The Judgment of God in History


In the era of the corona virus, everyone is talking about all sorts of things, but there are certain topics that remain forbidden, above all in the Catholic world. The primary forbidden topic is that of judgment and divine retribution in history. The fact of this censure is a good reason for us to consider the argument.

This talk by historian Robert De Mattei
should be required reading for every Catholic.
Click Here

…De Mattei argued that God sends mankind chastisements in the form of “war, plague, and famine” because of sin and to call mankind back to God. He described the infinite justice of God, and what this means, not only for individuals, but for nations. Every person faces his particular judgement at the moment of death, but there will also be a second judgement at the end of time. This will be the universal judgement at which every human action, idea, and society that has ever been “will be perfectly and clearly judged.”

Editor’s note: Catholics have real-time recourse to divine forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but Nations do not. Hence, individual Catholics might escape divine retribution for their sins, but Nations most likely, will not. 

Thanks to Dorothy Cummings McLean at LifeSiteNews.com

 

Legalizing Civil Homosexual Marriage: Institutionalizing an objectively (mortally) sinful reality.

gendersymbols1

by Doug Lawrence

Anyone living “in sin” – i.e. two unmarried persons, cohabiting and having sexual relations with each other  – whether homosexual or heterosexual – institutionalizes and makes permanent a living arrangement which is objectively, mortally sinful.

Many do not understand (or evidently, even care) that it is impossible to make a good confession while maintaining an illicit relationship of this kind, which typically means that sins – any and all of them – cannot be absolved/forgiven in the sacrament of reconciliation – unless and until something changes.

For cohabiting heterosexual couples it would require either sacramental matrimony or once again maintaining two separate domiciles.

For cohabiting homosexuals, sacramental matrimony is not now and will never be an option. Maintaining two separate domiciles is the only solution.

There is no acceptable Catholic “middle ground” – no possible compromise of the truth.

Hence, despite the appearances, homosexual “marriage” is a spiritual “dead end” – virtually guaranteed to have a  dismal future – no matter what Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, President Barack Obama, V.P. Joe Biden and others have to say about it.

Cohabiting heterosexual couples should either get married or stop living together – ASAP – for the good of their own  immortal souls.

This is not rocket science. It’s what used to be known as good old common sense!

Bishop Paprocki explains the reason for his exorcism

A Last Chance for Lost Souls

A good article explaining the fine points of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

…in my experience, the Sacrament of Reconciliation ranks right up there with Marian Dogmas among the Church’s teachings that prompt the most questions from those inquiring about the Catholic Faith.

Read more

For those unalterably opposed to confessing sins to a priest

Never go see a doctor for a body ailment, and don’t tell him where it hurts; Just pray to Jesus to heal you, because Jesus can heal much better than any man, and he’s free!

Link

“Those in danger of death are presumed to be repentant…”

by Doug Lawrence

In order to make a good confession, a person typically needs to confess ALL known mortal (grave) sins to the priest, and to have (at the very least) imperfect contrition for having committed the sins, along with a firm purpose (and at least, a reasonable possibility) of actual repentance, i.e. turning away from committing those sins, in the future.

Absent all of the above, priestly sacramental absolution for sins is typically ineffective, and the person remains in a state of mortal sin.

The only exception to the “repentance rule” is when a person is near death.

From a purely practical standpoint, a person very near death is not likely to commit grave sin. Similarly, should death occur, it will no longer be possible for the person to commit sin, at all. In that case, a profound “change in ways” would be unavoidable! Hence, the church … the Catholic ministerial priesthood … and Jesus Christ … mercifully presumes that, whenever death is very near … a state of authentic repentance already exists. It’s a “gimme”.

Contrition is still required, as is a complete confession of all known, mortal sins.

This is truly great news for hypocrites, fallen away Catholics, adulterers, homosexuals, and all other types of habitual, grave sinners … assuming that they are blessed with the availability of a Catholic priest … and they still have the physical ability to make an otherwise, good confession … when their time comes to shuffle off this mortal coil.

Truth be told, until the moment a person dies and shortly finds himself standing before Jesus Christ … sins … even the gravest kind … are extraordinarily simple to have absolved. But after death … not nearly so much.

Contrary to today’s popular opinion, there is no reliable way … outside the Sacrament of Reconciliation … to obtain forgiveness of mortal sins … sins which can cause a soul to end up in hell.

So, it’s best always to “err” on the side of caution … especially since no one has yet returned to report what happens to those unfortunates who find themselves standing in judgment … sinful, unrepentant, and still “puffed up” with pride … before our loving God … who actually owes us sinners nothing but wrath.

Related article (PDF)

Submitted by Doria2

Shaw: Contraception is one reason for the Catholic flight from confession.

Last time I looked, the surveys were reporting that something like eight out of 10 American Catholics said they thought contraception was OK and the Church was wrong about it. Obviously this includes many of childbearing, child-rearing age who are practicing contraception now.

As far as the Sacrament of Penance is concerned, these people don’t want to confess contraception because they believe — or anyway say they believe — it isn’t wrong, and they don’t care to give it up. But they don’t want not to confess it since they know perfectly well that the Church says something different, so not confessing would be, well, kind of dishonest. The non-solution to the dilemma is not to receive the sacrament at all. Which is where we are now.

This week’s Ask Alice: Catholic Church teachings on homosexuals attending Mass and receiving Holy Communion. (Or anybody, for that matter.)


Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

John Asks: What does the Catholic Church teach about an active gay/homosexual attending Catholic Mass and receiving Holy Communion?

Alice replies: The Catholic Church welcomes all properly disposed gay and lesbian persons to attend Mass and receive Holy Communion. The exact same policy applies to heterosexual persons, as well.

The rules regarding the reception of the Holy Communion are the same for all Catholics, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual.

That Holy Communion may be received not only validly, but also fruitfully, certain dispositions … both of body and of soul … are required:

For the former, a person must have fasted for at least one hour, from everything in the nature of food or drink. (Water and medicine are permitted, if necessary.)

The principal disposition of soul required is freedom from (at least) mortal sin … and from ecclesiastical censure.

For those in a state of grievous (mortal) sin, confession is necessary.

It is important to note that engaging in sexual relations outside of the sacrament of matrimony is (objectively) a mortal sin.

When a person commits a sexual sin due to weakness or other occasional circumstance, it may be ordinarily confessed and routinely absolved through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Conversely, sexually active couples who are permanently living together (without benefit of marriage) MAY NOT typically receive sacramental absolution, since as long as their present living circumstances prevail, there would be no real prospect of repentance (turning away from the sin) … something which is always necessary for a good confession.

While heterosexual couples can always get married in order to eliminate this particular problem, such permanent living arrangements will … for homosexuals … always remain mortally perilous to the soul.

For homosexuals, one significant part of the solution is to avoid cohabitation, always maintaining one’s very own, private residence. This would, at least in theory, make possible a good, sacramental confession.

See “A Last Chance for Lost Souls”

“God shows personal favor to no one.” (Galatians 2:6) And God commands us to love one another. Often, my homosexual friends have shared their joys and sorrows. Here are some tips, based on the lessons I’ve learned.

TIPS FOR LOVING ALL OF GOD’S CHILDREN

1) DON’T ASSUME. If two male or two female friends are living together or spend every day together, don’t assume that they are engaging in sexual activity. No one except God knows what goes on behind closed doors.

2) DON’T BE A COMMUNION COP. Even if our friend is engaged in homosexual behavior, only God knows the true state of his soul. (Unless perhaps, he is a public advocate, loudly proclaiming, promoting, and/or lobbying for his particular brand of sexual perversion.)

3) DO SPEAK THE TRUTH. If our friend asks us what the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality, we must tell him the facts honestly and compassionately.

4) DO LOVE EVERY PERSON UNCONDITIONALLY! The best way to help our homosexual brothers and lesbian sisters get to Heaven is by being faithful, loving friends to them.

5) LEAVE THE JUDGING TO GOD! “The Lord does not look at the things men look at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Additional comments by Doug Lawrence: Catholics are under no obligation to “knuckle under” to the ill-considered, unholy demands of militant, openly homosexual persons or groups. We are called to resist them.

Nor are Catholics permitted to act in opposition to authentic Catholic Church teachings in regard to homosexuality, which is a seriously disordered practice that has always been defined as gravely sinful and contrary to the natural law.

We are reminded however, to scrupulously avoid any type of unjust discrimination.

In this general context, two provisions of Catholic Canon Law are worthy of note:

Canon 915 Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Canon 916 Anyone who is conscious of grave sin may not celebrate Mass or receive the Body of the Lord without previously having been to sacramental confession, unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, which includes the resolve to go to confession as soon as possible.

For all the reasons stated above, as well as many others … no matter what the government may decide … the practice of homosexuality will always remain morally wrong, and (objectively) gravely sinful.

The support and/or promotion of certain types of “gay rights” … particularly, any form of homosexual marriage … is never permissible … since that type of arrangement would typically prove deadly to the souls of all who might be involved.

The greatest acts of charity we Catholics can perform … for all our brothers and sisters … is to pray for them, treat them with respect, stand firmly on God’s truth, proclaim that truth with love, and be there for them, in their time of need.

This Week’s Ask Alice: Praying for the Dead, More About the Sacrament of Reconciliation, What Constitutes A Shrine.

Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Joan Writes: Where are references to praying for the dead in the Bible? And how can I refute my son when he says prayers for the dead are ridiculous because they are already dead and you can’t help them after they are dead.

Alice Answers: Aren’t children experts at challenging our patience and faith? With three kids of my own and 28 years of catechizing other people’s children, your son’s question is a common one.

The earliest Bible reference that states the doctrine of praying for the dead is found in the Old Testament. When the Israelite leader, Judas Maccabeus, and his army gathered up bodies of the slain for burial they found amulets to the idol, Jamnia, under the tunics of the deceased. Since Jews were forbidden, by law, from wearing pagan charms, Judas and his men prayed for the dead that their sinful deed might be forgiven.

“He then took up a collection among his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this hea acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if her were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been foolish and useless to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward which awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.” (2 Maccabees 12:43-46)

I hope this helps you explain to your son, the ministry of praying for the dead.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Here’s a couple of pages of related scripture references

A recent article on Purgatory and praying for the dead

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Mike Asks: Why do I have to confess my sins to a priest? The shortest, sweetest answer possible is preferred.

Alice Answers: We must confess our sins to a priest because Jesus Himself instituted the Sacrament of Penance when He gave His apostles the power to forgive sins. “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20: 22-23)

The sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation since it provides forgiveness from all the sins we have commited since Baptism. It sometimes is called “laborious baptism.” The sacrament of Penance reconciles us with God and the Church, which by our sins, we have wounded.

Baptism and Penance are sacraments of exorcism. Penance is more powerful than the rite of exorcism. Penitents obtain pardon for their sins. The rite of exorcism is a sacramental, calling on the name of God to restrain the activity of the devil.

May God bless you abundantly for bringing Christ’s love to our incarcerated brothers and sisters!

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Some “deep” background and additional scripture references

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Daria Asks: Do you know what is involved in something being made a “shrine”?

Alice Answers: A shrine is a sacred place where pilgrims come to pray and worship. As Catholics, we are invited to become part of the great pilgrimage that Christ and His Church have made and continue to make throughout history. A shrine is the goal of that pilgrimage, the goal of the pilgrim’s journey.

A precedent for shrine building can be found in Genesis (35:1) “God said to Jacob, ‘Go up now to Bethel. Settle there and build an altar there to the God who appeared to you while you were fleeing from your brother Esau.’ ”

A Catholic church becomes a shrine under the guidance of the local ordinary (bishop). A national shrine must receive approval from the whole episcopal conference. An international shrine must be designated by Papal (Holy See) approval. Catholic shrines include historical sites associated with Jesus, the Virgin Mary, a particular saint, or a sacred charism, such as the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. A shrine can contain relics related to Christ or a saint and be the site of visions, miracles, or miraculous statues.

A shrine is not a parish. It must be a self-sustaining, free-standing church. The rector is the administrator of a shrine. It is open to the public. The ministry of a shrine is to inspie both locals and travelers to become pilgrims for a day or even an hour. Mass, reconciliation, and special devotions are held at a shrine.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

This Week’s Ask Alice: Is There A Link Between Faith and Prosperity and A Question About the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Heather writes: Why do you say God is going to make my life better if I believe? It doesn’t say that anywhere in the bible.

Alice Answers: Accounts of God’s punishments are rampant in the Old Testament from the moment Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden to the Great Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And all of those chastisements occur in Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

For the Israelites, 215 years of Egyptian enslavement culminated with the ten plagues. Basically, God was punishing the sinful, disobedient people of ancient times. However, the Old Testament also contains countless examples of God’s protection. Many righteous people such as Noah (with his Ark afloat), Joseph (whose dreamy gift saved him from slavery) and Moses (the Jewish baby rescued by Pharaoh’s own daughter) were recipients of God’s Mercy.

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

In the New Testament we see God’s deep, abiding love manifested through His Son, Jesus. Examples of Jesus’ divine mercy and love are evident when our Lord dined with Zacchaeus, the tiny tax collector, cast out seven demons from Mary Magdalene, fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fishes, saved an adultress from stoning, and forgave the woman who washed His feet with her hair.

Sadly, ours is a sinful world where both good and evil people suffer. “For his sun rises on the bad and the good, he rains on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45) God doesn’t cause all of the sickness and suffering in the world. Many societal and personal wounds are the result of people’s cruelty and indifference toward one another.

God doesn’t promise earthly pleasures and treasures, but he does promise joy, peace, comfort, love and a heavenly banquet to those who those believe in him. Both the Old and New Testaments are overflowing with God’s wonderful promises. “You believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” (1Peter 1:8)

“Present your needs to God in every form of prayer and and in petitions full of gratitude. Then God’s own peace, which surpasses all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus.” (Phillippians 4:6).

When we are going through tough times the Lord invites us to, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will refresh you.” (Matthew 11:28) “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will grant you the desires of your heart…” (Psalm 37:4)

In addition to the countless gifts bestowed upon believers, God is saving the best gift for last.

“Eye has not seen, ear has not heard… what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1Corinthians 2:9)

No husband, wife, sibling, parent, friend, lawyer, philanthropist, psychologist or physician could make and keep such perfect promises!

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

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Nancy writes: The priest at a local church I know will hear confessions and tell the penitent to say their Act of Contrition outside of the confessional, in the church, and then he will give them absolution! Is this a valid confession?

Alice Answers: We Catholics tend to appreciate ritual, especially when it comes to important things. And what could be more important than the peace of mind that comes from having all of our sins totally and absolutely forgiven?

For that reason, it’s best for all concerned to always try to do everything “by the book” … but sometimes, things don’t go exactly as planned.

I don’t know your priest or your parish, but my guess is that the time frame available for hearing confessions is limited, the number of priests available is small, and the lines are long.

Under such conditions, asking people to make their Act of Contrition in advance would not be considered an abuse, and it would also not be likely to affect the validity of the sacrament, in any way.

Here’s why:

In order to receive absolution for sins, the Sacrament of Penance typically requires three things of the penitent: 1) Genuine contrition (sorrow) for committing the sins; 2) Repentance. The existence of a firm purpose of amendment, including both a sincere intention and a real, practical possibility of turning away from sin; 3) Verbal confession of all known mortal sins, to the priest.

Assuming that everyone involved is acting in good faith, and that all three of the above mentioned things are present, the confession is considered to be good, the priest may absolve, sins are forgiven, sanctifying grace is restored to the soul, and all is well.

With these essential conditions fully satisfied, the power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is also more than sufficient to overcome most other variations in formula or follow through.

Changing the order of some things, omitting the Act of Contrition, and/or even failing to perform the assigned penance would not (typically) serve to invalidate an otherwise good confession. And of course, in times of emergency, war, or imminent peril, certain other expediences might also become necessary or prudent, in order to save souls.

This Week’s Ask Alice: Confusion about communal penance services, and a philosophical question about the soul and spirit.

Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Helen K. asks: If you attend a communal penance service does this absolve you from sins both venial and mortal, or do you still need to go to confession, one-on-one with a priest? I am confused on this matter.

Alice replies: A communal penance service is no substitute for the sacrament of Penance. Absolution for a mortal sin can ONLY be obtained when a penitent confesses his/her sin individually to a priest.

Sin separates us from God. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, our relationship with our Heavenly Father is fully restored. Since Penance is a sacrament, the person who goes to confession receives pardon for every mortal and venial sin as well as a wealth of graces. The purpose of a Communal Penance service is to prepare the Faithful for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Why should I settle for a Communal Penance Service and pass up the treasury of healing graces that the Lord longs to shower upon me in the Confessional?

It is recommended that Catholics receive the Sacrament of Penance once a month. Although I have committed no mortal sins, going to confession refreshes my soul. Confessing my sins to a priest (who represents Jesus) helps me to clean out the junk that accumulates in my soul. A monthly soul cleaning, keeps me spiritually strong and focused, patient and loving. When God forgives me, His grace fortifies me to forgive others. For me going to Confession is like taking vitamins. God’s gracious mercy pumps me up when I am weak and stumbling.

A communal penance service, general confession and general absolution can suffice only in case of dire necessity, such as imminent danger of death without adequate time for a priest(s) to hear each person’s confession. Or if there are not enough priests available to hear each person’s confession in a reasonable time. In this instance, the individual must have the intention of confessing his/her sins as soon as possible. The bishop of the diocese typically decides whether or not the conditions needed for general absolution exist.

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Peggy G. Asks:

We have been discussing Soren Kierkegaard’s philosophy of the soul in theology, how we are not souls and that we have this ability to bring our souls into existence by the choices we make. So, here I am pondering about it at 2 a.m.

I have always believed that God gives us our soul from the time of conception. As Genesis 2:7 says, “The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathes into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). Without God’s breath, man would only exist in the physical form and we would all be robots. The breathing individual is alive, living and full of LIFE. I believe that the soul is a little piece of God within us. I have believed that the soul is an inner, vital, and spiritual principle which is capable of existence apart from the body. The freedom to make our own decisions has everything to do with free will, not with the existence of our souls or bringing our souls into existence like Kierkegaard believed, for they already exist prior to our ability to decide for ourselves. I do believe our choices here on this plane of existence will affect what is going to happen to our souls at the end of our existence.

So here are my questions…just because I am curious….

What is a soul?

What compromises the spirit within someone? Is that spirit within us the same as The Holy Spirit?

Are our souls and spirits connected?

Can we alter the soul that was given to us by God through our choices?

Does God judge our soul on judgment day, or does he judge our deeds? Is it possible to judge our deeds without looking upon our souls?

Alice replies:

Your reflections on the theology of the soul are spiritually insightful.

Every human being is created in the image of God. Our soul is the essence of our being. It is spiritual, immortal and will be united with our resurrected body in Heaven. Although the Catholic church uses the words, “soul” and “spirit,” interchangeably, St. Paul refers to “body”, “soul,” and “spirit” separately. Theologians contend that his comments were Trinitarian (spirit-Holy Spirit, soul-Father, and body-Son) in nature.

The Holy Spirit indwells every baptized person.

The state of our soul can be altered through serious sins. “Do not fear those who deprive the body of life but cannot destroy the soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both body and soul in Gehenna.” (Matthew 10″28) Mortal sin endangers the state of our soul. God will judge the state of our soul when we face Him at our particular judgment day. God does not condemn people to hell. We choose where we will spend eternity. Even the worst sinner has an opportunity to repent and beg for God’s Divine Mercy when he/she dies. The only people in hell are those who choose to refuse His mercy.

Since Soren Kierkegaard is considered the father of the existentialist movement, theologians such as St. Augustine present the soul from a Catholic point of view. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” is a sound source that clarifies soul questions. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote about the soul and spirit in, “Summa Theologica.”

Hope these ideas provide a bit of inspiration for future 2 a.m. discussions.

Doug Lawrence adds: You’re supposed to ponder this stuff, until it drives you nuts (just like Kierkegaard, with his multiple personas.) It drives me nuts just trying to remember how many a’s are in his name!

Anyway, here goes:

Q: What is a soul?

A: The soul is the receptacle of our human intellect … the “home” of our spirit (and our rational self.) Together with our body, these three (body/soul/spirit) constitute the essence of our eternal, human “person hood”.

Q: What comprises the spirit within someone? Is that spirit within us the same as The Holy Spirit?

A: The spirit is the personal, rational essence which animates the human soul and gives us our distinct, identifiable personality.

The Holy Spirit is God. God’s “essence” is pure spirit and divine, while our essence is human and intended to be composite … consisting (ideally) of body, soul and spirit.

It should be noted that Jesus’ divine essence always existed, as a pure spirit … in the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity.

When he became man, Jesus also “took on” a human body, complete with a human soul, all of which will continue to endure into eternity, as a permanent aspect of his divine person hood. (Also a composite, but as God … with a divine spirit … plus human body … plus human soul.)

Taking on flesh to become man, Jesus never ceased to be God, nor did he become some sort of an amalgamated “mixture”.

Jesus remains true God and true man … and that is suitably demonstrated by the fact that he forever retains: 1) his eternal, divine spirit; 2) his eternal, human soul; 3) and (since the resurrection) his glorified, transformed, eternal and incorruptible human body.

So, under the proper circumstances, the two different essences can and do co-exist.

In particular, at baptism, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the human soul, and we become temples of the Holy Spirit.

This begins the process of actual spiritual transformation (theosis) which should (eventually) lead us to become like God (although still fully human).

Q: Are our souls and spirits connected?

A: Yes. Just like your body and your brain are connected.

Q: Can we alter the soul that was given to us by God through our choices?

A: God’s grace and his actual presence in the soul (or the lack of it) determines the state of the soul … and whether it will be pleasing and acceptable to God and worthy of/compatible with heaven.

God does not hang around in our soul when we choose to do seriously evil stuff. That’s why mortal sin leaves the soul in danger of hell.

The most practical aspect of this:

God is love. Love is just another name for charity. Anyone who departs this earthly existence with at least a modicum of charity remaining in their soul is not likely to see eternal damnation (although we would expect a whole lot of remedial work to be necessary for those who just “squeak” by.) Alternatively … Mary … full of grace … now in heaven … complete with her spotless soul, forever untainted by sin of any kind … along with with her (already) transformed and glorified human body … practically runs the place! (By the grace of God, of course.)

Q: Does God judge our soul on judgment day, or does he judge our deeds? Is it possible to judge our deeds without looking upon our souls?

A: See the preceding answer regarding God, love, charity, and eternal damnation/reward.

This may not all match up with what is being covered in your philosophy class, but that’s the way philosophy works.

Philosophy is the search for truth, while Jesus IS the truth, and the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church faithfully reflect that truth.

Fr. Z shares his preferred version of the Act of Contrition


O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they have offended Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Link

A last chance for lost souls


*** Click on picture to enlarge ***

The Lord is kind and merciful. Slow to anger.
Always willing to forgive.

Even a life-long, habitual sinner may have a “golden” opportunity, near the end of life, to make a final, good faith effort at repentance, since old age, illness, or infirmity often make it impractical to persist in a sinful lifestyle.

The end of a relationship, or the imminent death of a life partner may provide the necessary “window of opportunity” for repentance and conversion.

And near the end, it really doesn’t matter whether the person who was “living in sin” is gay or straight, since pretty much the same rules apply to all.

Absolution for sin is typically available in these types of cases, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so long as all known sins are confessed, authentic contrition is present (even if based primarily on the fear of hell) and a firm purpose of amendment exists.

When a person is very near death, the old, thorny and difficult issues of repentance virtually fade into irrelevance, while the process of genuine reconciliation with God, takes on crucial and strategic importance.

In short, when death is very near, the Church makes it as easy as possible for us sinners (and yes, even hypocrites) to be finally and fully reconciled with God.  Any Catholic priest will confirm this.

Virtually every family has someone in it who might “fall” into this category, so don’t pass up a last-minute opportunity to snatch an otherwise lost soul from Satan’s grasp. Make up your mind to become your loved ones best spiritual advocate … in these types of situations … even if it hurts!

God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness …
Don’t let your loved ones depart this existence without it!

“We have lost the sense of sin”

BishopWalsh071609

The sacrament of penance is like an oil change for the soul. It’s like moving the furniture of our souls and getting to the places that escape everyday cleaning. It is like periodically checking the garden of our souls for weeds that hamper our discipleship.

Read the article

What constitutes a “good confession”?

BpKaffer 

Q: Regarding the Catholic sacrament of reconcilation, what’s the difference between a “good confession” and some other kind?

A: The only type of confession that is typically acceptable to God and effective for the forgiveness of sins is a “good” one. The late Auxilliary Bishop of Joliet, Roger L. Kaffer, who was known to hear lots and lots of confessions throughout his more than fifty year priesthood, once explained it to me like this:

It is absolutely essential for the penitent to confess every mortal sin that they can remember, since deliberately holding back even one grave sin, no matter what the reason, typically results in the penitent remaining in a state of mortal sin, still deprived of God’s grace, still unforgiven, no matter how many other sins they might have confessed … whether the priest provides absolution … or not.

(By definition, a mortal sin must be gravely serious, the person committing the sin must KNOW that it is gravely serious, and the sin must have been committed with the full consent of the sinner.  An experienced priest is the best guide for evaluating and explaining the “fine points” of these matters.)   

Deliberately holding back serious sin(s) in the confessional may also constitute another grave sin … the sin of sacrilege … which is defined as the abuse, deliberate misuse, or profanation of a holy thing.

If one actually forgets about a particular serious sin(s) and so fails to confess for that reason alone, there is no real problem … but if the “forgotten” sin one day comes to mind again, it should be properly confessed, as soon as possible.

The circumstances which lead a person to commit sins are also often important. If and when a priest inquires about such details, it is important to respond honestly.

For example, someone confesses the sin of fornication or adultery: Under normal circumstances, it might be a “one time event”. But if the sin is the result of an unmarried couple “living in sin”  under the same roof, without benefit of matrimony, then absolution (forgiveness) is typically NOT available unless and/or until the illicit living arrangement is terminated.

This would apply equally to ANY unmarried couple who might be living together … whether straight or gay … without distinction.

Minor or venial sins may also be confessed to the priest in the confessional, but since those can also be routinely forgiven through reciting a good act of contrition, by attending Mass, and in other ways, confessing venial sins is laudable and recommended, but not required.

Assuming that the penitent has accurately confessed ALL the mortal sins of which he/she is aware, then, acting in and through the ministerial priesthood of the Holy Catholic Church, in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the priest prescribes an act of contrition, assigns a small personal  penance, absolves the penitent of all sin, and dispenses the graces necessary to fill any spiritual “void” that the sin(s) might have caused.

The whole idea behind confessing one’s sins in the great sacrament of Reconciliation and subsequently receiving absolution (the absolute assurance that ALL of one’s sins have truly been forgiven by God) is to avoid the prospect of divine judgment, and to truly be at peace with both God and man, since once sins have been properly absolved through a “good confession” God will never bring them up again. 

For this reason, it is also advisable for the penitent to listen carefully, after his confession has been completed … to make certain that the priest does not fail to provide the necessary absolution.  The “formula” for absolution (at a minimum) sounds like this, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” 

So, a “good confession” is one where we properly prepare by conducting a through examination of conscience, we subsequently confess every mortal sin without exception, providing details to the priest/confessor as necessary, we recite a good act of contrition, do our assigned penance, and we receive absolution and grace from the priest, who acts in the person of  Jesus Christ, for the purpose of our salvation.

Any confession other than a “good” one is simply unacceptable … and may actually be worse than no confession at all!

For a complete, Traditional Catholic study of this entire matter, click here.

“Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”

confessionfinalenh1

Q: There’s a movie where Jesus …before he leaves he blows out a wind or something and gives all his closest disciple’s the holy spirit and then Jesus tells them something like….”Whoever you forgive will be forgiven and whoever you don’t forgive will not be forgiven.”

My question is this (and I want the real answer): Does what Jesus left these disciples have some kind of power over us? And if so, what does it do? Also… What happens if these guys don’t forgive us and what happens if they do? Jesus trusts these guys with our souls? Why?

A: The first thing Jesus did after he rose again from the dead was to give the power to forgive sins to the apostles, who were the first bishops of the Catholic Church.

That power has been handed down to the current day bishops and priests of the Catholic Church, and it is known as the sacrament of reconciliation.

It is the most provocative, “in-your-face” attack against the forces of evil that the world has ever seen, or ever will see.

The power to forgive sins comes from grace that Jesus obtained for us on the cross … power that Jesus entrusted to his authentic Church, for the purpose of our salvation.

Through the power of God, priests and bishops provide absolution (absolute forgiveness) for sins if one is contrite (sorry for them) and repentant (willing to make a good attempt to avoid committing the same sins in the future).

Absent both of these, sins typically are not forgiven.

Once sins have been forgiven, there is no need for divine judgment, and God will never bring them up again.

It doesn’t get any better than that, this side of Heaven.

https://douglawrence.wordpress.com/?s=reconciliation

http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Sin/Sin_010.htm

Confession….How do you repent…are you sure you’re forgiven?

Q: Confession….How do you repent…are you sure you’re forgiven?

A: The first thing Jesus did after he rose again from the dead was to give the apostles the power to forgive sins, in his name.

It was the most radical, head-on attack against the forces of Satan, sin, and death that the world has ever known … and it still is … yet protestants conveniently ignore the plain text of the scriptures, in this regard.

 They also fail to realize that, outside the sacrament of reconciliation … where only a FIRM PURPOSE of REPENTANCE is required … merely telling God you’re sorry for your sins is typically not enough … one must also ACTUALLY REPENT of one’s sins, to be assured of forgiveness.

This leaves many in danger of eternal Judgment … and come Judgment Day, it will be too late to do anything about it.

Catholics … thanks to Christ … the Church … and the great sacrament of reconciliation … need not worry about such things … since through the sacrament … when they make a “good confession” … they have Jesus’ assurance that ALL of their sins have been absolutely forgiven … without exception or qualification.

In this, Catholics have always enjoyed the “better part”.

How does forgiveness work in Christianity? What is “confession”?

Q: How does forgiveness work in Christianity? What is “confession”?

A: This is how it works for Catholics:

When we confess our sins to God through the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) … God forgives because he loves us, and because we have already been reconciled to God by our baptism, and by the abundant grace that Jesus Christ obtained for us, on the cross.

The sacrament replaces any grace that was lost through sin, and it also offers certain advantages in regard to the type or the quality of our actual contrition for sin, and for the required level of repentance.

Confession also eliminates the need for a finding of guilt, so it virtually eliminates the prospect of divine judgment.

No Judgment … little or no chance of hell.

This also makes justification by any type of law a thing of the past, since we are dependent on God’s grace and mercy .. not on keeping the law … for our eternal salvation.

You should try it.