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  • The Chaplet of the Most Holy Hearts

    A prayer devotion to the Three Holy Heats of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph My dear reader, I present to you the corporal method of devotion to the Three Most Holy Hearts. In humility, I wish to explain and instruct on how to say this chaplet. In doing so, I will also provide meditations and short readings to arouse devotion in the soul, if Our Good Father in heaven were to allow it. What is the Chaplet? This Chaplet is modeled after the Beads of the Sacred Heart, for no greater foundation for devotion is there than Jesus. It is composed of five groups of beads, arranged in order of six in each group. We begin with a crucifix, leading to a Pater bead, three Ave beads preceding to a Pater bead, leading to the centerpiece and going around into the five groups of six beads. These beads add up to a total sum of thirty three, the number of years Our Lord lived on earth. As with the Most Holy Rosary, the chaplet is given five mysteries, to mediate upon while pronouncing the prayers. This chaplet is different than most, as each group present a different prayer to be said, but this is no cause for alarm, or concern that it is overbearing. They are indulgenced prayers approved by Holy Mother Church, from the Raccolta, with the exception of two prayers, but still approved by a priest who has reviewed it. They are short, and easily memorized. The Chaplet We shall now begin with the Inroit, and the preceding prayers: I: Begin with the Sign of the Cross+ and on the Crucifix pray: “Almighty and Blessed Trinity, I offer unto thee this day my life, and all my works, toils and sorrows, joys and every beat of my heart for thy glory, in reparation for all offenses committed against thy sovereign majesty, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Pure Heart of her most chaste spouse, St. Joseph, in union with the Eucharistic and Most Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered throughout the world and in communion with all thy Angels and Saints, for thy glory and thy praise. Amen.” II: Pray the ‘Golden Arrow’; “May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most mysterious and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven, on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar.” III: On the three beads after, pray; “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on Us!” “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!” “Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, Pray for Us!” IV: Glory Be V: Announce The Mystery VI: Golden Arrow, before or after the brief meditation The Mysteries Mystery I: On the Love of the Most Holy Hearts for Souls and the Dying Meditation: “The loving Heart of Jesus loves us with a boundless love. The divine and uncreated love which possess that adorable Heart, is nothing else but God Himself. Now since God is unlimited, His love is also unlimited. Since God is everywhere, His love is everywhere, in all places and all things. Therefore the Sacred Heart of Jesus loves us not only in heaven, but He also loves us on earth. He loves us in the sun, in the stars and in all created things. He loves us in the hearts of all the denizens of heaven and in the hearts of all of all persons that have some measure of charity for us on earth.” (St. John Eudes, The Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pg 120.) “The fourth good office which Our Lady renders to her children and faithful servants is to protect and defend them. Rebecca, by her cares and artifices, delivered Jacob from all the dangers in which he found himself, and particularly from the death which his brother Esau would have inflicted upon him, because of the envy and hatred which he bore him; as cain did of old to his brother Abel. Mary, the good Mother of the predestinate, hides them under the wings of her protection, as a hen hides her chickens. She speaks, she humbles herself, she condescends to all their weaknesses, to secure them from the hawk and the vulture. She puts herself round about them, and she accompanies them, like an army on battle array, ut castrorum acies ordinata.” (True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, St.Louis De Montfort, Pg 151-152) “Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” (Lk 12:34). Saint Joseph has three treasures: Jesus, Mary and you. Nothing consumes the heart of St. Joseph other than these three treasures.” (Calloway, ‘Consecration to St.Joseph’, Pg 55) “Blessed Joseph! It is not without important reasons that you have been preferred to so many other saints, and honored as the special patron of dying persons, of those who are desirous of securing for themselves the greatest of all graces, that of a happy death.” (A Manual of Practical Devotion to St.Joseph Pg 104, Fr.Patrignani, S.J.) Considerations: How often do you tell Him; “I love you, Jesus.” Is it something that passes your lips every day? Do you consider how much He really loves those who have recourse to His Heart? Do you trust in Mary’s intercession and love for you? Do you believe that she wants you to be with Jesus more than you even do? Tell her; “My mother, if you wish, could you press a kiss to His fine head on my behalf?” Is St.Joseph frequently invoked during your day? How much do you think of this good father’s love for you as his own child? The Prayer for this Mystery: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you! Save Souls!” End with a Glory Be Mystery II: On the Love of the Most Holy Hearts for Poor Sinners Golden Arrow Prayer: “The people stood looking on. They that passed by, shaking their heads, blasphemed me. But they that stood around mocked Me: in like manner also, the chiefs of the priests, with the scribes and elders, insulted Me by derisive gestures. The soldiers, too, jeered at Me, and, adding insults, they offered Me vinegar. All, in fine, sated me with reproaches. And amidst all this, what was I doing, Child? What My Heart? Father! I exclaimed, unfolding My Heart, Father! Forgive them; they know not what they do: they know not how enormous is the crime which they are committing.” (Imitation of the Sacred Heart, Pg 348, Rev. Peter J. Arnoudt S.J.) “Would you know in the further manner of divine mercy lives and reigns in the heart of the Mother of Mercy? Listen to Saint Bonaventure, “Great was Mary’s mercy towards the wretched while she was living in exile here below; but immeasurably greater still now that she happily reigning in Heaven. She manifests this greater mercy through innumerable benefits, now that she possesses a clear insight into the numberless woes of mankind. She does not require past merits, but grants the petitions of all men, out of charity, and opens the bosom of her clemency to everyone. She relieves every need and necessity with an incomparable affection and tenderness of heart.” (Admirable Heart of Mary, St.John Eudes, Pg 127-128) “St. Joseph may be compared to the good father in the Gospel, who loves those among his children who obey, and are an honor to him, but whose tender and compassionate heart also yearns for the return of that ungrateful child who had abandoned and dishonored the best of parents. The meaning of this is, that if he grants favors to the just to enable them to advance in perfection, neither does he withhold his paternal care and solicitude from poor sinners.” (A Manual of Practical Devotion to St.Joseph Pg 120, Fr.Patrignani, S.J) Considerations: How often have you fallen into grave sin, and came back to Him in the Tribunal of Mercy? Do you think of all the times you’ve grieved His Heart? What about the love He says to you with the words; “Ego te absolvo?”, “I absolve you of your sins!” I forgive you, wipe away the stains upon your baptismal robe and declare you mine once more! Behold my heart! It burns for you! I am in love with you, I suffered for you, I am waiting for you! What of Our Lady? Do you ignore the sparks from her Motherly Heart that fall upon your cold, dead one? What of the tears she cries for you, pleading her Divine Son to stay His judgement? My Son, though this soul has offended thee, please, for me, stay thy arm and have mercy! For I love this soul, as my own child, and do not wish to see it fall into perdition! Does not St.Joseph not worry in anxious hope for you? He does! Like a good father waiting on a rebellious child, he prays and hopes for your return, never resting until you do. My Son, you were once lost for three days, and your mother and I searched anxiously for you, spending many restless hours and tears waiting to see your face once more, I ask, My Son, can you wait a little longer for this soul? Prayer for this Mystery: “My Jesus, Mercy!+Mother of Mercy, pray for us!+St. Joseph, pray for us!” End with a Glory Be Mystery III: On the Crucible of Love and Mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Especially in the Blessed Sacrament Golden Arrow Prayer: “Believe in My love and My mercy. You have sinned against me; I forgive you. You have persecuted me; I love you. You have wounded me both by word and deed; still I wish to do you good and let you share all my treasures. Do not imagine I am ignorant of your state of soul. I know that you have despised my grace, perhaps even profaned My Sacraments. Yet you have from Me a full pardon.” (Way of Divine Love, Sister Josefa Menendez, Pg 402) “Love gives itself as food to its own and this food is the substance which gives them life and sustains them. Love humbles itself before its own… and in doing psoriases them to the highest dignity. Love surrenders itself in totality, it gives an profusion and without reserve. With enthusiasm, with vehemence it is sacrificed, it is immolated, it is given for those it loves. … The Holy Eucharist is love to the extreme of folly.” (Way of Divine Love, Sister Josefa Menéndez, Pg 352) “We reminded you in our former chapters of the first duties which Christians owe to Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist: faith in His real presence, and the obligation to adore Him. It will be well before proceeding further to consider the principal reasons why Our Lord instituted this august sacrament. An acquaintance with these reasons will enable us to appreciate more fully the love of Jesus Christ for us shown in the Eucharist. The Savior instituted this sacrament in order to be the companion of our earthly pilgrimage, our food at the Holy Table, and the victim offered to God in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.” (Prisoner of Love, Fr Xavier Lasance, Pg 39) Considerations: When the Host is lifted to The Father, do you not say; “My Lord and My God!” Do you not hail that Precious Blood shed for you on the cruel, adorable wood of the Cross? Look at Him! He condescends to veil Himself, infinite majesty He is, under the sacred species. Every day He calls you, burning brighter and hotter than any star in all of the universe combined. I say to you, if you combined every star and supernovae, it would never equal one angstrom, one iota, one atom, of fiery love and brightness of the Sacred Host during Holy Mass! Behold, your Lord and God in the hands of the priest, why, do you not come to Me with all your woes, your sorrows, your tears? I can burn them away, I can heal you, I can help you! Yet you stay away from me? Oh, soul, if only you loved! Even worse, reader, think of the times you approached His Majesty, with a cold and unbelieving heart. Woe, sorrow! What of the times you approached with grave sin upon your soul? Why do you persecute me? You eat my flesh and drink my blood with the coldness of a robber. You receive My Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in a state of sin! Why do you crucify me again and again? Happily, think of all the times The Eucharist was received, and believed in, and loved! The angels veil themselves before me, hell and all its fallen angels tremble and fall down in horror at the presence of My love and holiness! The Saints adore Me profoundly, and My Father is pleased at the sacrifice… for it is Myself offered to Him. Oh, Soul, you approach, I come to meet you… we are united, in a tender embrace, I in you, you in Me, I make my dwelling in thy heart! Behold, soul! In my nail scarred hands, I hold the universe, the cosmos, the planets, all of existence… your heart. I give you mine, am I not a generous lover, friend and father? O, I am, and so I give you myself to be strengthened, inflamed and forgiven! I love you! Prayer for this Mystery: “Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, on fire with love of us, inflame our hearts with love of thee!” End with a Glory Be Mystery IV: On the Crucible of Motherly Tenderness of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Golden Arrow Prayer: “Thus does the Blessed Virgin love us with a most great and ardent love. In the first place, she loves us with the same love she has for God, seeing and loving God within us. The third theological virtue in Mary’s heart is not of another nature than the one in the hearts of the rest of the faithful which has as its sole object God and neighbor. It is true that this divine virtue is, in a sense, indescribably more ardent in the Blessed Virgin’s heart where its object is God instead of ourselves; nevertheless, it is substantially the same charity (though different in degree), and the Mother of Fair Love truly loves us with the same love wherewith she loves God Himself.” (Admirable Heart of Mary, St. John Eudes, Pg 215) “I maintain, in the second place, that the most glorious Virgin loves us with a supremely ardent love, because she loves us with the very same love with which she loves the God-Man, her divine son Jesus Christ, for she knows that He is our Head and we are His members, that we are therefore one with Him, as members are one with their head.” (Admirable Heart of Mary, Pg 215) “Mary’s charity is a love most zealous for the salvation of souls. This zeal gave the Blessed Virgin, from the beginning of her life, a most ardent desire to see the Son of God come into the world to save mankind from universal perdition of sin. This zeal made her offer many prayers, practice such mortifications and shed so many bitter tears to obtain the grace that the eternal Father might send His Son into the world to deliver us from the Considerations: When you pray the Rosary, do you not imagine yourself walking side by side with Our Lady? Are you not at her side, herself narrating the life of Jesus for you? My child, if only you truly knew how much God loves you, and how much I love you… you honor me with prayers and devotions, and I in return, laden the Divine Child with kisses on your behalf! If only you could see how much you’re loved! My Immaculate Heart burns for God, and for you! I am here, always a mother for you, always no matter what, ready to help you in affliction and temptation, always here… you are loved! Prayer for this Mystery: “Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!” End with a Glory Be Mystery V: On the Crucible of Fatherly Love of the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph Golden Arrow Prayer: “God wants you to rest in St. Joseph’s fatherhood. Saint Joseph will never abandon you. No matter what your experience of fatherhood has been, St. Joseph will always be there for you. He is your spiritual dad, and he loves you. He will never hurt you. He would give his life for you a million times over.” (Consecration to St. Jospeh, Fr.Calloway, Pg 78) “I cannot remember having asked Saint Joseph for anything which he did not obtain. I am quite amazed when I consider the favors our Lord has shown me through the intercession of this blessed saint, and the many dangers, both of body and soul, from which he has delivered me.” (The Truth about Saint Joseph, Fr. Maurice Meschler, S.J., on the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila, Pg 144) “Inspired by the Gospel, the Fathers of the Church from the earliest centuries stressed that just as St. Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, that is, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model.” (St. John Paul II) Considerations: St. Joseph, O, Joseph… dear soul, how often do you have recourse to the Defender of Holy Church? Do you forget him at times? He never forgets you… My child, do you know my Chaste Heart yearns to see you in heaven? It does! I am a faithful father, loving… and caring. Even if you’ve never known the love of an earthly father… I’m here for you! I can help in all troubles, all anxieties, and sorrows. You have but to ask! When the enemy assails you, I can defend you, protect you! I only wish to see you with my Son, Jesus, as He wishes to be with you! Prayer for this Mystery: “Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, crucible of chastity and purity, pray for us!” End with a Glory Be We have now come to the centerpiece, where that beautiful aspiration is now prayed; “Jesus Mary and Joseph, I give thee my heart and my soul, Jesus Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony, Jesus Mary and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul out in peace with you.” Dear Reader, you may offer one Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, for the intentions of His Holiness, and the Bishop of your diocese if you so wish. This isn’t necessary, but it is completely optional. I also thank you for reading this little devotional, and if it but stirs up in your heart love for the Three Holy Hearts, I will consider myself the happiest of souls that another soul can love Jesus, Mary and Joseph more and more. Our Gentle Jesus, Mary and Joseph take care of you, and love you. +AMDG+ +JMJ+

  • Holy Hearts III: The Most Chaste Heart

    “Go to Joseph! Have recourse with special confidence to St. Joseph, for his protection is most powerful, as he is the patron of the universal Church.” ~Blessed Pope Pius IX The Silent Saint, The Patriarch of Patriarchs, The Terror of Demons and Guardian of Virgins, and Spouse of the Blessed Mary. Saint Joseph is rightly proclaimed the Patron of the Universal Church. For it was he who protected Jesus and Mary from the cruel Herod, from poverty, from famine… The Head of the Holy Family! How do we even begin to expound on the greatness of this saint? First, let’s say this; The saint who stands next to the Blessed Virgin in glory; is not a priest, not a martyr, not a deacon, not a confessor, not a doctor of the church, not a pontiff… Saint Joseph was a father, a husband and a workman! Ponder on this… the saint who sits next to Jesus and Mary is not a cleric, nor a martyr… but a husband and a father. If Mary was a walking adoration chapel, carrying the Bread of Eternal Life within her virginal womb, than Joseph was the first of adorers, next to the magi, the shepherds and the wise men and three kings! Actually, Joseph was the first to adore the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, the Divinity of Jesus Christ, the God-Man made incarnate within the womb of Mary! He was the first to lead the First Eucharistic Processions to Egypt and Jerusalem during Mary’s pregnancy, and we can also say, when Jesus was but a little boy, holding both their hands as they traveled. Let me not get ahead of myself, for this Saint is so good to us, by his prayers and intercessions, we should love him because he loves us dearly. This Saint, born of the royal blood of King David, had the supreme privilege of being wed to Mary, and father to Jesus Christ on earth, until his natural death. He had his own Annunciation (Gospel of St.Matthew 1:18-25), just like his blessed wife, he, was given the supreme dignity of taking her hand in marriage, and raising the very Son of God. “A just man,” (St. Matthew 1:19) Scripture calls him. God’s word declares St. Joseph to be a just man, eminent in virtue. Well, sure! By virtue of his proclamation and very vocation, he has to be just! He has to be pure and holy to marry the Blessed Virgin, and to raise the Sinless Lamb of God! Let us rebuke the heresy that Joseph and Mary had other children, for this attacks the infallible dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of Our Lady, and dishonors God greatly. It also takes away the title of Joseph Most Just and slanders his own virginity! Yes, dear reader, this most eminent Saint was a virgin before God, for His and Mary’s marriage was the heavenly model of marriage before God. Let me expound on this; Fr. Donald Calloway, in his book; “Consecration to St. Joseph,” speaks thus; “Your spiritual father is a gentleman. Saint Joseph is the first Christian gentleman; next to Jesus, he is the greatest example of masculine chastity. He was married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and he treated her with respect, dignity and reverence.” (Calloway, “Consecration to St. Joseph, Pg 46) The esteemed author says in the previous page; “Saint Joseph and Mary lived in what is called a “Josephite Marriage.” They were truly husband and wife, but they never engaged in sexual relations. Their vocation was to be untied in heart, mind, and soul, but never in body.” (Calloway, Pg 45) Joseph’s Most Chaste Heart, is at its core, a Crucible of Chastity. The marriage of Mary and Joseph was pure, spotless, full of superabundant love between two humans, that was the eminence of charity and chastity. As the dear author, Fr. Donald Calloway points out, that St. Joseph is a gentleman, the best example next to Jesus Christ, of masculine chastity. In Fr. Calloway’s work we continue to read; “”Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” (Lk 12:34). Saint Joseph has three treasures: Jesus, Mary and you. Nothing consumes the heart of St. Joseph other than these three treasures.” (Calloway, Pg 55) Did you think when we see these plaster statues of the Lily-Staffed saint, that he’s just as cold and unfeeling in heaven? No! He loves you! He protects you! He wants what is best for you because God wills the best for you, and St. Joseph does the will of God! Believe me, I say to you, that St. Joseph is your spiritual father if you so wish him to be, for all you have to do is ask this great saint and God will grant you him as a patron and he will embrace you as a client and child. Why, my beloved reader, do you think that his heart is titled ‘Most Chaste?’ Because he possess the supereminence of this virtue, next to Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary! Following Fr. Calloway, we read; “Saint Joseph will help you have a chaste heart. Lust is the predominant vice at work in the hearts of men today. The world is filled with immoral and lust filled actions. These actions greatly offend God, ruin families, and cry out to heaven for justice. Did not Our Lady warn St. Jacinta of Fatima that many souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh?” (Calloway, Pg 55) I gave the above statistic for a reason; to show the scourge of lust on this world. To show the absolute unholy, filthy scourge that Lucifer and his apostate angels have unleashed on man and woman to destroy chastity and purity. Lucifer hates chastity and purity, for the sole fact that it is the Virtue that combats lust and gluttony, lack of temperance and control. He hates it because Our Lady and St. Joseph possess it super-eminently, and perfectly. Well, Our Lady will crush his head! (Genesis 3:15) Eve gave into his wiles, and Our Lady, the New Eve, corrected this mistake. Eve brought sin into the world by one action, Mary brought salvation into the world through her womb in one God-Man. So, there’s a reason why the Rosary, and all devotion to Our Lady is so dreadful to that prideful apostate angel. Especially devotion to St. Joseph, either through his rosaries or, his Seven Sorrows and Joys. We can see through these devotions the virtues of this eminent saint shine through, but His Most Chaste Heart, the fiery Crucible of Chastity, is the burning, molten core of love for purity and God. His litany names him the ‘Terror of Demons,’ and for good reason. It was Herod that sent his wicked soldiers to slay the newborn Jesus, and to rid the world of the King of Kings. For Herod was prideful, just a Lucifer was. St. Joseph fled through the night with Mary and Jesus multiple times to safety. He thwarted the devil’s plans, several times. He wields the Lily Staff, symbolizing his purity, which he uses to impale that ancient serpent and protect the Children of God. In one hand he wields the Lily Staff symbolizing his eminent chastity and sublime purity, in the other, The Divine King rests gently in his father’s arms, hand raised in benediction, blessing those who love this good father and angelic saint of God. We know as the Church Militant, that we are not obliged to adhere to private revelation, though it would be unwise to ignore the consensus of saints and mystics, whom by a very august grace, were revealed the lives of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. We see in Blessed Ann Catherine Emmerich’s divinely inspired and, with the full approval of Holy Mother Church, the visions of The Life of Jesus Christ, but especially the hidden life at Nazareth. “After the conception of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin experienced a great desire to visit her cousin Elizabeth. I saw her traveling with Joseph toward the south.” (Life of Jesus Christ, Pg 196) St. Joseph is a gentleman! He is the role model for all husbands, and fathers. What husband and father would even comprehend letting their wife go on a journey by herself, with child, across the state or country itself, without any form of defense or solace should she find herself in peril? Not St. Joseph! He was right at her side, to and fro, and with the greatest of love, zealously defended the Unborn Jesus. “It may, perhaps, have been an hour after the birth when Mary called St. Joseph, who still lay prostrate in prayer. When he approached, he fell on his knees, his face to the ground, in a transport of joy, devotion, and humility. Mary again urged him to look upon the Sacred Gift from Heaven, and then did Joseph take the Child into his arms.” (Life of Jesus Christ, Pg 227) I cannot imagine, with all sensible human faculties the emotions this good father felt, when he took into his arms his Lord, his God, his King, his son, and saw that seraphic face, from his chubby cheeks, to his closed eyes resting in Sacred Humanity. What of the Circumcision? Who of the first was to behold the Precious Blood flow? St. Joseph was seen it before this own eyes. What of the fear and anxiety when Mary and Joseph lost the boy Jesus in the temple for three whole days? “And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought the sorrowing.” (St. Luke 2:48) Do we forget that even the Blessed Mother called Joseph, Jesus’ father? Truly he was. How is this important? Let me explain: St. Joseph, from Jesus’ infancy, taught Him how to be a true gentleman, a true man. Everything Joseph did, Jesus emulated. Think about it. Do sons not emulate their fathers? Do they not look up to them in love and affection? Jesus worked alongside Joseph in his workshop, Joseph taught the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Author of the Law, how to work with His hands. Truly, this patriarch of patriarchs has a high place in paradise, and should be honored for the supreme and majestic grace he was privileged to be blessed with. Why a Patron of a Happy and Holy Death? “When Joseph was dying, Mary sat at the head of his bed, holding him in her arms. Jesus stood just below her near Joseph’s breast. The whole room was brilliant with light and full of angels. After his death, his hands were crossed on his breast, he was wrapped from head to foot in a white winding sheet, laid in an narrow casket, and placed in a very beautiful tomb, the gift of a good man.” (Life of Jesus Christ, Pg 330) How, in all good reasoning could the very picture presented to the imagination not cause the eyes of the soul to be wet with tears? There is no other human being who has ever lived, will live or is currently living, that will experience any death more sublime and full of divine charity than St. Joseph’s death. That is why Holy Mother Church proclaims him the patron of a holy death. What death could anyone reasonably ask for besides to die in the arms of Our Lady and Our Lord?

  • Critiquing the New Age Ideas of Richard Rohr and Teilhard de Chardin

    An investigation and a warning into a New Age theology, first put forth by Chardin, later espoused by Rohr, that has gone too far beyond the realm of Catholic orthodoxy Often in history, an apprentice will rise up after his master’s time is long gone. This student will perhaps appear to be original, but for those who remember the source of their ideas, they are but a mere echo. That is what Fr. Richard Rohr is like to Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Tiehard de Chardin arose during the great surge of modernism and its battle with the Church. He was condemned by the Magisterium in his time, yet his ideas lingered on, much so because they appeal to the modern scientific imagination. And now these ideas are starting to reemerge. It is imperative that we know the sources of these ideas and understand their hidden implications lest we be taken off guard by them. The Universe is the Body of God? See here how Rohr develops his theology from Chardin, taking things to the final end of this strange belief: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience." Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin “We are not just humans having a God experience. The Eucharist tells us that in some mysterious way, we are God having a human experience.” Fr. Richard Rohr, Universal Christ Firstly, we are not souls trapped in a body. That is the heresy of Manichaeism or Albigensian. No, God made us humans: body and soul. St. Augustine states: “If the world wasn’t necessary for us to learn the ways of God, God wouldn’t have created the world.” We, being physical creatures, learn about spiritual realities from the earth. Secondly, we are not God. It seems to me that some try to lower God from being the First Principle of all creation. Instead of acknowledging God as Creator, they wish to lower God to His creation. In doing so, they are seeking, in a Humanistic way, to proclaim that man is God. To continue along this path of investigation, we shall continue to look at The Universal Christ, Rohr’s newest book. It is telling that Fr. Rohr excludes a very important part of the following excerpt, quoted at the beginning of this book: (St. John of Damascus:) “I do not worship matter; I worship the Creator of matter who became matter for my sake, who willed to take his abode in matter; who worked out my salvation through matter. Never will I cease honoring the matter which wrought my salvation! I honor it, but not as God In his book, Rohr left out the final line: “I honor it (speaking of matter), but not as God.” It is once more telling that Rohr thought it appropriate to include this quote at the start of his book. He was trying to support a narrative. The fact that he leaves out the full clarity of the excerpt, as if to mislead, must put us on guard. Rohr’s Universal Christ furthermore states: “The universe is the Body of God, both in its essence and in its suffering.” This is completely against Catholic teaching. Vatican I, Session Three (On God and the Creator of All Things) clearly states, “If anyone says that the substance or essence of God and that of all things are one and the same: let him be anathema.” Thus, with this thinking, God the Creator is reduced to his creation. Suddenly, if the essence of creation is God, than man must be God. Of course, we know that is not so. “[Christ is a cosmic reality that is found] whenever the material and the divine co-exist—which is always and everywhere.” —Rohr “The Universe is the body of God…yes, it’s the second person of the Trinity in material form.” —Rohr Loosing God in the Ambiguity of “Awakening” "Most of the Catholics Christians I’ve met would for all practical purposes believe Jesus is God only, and we are human only. We missed the big point. The point is the integration, both in Jesus and ourselves." (Fr. Richard Rohr, Source) The most important part of the former quotation for our investigation is his conclusion: The point of the Incarnation and Resurrection is our integration in Jesus and ourselves. Rohr believes the point of life is to combine ourselves with Jesus in one whole. This reasoning sounds orthodox on the surface, however, instead of this reasoning being used in the Catholic sense, Rohr means to use it in the monistic way. Monistic, meaning that God and man are one, or that man is God. I may be coming too quick to my conclusion, but I pose the question: What else is the natural progression of this Chardinian/Rohr thought if not that man is God and that God is one with his creation? Rohr has already stated as much. It would help us now to bring in a few other peers of Rohr. By examining their line of thought, we can perhaps better understand Rohr. James Finley is a fellow member of Fr. Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation. Finley spent six years at the Abbey of Gethsemani before he became a psychologist. He is known for his book, “Merton’s Palace to Nowhere”, and he is also the voice of the popular podcast, “Turning to the Mystics.” In a recent interview, Finley was asked the question: “Is God real?” “I would say, God does not exist. There isn’t some infinite being called God who exists. God is the name that we give to the beginning-less, boundary-less, endless, infinite plenitude of existence itself. I am who am. God is that by which we are. And furthermore, God is a presence in an ongoing self-donating act that’s presencing itself and utterly giving itself away in and as the gift and the miracle of the intimate immediacy of our very presence. The closer we can start to get to it are these moments of awakening we spoke of earlier, like these awe moments of quickening…” We will touch on this error: “Moments of awakening” to our true self, or the realization that we are God. The idea of a “spiritual awakening” or “realization” stems from Eastern Buddhism. In their philosophy, they believe that God is within the human, in a panthiestic way. This idea of “realization” is not Christian. Repentance is what we have. We must conform ourselves to the God who is within our hearts, yes, but infinitely above us in His majesty. It is also noteworthy that Fr. Rohr once invited Marianne Williamson to one of his Center’s events. She is the author of the occult book “A Course in Miracles”. In this book, “it is taught that the crucifixion of Jesus has no meaning and was even wrong, because people think that sin doesn’t exist or is a lack of consciousness. After all, there’s nothing that keeps you separated from God, except for the thought that you are separated from God (...) Rohr endorses the teachings of Marianne Williamson on ‘A course in miracles’, in which she states that we are all in heaven now but we simply do not realize it because we haven’t found the illumination of the ‘God consciousness.’ ” (Stichting Promise) This illumination, or realization, of a “God consciousness” is a new age, Buddhist idea that is not Christian. At that, it is a Marxist idea, because it believes the progress is continual. In 1952, Fr. Teilhard wrote in a letter: “As I love to say, the synthesis of the Christian God (of the above) and the Marxist God (of the forward) – Behold! that is the only God whom henceforth we can adore in spirit and in truth.” Douglas Farrow, a theologian, remarks: “The Christ of Rohr includes, just as that of Teilhard, the whole creation. Jesus may be the unique Christ, but He is nevertheless just one example of the revelation of the Christ. It is a revelation, not a reconciliation, which we have to look for in Jesus” The New Yorker, speaking of Fr. Richard Rohr, builds dangerous assumptions on the foundations laid out: “According to his teachings, you don’t have to follow Jesus or practice the tenets of any formal religion to come by salvation, you just have to “fall in love with the divine presence, under whatever name.” If We Are God, There Is No Law That Is Above Us What is evident in many pagan cultures is that they fall short of Judeo-Christian morality. Man was and still is too dominated by concupiscence to imagine the tenets of Christianity by himself. Since God is above us, and He makes the law, Christianity is not something any worldly man would set in stone. While Hinduism seeks to escape from suffering, Christianity embraces suffering. In knowing that God suffered first for us, we find joy and peace. In knowing that God loves us and wills us to repent and come to Him, we pick up our cross and leave our former lives behind. Many heretics in ancient days, such as the Pelagians or Quietists, believed in a logic like this: We are capable of being the source of our own grace Whatever we will is lawful since we are capable of our own self determination We can therefore do evil and it can be good This is why many moderners who reject the ethos of Christianity reject original sin and the existance of Hell. Yes, it is pride to reject these things. “How dare anyone condemn me for doing these evil things that I chose to do?” To mention sin is to attack their pride. Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin had a problem with dogma of original sin. Evolutionary theory was his way to get around it. states: “Teilhard also aimed to show that the doctrine of original sin could be understood as the condition for the original act of creation. Evolution suggests that humans exist in a process of becoming, rather than being made perfect from the start. Adam and Eve are therefore best understood as images of sin, not as our biological ancestors. Paradise is a state of salvation open to all who live in unity with Jesus. Teilhard thought that attributing all sin to a single historical act that might, in fact, not have occurred was grossly immature. And to defend a version of the doctrine of original sin that ignored the evidence of reason and experience diminished its deepest meaning. Thus, Fr. Chardin was stripped of his teaching position in 1925 for denying Original Sin and the existence of Hell. It is Church teaching that Adam and Eve were are biological ancestors and that their disobedience is the cause of original sin, which, like DNA, passed down to their children. In the CAC article titled Heaven Is a Great Party, Rohr says. “God has always had a very hard time giving away God: No one seems to want this gift. We’d rather have religion, and laws, and commandments, and obligations, and duties. I’m sure many of us attend church out of duty, but gathering with the Body of Christ is supposed to be a wedding feast.” What is a true wedding feast but a high mark of man’s dignity? It has the laws of manners and decency. It has vows made before God. A religion without laws, commandments, obligations, duties, and virtues, without religion itself, is chaos. For now, let us conclude. Further Errors Appendix: The Dancing “God”? “I would believe only in a god who could dance.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra “More often than the sacred beings of other cultures, the gods of Hinduism and Buddhism dance. They express their creative and destructive energies through fluid rhythmic movements, setting the pulse of the universe. In benign moods they dance gracefully in divine play. In stern moods they dance with a force that, if fully unleashed, could destroy worlds. Sculpture and paintings depicting deities including Shiva, Krishna, and the elephant-headed Ganesha, together with video clips of dance performances, will illuminate these ideas.” —Sdmart Blog See: The Cosmic Dance of Shiva. Shiva, which means “nothingness”, is a dancing god who creates in the chaos of a dance. Speaking of this dance, called the Nataraja, Aldous Huxley said: “The whole thing is there, you see. The world of space and time, and matter and energy, the world of creation and destruction, the world of psychology…We (the West) don’t have anything remotely approaching such a comprehensive symbol, which is both cosmic and psychological, and spiritual.” The popular writer Sadhguru breaks this down clearly: “India is the only place where our gods must dance…This is because the closest analogy you can give to the phenomenon of creation is that it is like a dance. Today, modern physicists are using such words – they say creation seems to be in a dance. If you observe a dance, on the surface, there seems to be no logical coherence to what is happening. But if you look closely enough, there is a very profound system to the whole process. (...) You cannot understand the dance because everything that you understand will only be a wrong conclusion. But you can experience the aesthetic of the dance, or you can become the dance…If you become the dance, you become the divine…” Fritjof Capra (author of the Tao of Physics), Carl Sagan, and many other modern scientists are facinatined by this concept. Sagan, known for the series Cosmos, says that he liked to imagine the Nataraja was “a kind of premonition of modern astronomical ideas.” Religious ideas of the East have crept far into modern science, the new age, and Christianity itself. Fr. Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance: Exploring the Mystery of Trinity: “Scientists are discovering this reality as they look through microscopes and telescopes. They are finding that the energy is in the space between the particles of the atom and between the planets and the stars. (Is this where his idea that the essence of God is in everything comes from?). They are discovering that reality is absolutely relational at all levels. When you really understand Trinity, however slightly, it’s like you live in a different universe. And a very good and inviting one!” Fr. Richard Rohr (Ibid): Trinity is the very nature of God, and this God is a circle dance, a centrifugal force flowing outward, and then drawing all things into the dance centripetally. In Hinduism, the idea of a dancing god enclosed in a circle is: god is the creator and creation, the dance and the dancer. Fr. Richard Rohr (Ibid): “If this God names himself/herself in creation and in reality then there must be a “family resemblance” between everything else and the nature of the heart of God.” Thus, the error. Many will try to claim this idea of a dancing “god” is based in the Fathers, by showing that they used the term “perichoresis.” However, this write up on Wikipedia explains why this is not so: "Perichoresis" is derived from the Greek peri, "around" and chōreō, "to go, or come". As a compound word, it refers primarily to "going around" or "encompassing", conveying the idea of "two sides of the same coin". Suggested connections with Greek words for dancing ("choreia", spelled with the short letter omicron not the long omega) are not grounded in Greek etymology or early Christian use, but are modern in origin.” — Further investigation of their belief in physics: “Before Albert Einstein propounded his theory of relativity in the early 20th century, it was assumed that matter could ultimately be broken down into indivisible indestructible parts. But when individual subatomic particles were smashed against each other in high-energy experiments, they didn’t scatter into smaller bits. Instead, they merely re-arranged themselves to form new particles using kinetic energy or the energy of motion: subatomic dynamism. “At the subatomic level, all material particles interact with one another by emitting and reabsorbing (i.e., creating and destroying) other particles. Modern physics shows us that every subatomic particle not only performs an energy dance, but also is an energy dance; a pulsating process of creation and destruction. For the modern physicist, then, Shiva’s dance is the dance of subatomic matter,” Capra wrote in a letter.” Appendix: Substitutionary Atonement Theory Rohr: "I believe that Jesus’ death on the cross is a revelation of the infinite and participatory love of God, not some bloody payment required by God’s offended justice to rectify the problem of sin. Such a story line is way too small and problem-oriented. “This theory of atonement ultimately relies on another commonly accepted notion—the “original sin” of Adam and Eve, which, we were told, taints all human beings. But much like original sin (a concept not found in the Bible but developed by Augustine in the fifth century), most Christians have never been told how recent and regional this explanation is or that it relies upon a retributive notion of justice” On the contrary: Council of Trent: “If anyone asserts that the transgression of Adam injured him alone and not his posterity, and that the holiness and justice which he received from God, which he lost, he lost for himself alone and not for us also; or that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience, has transfused only death and the pains of the body into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul, let him be anathema, since he contradicts the Apostle who says: “By one man sin entered into the world and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.” [Rom. 5:12] Notes: Fr. Richard Rohr wrote a book called The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective. The Vatican document Jesus Christ, Bearer of the Water of Life, speaking of the Enneagram, says that “when used as a means of spiritual growth introduces an ambiguity in the doctrine and the life of the Christian faith.” More suspect quotes by Fr. Rohr: “The brilliance of Buddhism is that it put enlightenment front and centre, where as we [Christians] put ...salvation front and center, and its just messed up because Jesus was talking about enlightenment too, but we didn't let him do that, we turned him into an answer giver.” “When Christians hear the word “incarnation,” most of us think about the birth of Jesus, who personally demonstrated God’s radical unity with humanity. But in this book, I want to suggest that the first incarnation was the moment described in Genesis 1, when God joined in unity with the physical universe and became the light inside of everything. (This, I believe, is why light is the subject of the first day of creation, and its speed is now recognized as the one universal constant.) The incarnation, then, is not only “God becoming Jesus.” (Universal Christ) Fr. Chardin: “It has sometimes seemed to me there are three weak stones sitting dangerously in the foundations of the modern Church: first, a government that excludes democracy; second, a priesthood that excludes and minimises women; third, a revelation that excludes, for the future, prophecy.’ (Letter to Christophe de Gaudefroy, 7 October 1929) “Like the countless shades that combine in nature to produce a single white light, so the infinite modalities of action are fused, without being confused, the one single color under the mighty power of the universal Christ.” (Science and Christ) “Christ has a cosmic body that extends throughout the universe.” (Cosmic Life, 1916, XII, 58) “It seems we are now reliving after 1,500 years the great conflicts with arianism - with the big difference that we are now concerned with defining the relations, not between Christ and the Trinity, - but between Christ and a universe that has suddenly become fantastically large, formidably organic and more than probably poly-human (...planets - millions perhaps). And if I may express myself brutally (but expressively) I see no valid or constructive way out of the situation except by making through the theologians of a new Nicea a sub-distinction in the human nature of Christ between a terrestrial nature and a cosmic nature.” (Letter to Andre Ravier SJ, 14 January 1955, Lettres intimes, 452) “A general convergence of religions upon a universal Christ who fundamentally satisfies them all: that seems to me the only possible conversion of the world, and the only form in which a religion of the future can be conceived.” “Lastly, to put an end once and for all to the fears of 'pantheism’', constantly raised by certain upholders of traditional spirituality as regards evolution, how can we fail to see that, in the case of a converging universe such as I have delineated, far from being born from the fusion and confusion of the elemental centres it assembles, the universal centre of unification (precisely to its motive, collective and stabilising function) must be conceived as pre-existing and transcendent. A very real 'pantheism' if you like (in the etymological meaning of the word) but an absolutely legitimate pantheism-for if, in the last resort, the reflective centres of the world are effectively 'one with God', this state is obtained not by identification (God becoming all) but by the differentiating and communicating action of love (God all in everyone). And that is essentially orthodox and Christian.” (The Phenomenon of Man) This investigation is written without enthusiasm, but I think worth sharing to warn others about jumping into the works of these two priests, Fr. Richard Rohr and Fr. Teilhard de Chardin. If any false accusations are put forth, do excuse them. All said, I think the larger work stands as a warning worth hearing. May Fr. Rohr, let us pray for him, hold fast to the teachings of the Catholic Church and may Fr. Chardin rest in peace. May God bless you, dear reader!

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  • Coming Soon

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  • Introduction

    Start off your program by giving some basic information about what participants can expect to learn. Introduce the topic and provide a basic outline of what's to come using videos, images, and text.

  • Monastic Lessons

    Michael Snellen and Fr. Michael co-founded a revolutionary new idea. At the oldest monastery in America, the Abbey of Gethsemani, after a big promotional campaign in the local area and throughout the entire Archdiocese, a group of around 15 or so people gathered to listen to a monk talk. The speech wasn't long, but the discussion afterward shined a light on the monastic life. A group of this nature not only has the chance to rejuvenate the faith of those who attend, attract outsiders, be a place of unity for a town, it also is a good way to make people aware of the monastic life, and thus assist vocations. If you would like to learn how to start a revival of Western Monasticism at your local monastery or convent, this is the course for you!

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  • 12,001+ Young Catholics Worship God in Indiana!

    < Videos 12,001+ Young Catholics Worship God in Indiana! ​ Pay It Forward Share ​ We Need You! Star Support Our Mission Each dollar spreads I AM to 20 people $1 $5 $10 $15 $20 $25 $40 $50 $100 $150 $300 $500 $1,000 Prayer is also appreciated Monthly Donations

  • A Doctor’s Miraculous 500 Mile Journey!

    < Videos A Doctor’s Miraculous 500 Mile Journey! ​ Pay It Forward Share Learn his fascinating story of going from a surgeon/scientist's life of sin, addictions, and stress to one of faith, happiness, and peace. John Sottosanti will discuss his new book Mortal Adhesions: A Surgeon Battles the Seven Deadly Sins to Find Faith, Happiness, and Inner Peace. We Need You! Star Support Our Mission Each dollar spreads I AM to 20 people $1 $5 $10 $15 $20 $25 $40 $50 $100 $150 $300 $500 $1,000 Prayer is also appreciated Monthly Donations

  • It Is Not Impossible to Observe the Divine Law

    < Heresy Tool It Is Not Impossible to Observe the Divine Law 5. Man having lost his free will, the sectarians say that it is impossible for him to observe the precepts of the Decalogue, and especially the first and tenth commandments. Speaking of the tenth commandment, " Thou shalt not covet," &c., won concupisces, they say it is quite impossible to observe it, and they found the impossibility on a fallacy. Concupiscence, they say, is itself a sin, and hence, they assert that not alone motions of concupiscence, in actu secundo, which precede consent, are sinful, but also movements, in actu primo, which precede reason, or advertence itself. Catholics, however, teach, that movements of concupiscence, in actu primo, which precede advertence, are neither mortal nor venial sins, but only natural defects proceeding from our corrupt nature, and for which God will not blame us. The movements which precede consent are at most only venial sins, when we are careless about banishing them from our minds after we perceive them, as Gerson and the Salmanticenses, following St. Thomas, teach, for in that case the danger of consenting to the evil desired, by not positively resisting and banishing that motion of concupiscence, is only remote, and not proximate. Doctors, however, usually except movements of carnal delectation, for then it is not enough to remain passive, negative se habere, as Theologians say, but we should make a positive resistance, for, otherwise, if they are any way violent, there is great danger of consenting to them. Speaking of other matters, however, the consenting alone (as we have said) to the desire of a grievous evil is a mortal sin. Now, taking the commandment in this sense, no one can deny that with the assistance of Divine Grace, which never fails us, it is impossible to observe it. If one advertently consents to a wicked desire, or takes morose delectation in thinking on it, he is then guilty of a grievous, or, at all events, of a light fault, for our Lord himself says: " Follow not in thy strength the desires of thy heart" (Eccl, v, 2); " Go not after thy lusts" (Eccl. xviii, 30); " Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, so as to obey the lusts thereof" (Rom. vi, 12). I have used the expression a light fault, because the delectation of a bad object is one thing; the thought of a bad object another: this delectation of thought is not mortally sinful in itself, but only venially so; and even if there be a just cause, it is no sin at all. This, however, must be understood to be the case only when we abominate the evil object, and besides, that the consideration of it should be of some utility to us, and that the consideration of it should not lead us to take pleasure in the evil object, because if there was a proximate danger of this, the delectation would, in that case, be grievously sinful. When, then, on the other hand, concupiscence assaults us against our will, then there is no sin, for God only obliges us to do what is in our power. Man is composed of the flesh and the spirit, which are always naturally at war with each other; and hence, it is not in our power not to feel many times movements opposed to reason. Would not that master be a tyrant who would command his servant not to feel thirst or cold? In the law of Moses punishment was imposed only on actual external crimes, and hence the Scribes and Pharisees drew a false conclusion, that internal sins were not prohibited; but in the New Law our Redeemer has explained that even wicked desires are forbidden: " You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery; but I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matt, v, 27, 28). This stands to reason, for if we do not reject evil desires, it would be very difficult to avoid actual external sins; but when these desires are rejected, they are a matter of merit to us, instead of deserving of punishment. St. Paul deplored that he was tormented with carnal temptations, and prayed to God to free him from them, but was answered that his grace alone was sufficient: " There was given to me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan to buffet me, which thing thrice I besought the Lord that it might depart from me, and he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee, for power is made perfect in infirmity" (II. Cor. xii, 7, &c). Mark here, " power is made perfect," which proves that when evil desires are rejected, they increase, instead of weakening our virtue. Here we should also take occasion to remark, that the Apostle says that God does not permit that we should be tempted beyond our strength: " God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able" (I. Cor. x, 12). 6. They also assert that it is impossible to observe the first commandment: " Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart." How is it possible, says Calvin, for us, living in a state of corruption, to keep our hearts continually occupied with the Divine love? Calvin understands the commandment in this way, but St. Augustine(l) does not, for he counsels us that we cannot observe it as to the words, but we can as to the obligation. We fulfil this commandment by loving God above all things, that is, by preferring the Divine Grace to every thing created. The angelic Doctor, St. Thomas (2) teaches the same. We observe, he says, the precept of loving God with all our hearts, when we love him above every tliing else: " Cum mandatur, quod Deum ex toto corde diligamus, datur intelligi, quod Deum super omnia debemus diligere." The substance of the first commandment, then, consists in the obligation of preferring God above all things else, and, therefore, Jesus says that " he who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me" (Matt, x, 37). And St. Paul, confiding in the Divine Grace, says that he is certain that nothing created could separate him from the love of God: "For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God" (Rom. viii, 38, 39). Calvin (3) not alone taught the impossibility of observing the first and and tenth commandments, but even that the observance of any of the others was impossible. 7. They object, first, that St. Peter said, in the Council of Jerusalem: " Now, therefore, why tempt you God to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear" (Acts, xv, 10). Here the Apostle himself declares that the observance of the law is impossible. We answer, that St. Peter here does not speak of the moral, but of the ceremonial law, which should not be imposed on Christians, since the Hebrews themselves found it so difficult, that very few of them observed it, though several, however, did so, as St. Luke tells us that St. Zachary and St. Elizabeth did: " They were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord, without blame" (Luke, i, 6). (1) St. Aug. 1. de Sp. &Lit. c. 1, & l. de Perf. Just. Resp. (2) St. Thom. 2, 2 qu. 44, art. 8, ad. 2. (3) Calvin in Antid. Con. Trid. Sess. vi, c. 12. 8. They object, secondly, that text of the Apostle: " For I know that there dwelleth not in me, that is to say, in my flesh, that which is good. For to will, is present with me; but to accomplish that which is good, I find not" (Romans, vii, 18). Now, when he says "that there dwelleth not in me that which is good," he tells us that the law cannot be observed; but we should not separate that passage from what follows: " that is to say, in my flesh." What St. Paul means to say is, that the flesh is opposed to the spirit, and no matter how good our will may be, we never can be exempt from every movement of concupiscence; but these movements, as we have already said, do not prevent us from observing the law. 9. They object, thirdly, that St. John says: " If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I. John, i, 8). We answer that the Apostle does not mean by that, that it is impossible for us to observe the commandments, so that no one can escape falling into mortal sin, but that on account of the present weakness of corrupt nature, no one is exempt from venial sins, as the Council of Trent declared (Sess. vi, cap. 11): " Licet enim in hac mortali vita quantum vis sancti, et justi in levia saltern, et quotidiana, quæ etiam venialia dicuntur peccata, quandoque cadant, non propterea desinunt esse justi." 10. They object, fourthly, that St. Paul says: " Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us" (Gal. iii, 13). Therefore, say our adversaries, Christ, by the merits of his death, has exempted us from the obligation of observing the law. We answer: It is quite a different thing to say that Christ has freed us from the malediction of the law, since his grace gives us strength to observe, and thus avoid the malediction fulminated by the law against its transgressors, and to assert that he has freed us from the observance of the law, which is totally false. 11. They object, fifthly, that the Apostle says, in another place: " Knowing this, that the law is not made for the just man, but for the unjust and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners" (1. Tim. i, 9). Joining this passage with the other just quoted, they say that our Redeemer has freed us from the obligation of observing the Commandments, and that when he told the young man (Matt, xix, 17), " If you wish to enter into eternal life, keep the Commandments," he only spoke ironically, as much as to say, " Keep them if you can," knowing that it was quite impossible for a child of Adam to observe them. We answer, with St. Thomas (4), that the law, as to the directive power, is given both to the just and to the unjust, to direct all men as to what they ought to do; but as to the co-active power, the law is not imposed on those who voluntarily observe it without being constrained to observe it, but on the wicked who wish to withdraw themselves from it, for it is these alone should be constrained to observe it. The explanation of the text, " Keep the Commandments," given by the Reformers, that Christ spoke ironically, is not only heretical, but totally opposed to commonsense and Scripture, and is not worth an answer. The true doctrine in this matter is that of the Council of Trent (5): " Deus impossibilia non jubet, sed jubendo monet, et facere quod possis, et petere quod non possis, et adjuvat ut possis" (Sess. vi, c. 13). He, therefore, gives to every one the ordinary Grace to observe the Commandments, and whenever a more abundant Grace is required, if we pray to him for it, we are sure of obtaining it. 12. This was the answer of St. Augustine to the Adrometines, who objected to him, that if God does not give us sufficient Grace to observe the law, he should not chastise us for violating it: " Cur me corripis? et non potius Ipsum rogas, ut in me operetur et velle" (6). And the Saint answers: " Qui corrigi non vult, et dicit, Ora potius pro me; ideo corripiendus est, ut faciat (id est oret) etiam ipse pro se." Therefore, says St. Augustine, although man does not receive efficacious Grace from God to fulfil the law, still he should be punished, and commits a sin by violating it, because, having it in his power to pray, and by prayer obtain more abundant assistance to enable him to observe it, he neglects to pray, and thus does not observe the law. (4) St. Thom. 1, 2, qu. 96, art. 5. (5) Ap. St. Aug. dc Corrept, et Grat. t. 10, c. 4, n. 6, in fine. (6) St. Aug. ibid, c. 5, n. 7. It would be quite otherwise, if it were not granted to all to pray, and, by prayer, obtain strength to do what is right. But another efficacious Grace is necessary to pray, and, in my opinion, St. Augustine would not have answered the Adrometines rationally, that man should be punished if he did not pray for himself, for they might in that case answer him, how can he pray, if he have not efficacious Grace to pray?

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