Because he was not open to God’s will, Satan is entrapped in a lower existence, imprisoned in currents of unredeemable chaos below this world.

 

SatansNo

Satan’s “NO” to God
Non serviam – Latin for “I will not serve”

Saint Hildegard sees how the Ancient Adversary is at work to lure and coerce into this same pit all those whose lives he invades and touches.

Obedience begins with the realization that one cannot bring into completion the work God has begun.   The ambiguity surrounding this life is beyond human capacity to understand or master, and left to ourselves, we are always at risk of being mastered by it.  Following our own whims is not enough because even the whims of the heart are subject to this confusion.  Our dignity, our integrity, our existence require firm ground on which to stand, or they all fall.  This understanding, this saving truth is found somewhere beyond our natural capacities, from Someone above us, who comes down to us, who calls to us and who waits for us to welcome Him.

Rather than allowing oneself to be consumed with the confusion of doing what one wishes, we only begin to redeem the ambiguity of life by searching out the most appropriate way of serving the Lord who reveals Himself to us.

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Pope Francis demonstrates his ability to speak clearly, when he wants to.

gossipno

“There is a temptation – I would like to say it is thus for everyone , even for me , for everyone – a temptation that the devil likes very much: that against unity, when hidden dangers work directly against the unity of those who live and work in the Vatican – and the devil tries to create internal war, a kind of civil war and spiritual, is it not? It is a war that is not waged with the weapons that we recognize: it is a war waged with the tongue.”

“We ask St. Michael to help us in this war : never speak ill of each other, never open your ears to gossip. And if [one hears] someone gossiping, stop him! [Say] , ‘Here there can be none of that: walk out of St. Anne’s Gate. Go outside and talk there! Here you cannot!’ That’s it, isn’t it? The good seed yes: speak well of one another , yes, but [do not sow the poison seed] of gossip.”

Link

What should be a warning to all: A study of St. Thomas Aquinas’ writings about the workings of the devil.

As already noted, the devil is always ready to make provocative suggestions to us, to work on our prejudices, our sexual weaknesses, our temperamental flaws, our developed habits of sinfulness of some type or degree, to weaken or destroy our vocation as spouse or religious or cleric, even attempting to turn our virtues against us. Nevertheless, our free will and therefore our responsibility and thus culpability remain more or less in each instance.

A question remains why God allows the devil–that angel who himself first sinned against God and is doomed to eternal punishment to tempt man to sin–to roam the earth in search of others to join him in his rebellion. This is a mystery as much as the existence of sin is a mystery, the mystery of iniquity. By his sin the devil lost nothing of his native or natural capabilities, especially his free will. Although by his sin he is no longer capable of turning back to God, yet for God’s purposes he is still free, as he was with our first parents, to influence inferior creatures. Thus “it belongs to the domain of the divine majesty, to whom the demons are subject, that God should employ them to whatever purpose he wills” (ST II-II:96:2:3).

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Allstate’s Mr. Mayhem is nothing compared to this guy!

Read/Watch/Beware!

Editor’s note: This is for people who can resist anything but temptation.

Priest offers positive, common sense definition (and defense) of celibacy

Fr. McBride said that the real reason for sex abuse and sexual misconduct by priests is not celibacy but “the failure to practice the virtue of chastity when faced with temptations to abandon their vow of celibacy.”

He noted that people often make the unfortunate mistake of defining celibacy in a negative way as if it’s simply the act of giving up marriage and and children.

However, “the positive view of celibacy,” he said,  “is that it is a form of loving God and people with an undivided heart.”

“Celibacy did not block Blessed John Paul II from being admired as one of the most courageous priests on earth,” Fr. McBride underscored. “See how one celibate priest stood up against one of the most corrupt governments of his time.”

“Priests that abused children did not do so because of their celibacy, rather they failed because they broke their vow to be chaste,” he said.

Read more at Father Z’s

The (4) traditional solutions to the problem of harboring impure thoughts.

Q: Why is the Catholic Faith so strict? In the matter of serving God, it is instructed that impure thoughts create sins in every day journey. Why can’t we allow our minds to be free as long as we do not act out every fantasy? I do notice that the mind, unchecked can come up with the strangest of science. But why should I not be able to let my mind be free in its own process? Please help.

A: The Catholic Church has high standards because its standards are God’s own standards. As a faithful Christian, temptation is supposed to strengthen you … not lead you astray. Giving in to lustful thoughts leads you in the wrong direction, even if you don’t act on every fantasy. It’s a lot like fasting from food. Denying some of your more basic urges permits you to master them … hopefully … for the greater glory of God.

Fortunately, the sacraments of the Catholic church are powerful enough to reconcile a person with God, no matter how badly … or how often … they might fail.

The whole idea is to attempt to gradually approach the perfection of Heaven … so when you die … you’re ready.

So … along with faith, hope and charity … your own personal orientation or spiritual “disposition” may be one of the most critical factors, come Judgment Day.

The term “disciple” comes from the word “discipline”.

That … along with God’s grace … is what it takes to reject Satan … and ALL his works.

The (4) traditional solutions to the problem of harboring impure thoughts:

1) Get married.

2) Keep busy.

3) Avoid known temptations.

4) Make up your mind well in advance, to do all of this. Then stick to your plan.

Jesus … the world, the flesh, and the devil … and us.


Jesus Christ … since he is God … and absolutely incapable of committing sin … lived only to die … so that sin would not totally and forever, consume us all.

Yet, for more than thirty years, Jesus’ human flesh was exposed to myriad forms of earthly temptation.

Hebrews 4:15  For we have not a high priest who cannot have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin.

So it remained always necessary for Jesus to anticipate, contend with, and repeatedly overcome the wicked snares of the devil, in order to successfully complete a mission of redemption that required nothing less than perfection.

Since we all seem to agree that absolute power tends to corrupt, absolutely … it’s my personal opinion that Jesus’ battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil took on staggering dimensions that were never suitably developed or completely revealed in the Gospels … simply because no mortal man could possibly imagine (or properly describe) their full extent.

But Jesus knew precisely who he was, why he was sent, how he was supposed to live, and what he was expected to do. As Christians, so do we … even though we tend to get more easily confused and side-tracked.

In the words of the late Pope John Paul II … powerful words, which shortly resulted in the spectacular and totally unexpected fall of the Soviet Union:

“You are not who they say you are.
Let me remind you who you are.”

If you’ve been baptized, you’re already an adopted child of our loving God. Your eternal soul has already been indelibly marked for salvation. You’re meant to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit. You’re a citizen of Heaven, and once completely initiated and confirmed in the faith, you’re a full-fledged member of the Church. A co-heir with Jesus Christ, to all that God is, and all that God has
to give, you’re already destined for eternal glory.

That’s what we’re called by God to live “up” to. And that’s no lie!

It remains true for you, true for me, and true for every Christian everywhere, for all time.

And while we don’t all bear the same type of temporal, earthly “cross”, there’s no doubt that the eternal rewards and the glory always go to the overcomers (link).

Seen on the web: “I can resist anything … except temptation”

Can a person be trained to resist temptation?

While designing role playing games more suited to kindergarten than marriage therapy, the scientists finally concluded:  “…your commitment may depend on how much a partner enhances your life and broadens your horizons.”

In other words, “If you don’t satisfy me, honey, I’m out of here!”

It astounds me that in this study of betrayal in marriage, not even once do words like wrong or evil appear.  Needless to say, neither do the words sin or God.

The character Ivan Karamazov in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov seems to decide that God doesn’t exist and that therefore, logically, nothing can be judged as wrong or immoral.  Those researchers at their universities would agree.

However, the Torah does not.  A marriage is not just a contract between two parties.  It is a holy covenant between three entities: man, woman, and God.

One spouse might believe that an extra-marital fling will complete his or her life while the other spouse is convinced that such a fling is destructive. Who is to say which belief is more compelling?  But there is one more party to the marriage—God!  And He is pretty unambiguous about it.

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Submitted by Doria2

Gay couples, other unrepentant public sinners, the Catholic Church, and scandal

As most have already surmised, based on the long history of the Church, there is a world of difference between private, personal sin and the type of wanton, blatant, public misbehavior known as scandal, which also serves to induce others to sin.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Respect for the souls of others: scandal

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”86 Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.87

2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.

Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to “social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible.”88 This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,89 or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!”90

The lesbian couple in Colorado, were by all objective Catholic standards, living in a state of grave, essentially permanent sin. The same would be true of any unmarried couple in similar circumstances, whether they might be gay, or straight.

The big difference of course, is that heterosexual couples living in sin don’t  tend to stand out in a crowd, while gay couples do. And there’s your public scandal!

Does the Catholic Church teach that homosexual sexual activity is seriously disordered, contrary to the natural law, and (objectively) gravely sinful? Yes.

Does the Catholic Church teach that sexual activity between ANY persons, not married to each other, is (objectively) a grave sin? Yes.

Would the regular presence, in and around a Catholic parish/school, of a heterosexual couple secretly living in sin, be a continuing source of public scandal? No.

Would the regular presence in and around a Catholic parish/school, of a gay or straight couple openly living in sin, be a continuing source of public scandal? Yes.

Would the occasion of either of those couples going up to receive holy communion at Mass, (objectively) constitute the grave sin of sacrilege against the body and blood of Jesus Christ? Yes.

Once the facts about “the Colorado lesbian couple” became public, the parish priest (and his bishop) had no real choice in the matter, since there was little doubt that what was going on constituted grave sins against both God and man: sacrilege and scandal.

What’s really strange is, many of the same people who act so outraged about the Catholic Church’s (essentially homosexual) priestly abuse scandal, seem to think it’s just fine to scandalize others, by their own seriously disordered words and other public actions.

And that’s just a shame!

If The Devil Would Tempt Jesus, He Will Tempt You

If the devil has the audacity to tempt Jesus, do you think he will avoid you? He will try everything in his power to get us to commit a sin and then he will rejoice. He will lie and tell us that our sinful action “isn’t that bad”. He will tell us that the action will feel good. He will say that it won’t hurt anybody. Don’t listen to him, as he’s nothing more than a liar.

While it’s important to fear the devil, it’s equally important to remember that he can’t make us do anything. He can suggest things and try to fool us, but unless we go along with him, we can’t fall into sin. Also, don’t forget that God is more powerful than the devil. Pray each day for the grace to be able to resist the devil’s attack. In addition, pray the rosary daily to ask for Our Lady’s intercession. St. Padre Pio stated, “Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today.” Above all, don’t panic. If we remain close to the Lord, especially during times of temptation, we will be victorious!

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