Adios, Pachamama

Into the abyss goes the idols of the Amazon; Hoochie Mama, Pachamama or whatever you want to call them.

Thanks to Fr. Z for the link to this cartoon.

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P.S. NOW WHERE ARE THE REAL MEN  WHO WILL TAKE AN AXE TO THE ROOT OF THE TREE THAT WAS PLANTED IN THE VATICAN GARDEN (UNLIKE THE EFFETE WHO MADE THEMSELVES PRESENT AT THE PAGAN SERVICE AND DID NOTHING)?

St. Bonaventure’s The Soul’s Journey into God: Prologue, A Commentary.

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saint-bonaventure

Traditional Catholic theology is marked by its preference for Manualist Thomistic thought perhaps best represented under the lens of the pre-conciliar theologian, Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange. Naturally, after the Vatican II council, the dominate theological thought has been the Nouvelle théologie—a counter to Aeterni Patris and Neo-Scholasticism of the 19thCentury. The post here will not get into detail about the conflict between the two movements, but it’s important to understand that the shift and development of Neo-Scholasticism was a response to the Enlightenment dominated by skepticism with the introduction of Hume’s, Cartesian, and Kantian philosophical schools of thought. These particular schools of thought turned epistemology on its head and developed a “philosophy [that] turned inward…our understanding of the world…rather than coming to a knowledge of the object through the senses led to further regression of epistemology”[1]

The Papal encyclical Aeterni Patris wriiten by “Pope Leo XIII explained the importance of returning to the Classical model of thinking, “And here it is well to note that our philosophy can only by the grosses injustice be accused of being opposed to the advance and development of natural science. From when the Scholastics, following the opinion of the holy Fathers, always held in anthropology that the human intelligence is only led to knowledge of things without body and matter by things sensible.”[2][3]

In recent years, the Dominican House of Studies in Washington D.C. influence is growing in the younger Catholic academic circles. In some respect, they still hold on to the post-conciliar thought of the Nouvelle théologie of Hans Urs Von Balthasar’s Semi-Universalism and Henri De Lubac’s immanence of God being inherent in Man’s supernatural desire for Him; however, the development of the particular theology dominating these popular mainstream circles is the Nouvelle Theologie with a sprinkling of Thomism into a new development in the 20th and 21st centuries. The best popular representation of these positions is Bishop Robert Barron.

I have been naturally attracted to Augustinian thought rather than Thomistic thought. There’s something, perhaps, appealing to the notion of forms existing metaphysically in their own nature and that there’s an innate recognition of these things in the world. I’ve been musing over the idea of beauty; its role in axiological argument, and preferences being shaped by one’s capability to recognize the beautiful. Of course, I’m currently studying theology in a Thomistic setting where a tension grows by questioning of the said school of thought. In recent months, reflecting on what has been going on during the Amazonian synod in Rome, and being influenced by Neo-Scholasticism setting but still having a love for Augustinian thought, I’ve begun to read St. Bonaventure.

The words of St. Bonaventure are composed with the beauty and beating heart of Augustine and Divine Illumination and framed the Aristotelean thought of clarity. Pope Benedict XVI has experienced his preference for St. Bonaventure but being a proponent of the Nouvelle théologie I am surprised when reading St. Bonaventure that although he is Augustinian in his thought he is still very Aristotelean. At the moment, many are concerned of the allegations of paganism in Rome and the worship of nature and idols. By reading St. Bonaventure’s The Soul’s Journey, St. Bonaventure makes an appeal toward recognizing the vestiges from God’s creation to elevate the person toward God. St. Bonaventure recognizes that it’s the senses that moves the person toward God but being created in the likeness of God there’s light within us (awareness) that precedes the senses gaining knowledge. During my own studies of Thomism, I have thought that the idea that all knowledge coming from the senses is ultimately true, but yet, at the very basic foundation there is consciousness. Is this the same as Cartesian Cogito Ergo Sum? No. Descartes thought is one that is turned inward toward the I am of self; whereas, St. Bonaventure’s is turned toward recognition of the great I AM:

 In the beginning

I call upon the First Beginning,

from whom

all illuminations descend

as from the Father of Lights,

from whom

comes every good and every perfect gift.[4]

The journey for St. Bonaventure is a six step journey in the image of the Seraph that gave St. Francis the stigmata to rest in the presence of God on the seventh day. Bonaventure writes, “There is no other path but through the burning love of the Crucified, a love which so transformed Paul into Christ when he was carried up to the third heaven(2 Cor. 12:2) that he could say: With Christ I am nailed to the cross. I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me(Gal. 2:20). This love also so absorbed the soul of Francis that his spirit shone through his flesh when for two years before his death he carried in his body the sacred stigmata of the passion.[5]

There is no immanence within the thought of St. Bonaventure, the journey toward God is one that always goes through Christ Jesus, he prays:

First, therefore, I invite the reader

to the groans of prayer

through Christ crucified,

through whose blood

we are cleansed from the filth of vice—

so that he not believe

that reading is sufficient without unction,

speculation without devotion,

investigation without wonder,

observation without joy,

work without piety,

knowledge without love,

understanding without humility,

endeavor without divine grace,

reflection as a mirror without divinely inspired wisdom.

To those, therefore, predisposed by divine grace,

the humble and the pious,

the contrite and the devout,

those anointed with the oil of gladness,

the lovers of divine wisdom, and

those inflamed with a desire for it,

to those wishing to give themselves

to glorifying, wondering at and even savoring God,

I propose the following considerations,

suggesting that the mirror presented by the external world

is of little or no value

unless the mirror of our soul

has been cleaned and polished.

Therefore, man of God,

first exercise yourself in remorse of conscience

before you raise your eyes

to the rays of Wisdom reflected in its mirrors,

lest perhaps from gazing upon these rays

you fall into a deeper pit of darkness.[6]

Thus, after St. Bonaventure’s Prologue, he begins the journey by the recognition of God with the rejection of the Albigensian heresy that rejected the good of creation, St. Bonaventure points towards the good of the creature as a ladder that will lead the soul to rest in God.

 

 

 

[1]Phillip, The Affirmation of Real Objective Metaphysical Objects in Catholic Thought, unpublished paper, Holy Apostles College and Seminary, 2019.

[2]Aeterni Patris (August 4, 1879) | LEO XIII. Accessed March 17, 2019. http://w2.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_04081879_aeterni-patris.html.

[3]Phillip, The Affirmation of Real Objective Metaphysical Objects in Catholic Thought

[4]Bonaventure, Bonaventure: The Soul’s Journey into God; The Tree of Life; The Life of St. Francis, ed. Richard J. Payne, trans. Ewert Cousins, The Classics of Western Spirituality (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1978), 53.

[5]Bonaventure, Bonaventure: The Soul’s Journey into God; The Tree of Life; The Life of St. Francis, ed. Richard J. Payne, trans. Ewert Cousins, The Classics of Western Spirituality (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1978), 54–55.

[6]Bonaventure, Bonaventure: The Soul’s Journey into God; The Tree of Life; The Life of St. Francis, ed. Richard J. Payne, trans. Ewert Cousins, The Classics of Western Spirituality (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1978), 55–56.

Silence

Martin Scorsese’s film, Silence, explores important parts of Christian faith through the historical example of Japanese Catholics and European missionaries during the Tokugawa Shogunate. I consider the film’s lesson to be essentially contrary to orthodox Christianty (I believe conservative Catholics generally disapprove of this film).

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Welcome to the New Amazonian Mass

Thanks to Ann Barnhardt at www.barnhardt.biz  we have our first glance at the tryouts for altar servers and the new processional hymn that will be used.

Altar Server Tryouts

 

New Processional Hymn: Lyrics Below

 

Lyrics:

Each morning, a missionary advertises neon sign
He tells the native population that civilization is fine
And three educated savages holler from a bamboo tree
That civilization is a thing for me to see

So bongo, bongo, bongo, I don’t want to leave the congo, oh no no no no no
Bingo, bangle, bungle, I’m so happy in the jungle, I refuse to go
Don’t want no bright lights, false teeth, doorbells, landlords, I make it clear
(That no matter how they coax him) I’ll stay right here

I looked through a magazine the missionary’s wife concealed
(Magazine, what happens)
I see how people who are civilized bung you with automobile
(You know you can get hurt that way Daniel)
At the movies they have got to pay many coconuts to see
(What do they see, darling)
Uncivilized pictures that the newsreel takes of me

So bongo, bongo, bongo, he don’t want to leave the congo, oh no no no no no
Bingo, bangle, bungle, he’s so happy in the jungle, he refuse to go
Don’t want no penthouse, bathtub, streetcars, taxis, noise in my ear
(So, no matter how they coax him) I’ll stay right here

They hurry like savages to get aboard an iron train
And though it’s smokey and it’s crowded, they’re too civilized to complain
When they’ve got two weeks vacation, they hurry to vacation ground
(What do they do, darling)
They swim and they fish, but that’s what I do all year round

So bongo, bongo, bongo, I don’t want to leave the congo, oh no no no no no
Bingo, bangle, bungle, I’m so happy in the jungle, I refuse to go
Don’t want no jailhouse, (shotgun) fish hooks (golf clubs) I got my spears
(So, no matter how they coax him) I’ll stay right here
They have things like the atom bomb (so I think I’ll stay where I am)
Civilization, I’ll stay right here

Money, Money, Money

iu-19

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man’s world
A-ha, ah
All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It’s a rich man’s world

Seems like the old adage of “follow the money” is very appropriate for the New Bergoglian Church with an Amazon Face, a Climate Change Face, the Face of the Poor and the Face of the Migrant invaders. Distribution of wealth is simply one aspect to their socialist shill game. It really seems to me that it is a hoax perpetrated on the faithful of the Catholic Church and a ruse to garner support for the deep pockets of the UN and other Western European Governments to support their NGO’s and naturally get lost along the way to the people that they are going to ‘accompany’ or ‘help’.

Donations are down by the faithful and the people do not go along with this present regime that never found a popular worldly endeavor that they don’t support and seem to be able to put a Biblical face on every scheme that they conjure up.

Think about it for a minute. The Church took its marching orders from the Germans during the Vatican II Council which funds them by their huge Church Tax. They are by far the richest pool of Catholic funds available to the Vatican. Well it seems that this is not enough to satisfy the present occupants but it is enough to let the Germans get away with whatever they want; including heresy and disobedience. If only Archbishop LeFebvre had that kind of money he would never have been excommunicated.

Let’s look at the issues that the world supports and yet the Church in Her Teachings would never have supported. Isn’t it interesting to see the Church turn a blind eye to the Teachings of the Faith in order to gain the support of the world?

  1. The Poor
  2. The Immigrants
  3. LGBT and Gender Issues
  4. Women’s Issues (generally this means contraception, abortion, and women priestesses among others)
  5. Global Warming
  6. Indigenous People of the Amazon
  7. Socialism, Marxism and Communism
  8. Ending Capitalism and supporting the redistribution of wealth

I’m sure that as more issues emerge and the more the UN and other nations support these efforts, the more the Faux Church with the Bergoglio Face will find some way to get money from these folks, support that which is immoral, and hide the rest for God knows what. After all we have no idea what in the world happens to the money after they get their hands on it. Our charities give their money to political and social groups that are anathema. But the Bishops keep on appealing to us to support them. Why? Because even if you don’t support them they will get money from the UN from Soros and other political pots of money that the Govt. has set aside for doing ‘good works’. It’s morally imperative that we help these poor and oppressed people, or planet or what have you.

Sadly it is all about money. If you didn’t already read or watch these, please do so:

https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/08/the-catholic-churchs-amazon-synod-is-exploitation-of-the-poor-masquerading-as-the-opposite/

 

 

Listening to those listening to those listening . . .

683e46b68ababf5e48de5e663bfec825--save-planet-earth-earth-day

Well, I’ve been listening to the Media and the faithful who are listening to the Amazonian Synodal Cardinals who are listening to the Amazonian savages who, in turn, are listening to Mother Earth. And I presume Mother Earth is listening to a pantheon of gods and goddesses that are screaming out to us and to which we owe our complete attention: the god of trees, rocks, rivers, seas, birds, animals, insects or what have you.

So now that they have listened, what exactly did they hear? Anything of relevance to religion? Are we to compromise the Words of Christ or the words of Mother Church to the words of animistic tribesmen and their primitive beliefs regarding the planet and the gods that dwell therein? I hear nothing but the same Germanic foolishness that swept through Vatican II and now has invaded the Amazonian forests. In other words, what exactly was left unsaid by Christ and the Church that we now must learn from savages how to live our lives and structure our Church? How are we going to alter our worship and praise of the One True God? How are we to change our defined truths or water down and incorporate tribal ‘truths’ of a primitive culture into the Church Christ founded? What happened to our teaching that when the last apostle died, revelation ceased?

The Germans it seems to me have had itching ears for a very long time and long for new revelations, teachings, practices and beliefs. They don’t much care for the Church that Christ founded and was led by the Holy Spirit to blossom organically as it marches through history. They want to return to the pagans we all were before God began revealing himself to man; pre-Judaic life . . . a life of little gods of the earth and its creatures; fertility gods and war gods and the long history of myths that have circulated from the dawn of time.

Perhaps the sanest thing that we could do is to send all of the German Church to the Amazon to form a new Church and while they listen to the people of the earth we can return to listening to God, Holy Mother Church and the entire Communion of Saints.

Then perhaps we could get back to the business of saving of souls and the Germans and their new pagan friends can go fishing, dancing, and carousing without being condemned or locked up in Western culture for their perversions of morality and just about every other sick idea that has popped into their brains. But sadly it won’t happen as long as they hold the purse as Judas did.

Perhaps this is the real agenda: https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/08/the-catholic-churchs-amazon-synod-is-exploitation-of-the-poor-masquerading-as-the-opposite/

 

A Book Worth the Read: The Day is Now Far Spent

cardinalsarah_2018_vatican-326x245

This is a teaser for Robert Cardinal Sarah’s book The Day Is Now Far Spent. You can buy it online. This is part of the introduction so that you might get a good idea as to whether it is a book that you would like to read.

ALAS, JUDAS ISCARIOT 

If these were silent, the very stones would cry out. —Luke 19:40 

A traitor. . . is one that swears and lies. —William Shakespeare, Macbeth 

Why speak up once more? In my last book, I invited you to silence. However, I can no longer be silent. I must no longer remain silent. Christians are disoriented. Every day from all sides, I receive calls for help from those who no longer know what to believe. Every day I meet in Rome with priests who are discouraged and wounded. The Church is experiencing the dark night of the soul. The mystery of iniquity is enveloping and blinding her. 

Every day the most terrifying news reports reach us. Not a week goes by without the revelation of a case of sexual abuse. Each one of these revelations comes to rend our hearts as children of the Church. As Saint Paul VI used to say, we are being invaded by the smoke of Satan. The Church, which ought to be a place of light, has become a  dwelling place of darkness. It ought to be a secure, peaceful family home, but look: it has become a den of thieves! How can we tolerate the fact that predators have entered among us, into our ranks? Many faithful priests behave every day as attentive shepherds, kindly fathers, and sure guides. But some men of God have become agents of the Evil One. They have sought to defile the pure souls of the littlest ones. They have humiliated the image of Christ that is present in every child. 

Priests throughout the world have felt humiliated and betrayed by so many abominations. Following Jesus, the Church is experiencing the mystery of the scourging. Her body is lacerated. Who is inflicting the lashes? The very ones who ought to love and protect her! Yes, I make so bold as to borrow the words of Pope Francis: the mystery of Judas hangs over our time. The mystery of betrayal oozes from the walls of the Church. The acts of abuse committed against minors reveal this in the most abominable way possible. But we must have the courage to look our sin in the face: this betrayal was prepared and caused by many other less visible, more subtle ones that, nevertheless, were just as profound. For a long time, we have been experiencing the mystery of Judas. What is now appearing in broad daylight has deep-seated causes that we must have the courage to denounce clearly. At its root, the crisis through which the clergy, the Church, and the world are going is a spiritual crisis, a crisis of faith. We are experiencing the mystery of iniquity, the mystery of betrayal, the mystery of Judas. 

Allow me to meditate with you on the figure of Judas. Jesus had called him, like all the other apostles. Jesus loved him! He had sent him to proclaim the Good News. But little by little, doubt had taken hold of Judas’ heart. Imperceptibly, he started to judge the teaching of Jesus. He told himself: This Jesus is too demanding, not very effective. Judas wanted to make the Kingdom of God come to earth right away, by human means and according to his personal plans. However, he had heard Jesus tell him: “Your thoughts are not my thoughts, your ways are not my ways” (see Is 55:8). Despite everything, Judas distanced himself. He no longer listened to Christ. He no longer accompanied him during those long nights of silence and prayer. Judas took refuge in worldly affairs. He busied himself with the purse, money, and commerce. The liar continued to follow Christ, but he no longer believed. He murmured. On Holy Thursday, the Master washed his feet. His heart must have been quite hardened, for he was not moved. The Lord was there in front of him, on his knees, a humbled servant, washing the feet of the one who was to hand him over. Jesus looked at him one last time, his eyes full of kindness and mercy. But the devil had already entered into Judas’ heart. He did not lower his eyes. Interiorly he must have pronounced the ancient words of rebellion: Non serviam, “I will not serve.” During the Last Supper, he took Communion even though his plan was set. This was the first sacrilegious Communion in history. And he betrayed him. 

Judas is for all eternity the traitor’s name, and his shadow hangs over us today. Yes, like him, we have betrayed! We have abandoned prayer. The evil of efficient activism has infiltrated everywhere. We seek to imitate the organization of big businesses. We forget that prayer alone is the blood that can course through the heart of the Church. We say that we have no time to waste. We want to use this time for useful social works. Someone who no longer prays has already betrayed. Already he is willing to make all sorts of compromises with the world. He is walking on the path of Judas. 

All sorts of things are challenged, and we tolerate it. Catholic doctrine is called into question. In the name of so-called intellectual positions, theologians amuse themselves by deconstructing dogmas and emptying morality of its profound meaning. Relativism is the mask of Judas disguised as an intellectual. How then can we be surprised to hear that so many priests break their commitments? We relativize the meaning of celibacy; we claim the right to have a private life, which is contrary to the priest’s mission. Some go so far as to claim the right to perform homosexual acts. Scandals follow one another, among priests and among bishops. 

The mystery of Judas is spreading. Therefore, I want to say to all priests: stay strong and upright. Certainly, because of a few ministers, you will all be labeled as homosexuals. They will drag the Catholic Church through the mud. They will present her as though she were made up entirely of hypocritical, power-hungry priests. Let not your heart be troubled. On Good Friday, Jesus was charged with all the crimes in the world, and Jerusalem shouted: “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Notwithstanding the tendentious investigations that show you the disastrous situation of irresponsible churchmen who have an anemic interior life yet are in command of the very government of the Church, remain calm and confident like the Virgin and Saint John at the foot of the Cross. The immoral priests, bishops, and cardinals will in no way tarnish the luminous testimony of more than four hundred thousand priests throughout the world who, every day and faithfully, serve the Lord in holiness and joy. Despite the violence of the attacks that she may suffer, the Church will not die. This is the Lord’s promise, and his word is infallible. 

Christians are trembling, wavering, doubting. I want this book to be for them. To tell them: do not doubt! Hold fast to doctrine! Hold fast to prayer! I want this book to strengthen faithful Christians and priests. 

The mystery of Judas, the mystery of betrayal, is a subtle poison. The devil seeks to make us doubt the Church. He wants us to regard her as a human organization in crisis. However, she is so much more than that: she is the continuation of Christ. The devil drives us to division and schism. He wants to make us believe that the Church has betrayed us. But the Church does not betray. The Church, full of sinners, is herself without sin! There will always be enough light in her for those who seek God. Do not be tempted by hatred, division, manipulation. It is not a matter of believing a party, of rising up against each other: “The Master warned us against these dangers to the point of reassuring the people, even with regard to the bad shepherds: one must not abandon the Church, that seat of truth, because of them. . . . Therefore let us not become lost in the evil of division because of those who are wicked”, Saint Augustine said (Letter 105). 

The Church is suffering; she is trampled on, and her enemies are within. Let us not abandon her. All pastors are sinful men, but they bear within themselves the mystery of Christ. 

What is to be done, then? It is not a matter of organizing and implementing strategies. How could anyone think that we could improve things by ourselves? That would be to enter again into the lethal illusion of Judas. 

Given the surge of sins in the ranks of the Church, we are tempted to try to take things into our own hands. We are tempted to try to purify the Church by our own strength. That would be a mistake. What would we do? Form a party? A movement? That is the most serious temptation: the showy disguise of division. Under the pretext of doing good, people become divided, they criticize each other, they tear each other apart. And the devil snickers. He has succeeded in tempting good people under the appearance of good. We do not reform the Church by division and hatred. We reform the Church when we start by changing ourselves! Let us not hesitate, each one in his place, to denounce sin, starting with our own. 

I tremble at the thought that Christ’s seamless garment is in danger of being torn again. Jesus suffered agony when he saw in advance the divisions of Christians. Let us not crucify him again! His heart begs us: he thirsts for unity! The devil is afraid of being called by his name. He likes to drape himself in the fog of ambiguity. Let us be clear about one thing. “To call things by the wrong name is to add to the world’s misfortune”, Albert Camus said. 

In this book, I will not hesitate to use forceful language. With the help of the author and essayist Nicolas Diat, without whom little would have been possible and who has been unfailingly faithful since the writing of God or Nothing, I intend to take my inspiration from the Word of God, which is like a two-edged sword. Let us not be afraid to say that the Church needs profound reform and that this happens through our conversion. 

Forgive me if some of my words shock you. I do not want to put you to sleep with soothing, lying talk. I seek neither success nor popularity. This book is the cry of my soul! It is a cry of love for God and for my brethren. I owe to you, to you Christians, the only truth that saves. The Church is dying because her pastors are afraid to speak in all truth and clarity. We are afraid of the media, afraid of public opinion, afraid of our own brethren! The good shepherd gives his life for his sheep. 

Today, in these pages, I offer you what is at the heart of my life: faith in God. In a little while I will appear before the eternal Judge. If I do not hand on to you the truth that I received, what will I say to him then? We bishops ought to tremble at the thought of our guilty silences, our complicit silences, our over-indulgent silences in dealing with the world. 

People often ask me: What should we do? When division threatens, it is necessary to strengthen unity. This has nothing to do with a team spirit as it exists in the world. The unity of the Church has its source in the heart of Jesus Christ. We must stay close to it, in it. This heart that was pierced by the lance so that we might be able to take refuge there will be our house. The unity of the Church rests on four columns. Prayer, Catholic doctrine, love for Peter, and mutual charity must become the priorities of our soul and of all our activities. 

Buy the book to read more.

Dare We Hope “That all men be saved?”

dare-we-hope

Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote a book by this title and Bp. Barron seems to accept his thesis; so what should we make of it? Is there but an empty hell and will all men eventually come to detest their sins and thus ask for pardon and rely on God’s infinite mercy in their regard simply because wishes that all men be saved? After all, Paul within the scriptures does write the following:

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition)

1 I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men:

For kings, and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour,

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus:

Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times.

God obviously wishes for the salvation of all as we all should. For who does not pray for the salvation of the souls of their loved ones and friends? Who, for the love Christ, wishes the torments of hell on anyone who god created in His image and likeness and loves with a supernatural love all souls created as a father loves his own children and wishes the best for them?

But is it the same thing to hope and pray for the salvation of all men and in the sense of the Theological Virtue of Hope or ‘expectation’ that all men will be saved? Should we hold an expectancy that all men are saved and that hell is but only an empty place or state of being; a reality that exists but is completely harrowed of the damned?

Personally, it seems to be a most difficult quandary for those who might take that leap. For we know that we are to pray for all souls to escape the torments of hell for love God and His love of our souls. But is that the same as expectantly bridging such as great chasm as this and holding out false hope that hell is empty of souls? For if we do that, then it seems to me that Christ and the rest of Catholic Teaching and the gospels are misleading at the least or completely vague and ambiguous. And at the worst it points to a Christ who is self-contradictory not to speak of His Church that has continuously taught definitively on hell for 2000 years.

If the latter were true, then what else has Christ and His Church taught, that we find repugnant personally; that we can chalk up to ambiguity or outright contradiction? Can we believe anything at all that we have been definitively taught or is our personal truth the only truth; a truth resides purely within the eyes of each beholder? Is is subjective or relative to what we accept and don’t accept from the teachings of the faith? Are we each the arbiters of faith?

Does Heaven then exist? or purgatory? our personal judgement? the general judgement?

I pray for all souls who are passing from this life and who have died and hope that they reach the beatific vision as promised. But this hope that I hold is a worldly hope or wish and only right and just and I would hope as well that others will pray for me at the hour of my own death. But do I wish that Christ were lying or contradicting Himself? Theological hope is a more detached and rational hope that all that Christ and His Church are infallible in their depiction and that there is no trickery involved. It is not shrouded in fog and confusion.  For if it is then what is left to guide us in this life and what is there to hope for?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says the following about our own personal hope, the virtue of hope in this regard:

1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere “to the end” and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for “all men to be saved.” She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:

It seems our hope good and just but that the outcome of our hope is ‘contingent’ on the way we live our lives. For the Catechism also states the following:

1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.” The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance”:

Our Lady of Fatima would have been cruel indeed had She shown the young children of Fatima the torments of hell; but that is exactly what she did. If nobody was there then why would she impress upon these children the need to pray for the souls of all men to seek repentance and come to Christ and to escape the ravages of hell?

Some have mentioned the Fatima Prayer as a counter to this: “O My Jesus, forgive us our sins. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.” However, I would contend that this is a prayer for those who are living in the world and that they might receive the grace to avoid hell.

What do you think?

The Argument from Coherence (4)

God defies definition. This is not to say that the concept GOD is incoherent (although humans are capable of misunderstanding, mischaracterising, and misrepresenting God). God is other; He is distinct from His creation, and yet – so Christianity teaches – God invites mankind to interact with Him. Such interaction requires some element of commonality; without it, there can be no communication. Christians understand God’s interaction with us to be through condescension; to understand Him fully is beyond us. The greatest act of condescension, as taught by the Gospel, is that God took on human flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

If God exists, the Incarnation is paradoxically both surprising and logical. God is by definition supremely benevolent. If this characteristic is removed, the concept of God becomes incoherent and God cannot exist: for anything that is incoherent is not real. (Note, incoherence itself has categories: humans can hold incoherent views in the realm of imagination; but this does not entail that such views correspond to anything in reality).

Such benevolence would lead to creation of a world. When that world went wrong (through free will), benevolence would lead to its redemption. The nature of human sin and is such that the path of redemption leads through the Incarnation of God Himself (although mankind did not clearly foresee or understand this; wisdom on this matter has come through revelation and hindsight).

Benevolence is a personal characteristic. Benevolence apart from personhood is incoherent. Feuerbach, an atheist, posited the idea that the concept GOD was a projection. He held that mankind, troubled by the hostility of the physical world and their own capacity for evil, created the concept GOD and chose to believe in God’s existence as a coping mechanism. It is more comforting to believe that the universe was created and created by a supreme Benevolence, than to accept that it simply exists and that there is no objective meaning to our existence.

Have we followed the route that Feuerbach described? Or have we believed in God because there is a God and because His nature and existence can – and must be – inferred from reality?

Can an eternal being exist without personhood? Is that a coherent concept? What is the substrate of existence? What is the ultimate Reality? It cannot be less than the glory of mankind – indeed it must be more.

The philosophy of emergent properties is a complex sub-discipline, much of which must lie beyond the scope of this post. However, it is sufficient to observe that our contingent minds cannot come from something that is not mind at all. Therefore, there must be a necessary Mind and that Mind must be co-extensive with Ultimate Reality.

(Intermediate great minds between humanity and God are also possible – thus thrones, principalities, powers, angels, demons, etc. However, God is logically necessary, which is why Greco-Roman paganism cannot be true, since its pantheon does not conform with the coherent definition of GOD.)

This post has served to introduce the main part of the argument. A following post will round off the series by unpacking that part in more detail.