Monday, April 16, 2012

Tricia Wittmann-Todd would deny youth who are questioning their sexual identity an authentic understanding of joy

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."  Tricia Wittmann-Todd, Pastoral Life Coordinator at Saint Mary's Parish in the Central Area of Seattle, Washington, would deny the youth of her parish an authentic understanding of joy.

Ms. Wittmann-Todd, having succumbed to the erroneous idea that Catholic moral teaching would in some way harm the youth of her parish, has refused to circulate petitions in support of Referendum 74, the ballot measure to roll back Washington's recently passed same-sex "marriage" law.  Her reasoning?  Wittmann-Todd asserts that she is, "particularly concerned about our youth who may be questioning their own sexual identity and need our support at this time in their lives."  See here.

Ms. Wittmann-Todd is so concerned about the youth of Saint Mary's Parish that she has decided to set an example for them on how to be disobedient to the Church's Pastors.  She has also decided to deny these youth 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, 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.

One would think Ms. Wittmann-Todd would want to impart this truth to the youth of St. Mary's Parish.  But apparently she would rather sow confusion in this area.  And we wonder why Our Lady weeps?


Michelle said...

This is precisely why so many who profess to be Catholic today reject or neglect the Fatima message which included a warning about Hell and why they rush to embrace the lie of contraception, or the lie about "the joys of gay sex" or the lie of fornication etc....What Wittmann-Todd wants, and what so many other "Catholics" today want, is the right to strap on a condom or engage in sex outside of marriage and gleefully exclaim that they are en route to Heaven.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

One of the most neglected scriptural passages today is Philippians 2: 12: "So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling."

The sin of presumption has made significant inroads into the People of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that, "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).

This Blog will never (by the grace of God and through the maternal intercession and protection of Our Lady) water-down the faith to make it "more acceptable" to our pagan age.

If there is anyone out there who has a problem with this, I really couldn't care less. Move on. But the need to work out our salvation "in fear and trembling" is a scriptural truth. Of course, we are speaking here of a salutary fear as defined by the Church.

Today, people want to commit sin and then justify it. I will have no part in that.

David said...

Catholic High Schools are pushing condoms. Another sign that the apostasy is spreading.

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