Concluding this little three part series on the sin of presumption, I want to stress that this sin involves not only pride, but the denial of free will, reason, and revelation. Presumption also denies natural law.
I have been recommending the reading of Suarez, an overlooked writer on both moral and spiritual theology. Of course, I have remarked on this blog and elsewhere, that Pelagianism and Neo-Pelagianism are two of the most common heresies found today
Here is one of his quotations from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
Suarez ("De spe", disp. 2a, sect. 3, n. 2) enumerates five ways in which one may be guilty of presumption, as follows:
- by hoping to obtain by one's natural powers, unaided, what is definitely supernatural, viz. eternal bliss or the recovery of God's friendship after grievous sin (this would involve a Pelagian frame of mind);
- a person might look to have his sins forgiven without adequate penance (this, likewise, if it were based on a seriously entertained conviction, would seem to carry with it the taint of heresy);
- a man might expect some special assistance from Almighty God for the perpetration of crime (this would be blasphemous as well as presumptuous);
- one might aspire to certain extraordinary supernatural excellencies, but without any conformity to the determinations of God's providence. Thus one might aspire to equal in blessedness the Mother of God;
- finally, there is the transgression of those who, whilst they continue to lead a life of sin, are as confident of a happy issue as if they had not lost their baptismal innocence.
Now, the denial of both Original Sin and Hell add to the problem of presumption. If one believes in universal salvation, one would be presumptuous. If one thinks one can get to heaven without grace, the sacraments, conformity to the teachings of the Catholic Church and so on, one is presumptuous.
Again, the softening of the conscience by repeated sin and by the closing of the mind, heart and soul to God causes presumption.
I suggest that this sin is one of the most common among our youth today, who have been raised without any consequences and no moral framworks with which to judge situations. However, as humans, they all have reason, free will, can find out about revelation, and they have natural law written on their hearts.
To excuse sin and to tolerate sin are two sins of parents and teachers.
But, societies, such as pagan Rome, have converted to Christ and His Church.
The challenge is twofold on our part-missionzing in a culture of false ecumenism and relativism. And, praying constantly.....