Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Ave Maria!
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost—20 September AD 2015

Ordinary of the Mass
English Text
Latin Text

“One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God, and Father of all….”[1]

    We are quite used to the idea that there is only one God—less often we hear that “God is one.”  There is but one divine nature, even though it is shared among the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  The Athanasian Creed, written centuries ago to refute the Arian heresy (which denied the divinity of Christ) tells us that:

    Whoever wishes to be saved * must before all else adhere to the Catholic Faith….    Now this is the Catholic Faith:  that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in unity; Neither confusing the persons * nor distinguishing the nature.[2]

    This essential “oneness” in God means that there can be no contradictions in the various aspects of God.  If we look at God from the perspective of His wisdom, His justice, and His mercy, we will always see the same thing.  God’s justice is tempered by His mercy, but the two are not in conflict.  God will not tell us what He requires of us and then back down from His requirements as the result of His mercy.  In His wisdom He knows what we must do for our own good, and for His glory, and He knows our capabilities to do what we must.  He never allows us to be tempted beyond our strength,[3] but He expects us to make full use of the strength He has given us.  God is one—and His oneness is the ground of all objective truth.  And He truth never changes, for He is “without change, or shadow of alteration.”[4]

    Of course the modernists will deny that there is such a thing as objective truth.  The “god” of the modernists exists in the continuous change of the Hegelian dialectic—their “god” even changes within Himself—the modernist “god” admits of contradiction in all of his aspects.  He can command one thing, but be satisfied with something less.  All too many modernists will admit the reality of Hell, while denying that anybody goes there.

    Yet, we have no shortage of statements by Jesus Christ Himself about the real possibility of condemnation to eternal punishment:

    Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do…. fear ye him, who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell.[5]

    Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.  And these shall go into everlasting punishment….[6]

    It is better for thee with one eye to enter into the kingdom of God, than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire:[7]

    Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.[8]

    That last quote is significant.  The Gospel, which everyone must believe is a uniform thing.  There is not one Gospel for men and another for women!  There is not a Gospel for the Europeans, another for the Russians, and yet another for the Americans—no! there is but one Gospel for all nations:

    All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.  Going therefore, teach ye all nations…. to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.[9]

    The authority to preach the Gospel comes from Jesus Christ, who has “all power … in heaven and earth” and will be with His preachers, delegating that almighty power to them until the very end of the world!  They are to teach “all things whatsoever I have commanded”—nothing less and nothing more; and don’t expect it to change “even to the consummation of the world.”

    We keep hearing about a “Year of Mercy.”[10]  But please be assured that there is no mercy in condoning sin.  Christ alone is the judge of all things.  He has told us what He expects of us, and in His justice expects us to obey to the very best of our ability.  In His mercy, He will consider our circumstances and examine our actual abilities.  In this He is not changing in Himself—only examining the abilities of His frail creatures before passing uniform judgement.

    The Church can forgive any sin for which we are contrite and repentant—that is to say that we must recognize our faults and intend not to commit them ever again.  Without contrition and repentance there can be no forgiveness of sin.

    And recognize, please, the difference between forgiveness and permission.  If we are truly contrite and penitent, the Church can forgive us many times over.  But the Church cannot—the Pope, the cardinals, and all the bishops together—cannot grant permission for even the smallest sin.  “Permission to sin” would imply doing something evil without contrition and without repentance!

    Such “permission,” if it were granted would be nothing like mercy—indeed, it might well condemn the otherwise innocent to the fires of Hell.  No one can grant such permission, and all of us should recognize our obligation to practice the Catholic Faith to the best of our ability.  To accept the supposed “permission to sin” is to reject Christ and His Church.

    Saint Paul calls us to “walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called.”  This is the vocation of living the Christian life in the divine unity of the Blessed Trinity—“One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God, and Father of all….”



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