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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

SS. Peter and John-The Call to Perfection

I have been reading and studying the epistles of SS. Peter and John today. They have written many of the same thoughts, in patterns which I have not seen before. In my degree, I, of course, took a Johannine class, but what was missing were the overlaps with Peter and Paul.

All these apostles write of perfection and purification, and in the epistles of Peter and Paul, one sees clearly that many of those reading or hearing these letters were already purified and living in a high state of perfection.

Some sections on this point follow from 1 John and other passages. All DR.

Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God. Therefore the world knoweth not us, because it knew not him.
Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is.
And every one that hath this hope in him, sanctifieth himself, as he also is holy.
Whosoever committeth sin committeth also iniquity; and sin is iniquity.
And you know that he appeared to take away our sins, and in him there is no sin.
Whosoever abideth in him, sinneth not; and whosoever sinneth, hath not seen him, nor known him.
Little children, let no man deceive you. He that doth justice is just, even as he is just.
He that committeth sin is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God appeared, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Whosoever is born of God, committeth not sin: for his seed abideth in him, and he can not sin, because he is born of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. Whosoever is not just, is not of God, nor he that loveth not his brother.
11 For this is the declaration, which you have heard from the beginning, that you should love one another.

This is the expectation of SS. John and Peter, as I shall quote later, that the committed Catholic will move away from sin entirely, in the Illuminative and finally, the Unitive States.
Here is John again, describing the purgation and perfection of himself and his people. I John 4.

12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abideth in us, and his charity is perfected in us.
13 In this we know that we abide in him, and he in us: because he hath given us of his spirit.
14 And we have seen, and do testify, that the Father hath sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known, and have believed the charity, which God hath to us. God is charity: and he that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him.
17 In this is the charity of God perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment: because as he is, we also are in this world.
18 Fear is not in charity: but perfect charity casteth out fear, because fear hath pain. And he that feareth, is not perfected in .charity.
19 Let us therefore love God, because God first hath loved us.
Here is St. Peter calling for purification. I Peter I

11 Searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ in them did signify: when it foretold those sufferings that are in Christ, and the glories that should follow:
12 To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to you they ministered those things which are now declared to you by them that have preached the gospel to you, the Holy Ghost being sent down from heaven, on whom the angels desire to look.
13 Wherefore having the loins of your mind girt up, being sober, trust perfectly in the grace which is offered you in the revelation of Jesus Christ,
14 As children of obedience, not fashioned according to the former desires of your ignorance:
15 But according to him that hath called you, who is holy, be you also in all manner of conversation holy:
16 Because it is written: You shall be holy, for I am holy.
17 And if you invoke as Father him who, without respect of persons, judgeth according to every one's work: converse in fear during the time of your sojourning here.
18 Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers:
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled,
20 Foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but manifested in the last times for you,
21 Who through him are faithful in God, who raised him up from the dead, and hath given him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.
22 Purifying your souls in the obedience of charity, with a brotherly love, from a sincere heart love one another earnestly:
23 Being born again not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God who liveth and remaineth for ever.
and from I Peter 5:
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you.