The Dangers of “Cafeteria Catholicism”


By Doug Lawrence

The term “Cafeteria Catholic” typically refers to those Catholics who prefer to pick and choose which truths of the faith they wish to accept. That kind of thinking is a huge mistake, which can lead people into all kinds of misunderstandings and miseries.

People haven’t changed much over the last 5000 years. They still tend to make the same stupid mistakes and get caught up in the same, hard to control, emotional situations. Often both. When it comes to critical matters of faith and morals, the Catholic Church has been around for a very long time and has “seen it all”.

Through its’ Magisterial teachings, Sacred and Apostolic Tradition and the Holy Bible, the Church, which is charged by God with the care of souls, wisely and charitably cautions the faithful about the real spiritual and temporal dangers of things.

When people fail, the Church is there to freely absolve them of their sins, but the temporal, physical injuries and damages – the unfortunate results of those sins – typically remain – to the detriment of all. The modern world provides a very accurate picture of all these accumulated evils and corruptions.

Individual free will and conscience is rightly a part of all this, but conscience can only be relied upon once it has been fully informed and illuminated by all the applicable teachings and practical graces of the Church. Unfortunately, that rarely occurs, these days.

HINT: It’s always much smarter and easier to faithfully rely on the authentic teachings and accumulated wisdom of the Catholic Church, with the help of God’s grace, in order to successfully avoid some/many/most of the trials and tribulations caused by our own bad choices!

“Cafeteria Catholics” who pick and choose which authentic truths and teachings of the Catholic Church they wish to believe, needlessly and pridefully reject thousands of years of practical church experience and wisdom in favor of personally reliving the original “Adam and Eve experience”. It was a “fool’s bargain” then and it’s still a “fool’s bargain” today!

Proverbs 16:16-24

Get wisdom, because it is better than gold: and purchase prudence, for it is more precious than silver. 

The path of the just departs from evils: he that keeps his soul keeps his way.

Pride goes before destruction: and the spirit is lifted up before a fall.

It is better to be humbled with the meek, than to divide spoils with the proud.

The learned in word shall find good things: and he that trusts in the Lord is blessed.

The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and he that is sweet in words, shall attain to greater things.

Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesses it: the instruction of fools is foolishness.

The heart of the wise shall instruct his mouth: and shall add grace to his lips.

Well ordered words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Words of Wisdom: The Paradox of Our Times.

There are taller buildings… but shorter tempers;
Wider freeways… but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more… but have less;
We buy more… but enjoy it less.
We have bigger houses… and smaller families;
More conveniences… but less time.
We have more degrees… but less sense;
More knowledge… but less judgment;
More experts… but more problems; More medicine… but less wellness.
We have multiplied our possessions… but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom… and hate too often.
We have learned how to make a living… but not a life.
We’ve added years to life… but not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back…
But we have difficulty crossing the street to meet the neighbors.
We’ve conquered outer space… but not our inner space.
We’ve cleaned the air… but polluted the soul.
We have split the atom… but not our prejudice.
We have higher incomes… but lower morals.
We’ve become long on quantity… but short on quality.
These are the times of tall men… and short character;
Of steep profits… and shallow relationships.
These are times of world peace… but domestic warfare.
These are days of more leisure… but less fun;
Of more kinds of food… but less nutrition.
These are days of two incomes… but more divorce;
Of fancier houses… but broken homes.
We can choose to ignore these sad facts of life…
Or we can choose to make a difference.
Christ has no body on earth but ours,
He has no hands but our hands…
We have only one life, which soon will pass,
And those acts we perform for Christ
are the only that will last!
We must sacrifice ourselves for souls!
[ Author unknown]
Submitted by Bob Stanley



By Susan Tassone

The opinion of St. Francis De Sales was that the thought of purgatory should cause not so much pain as consolation. Those who fear purgatory do so in consideration of their own interests and self-love, he said, rather than in the interests of God.

No doubt — as St. Catherine of Genoa told us — the torments are so great that the greatest suffering of this life cannot be compared with them.

But the interior satisfactions in purgatory are such that no enjoyment or prosperity on earth could equal it. St. Francis De Sales tells us why:

“The souls in purgatory are in a constant state of union with God,” the saint taught.

“They are perfectly submissive to His Holy Will, or their will is so transformed into the Will of God, that they cannot wish for anything but what God wishes; in such a way, if paradise were opened to them, they would rather precipitate themselves into hell than appear before God with the stains which they still see on themselves.

“They are purified voluntarily and lovingly, because such is the Divine good-pleasure. ‘Thou are just, O Lord, and Thy judgment is right.’ “They wish to be there in the manner that pleases God, and for as long a time as He pleases.

“They are impeccable, and cannot have the least motion of impatience, or be guilty of the smallest imperfection. They love God more than themselves, and more than all things else, with a perfect, pure, and
disinterested love. They are consoled by the angels.

“They are assured of their salvation.

“Their most bitter bitterness is in the most profound peace.

“If purgatory is a kind of hell as regards to pain, it is a kind of paradise as regards to the sweetness which charity diffuses through the heart — charity which is stronger than death, and more powerful than hell, and whose lamps are fire and flames: A state more desirable than terrible, since its flames are flames of love.”

If all these things are so, then why be charitable to the souls in purgatory?

The reason is because the states of these souls are desperately lonely. Their time of merit ends when the soul leaves the body. If they are in purgatory, they are unable to help themselves.

The suffering souls rely totally on us! Our compassion will give them the glory which they will render to God in Heaven that is delayed.

These two motives should engage us by our prayers, almsgiving, and all kinds of good works, especially offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for them to obtain their speedy deliverance!

When St. Francis de Sales? friends or acquaintances died, he never grew weary of speaking fondly of them, or recommending them to the prayers of others.

His usual expression: We do not remember sufficiently our dead, our faithful departed. Indeed, we do not speak enough of them. We turn away from that conversation as from a sad story when we should be recalling their needs and lives (at least to ourselves, in prayer). Scripture assures us that true love is stronger than death.

St. Francis was accustomed to saying that in this single work of mercy we practice all the corporal works of mercy together when we assist the suffering souls.

Now more than ever, in these turbulent, prophetic times, offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for deceased loved ones — for the hundreds of thousands who have died in Burma, and Myanmar. Was anyone prepared to die? Was there time to pray, or offer an act of sorrow for their sins?

Let us show our compassion and love to these souls. In a special way, remember the children and young adults who died under the piles of buildings, those who were in hospitals, working, or tending to their daily
walks in life. Remember too the victims of the capsized ferry in the Philippines.

In response to a question from the bishops on how to address secularism and other destructive social trends, Pope Benedict XVI suggested that we teach people to how to pray.

For us, Church militants here on earth, prayer is the answer. A Mass for the deceased is the answer.

Pope Benedict nailed it on the head.

Link –

Submitted by Doria2