Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The False "Joy" of Francis...
Francis wants us to embrace his false concept of "joy" - a "joy" which is often seen in the sign of peace at Holy Mass. A "joy" that is artificial and contrived. By contrast, authentic joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
In Galatians 5: 22-23, the Holy Spirit tells us through Saint Paul that, "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." Francis, having succumbed to the erroneous idea that insistence on Catholic moral teaching and moral norms constitutes a form of "sickness" and even "wickedness" (see me last post) would deny us an authentic understanding as to what constitutes joy. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that, "By the power of the Spirit, God's children can bear much fruit. He who has grafted us onto the true vine will make us bear 'the fruit of the Spirit:...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.' 'We live by the Spirit'; the more we renounce ourselves, the more we 'walk by the Spirit.'.." (CCC, 736). And again: "The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: 'Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.'" (CCC, 1832).
You see, we live in the Spirit when we renounce ourselves. We are not living in the spirit if we engage in sinful behaviors such as homosexual acts. Those who do live such a lifestyle will not have joy. The Lord Jesus promises heavenly joy to those who suffer the consequences of following Him [and this demands picking up our cross and following Him daily] and calls for its anticipation saying, "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven" (Matthew 5: 12).
Dr. Germain Grisez explains that, "St. Paul teaches that Christians always should call on God's help by constant prayer, rejoice in hope, be patient, and not be anxious (see Rom 12: 12; Phil 4: 4-6). Since Christian joy presupposes hope, Jesus' and Paul's injunctions to rejoice can be fulfilled only by nurturing hope. But hope grows in a kind of virtuous circle: joy amid suffering helps faithful Christians endure what they must, this endurance conforms their character to that of Jesus, and likeness to Jesus increases their confidence and further intensifies their hope (see Rom 5: 3-4; cf. Phil 3: 8-21)."
Dr. Grisez goes on to explain that the fear of Hell is essential for Christian hope (and remember, Christian joy presupposes hope). He reminds us that, "..if one becomes forgetful of the possibility of hell and loses all fear of it, heaven seems a sure thing, with the bad result that it no longer is possible to have Christian hope for it or live a life shaped by that hope. Christian hope is the intention of the kingdom as one's end, and some good can be intended as an end only if one's action is expected to help bring about that good. Thus, someone confident of sharing in the kingdom no matter what, simply cannot intend it as an end and live for it, although such a person still may think about heaven for solace when loved ones die and during other times of suffering. In consequence, someone who forgets the possibility of hell ignores the kingdom when deliberating and making choices. Unable any longer to order his or her life to the kingdom, that person becomes motivated by other interests and desires, and these alien ends, pursued independently of faith and hope, make their own incompatible demands. Thus, the life of a Christian forgetful of hell becomes indistinguishable from the life of a nonbeliever. Consequently, while properly Christian fear depends on hope, hope also depends on fear. And while hope for the kingdom always should dominate, fear of hell never should be entirely excluded. Thus, meditation on the last things, which appropriately begins from Sacred Scripture, should reflect the balanced approach of the New Testament, which focuses on heaven but never entirely loses sight of hell."
Christian joy presupposes hope. And the fear of Hell is essential for Christian hope. How quickly some forget this. We hear much nonsense today from those within the "homosexual community" about "the joys of gay sex." But there is no authentic joy apart from living in obedience to God's Commandments. Joy is a fruit of living in the Spirit, not of living in the flesh.
Francis does not teach this. His notion of "joy" is based upon an idea of mercy which is really nothing less than presumption..
When Jesus began His public ministry, He did so with the word "repent" (Matthew 4:17). And He advised the woman caught in adultery to "sin no more" (John 8:11). Likewise, in the case of the man cured at the Pool of Bethesda, Jesus advised him to "sin no more lest something worse befall thee" (John 5:14).When queried on the subject of how many would be saved, Jesus replied "few" because the "gate" to Heaven is "narrow" (Matthew 7:13-14). And while no one can pinpoint the precise meaning of the word "few," still, it is sobering that Jesus chose the image of a narrow gate.
Jesus is likened in the gospel to a stern master who has lazy servants flogged and murderous ones put to death (Matthew 21:41; Luke 12:47). And while it is true that Jesus is Mercy, He is also Justice. And for every parable illustrative of His mercy, there are three or four threatening divine retribution.
The Judgment Day is always described as a day of wrath and never as a day of rejoicing (Proverbs 11:4; Zephaniah 1:15; Sirach 5:10; Romans 2:5; Revelation 6:17). Why is this? If everyone (or even a large segment of mankind) is headed for Heaven, why does Sacred Scripture refer to the Judgment Day as a day of wrath?
The smug, self-satisfied "we-are-all-saved-already" attitude found in so many Catholic parishes is the result of the sin of presumption. Such an attitude was in evidence when Francis met with homosexual activist Simon Cazal. Francis did not tell Cazal to "go and sin no more." Instead, he merely listened to his demands that the Church change her teaching relative to homosexual acts. Because many other priests are betraying Jesus by refusing to preach on the reality of sin and the reality of Hell, a spiritual dry-rot has infected much of the Church. This is why nearly everyone receives Holy Communion at Mass but nearly no one goes to Confession.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say about presumption: "There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit)." (CCC, 2092).
The words of Sacred Scripture remind us that such an attitude is very, very wrong: "Of forgiveness be not overconfident, adding sin upon sin. Say not:' Great is his mercy; my many sins he will forgive.' For mercy and anger alike are with him; upon the wicked alights his wrath." (Sirach 5:5-7).
Francis has lost sight of this truth.