Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Torture our Enemies with the Truth

St. Cecilia
Today the Sacraments are greatly under attack: marriage, confession and Holy Communion.  The attack is simple: they wish to take our Lord and deliver him over into the hands of his enemies (adulterers), and in order to do that they need to lie and deceive (grant phony absolution to adulterers who will continue in adultery). The idea of admitting the unrepentant to approach communion basically trying to be more Catholic than the Apostles who have forbidden such a sacrilege in the most clear and direct language from the very beginning of the Church.

So what is the battle plan on the good side, what can we use to stop such a vicious attack?  Scripture? Tradition? The Teaching of the Fathers and Doctors? The teaching of the Magisterium? All of these things are against our opponents.  Any book on sacramental theology would condemn them, even a children's catechism for first Holy Communion.

Yet, as a Church we have gotten in the habit of ignoring these things.  Take the Death Penalty for example: the Holy Scriptures support it in both the New and Old testaments, the Fathers upheld the right of the State to use it, the Doctors such as St Thomas Aquinas explained how it was just, and the Popes even used the Death Penalty themselves when they had temporal authority.  Want another example? Female altar servers, which can in no way be justified from tradition or historical evidence.
So these things are being ignored, or not even considered in the light of the teaching of the Church, at least collectively.  What is driving the desire for changes in the Church?  Public opinion.  Should we care about public opinion? No.  

What can we do?  We must let the light shine before men, we must shout the gospel from the rooftops, we must point out how erroneous and evil such an idea is.  Are we going to be faithful rocks, or reeds shaken in the wind.  The more we have to lose for it, the greater the reward is in having lost it for the sake of the truth.

The book Remaining in the Truth of Christ was a good effort by the authors, now we must add our efforts. Rather than trying to convince ourselves that someone who is an adulterer is ignorant of their sin and therefore in some odd theologically nuanced way might be able to go to holy communion, we must rather advance  as much and firmly as possible that there is no inheritance in the kingdom of Heaven for adulterers, nor for those who approve or support them in their sin and that receiving Holy Communion in a state of sin will not only lead to greater punishment in the next life, but also in this one.  We must be ready to greet false teaching with the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Fathers and Doctors of the Church.  

“You wish us to pronounce a lie; but in speaking the truth, we inflict much greater and more cruel torture upon you than that which you make us suffer” St. Cecilia, from the Audiobook the Life and Martyrdom of St Cecilia 

Let us kindly, but boldly declare that we do not belong to a religion made up on whims and public opinion, but to the religion passed onto us by the Apostles.  "Hold firmly that our faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this and you dissolve the unity of the Church." St Thomas Aquinas, Disputations Concerning Truth. 

Friends, are we cowardly Catholics, pious and observant until the possibility of harm and conflict show up? If we cannot stand up for the truth in all of our modern comforts and at most risk losing the graces of someone in the Church with power, a few friends, and the ridicule of Catholic bloggers, how will we ever be able to endure torture and death for Christ sake?  

Let us not be gymnasts seeking applause for the complexity of our leaps and bounds to please the world or even leaders in the Church by theological half truths, nuance and platitudes;  rather let us be rocks upon which God can build His Church, Heavy in faithfulness, immovable in fidelity, steady under pressure and stable in Tradition and strong enough to take the crashing of the wave of worldly pressure or the assault of heresy.  It is time for he who has not a sword to sell his cloak at get one.  

"Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war." -Ps. 144:1


Anonymous said...

Good article. There is a typo in the third to last paragraph - "past"should be "passed"...

Noah Moerbeek said...

Thank you anon!