome, one has removed one's self from the road to holiness. Period.

Catholic Silence

Some ministers are brave and Christian enough to say this. Sadly, only three bishops and a handful of priests here in Great Britain have said the same thing. Why?

The silence of the Catholic Church on these topics is a howling wind of apostasy. Where are our leaders? We need to hear this type of guidance and warning from the pulpit. I, personally, besides reading the statements of some of the bishops, not all, have heard only ONE priest talk about the changes in the life styles of the young, middle aged and old which will ripple from the SSM bill.

Why the silence? Why? From the article linked above:

Young Christians will be shut out of all public professions, including teachers, doctors, nurses or any kind of public servant if the “gay marriage” bill is passed, a group of religious leaders has warned the government. The ministers issued the warning in a letter to the Daily Telegraph on the same day that the government came to an agreement with opposition parties over amendments. The bill is expected to move past the committee stage and on to the House of Lords after two days of debate today and tomorrow. (It passed-suupertradmum)
Should it be granted Royal Assent “in its present form,” the 17 Christian ministers said, the bill will “isolate hundreds of thousands of young students and workers across the country who hold a fuller view of marriage based on religion or a traditional view.”
“These young people, from teenagers to 30-year-olds, will suffer discrimination and face new risks to their careers, and futures,” they added. The ministers said that many young Christians understand marriage as “the thread that binds generations.” They warned that “without much clearer protections for freedom of speech and freedom of belief, teachers and public-sector workers will have to choose between their conscience and their career, as many will be deterred from a public-service career or from charity involvement”.

Finally, the real deal in Ireland

As usual, Life Site News is spot on. Here is a snippet. See article above for entire text.

You cannot regard yourself as a person of faith and support abortion,” Archbishop Eamon Martin told the Sunday Times. “If a legislator comes to me and says, ‘Can I be a faithful Catholic and support abortion?’ I would say no. Your communion is ruptured if you support abortion.”