Resurrecting an old heresy: Does Pope Francis know what the word “pelagian” actually means?

The doing of “charitable deeds” for the Pope remain the only path to God, even if “in the history of the Church there have been many mistakes along the way” on the one hand the error of those who have relied on meditation to “go higher” – “How many lose themselves along the way and never arrive”, said Francesco; on the other hand there are those who believe that to arrive to God one must be “humble, austere”, choosing the path of “penitence” and  “fasting” only.  They are the pelagians, who believe that with their strength they will get there”.  – Pope Francis

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Editor’s note from the Catholic Enclopedia:

Pursuant to the papal command, there was held on 1 May, 418, in the presence of 200 bishops, the famous Council of Carthage, which again branded Pelagianism as a heresy in eight (or nine) canons (Denzinger, “Enchir.”, 10th ed., 1908, 101-8). Owing to their importance they may be summarized:

Death did not come to Adam from a physical necessity, but through sin.

New-born children must be baptized on account of original sin.

Justifying grace not only avails for the forgiveness of past sins, but also gives assistance for the avoidance of future sins.

The grace of Christ not only discloses the knowledge of God’s commandments, but also imparts strength to will and execute them.

Without God’s grace it is not merely more difficult, but absolutely impossible to perform good works.

Not out of humility, but in truth must we confess ourselves to be sinners.

The saints refer the petition of the Our Father, “Forgive us our trespasses”, not only to others, but also to themselves.

The saints pronounce the same supplication not from mere humility, but from truthfulness.

Some codices containing a ninth canon (Denzinger, loc. cit., note 3): Children dying without baptism do not go to a “middle place” (medius locus), since the non reception of baptism excludes both from the “kingdom of heaven” and from “eternal life”.

These clearly worded canons, which (except the last-named) afterwards came to be articles of faith binding on the universal Church, gave the death blow to Pelagianism; sooner or later it would bleed to death.

Saint Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:4-12: Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit. (5) And there are diversities of ministries. but the same Lord. (6) And there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh all in all. (7) And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit. (8) To one indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom: and to another, the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: (9) To another, faith in the same spirit: to another, the grace of healing in one Spirit: (10) To another the working of miracles: to another, prophecy: to another, the discerning of spirits: to another, diverse kinds of tongues: to another, interpretation of speeches. (11) But all these things, one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will. (12) For as the body is one and hath many members; and all the members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body: So also is Christ.

Grand reopening planned for actual site of the Last Supper

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The Cenacle, the building on Mt. Zion which houses the “Upper Room” where Jesus and his disciples held the Last Supper will once again be open for Catholic worship, it has been announced by spokesmen for the Vatican, the Israeli government and the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.

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Editor’s note: This is also the site of the descent of the Holy Spirit, on Pentecost.

The Feast of Pentecost as a prophetic “marker”

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Moses and the Tablets of the Law

by Doug Lawrence

The wind and fire of the Holy Spirit hovered powerfully over Mount Sinai – where Moses had remained for the last 40 days and nights.

The Children of Israel concluded that no man could survive such an event, so they assumed Moses had died, and promptly returned to their old Egyptian ways, coercing Moses’ brother Aaron to make for them an idol – the infamous “Golden Calf”.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Moses shortly turned up alive – complete with the stone tablets of the Law, which God himself had written. Other details aside, the Children of Israel had now become the People of the Mosaic Covenant – and the Law.

It was Pentecost, about 1450 B.C.
The “vehicle” of our salvation
now had a set of “training wheels”
and a “road map”!

* * * *

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The Prophet Jeremiah

Almost a thousand years passed, and the Israelites had once again succumbed to idolatry. This time it wasn’t a golden calf – but rather, the false gods of their neighbors – and they were totally unwilling to repent.

The Prophet Jeremiah was sent to help get them back on track, but they refused to hear him. So God permitted the Babylonians to come in, sack Jerusalem, and destroy the Temple.

The Babylonians carried off the Temple furnishings, sacred vessels and the surviving Israelites into Babylonian captivity, where they would remain for a time, until the Babylonians themselves were conquered by the Persians.

It was Pentecost, about 586 B.C.
The remnant of the Children of Israel

weren’t quite sure where things were going from here,
but it wasn’t looking very good!

* * * *

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King Cyrus Returns the Sacred Vessels

King Cyrus of Persia – the new ruler of the former Babylonian Empire – was suddenly “moved” by the Holy Spirit – deciding to permit the Israelites to return to Jerusalem, so they could rebuild both the city and the Temple.

Cyrus also financed the entire operation – as well as restoring to the Israelites all of the plundered Temple furnishings and sacred vessels – so everything might be ready for the arrival of the coming Messiah.

The sacred scriptures are not clear
about the exact day this particular event occurred, 

but based on the context, I’m going to estimate the date
as the Day of 
Pentecost, around 539 B.C.
and things were definitely looking up!

* * * *

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The First Christian Pentecost

The Risen Christ had bodily ascended to Heaven ten days earlier. Mary and the Apostles were gathered in the upper room of the Jerusalem Cenacle – the same place that Jesus had earlier instituted the New Covenant in his blood – at the Last Supper – and the place where the New Covenant (Catholic) Church would soon be born.

All were fervently waiting and praying for the descent of the Holy Spirit – and the “power” Jesus had promised to them. Inside, it sounded like wind and thunder – soon to be complemented by descending “tongues” of fire. To those in the streets, it would have looked more like a reenactment of the supernatural events that took place above Mount Sinai, almost 1500 years earlier – which it was!

Since this was in fact, 50 days after Passover (technically, the Feast of First Fruits, some three days after) – in the Hebrew, Shavuot – in the Greek, Pentecost – the day when all observant Jews come to Jerusalem, specifically to celebrate Moses’ reception of the Tablets of the Law, from God – something like this would not have gone unnoticed.

Then the apostles came out into the street to explain.

Acts 2:5-12 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. (6) And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. (7) And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these that speak Galilean? (8) And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? (9) Parthians and Medes and Elamites and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, (10) Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, (11) Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. (12) And they were all astonished, and wondered, saying one to another: What meaneth this?

It was the Day of the first Christian Pentecost, about 33 A.D.
Salvation had come to the world,
and the world rejected him.

Salvation had been killed, and had risen again.
But Salvation would not be denied,
so all the promises of Jesus Christ were duly fulfilled. 

* * * *

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Titus’ Siege of Jerusalem

While he still walked the earth, Jesus had sternly cautioned them:

Mark 13:1-2 And as he was going out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him: Master, behold what manner of stones and what buildings are here. (2) And Jesus answering, said to him: Seest thou all these great buildings? There shall not be left a stone upon a stone, that shall not be thrown down.

The Roman General Titus and his legions had nearly encircled the city of Jerusalem – but they inexplicably stopped short – for one whole day.

Those “in the know” – mostly Christians – took good advantage of the reprieve – hastily abandoning the city – much as Lot had narrowly escaped the sudden destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

But now it was Sunday, the encirclement was complete and the siege was on. Over the next six months – apparently just in time for the fall Feast of Tabernacles – the Temple would be burned to the ground and totally destroyed, hundreds and thousands of Jews would be killed, the sacred Temple vessels would once again be carried off, and Jerusalem would never be the same.

The siege began on Pentecost, 70 A.D.
Many of those who walked with Jesus Christ
“this generation” – 
Mark 13:30
were still alive to witness the events.

It marked the definitive end
of the Jewish Temple Worship System,
and the budding Church would now reach out

in the name of Jesus, not just to the Jews,
but to the whole world.

Within the span of some 500 years,
against all odds, the Roman Empire,
along with most of the known world,
would be converted to Christianity.

When the Roman Empire eventually fell,
The Catholic Church would be there
to rebuild Western Civilization,
in the image of Heaven.

* * * *

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Jesus Christ at the Second Coming
(Image: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception)

Revelation 10:5-7 And the angel whom I saw standing upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven. (6) And he swore by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven and the things which are therein, and the earth and the things which are in it, and the sea and the things which are therein: That time shall be no longer. (7) But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound the trumpet, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared by his servants the prophets.

No one except God the Father knows the day or the hour Jesus will finally and triumphantly return – so I don’t intend to even try to set any kind of date – but based on all of the above – and the fact that – according to the Bible – the last 6 months of the 42-month final tribulation period is where most of the major “action” is – I offer the following, for your consideration:

The “Grand finale” of the “End of the Age” will likely begin on Pentecost and continue for six months – right up to the time of the old Feast of Tabernacles – which according to the old calendar – is also when Jesus Christ arrived here on earth – the first time – as a helpless infant.

From the looks of the above picture – and the account in the Book of Revelation – Jesus will not be coming back like that, again.   Instead, he will come again in power and  glory – to render judgment for sin – and things will go something like this:

Revelation 19:11-16 And I saw heaven opened: and behold a white horse. And he that sat upon him was called faithful and true: and with justice doth he judge and fight. (12) And his eyes were as a flame of fire: and on his head were many diadems. And he had a name written, which no man knoweth but himself. (13) And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood. And his name is called: THE WORD OF GOD. (14) And the armies that are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (15) And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp two-edged sword, that with it he may strike the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God the Almighty. (16) And he hath on his garment and on his thigh written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 22:12-13 Behold, I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to render to every, man according to his works. (13) I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 

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Words of Wisdom for the Ages

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My son, forget not my law, and let thy heart keep my commandments. For they shall add to thee length of days, and years of life, and peace.

Let not mercy and truth leave thee, put them about thy neck, and write them in the tables of thy heart. And thou shalt find grace, and good understanding before God and men.

Have confidence in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not upon thy own prudence. In all thy ways think on him, and he will direct thy steps.

Be not wise in thy own conceit: fear God, and depart from evil: For it shall be health to thy navel, and moistening to thy bones.

Honor the Lord with thy substance, and give him of the first of all thy fruits; And thy barns shall be filled with abundance, and thy presses shall run over with wine.

My son, reject not the correction of the Lord: and do not faint when thou art chastised by him: For whom the Lord loves, he chastises: and as a father in the son he pleases himself.

Blessed is the man that finds wisdom, and is rich in prudence: The purchasing thereof is better than the merchandise of silver, and her fruit than the chief and purest gold: She is more precious than all riches: and all the things that are desired, are not to be compared to her. Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and glory. Her ways are beautiful ways, and all her paths are peaceable. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her: and he that shall retain her is blessed. The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth, hath established the heavens by prudence. By his wisdom the depths have broken out, and the clouds grow thick with dew.

My son, let not these things depart from thy eyes: keep the law and counsel: And there shall be life to thy soul, and grace to thy mouth. Then shalt thou walk confidently in thy way, and thy foot shall not stumble: If thou sleep, thou shalt not fear: thou shalt rest, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Be not afraid of sudden fear, nor of the power of the wicked falling upon thee. For the Lord will be at thy side, and will keep thy foot that thou be not taken.

Do not withhold him from doing good, who is able: if thou art able, do good thyself also. Say not to thy friend: Go, and come again: and to morrow I will give to thee: when thou can give at present.

Practice not evil against thy friend, when he hath confidence in thee.

Strive not against a man without cause, when he hath done thee no evil.

Envy not the unjust man, and do not follow his ways. For every mocker is an abomination to the Lord, and his communication is with the simple.

Want is from the Lord in the house of the wicked: but the habitations of the just shall be blessed.

He shall scorn the scorners, and to the meek he will give grace. The wise shall possess glory: the promotion of fools is disgrace.

(Proverbs 3:1-35)

Catechism Clip: It is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities.

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814     From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God’s gifts and the diversity of those who receive them. Within the unity of the People of God, a multiplicity of peoples and cultures is gathered together. Among the Church’s members, there are different gifts, offices, conditions, and ways of life. “Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions.” The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church’s unity. Yet sin and the burden of its consequences constantly threaten the gift of unity. And so the Apostle has to exhort Christians to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

815     What are these bonds of unity? Above all, charity “binds everything together in perfect harmony.” But the unity of the pilgrim Church is also assured by visible bonds of communion:

  • profession of one faith received from the Apostles;
  • common celebration of divine worship, especially of the sacraments;
  • apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders, maintaining the fraternal concord of God’s family.

816     “The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. … This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.”

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12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit, in the Catholic Tradition

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…altogether we have 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit in Catholic Tradition. As we can see many  of them speak to zeal, while others in a way that seeks to set forth a virtue rooted in moderateness.

One of the great gifts the Spirit seeks to give us is not a rejection of passion or other human gifts, but a moderation and proper appropriation of them. For God the Holy Spirit has given all the gifts of the World, including beauty, and human passions for a reason and for a good end. But the Fruits of the Spirit are gifts to both to inspire zeal and to regulate and appreciate what God has given for a reason and a purpose. By these gifts we steer a middle ground between rejection and indulgence, excess and defect, enjoyment and hedonism. Modus omnibus in rebus (All things in moderation (including moderation)). The Sequence Hymn for Pentecost says of the Holy Spirit:

Flecte quod est rigidum (Bend what is rigid),
fove quod est frigidum (warm what is cold),
rege quod est devium. (rule what deviates).

And thus we see both zeal and moderation in these gifts and in all things a ruling over anything that deviates. Come Holy Holy Spirit, rule our hearts and inflame them with your love.

See all 12

“God sent forth his Son”

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From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

486     The Father’s only Son, conceived as man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, is “Christ”, that is to say, anointed by the Holy Spirit, from the beginning of his human existence, though the manifestation of this fact takes place only progressively: to the shepherds, to the magi, to John the Baptist, to the disciples. Thus the whole life of Jesus Christ will make manifest “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.”

II. … BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY

487     What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.

Mary’s predestination

488     “God sent forth his Son”, but to prepare a body for him, he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary”:

The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.

489     Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary. At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living. By virtue of this promise, Sarah conceives a son in spite of her old age. Against all human expectation God chooses those who were considered powerless and weak to show forth his faithfulness to his promises: Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther; and many other women. Mary “stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from him. After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established.”