An interesting post on the rationality of evil

Dennis Prager , in this episode of his Prager University series of videos, takes on an ever popular heresy:  evil is irrational.  This heresy is popular for any number of reasons but doubtless it all boils down to the belief, completely unfounded in human experience, that reasonable people will agree on what is good and what is evil.  The experience of the last half century in the West should have knocked that bit of foolishness into a cocked hat.  Agreement on good and evil in practice is largely a matter of convention.   If the social norms of a people come under challenge, we quickly see apparently reasonable people disagreeing on such fundamental questions as whether an unborn child has a right to life, or whether sex outside of marriage is evil.

Concepts of good and evil are either based on revelation from God, or are matters of opinion to be argued about.  Fewer people in our society believe in revelation, hence good and evil become matters of opinion for debate.  When the debate is joined we often find that there is little agreement on goals and that therefore what is rational to each individual takes varying paths to differing goals.  Widespread disagreement on good and evil also causes the State to grow ever larger to enforce the version of good held by those in power in the State.

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How much did Adam (the first man) know?

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As we know, this magnificent angel – the greatest creature God had created up to that time – disobeyed God and fell into apostasy, and in so doing brought one third of the other angels with him.  The angels who thought to themselves, “we would rather be wrong with Lucifer than right without him”, got their wish and became demons, while those who remained faithful to God, in spite of the apostasy of their divinely appointed leader, were immediately confirmed in grace and now reign with God in heaven.

After the fall of the bad angels, God created man.  He endowed the first man with the preternatural gifts of integrity, bodily immortality, impassibility, and infused knowledge, which perfected him according to nature, as well as the supernatural gift of grace, which elevated his soul to the supernatural level, thereby making him a “partaker of the Divine Nature” (2 Peter 1:4).   By the gift of infused knowledge, Adam knew all that he had a natural aptitude to know (2), including knowledge of the physical universe, both material and spiritual, the moral law, the Divine Attributes of God, and man’s relationship to his creator” (3), as well as the supernatural knowledge necessary to guide him and his descendants to their supernatural end. (4)  All of the gifts Adam received would have been passed down to his posterity, with the exception of infused knowledge.

The reason his descendants would not have received this gift, according to St. Thomas, is because Adam was to be the teacher of all other men. (5) As father of the human race, he was to instruct and govern mankind, just as Lucifer was to govern and enlighten the lower angels. As we know, Adam, the father of the human race and divinely appointed teacher of all men, disobeyed God and fell into sin, thereby causing the Fall of the entire human race.  But unlike the angels who fell, God did not abandon man, but instead promised to send a Redeemer.

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Church Councils typically define, confirm and further illuminate pre-existing Catholic doctrine.

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There are 5 types of councils, Diocesan, National, Ecumenical, Plenary, and Provincial. No council has ever changed Church dogma, nor can it, since dogma was proclaimed by Jesus Christ Himself, Acts 6:12,15,15:6,*Gal 2:2.

An Ecumenical Council is where all the Bishops in the world that are entitled to vote, gather under the presidency of the Pope or his representative. There have been 21 Ecumenical councils in the history of the Church, other important councils called ‘synods’ are marked ‘*‘.

The very first council or meeting of the Apostles and presbyters is recorded in Acts 15, and is called the Council of Jerusalem. Tradition speaks of St. James as being the Bishop of Jerusalem at that time of about 50 AD.

A Church council is usually a reaction as opposed to an action. They are held to define a truth after someone has denied it.

Jesus Christ gave His authority in several verses of Holy Scripture. One example is in Luke 10:16, “He who hears you hears me“. Armed with this authority, Church teaching has been accepted over the centuries. Then along comes someone who denies a certain teaching and therefore there becomes a need for a Church council to react to the denial.

The Council of Ephesus of 431, one such reaction, defined the Blessed Virgin Mary as the “Theotokos”, meaning GOD bearer or Mother of GOD. This formal teaching was only done after someone had denied it.

Another example is the reaction of the Council of Trent in 1546 which defined again, the canon of Holy Scripture after seven books were denied by the Protestants in their revolt.

Non-Catholics look at these reactive Church councils as teaching something new, when in fact, all they are doing is defining a truth that has been taught for centuries without denials.

Read more at The Catholic Treasure Chest

The writings of ecumenical theologians often suffer from “significant silence” on key points of Catholic doctrine that interfere with their ecumenical designs.

• Outside the Church there is no salvation: The Council of Florence teaches infallibly “The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics, and schismatic can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire ‘which was prepared for the devil and his angels,’ (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her…” [29];

This doctrine has been infallibly defined three times and taught continually throughout the centuries by the ordinary magisterium, such as the repeated papal condemnations of religious indifferentism in the 19th Century, and by Pius XII’s Humani Generis. There is nothing cruel or “anti-semitic” about this dogma, as it has been taught by the Church since the time of Christ and flows from the words of Our Lord Himself: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:16).

• Catholic Doctrine Cannot Change: It is the very nature of reality itself that objective truth cannot change. Thus what the Council of Florence defined is infallibly true for all time. Even a Pope cannot alter it. [30] And Vatican II, which is only a pastoral Council that formally defined nothing, cannot change doctrine at all. [31] Further, Vatican I formally stamped out any idea of an “evolution of doctrine” when it taught that we are bound to believe Catholic doctrine “in the same meaning and in the same explanation” of what the Church always taught without change. Vatican I further taught infallibly, “The meaning of Sacred Dogmas, which must always be preserved, is that which our Holy Mother the Church has determined. Never is it permissible to depart from this in the name of a deeper understanding.” [32]

• The Old Covenant is Superseded by the New: Thus one can no longer speak of Jews as having their own covenant with God, or exercising some sort of fidelity in light of the fact of their once-held status as the Chosen People. [33]

The eminent theologian Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton explains the perennial Catholic teaching on this matter that the word “Church” has one meaning. It is the Kingdom of God on earth; the people of the Divine Covenant, the true Israel of God, the one social unit outside of which salvation cannot be found. Prior to the coming of Christ, this ecclesia, this people of the Divine Covenant had been the people of Israel. But when they rejected Our Lord Jesus Christ, they lost their status as the true Israel of God. Modern-day Jews cannot truly be considered sons of Abraham, since they have forsaken the Faith of Abraham in regard to Jesus Christ our Redeemer. [34]

Thus, to speak as if today’s Jews have no need to convert is contrary to Scripture, contrary to the infallible Catholic doctrine of the centuries, and a supreme lack of charity. Jews, as well as all non-Catholics, need to be told in Christ-like charity, and with no bitterness, that it is crucial for them to accept Christ and His Catholic Church as the one and only means established by God for salvation.

In doing this, one can readily adopt the gentle wording of the moral theologian Father Francis Connell who said in 1944 that Catholics need to be instructed to tell non-Catholics when asked that “we consider them deprived of the ordinary means of salvation, no matter how excellent their intentions.” [35]

• The Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms: Our Catholic Faith has always taught that all of mankind is divided into two Kingdoms. As Leo XIII teaches in Humanum Genus, from the time of Adam, mankind “separated into two diverse and opposite parts,” the one that holds steadfastly for truth, and the other of those that are contrary to virtue and to truth. “The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation … The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law…” [36]

Every man on earth is part of one of these two kingdoms.
There is no third alternative.

Unfortunately – speaking in the objective order — all who are separated from the Church are part of the Kingdom of Satan, whether they recognize it or not. They are outside the reality of sanctifying grace, and membership in our Lord’s ecclesia.

Msgr. Fenton explains, “In rejecting the Redeemer Himself, the social unit [the old Jewish religious commonwealth] had automatically rejected the teaching God had given about Him. The rejection of this message constituted an abandonment of the Divine Faith itself. By manifesting this rejecting of the faith, the Jewish religious unit fell from its position as the company of the chosen people. It was no longer God’s ecclesia, His supernatural kingdom on earth. It became part of the kingdom of Satan.” [37]

Fenton continues, “At the moment of Our Lord’s death on Calvary, the moment when the old dispensation was ended and the Jewish religious association ceased to be the supernatural kingdom of God on earth, this recently organized society of Our Lord’s disciples began to be the supernatural Kingdom of God on earth, this recently organized society of Our Lord’s disciples began to exist as the ecclesia, or the kingdom.” [38]

Pretending modern-day Jews enjoy some of third alternative of fidelity to God is a rupture with the teaching of the Sacred Scripture and with Catholic doctrine of all time. The true doctrine of the Catholic Church throughout the centuries cannot be denounced as being somehow cruel or “anti-Semitic”, for to accuse God and His beautiful Divine Revelation as cruel is a manifestation of blasphemy.

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“How can you join a church that tells you how to think?”

But Peter said to them: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.

And with very many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying: Save yourselves from this perverse generation. They therefore that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles and in the communication of the breaking of bread and in prayers. (Acts 2:38-42)

Question: “How can you join a church that tells you how to think?”

Answer: “With extreme gratitude and humility,
while constantly praising and giving thanks to God!”

Read one author’s “take” on it

Editor’s note: This is like asking someone who wants to learn how to safely pilot airplanes, “Why would you go to a flight school that tells you how to fly?”

The short answer is of course, “Because my life (or in the case of the Catholic Church, my eternal salvation) depends upon it … dummy!”

Marriage in God’s plan — the pivot of civilisation

One of the greatest threats today to what has been most noble and humane in Western civilisation is the attempt to rewrite the meaning of marriage as something other than how it has been traditionally understood in the Judaic-Christian moral tradition.

Some sense of the greatness of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman and its link to the development of community life exists in all cultures. Aristotle, for example, regarded marriage and strong families as essential to the right ordering of society and for the proper socialisation of children. He saw the friendship and the bond between the married couple, together with the natural bond of affection linking them to their children, as an important factor conducive to the development of those virtues upon which peaceful coexistence between the members of society depends.

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Editor’s note: It’s no coincidence that every society which ever attempted to “normalize” and/or otherwise promote homosexuality soon came to a bad end.

SSPX Catholics offer explanation of authentic Catholic Tradition that is not at odds with the whole truth.

We are going to see the life and development of divine tradition first as it concerns the individual; then as it manifests itself in the Church considered as a whole. It is very important to make a distinction between these two things.

Tradition is the revealed deposit. What is in the revelation? Essentially, the revelation is the intimate life of God which is communicated to us by grace and by the sacraments. The intimate life of God is God displaying himself in three divine Persons, and the entirety of this life is communicated to us by grace, the sacraments, and Our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the essential core of the Christian revelation, the very terms of this deposit one must keep. Living tradition is the same as saying that one lives the life of God, that one is imbued with this divine life, that one lives it by the intellect, by the will, by faith, by hope, by charity and by all the virtues.

Now this Christian life-this life of tradition in our hearts, persons, and surroundings-is a participation in the immutable life of God. God does not change. The blessed in heaven contemplate the immutable God in eternity which fills them with an immense joy for all eternity. They are delighted to contemplate the same and unchanging God forever, the Source of an inconceivable and inexpressible life. This is their eternal rejoicing, and nevertheless they are fixed in the immutable. See then the error of the progressists, who wish that this would not be constant change…. No! — The spiritual life is the most unchangeable! Look at the saints in their contemplation. They are fixed on God and that is sufficient for them and nourishes their lives. I am not speaking of the ecstasies possible on earth with the body almost suspended. I am speaking of the soul who, while conducting his ordinary activities, is completely immersed and transformed in God, firm and unchangeable. We understand well that the more we live this Tradition, the more we will be fixed in the immutable who is God, and the further we will be removed from the evolution of perpetual change.

For the modem evolutionists on the contrary, life consists of perpetual change. It is very difficult for them to conceive that the highest life which already exists here on earth for the saints, for the contemplatives and those who devote themselves to prayer and meditation, consists of the contemplation of the unchangeable-and yet, thus it is!

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