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October 17, 2006

Comments

Barbara

Another possible application of this verse is in the present: I can pray and do penance for the effects of venial sin in others, but I cannot do penance for their mortal sins. Since I cannot know which it might be, I pray anyway, knowing that God can and will apply those prayers to whomever needs them most.

Joy Schoenberger

This is not exactly on topic, and if you don't respond here, Jimmy, I'll understand, and perhaps send you an email, but...

My hubby and I were talking about the fact that the Church infallibly declares certain people to be in Heaven (i.e. the Saints), but makes no such declaration on people in Hell. I said that since we are encouraged to pray for the intercession of the Saints, to venerate, and immitate them, it makes sense for the Church to make it clear whom such persons are. However, the same is not true for the damned. He did point out, however, that sometimes it can be helpful to have examples of how not to behave, and furthermore that a declaration of damnation from the Church would be a strong counter to wordly glorification of evil historical figures.

We do hope and trust in God's infinite Mercy for all souls, and so as you pointed out, we can't know with certainty that a person is damned. Specifically because we can't know the state of person's soul at the point of death, God grants miracles through the intercession of Saints, so that we will know about their being in Heaven, but he grants no such signs concerning the damned.

Our next question, then, was how do we know for certain that there actually are souls in Hell, and that they aren't all in Purgatory or Heaven?

I had heard somewhere that Jesus' saying that it had been better for Judas if he had never been born was His way of saying that Judas was going to Hell, but I'm not sure where I heard that.

There's also the Bible passage about Lazarus the beggar resting at the foot of Abraham, while the rich man languishes in torment, which seems a pretty clear implication of Hell, so it seems that yes, there are at least a few people in Hell.

But do we know for sure that there are many souls there, or just those few mentioned specifically?

I know this is a rambling comment, with more questions than helpful ruminations, but it's related to your post, Jimmy, and I thought you might find it interesting enough to reply.

Joy Schoenberger

   Barbara:  Another possible application of this verse is in the present: I can pray and do penance for the effects of venial sin in others, but I cannot do penance for their mortal sins. Since I cannot know which it might be, I pray anyway, knowing that God can and will apply those prayers to whomever needs them most.

We really can't offer penance for the effects of mortal sin? I thought we could!

AJP

Joy, I've also heard that passage (where Jesus says it would've been better if Judas was never born) used to indicate that Judas is in Hell. I don't think it's an unreasonable interpretation. If Judas was in Heaven, surely he is better off than if he had never been born (never existed). Even if Judas was currently in Purgatory when Jesus spoke, or even if Judas has to remain in Purgatory until the day of the Last Judgment**, since he would enjoy Heaven eternally after that, his state is still not preferrable to non-existence. Frankly, the only thing that non-existence would be preferable to is eternal existence in Hell.

I've also heard that besides Judas, the Bible also indicates that the emporer Nero is in Hell. The beast in Revelation isn't some frightning future figure whose coming we must fearfully predict. The beast is traditionally identified with Nero (or so I've read) and Revelation makes it pretty clear what ultimately happens to the beast/Nero.

**Regarding Purgatory til the Last Judgment, has anyone else heard of this? I remember hearing or reading somewhere that someone said (perhaps a saint, possibly through a private revelation said saint received from God?) that people who do not repent from serious mortal sins until the very last moment before their deaths will be forgiven. However they will be in Purgatory until the Last Judgment.

I know this is far from official Church teaching - it's pious speculation. I do think it's an interesting idea, and was wondering if anyone else has heard of it before. Does anyone know the origin of this claim?

AJP

edit - that should say

"since he would enjoy Heaven eternally after that, his state is still preferrable to non-existence."

Barbara

We really can't offer penance for the effects of mortal sin? I thought we could!

A priest had told me that we could, but if you have info to the contrary, by all means, let me know where to find it.

Barbara

Never mind that last question....I misread the statement.

I wish there was a delete feature. (sigh)

Brian

Joy,
Jimmy covered some of your topic a while back, in a post titled "Cannonization of the Damned: Part II". You might like to read it and the related comments & questions that initiated it, all referenced in typical Jimmy-fashion. The date of his post was May 4, 2004 in case this link doesn't work.
http://jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fidei/2004/05/canonization_of_1.html#trackback

Joy Schoenberger

Thanks, Brian, I'll check it out!

Jason

I always thought this passage was referring to confession. IOW, God can increase his life (grace) in us when we haven't committed mortal sin, because we are already living in his life, whereas someone who is in mortal sin is completely deprived of God's life, and so God can't give him life apart from confession. This might go along with what you were saying about how they looked at outward disposition in the OT; when someone went to the Bishop to confess and repent, then you know he has been restored to life.

Matt McDonald

Joy,

while we can't know who is in hell, it is evident from scripture that there are souls in hell. Christ himself warned that many take the path to destruction in Matthew 7:13

Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat

There are plenty of verses that suggest this, despite various allegedly Catholic theologians who attempts to empty hell, Karl Rahner, and Bishop Gumbleton among others. Although, as I understand it Bp. G. thinks I'm going to hell for thinking anyone else is in hell, so I guess that means he's going to hell too.

God Bless,

Matt

Ed Peters

1983 CIC 901. A priest is free to apply the Mass for anyone, living or dead.

Tim J.

I'm glad to read Jimmy's interpretation of this verse because, frankly, it is one of those verses that I just could make no sense of on my own. I just let it be.

Fitting it into the framework of purgatory is the only way I have seen to make it intelligible.

Thanks, Jimmy.

Kris

First off, thanks to Jimmy for that awesome interpretation. I have often wondered about that verse.

Secondly, I once asked a priest why the Church tells us who is in heaven but not who is in hell. His response stopped me in my tracks: "The Church is not in the buisness of sending people to hell."

Old Zhou

This verse in 1 John reminds me of a passage in the Rule of St. Benedict:

CHAPTER XXV
Of Graver Faults

But let the brother who is found guilty of a graver fault be excluded from both the table and the oratory.
Let none of the brethren join his company or speak with him.
Let him be alone at the work enjoined on him, persevering in penitential sorrow, mindful of the terrible sentence of the Apostle who saith, that "such a man is delivered over for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord" (1 Cor 5:5).
Let him get his food alone in such quantity and at such a time as the Abbot shall deem fit;
and let him not be blessed by anyone passing by, nor the food that is given him.

Here, for the restoration of a brother guilty of "graver faults," he is not only excluded from the community prayers and meals, but also not spoken to, and not blessed. Even his food is not blessed.
This sort of exclusion from community (ex-communication), from prayer, from blessing, is meant as a penultimate disciplinary step to call the brother to repentance (followed by corporal punishment and ejection from the community).

If the head of a community (abbot or bishop) were to ask the community to "not pray" for someone involved in a disciplinary action, what a serious thing that we be, to have the prayers of the community withheld.

Unfortunately, in today's world, I'm not sure how much we actually pray for each other, or how many would even notice, or care, if the Church stopped praying for them.

I know several people who have been praying for me for nearly 50 years, and I am most appreciative.

Realist

Do not the God-gifts of Free Will and Future vitiate the power of any prayer? i.e. God cannot intervene no matter how much we ask Him to because of His self-imposed laws of natural life/evolution?
i.e. the big Bang started the wheels of life and the adventure has been ongoing and evolving based on the scientific principles of energy and mass?

Ditto with respect to miracles?

Esau

"Do not the God-gifts of Free Will and Future vitiate the power of any prayer? i.e. God cannot intervene no matter how much we ask Him to because of His self-imposed laws of natural life/evolution?
i.e. the big Bang started the wheels of life and the adventure has been ongoing and evolving based on the scientific principles of energy and mass?

Ditto with respect to miracles?
"

This is a rather deist and, not to mention, anti- scriptural interpretation.

If prayer was futile, then how come Jesus, himself, placed great importance on prayer and, in fact, taught his disciples the 'Our Father'?

Also, if God doesn't intervene with humanity, than why would he send his only begotten Son, Jesus? This would be a significant intervention in the history of humanity as well as its destiny.

And, with regard to miracles, I take it all the miracles performed by Jesus were for nothing as well. However, in your world, Jesus did not perform miracles, but, rather, these were but musings of a 'well-intentioned scribe' nonethelss.

Esau

"Do not the God-gifts of Free Will and Future vitiate the power of any prayer?"

Lk:22:44: And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Lk:22:45: And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
Lk:22:46: And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Tim J.

"Do not the God-gifts of Free Will and Future vitiate the power of any prayer?"

No.

God cannot intervene in his own creation? I see no evidence that He has imposed on Himself any restriction in this regard.

"self-imposed laws of natural life/evolution?"

Evidence, please, that these nebulous concepts place any limitation at all on the sovereign creator?

If I can participate in the ongoing work of God's creation, why shouldn't He?

If I can decide to paint my car yellow, why shouldn't He decide to paint the sunset pink?

More to the point, if life is all blind materialism, the mere interaction of mass and energy (if one can maintain that these are indeed seperate categories), then why in the world bother to argue with anyone?

By the pure materialistic view, free will can only be an illusion, and if this is the case, then the Catholic illusion is as good as any.

You can't reconcile real free will with materialism. At the same time, free will is never absolute - it will always be conditioned by some influence or other. If our free will is conditioned by physical and mental limitations, society, etc... why shouldn't it be conditioned by acts of God? Why should He not be allowed to influence the course of events, given His qualifications, as it were? It is not as if free will is negated by being conditioned.

Every act of free will is a supernatural event - a miracle - because true free will can not be explained naturally. It will not fit into a materialistic view of the universe. If my free will is supernatural, then miracles of the more familiar sort should cause no discomfiture at all. My decision to read a book is every bit as freakish (in the materialist view) as God's decision to part the Red Sea.

Esau

"God cannot intervene no matter how much we ask Him"

Mt:17:19: Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
Mt:17:20: And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Mt:17:21: Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

We believe as Jesus said in Matthew 7:7 – Ask, Seek and Knock and it shall be answered, you will find, and it shall be open. So, wherever anyone is honestly seeking God, we believe the grace of God is there, and that God is there. In fact, there are extraordinary circumstances like in Acts 10:1-2 where Cornelius was simply on his rooftop praying to God. He didn’t even know who Jesus was and an angel appeared to him and then told Peter to come and preach Jesus to him. The Holy Spirit was already active in this guy’s life even though he didn’t even know who Jesus was. The Holy Spirit heard his prayer; God answered his prayer, and so forth, and brought Jesus to him

Esau

St. John Vianney was approached by a family that had a father that had committed suicide and jumped off a bridge. God gave St. John Vianney a Word, if you will, which then, that person repented on the way down and actually made it to Purgatory. Now, that’s a private revelation and this isn’t definitive Catholic teaching. I share that with you only to say this: we never know the state of that soul. We pray a lot of rosaries in our life “Pray for Us Sinners Now and at the Moment of Our Death – At the Hour of Our Death.” We pray every day so many times because we believe in the mercy of God.

Now, the state of a person’s soul is determined at the point of death. There are no more chances after death. You either go to Heaven or to Hell. When you die over the age of seven, it’s either Heaven or Hell; purgatory, of course, being the clean-up on the way to Heaven for those who are not fully sanctified. The fact is we don’t know the state of a person's soul. Even though externally, it may have looked like someone died in a state of mortal sin when, in fact, there may have been in their last moments of consciousness the grace of God. God is outside of time. God, even now, can affect – you know, it’s hard for us to fathom this – but our prayers now can even affect things in the past. Well, how can that be? Well, we can always pray and hope and rely on God's mercy.

marco

This is a question, not a comment. It seems that several comments reguarding the Scripture passage mentioned the passage might have to do with mortal and venial sins...my question is where in the NT are mortal and venial sin mentioned, and how are they distinguished? I thought mortal/venial sins were a church teaching not a scriptural teaching. Thanks for the info!

Realist

In my parish, the rosary is hardly mentioned at all anymore. How about yours?

Mass/Prayer cards- are they not "Get out of Purgatory cards" for the rich and famous?

With respect to Miracles: "Miracles do not happen except through a mental desire or faith to be cured since miracles violate God’s gift of natural law. If God were involved in our daily lives, cures would not be needed. We cannot have it both ways."
For a discourse by elder theologians see http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/miracles.html

Matt 7:7 is of the historical Jesus:

4+. Ask, Seek, Knock:(1a) Gos. Thom. 2 & P. Oxy. 654:2; (1b) Gos. Thom. 92:1; (1c) Gos. Thom. 94; (2) Gos. Heb. 4ab; (3) 1Q: Luke 11:9-10 = Matt 7:7-8; (4) Mark 11:24 = Matt 21:22; (5a) Dial. Sav. 9-12; (5b) Dial. Sav. 20d; (5c) Dial. Sav. 79-80 ; (6a) John 14:13-14; (6b) John 15:7; (6c) John15:16; (6d) John16:23-24; (6e) John16:26.

The lack of response to our requests for miracles would appear to make the meaning of Matt 7:7 et al spiritual healing not physical.

Matt 17:19-21 is not of the historical Jesus based on recent historical analyses. Ditto for Luke 22: 39-46.

http://www.faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf

bill912

The same old thing over and over and over. Do you know any other song? Are you capable of posting anything other than "The Gospel According To Crossan"?

"You're beginning to bore the h--- out of me."(Clint Eastwood, "Heartbreak Ridge").

bill912

Crossan: "Christ's body was probably eaten by wild dogs."

Tim J.

Realist,

I notice that you addressed none of my questions, but continue to run on your hamster wheel.

If there are no miracles (if God does not interfere with His creation), then logically there WAS no incarnation. So, Jesus was just this guy, and why bother calling yourself a Christian?

On your deist (not Christian) view, Jesus could not be the messiah (the Christ), because such a thing can not exist, any more than the fairies in the garden could exist. He could have no special connection to God, because that would logically violate the cramped space of your universe.

I mean, at least have the decency, the honesty, to drop this pretense of biblical exegesis and admit that you don't believe any of it. If you can't manage the guts to embrace your true faith - nihilism - publicly, at least admit it to yourself.

It is logically untenable to maintain that one is a Christian (let alone Catholic) and at the same time deny the miraculous and insist that the Church has simply always gotten everything wrong.

Kris

"Miracles do not happen except through a mental desire or faith to be cured since miracles violate God’s gift of natural law."

Tell that to the blind, lame, and leppers of Jesus time who were healed by his very hands.

"Mass/Prayer cards- are they not "Get out of Purgatory cards" for the rich and famous?"

I don't know about your parish, but my experience has been that a Mass can be offered for anyone per request of anyone. The fee attached is usually nominal and optional. Mostly monetary contributions are made out of thanksgiving to the priest for his willingness to mediate for us to the Almighty. The amount of money someone gives has no effect on the prayers the priest offers for them or someone else.

I'm also curious as to how a God that is not involved in our daily lives would come down from heaven, take on human form, and die on a cross for us---seems rather involved to me.


Therefore I say unto you, all things, whatsoever you ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive; and they shall come unto you. Mark 11:24

Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

But now also I know that whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. John 11:22

Tommy Riordan

In my parish, the rosary is hardly mentioned at all anymore. How about yours?
PLENTY OF PEOPLE STILL PRAY THE ROSARY INCLUDING YOUNG ONES, JIMMY AKIN DIDN'T LIKE THE ROSARY AT FIRST, HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO AN OPUS DEI YOUTH ACTIVITY TONS OF YOUNG PEOPLE PRAYING THE ROSARY
MANY PARISHES IN CHICAGO HAVE LEGION OF MARY AND ROSARY GROUPS, YES A LOT OF OLD WOMEN AND PEOPLE FROM THE OLD COUNTRY, BUT LOTS OF OTHER PEOPLE TOO

Mass/Prayer cards- are they not "Get out of Purgatory cards" for the rich and famous?
ALL THE RICH AND FAMOUS LATINOS AT OUR BROTHER PARISH WITH THE TUTORING PROGRAM MOSTLY MEXICANS IN CHICAGO WHO HAVE MASS CARDS FOR DEAD RELATIVES, GOOD PEOPLE SOME EVEN SUCCESSFULL AND MIDDLE CLASS BUT NOT EXACTLY RICH AND FAMOUS
THAT IS THE GREAT THING ABOUT BEING CATHOLIC IT IS FOR EVERYONE

Mary Kay

Tommy, all caps is the EQUIVALENT OF YELLING.

If you want people to read your posts, please don't yell. There are other ways to emphasize a point.

Esau

"The lack of response to our requests for miracles would appear to make the meaning of Matt 7:7 et al spiritual healing not physical."

As mentioned previously, this verse (i.e., Ask, Seek, Find) should not serve as some sort of actual guarantee that God will grant you anything you ask of Him, being that many times, what we ask of Him may not always be in accordance with the Will of God. Thus, we many times witness and experience unanswered prayers. Rather, the verse is more indicative of an assurance of faith.

It speaks more about having a faith that moves mountains rather than the more worldly view that if we ask God whatever it is we want of Him, he'll grant us it.

We would be belittling God if we were to treat the verse in that matter and would actually be reducing our relationship with him to some sort of "Genie-in-a-Bottle" kind rather than a sincere, familial kind (that which Christ established between humanity and God) which is a genuine and firm belief in Him as 'Our Father' and His Son as our Lord and Saviour.

Furthermore, not every instance of prayer is, in fact, unanswered. For those of real faith, there have been various instances of miracles that occur in the ordinary lives of some individuals that appear in the normal course of some people's lives that do not revolve around some spectacular supernatural event of biblical proportions. But, even more for Catholics, we have the testimony of the Saints, the miracles that have been witnessed by their intercession. Again, it takes a faith that moves mountains to believe in Christ and his love for us which manifests these wonders.

Esau

Corrigendum: "to treat the verse in that matter"

I meant "treat the verse in that manner".

Realist

The problem with the reported miracles of Jesus is that there is no authenication by medical authorities and also the lack of attestations amongst the Four Gospels. And the reported incidents were made by "second/third" handers. An attempt to compete with other local "healers" of the time??

The problem with modern "miracles" is the limited scope (i.e. no regrowth of missing arms, legs, etc.) of said miracles and the "overdrive" to get certain people "canonized" for political reasons typically to appease the locals and keep them in the Faith. Selling of religious trinkets also is another compelling reason for "canonization"? Check out the "Padre Pio" web pages for sweat shirts and baseball hats.

Anyone interested in some "Saint" Christopher statues??

Esau

"Mass/Prayer cards- are they not "Get out of Purgatory cards" for the rich and famous?"

Look, clearly, you have no understanding of prayer for the dead. The Church acknowledges that there is a purification that occurs upon death, because when we die, even as Christians, we’re not totally pure yet. But, we will be in Heaven. So, obviously, between death and the glory of Heaven, there is a purification. Christians have always understood – in fact, the understanding goes back to even pre-Christian times in Judaism – that the prayers and so forth of the living can assist those who are undergoing this purification. In Judaism, this is known as 'Qaddish' which is prayer for the dead during a period of mourning. Orthodox Jews even unto these days perform it still. When someone of the Jewish faith passes away, the family prays the Mourner's Qaddish for 11 months after the person died for their purification.

Now, in the Latin Church, we have a tradition of referring to the purification as ‘Purgatory’. But, it’s a purification that is nonetheless real. Now, we don’t know if it takes time or not. It might occur all in a flash. But, however it occurs, our prayers can assist people as they go through that.

Esau

"The problem with the reported miracles of Jesus is that there is no authenication by medical authorities and also the lack of attestations amongst the Four Gospels. And the reported incidents were made by "second/third" handers. An attempt to compete with other local "healers" of the time??

The problem with modern "miracles" is the limited scope (i.e. no regrowth of missing arms, legs, etc.) of said miracles and the "overdrive" to get certain people "canonized" for political reasons typically to appease the locals and keep them in the Faith. Selling of religious trinkets also is another compelling reason for "canonization"? Check out the "Padre Pio" web pages for sweat shirts and baseball hats.

Anyone interested in some "Saint" Christopher statues??"


Now, finally, the facade comes off, and we now see you for who you truly are. You attempted, however futilely, to come under the guise of a 'Catholic', when really, you are what you are: an 'Anti-Catholic'.

Though, I have more respect for those who aren't such cowards to the point they'd rather conceal it under such guise than to come out and just say it.

You claim that there are problems accepting Jesus' miracles in the bible because there were no authenication by medical authorities?

Too bad they didn't have sophisticated forensic technology at the time or else they could have convinced someone with such a faith as yours!

Truly, this accentuates the verse in Scripture:

Jn:20:29: Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Further, you actually accuse the Church of canonizing Saints in order to make profit out of selling religious articles of them? Is it just me but doesn't this sound like the typical anti-Catholic Fundamentalist attacks that even Karl Keating addresses in his book 'Catholicism and Fundamentalism'?

Oh ya, I can see where the Church is acquiring its millions from! Also, does it even hit you that the majority of such religious articles are being sold by private folks and not actually those that are of the Catholic Church?

bill912

The problem with Realist is that he can't think outside his own tiny box. Bishop Sheen used to tell a story of two tadpoles. One said: "I think I'll stick my head up and see what's above the water." The other replied: "Don't be silly! There's nothing besides water!"

Esau

Realist,

It is clear that you are not here for genuine dialogue but rather to simply attack the Faith of those here and provoke a reaction.

I don't know this 'Jesus' that you believe in; this historical Jesus of yours, whose writings about him (the bible) are merely the stuff of made up fantasies derived from 'well-meaning scribes' and whose body was 'probably eaten by wild dogs'. The 'Jesus' in your construct seems nothing more than a mad man. I mean, you have here a guy who claims himself to be the Son of God; yet, all we have of him, in your account, amounts to nothing more than a bunch of fairy tales who, in the end, the very thing that he was meant to do for the salvation of humanity (and, that is, die for us as well as rise from the dead), the latter of which he could not even do (yet this person claimed to be the Son of God), since his 'body was probably eaten by wild dogs'! What makes this 'Jesus' of yours so different from those people in the streets these days claiming that they're the Son of God?

Yet, you proceed, of course, to accuse folks of adding stuff to the books of the New Testament that you claim shouldn't be there and handpick select passages in the Bible which you believe are genuine from those you believe are not genuine, by some sort of 'divine authority' that you somehow have; which, in my Bible (all of which is Truth), Christ had only given to his Church, 'the pillar and ground of the Truth'! (1 Tm 3:15)

Considering your perspective on the Bible, why even put stock in the Bible at all? Why even believe in this person 'Jesus', at least, the one that exists in your demented construct of him?

Esau

Realist,
Here's something that might interest you - this person might be the 'Jesus' you're looking for!

Man Claims To Be The Son Of God
(CBS 11 News) MIAMI, FLORIDA His name is Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda; his followers call him everything from apostle, to Dad, or simply Jesus Christ Man. De Jesus Miranda himself believes he's the living incarnation of ‘Jesus Christ Man’, "the second coming of Christ."

http://cbs11tv.com/seenon/local_story_261201144.html


Truly, between 'Realist' and people like these, we surely have become 'children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive'(Eph:4:14)

I believe this is why Christ gave us his Church, 'the pillar and ground of Truth' (1 Tm 3:15), in order to anchor us to the True Faith to ward off times like these.

bill912

Amen, Esau. To which I would add: And Whose follwers(who, logically, invented the lies about Him) suffered exile, torture, and death rather than recant theri alleged lies about Him.

Esau

bill912, my brutha, all we can do is pray.

It’s my prayer that these attacks coming from our culture – be it 'Realist', De Jesus ministry in the news story above, the Da Vinci Code, or some blasphemy coming from Hollywood or from wherever – will only serve for the greater good – and I believe it will – because, as they say, crucifixions just tend to lead to resurrections in our Catholic world and that is a fact.

Kris

The sad thing is...realist could probably get a job in a Catholic high school. I'm a freshman in college now, so I distinctly remember my high school dean supporting this historical "Jesus" drivel.

By the way...the majority of the rosary groups in my parish are run by individual YOUTH who yearn to have a relationship with our blessed Mother. I assure you all, the traditions of our Holy Church will not be cast aside by the upcoming generation; rather, they will be revived.

Esau

"I assure you all, the traditions of our Holy Church will not be cast aside by the upcoming generation; rather, they will be revived."

Amen!!!

Kris,
There’s a real renewal going on in your age group around the country. At Illinois State awhile ago, you'd simply be blown away by the level of commitment these young people – 19, 20, 21, 22 years old -- have -- attending daily Mass, praying the Divine Office together, learning Gregorian Chant. Now, they had an exceptional chaplain there. But, you could find those things going on around the country because there’s a real renewal going on among so many young people, so you can really be encouraged because there’s a lot of good stuff happening out there.

Inocencio

Realist has never given any reason why he refuses to accept the doctrine of Original Sin. It would give us and himself some insight if he would admit why the doctrine of Original Sin has to be wrong.

But his misunderstanding of Church teaching all stems from his rejection of that doctrine.

If we are not fallen, as he wants to believe, then we have no need for the Second Person of the Blessed Trinty to become man and redeem us.

As he has said before he believes he deserves the title "immaculate."

He has been repeating his errors over and over for at least the last six years and not only on this blog. Same errors, same quotes, same looney theologians and "catholic" professors repeated without a hint of dialogue.

I pity him because if he truly does not believe he needs a Savior he is rejecting salvation.

He needs our prayers. St. Luke the Apostle pray for us.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau

"St. Luke the Apostle pray for us."

Inocencio,
As today is Luke's Feast Day, let's do pray and hope that the saintly physician can heal us of the madness that comes from intellectual vanity and, just as the apostles said unto the Lord, 'increase our Faith' (Lk 17:5).

God Bless and Thank you for your posts!

If anyone is interested in getting back to the topic posted "On Praying For Sinners" I have a question, not a comment. It seems that several comments reguarding the Scripture passage mentioned the passage might have to do with mortal and venial sins...my question is where in the NT are mortal and venial sin mentioned, and how are they distinguished? I thought mortal/venial sins were a church teaching not a scriptural teaching. Thanks for the info!

Inocencio

And now back to our regularly scheduled post...

The CCC points to this verse and Tradition as the basis for the distinction of mortal and venial sins.

IV. THE GRAVITY OF SIN: MORTAL AND VENIAL SIN

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau

"my question is where in the NT are mortal and venial sin mentioned"

It's quite ironic that you should ask this especially in light of this very passage in the bible that's being discussed.

I guess my question to you is:
1. What do you believe mortal sin is?
2. What do you believe venial sin is?

I think the following RSV translation might put things more into perspective from 1 John, chapter 5, verses 16-17:

16: If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that.
17: All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.


In regards to your statement:
"I thought mortal/venial sins were a church teaching not a scriptural teaching."

Church Teaching is generally derived from the Scriptures. Look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It's replete with references to passages in the Scriptures. The two are not mutually exclusive as your remark seems to suggest.

Realist

Now that the "Esauing" has finished (could not resist and I do apologize), I have presented my take on original sin many times before as notes from the theology classes at some large Catholic universities. e.g. See the recent discussion on Monogenism & Science.

Added notes about the physical Resurrection from these classes as noted before:

" 1. Yes, Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly -- earth bound distractions.

> 2. Yes, Christ 's and Mary's bodies are not in Heaven (based on #1). For
one thing, Paul in 1 Cor 15 speaks of the body of the dead as transformed into a "spiritual body." No one knows exactly what he meant by this term.

Most believe that it to means that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

> 3. Yes, The physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning> to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place (based on #1). The Ascension
symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church. Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has
multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would
be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female
bodies."

The post-Resurrection appearances have generally been judged by contemporary biblical scholars to be apparitions by the sleep-deprived Apostles and/or embellishments to complete the story. Attestations amongst the Four Gospels are sorely lacking as is with the case of Jesus' miracles.

Esau

1854 ...The distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture 129

129 Cf. 1 Jn 5:16-17

bill912

"...apparitions by the sleep-deprived apostles and/or embellishments to compleate the story."

Assuming the above is true, please explain logically why the Apostles suffered exile, torture, and death rather than recant their "embellishments".

Inocencio, thanks for the link!
Esau, some of us are not Catholic but are searching. Sometimes a simple question is just that. Maybe it is not formulated the way a lawyer would prefer, some of us are just normal folk trying to get a few answers. I understand church teaching are derived from SS and are not exclusive. Unfortunately I am only a regular Joe not a SS scholar or church official and I am trying to get a better understanding of things. Thanks for the info buddy!

Esau

"The post-Resurrection appearances have generally been judged by contemporary biblical scholars to be apparitions by the sleep-deprived Apostles and/or embellishments to complete the story."

And I should take the word of those living in the 20th, 21st century even over those who actually lived in the Apostolic Age as well as the years thereafter who testify to the accounts of the Gospel, as also can be found in the writings of the Church Fathers?

What exactly, what substantial evidence do these folks have to substantiate this and all other such claims? Am I to accept the testimony of folks living several thousands of years from the time of the actual event as being true vs. the testimony of those who actually lived during those days and just some years thereafter?

This can only be regarded as speculation and mere conjecture if you consider that this is, as far as 'cold cases' go, the coldest case there is.

Inocencio

Realist,

Yes, we all know that you agree with the professors and theologians who say what you want to hear. And on that basis alone you conclude they must be right because you think the same thing.

For the 100th time they have no authority whatsoever.

All of you will have eternity together with everyone else who refused to accept the grace and revelation of God.

Lord, have mercy on both of our souls.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau

"Esau, some of us are not Catholic but are searching. Sometimes a simple question is just that."

I just wanted to clarify any misconception that there might have been regarding Church Teaching.

God bless you and nice to know about your journey. Whether or not it leads you into the Church, it's nice to know you are on a journey about Christ!

Mary Kay

"The post-Resurrection appearances have generally been judged by contemporary biblical scholars to be apparitions by the sleep-deprived Apostles and/or embellishments to complete the story."

Or, another way of saying it: Contemporary biblical scholars have generally been judged to have missed the forest for the trees by being common-sense challenged and/or intellectually vain.

Wherever your contemporary biblical scholars made their error, they have not taken in the whole picture. As Bill suggested, why would the early Christians be willing to suffer through ten separate persecutions for "embellishments?"

"Sleep deprived" doesn't jive either with logic or with the rest of scripture. Tell me how Mary by the tomb and the apostles on the road to Emmaus experience the same "apparition." Tell me also how the events recounted in the Acts of the Apostles meshes with "sleep deprived apparitions" or embellishments.


Inocencio

anon,

You are very welcome and in my prayers.

Seek the Truth and He will find you!

In any search for truth it is very important to go to the source. Here are some links that might be helpful.

Sacred Tradition (Fathers of the Church)

Sacred Scripture


Magisterium

All three nicely organized together Catechism of the Catholic Church

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau

"'Sleep deprived' doesn't jive either with logic or with the rest of scripture. Tell me how Mary by the tomb and the apostles on the road to Emmaus experience the same "apparition." Tell me also how the events recounted in the Acts of the Apostles meshes with "sleep deprived apparitions" or embellishments."

Unfortunately, Mary Kay, 'Realist' believes that some portions of the bible were added, some are really myth, and that some statements supposedly made by Jesus as mentioned in the Bible were actually, according to him, never really spoken by Christ.

Here's a run-down of his characterization of Scripture in some of his posts:

1 - "I am in the 'Conservative Jewish camp' when it comes to the OT i.e. none of the OT is historic i.e. the Job commentary was added by a well-meaning Jewish scribe to the fictional story of a man who through all of God's imposed hardships, still loves God. There is probably some parallel story in Greek and/or Babylonian mythology."

2 - "Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation. Such startling propositions -- the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years -- have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity -- until now."

3- "Many exegetes have concluded that Mark 16: 8-20 was a later addition to Mark's Gospel. Crossan (please don't "yell" unless you have written 14 books about the historical Jesus), gives the following estimate: Item: 522 / Stratum: IV (120-150 AD/CE) / Attestation: Single / Historicity: not said by the historical Jesus."

... And that's just a few.

As Inocencio had said, 'St. Luke the Apostle pray for us'!

Mary Kay

Esau, thanks for the clarification. I hadn't read the entire thread.

At least "Realist" is not pretending to be Christian with those beliefs. However I wonder how a "Conservative Jewish camp" can claim to be Jewish if they don't believe Abraham existed or that the Exodus was a real event. Yikes!

Esau

No problem, Mary Kay!

About "At least "Realist" is not pretending to be Christian with those beliefs." --

Actually, that's just it, 'Realist', for some odd reason, still tries to go under the guise of a 'Catholic'.

For example, his most recent statement:
"In my parish, the rosary is hardly mentioned at all anymore. How about yours?"

There are several others he's made to folks here whereby he tries to bait others into believing he is a Catholic when, in reality, he's just the opposite.

Tim J.

Realist is beginning to really remind me of beloved leader Kim Jong Il... acting in an outrageous manner out of some pathological need for attention.

Realist

Actually, the contemporary theology being taught at these Catholic universities fits quite well with the conclusions of Crossan, Armstrong and the Jesus Seminarians. Because of this "duality/double attestation" , I believe in their evaluations of the existing scriptures thereby resulting in a more realistic view of what happened 2000 years ago. Tis time for a Magisterium update!!!!!

Tim J.

"Actually, the contemporary theology being taught at these Catholic universities fits quite well with the conclusions of Crossan, Armstrong and the Jesus Seminarians."

Right... it just doesn't fit at all with anything even remotely Christian or Catholic. I mean, sure, have fun with your little pet philosophy, but don't even TRY to call it Christianity. I don't care where these bozos teach or how many degrees they have.

bill912

Actually, the contemporary theilogy being taught at these Catholic universities fits quite well with the conclusions of Crossan, Armstrong, and the Jesus Seminarians."

OK, so the heretics agree with one another. Your point?

Realist

Actually by adding the thinking of theologian Father Ed Schillebeeckx and the mythical nature of the OT, along with the contemporary theology taught at major Catholic universities and the conclusions of Crossan, Armstrong and the Jesus Seminarians, (all who have PhD's in biblical scholarship and over one hundred published books on the historical Jesus), one has quadruple attestations of the reality of 2000 years ago.

Still waiting for the Second Coming and any kind of response from the Vatican about the contemporary conclusions concerning the historical Jesus. Do you think that there are other dark secrets that are being kept from us "pew peasants"???????

Esau

"Stll waiting for the Second Coming and any kind of response from the Vatican about the contemporary conclusions concerning the historical Jesus. Do you think that there are other dark secrets that are being kept from us "pew peasants"???????"

Realist,
You are truly as ignorant as you are an idiot!

If you were truly as enlightened as you claim you are, then you would have already known that then Cardinal Ratzinger already put out work in the early 90s that addressed the 'historical Jesus'.

Although, I thought that by your divine authority and omniscience, you would have already known that!

By the way, "the dark secrets that are still being kept from us 'pew peasants'", as you say, will be revealed in Da Vinci Code II! For that is all your babble is worth - the same sort of rubbish and bland fiction that Da Vinci Code inspires!

Realist

Esau,

References as to B16's specific comments refuting the works of Crossan, Armstrong and the Jesus Seminarians? Typical "Vatican speak" does not count. i.e. Does he or any of his organizations specifically mention these scholars and their conclusions?

For a recent Vatican "dark secret":

"Crimen sollicitationis (translated from Latin as The Crime of Solicitation) is a secret document issued by the Holy Office of the Vatican (now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) in 1962, instructing bishops about how to handle cases in which priests were accused of using the privacy of the confessional to make sexual advances to penitents. The document was drawn up up by Cardinal Alfred Ottaviani and approved by Pope John XXIII. It instructs bishops on how to handle cases of the "worst crime," in which a priest is sexually involved with an animal, child, or man. Canon lawyers disagree about the extent to which the document is still in force."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimen_sollicitation

Inocencio

Realist,

"Vatican speak" does not count.

Then Looney Tune Theologians and Crazy Professor speak is out too! Ok and now back to our regularly scheduled post...

St. Isaac Jogues , St. John de Brebeuf & North American Martyrs pray for us!

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau

"References as to B16's specific comments refuting the works of Crossan, Armstrong and the Jesus Seminarians? Typical "Vatican speak" does not count. i.e. Does he or any of his organizations specifically mention these scholars and their conclusions?"

Obviously, you have not read any of Cardinal Ratzinger's works. If you had, then you would be familiar with the profound and balanced thought he puts into his writings! He discusses even works done by other Christians and not just Catholics. Why do you think that even Protestant scholars have such deep respect for his work?

Go back to your 'infallible Pope', Crossan, who, for some reason, have somehow been given such a divine authority (that even exceeds the Church's since the Church can only preach, teach and guard the Truth of Scripture) to the most radical extent where they can even re-write the Gospels themselves as well as other books of Scripture, by picking and choosing only select passages in Scripture that please them (much like a buffet line) which only they consider as genuine, with all the merry band of heretics!

As for other Anti-Catholic tracts you may like to tout, I can just as easily manufacture other works of malicious fiction about the Catholic Church, but that doesn't necessarily say anything about the veracity of such things. In fact, I still hear that the Pope being the Anti-Christ and the Catholic Church being the Whore of Babylon are still a best-seller out there!

Realist

Esau,

The Vatican letter telling Bishops to keep illicit priest activity secret and confidential is not some anti-Catholic rhetoric. Check with your local bishop to get a written copy.

If you check Crossan's book, The Historical Jesus, you will find he addresses almost all of the NT. To see a list of the references he used for his book see http://www.faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf.

To see a list of the NT passages Crossan has rated see http://www.faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf

When you find the Vatican's rebuttal to Crossan's conclusions, let me know.

bill912

Are you capable of posting anything other that 'The Gospel According To Crossan'?"

No answer. Evidently not.

"...please explain, logically,why the Apostles suffered exile, torture, and death rather than recant their 'embellishments'."

No answer.

"OK, so the heretics agree with one another. Your point?"

No answer.

Tim J.

The Vatican can't spend all its time responding to every crackpot theory to come along, Realist. In Crossan's case, they need not address his ideas at all because they are manifestly false and anti-Catholic. It would be like the Pope issuing an encyclical prohibiting time travel.

And, Realist, if you were falsely accused of molesting someone, would you want your case investigated first privately and at the lowest level possible (to determine whether there was in fact any case at all), or would you prefer to have your case tried in the newspapers?

There need not be any nefarious purpose to keeping accusations private at first. The problem is that so many of these accusations were known to be in all probability TRUE, and were STILL kept under wraps. That is what makes them truly repugnant.

There must be some balance. Obviously, things were unbalanced in the direction of protecting the accused priest before, but it doesn't help to go so far in the other direction that we allow any priest's reputation to be destroyed on the uncorroborated word of one individual.

You have once again derailed a thread with nonsense about the priest abuse scandal, with which you seem obsessed, as most anti-Catholics are.

This thread WAS about praying for sinners, specifically the interpretation of 1 John 5:16.

As usual, rather than respond to the fact that your "arguments" have been blown to smithereens, you shift your ground and grab the nearest convenient stick that you can find with which to beat the Church - your favorite, the priest abuse scandal.

Esau

"The Vatican letter telling Bishops to keep illicit priest activity secret and confidential is not some anti-Catholic rhetoric."

The malicious context in which you presented "Crimen sollicitationis" is, just so that you could advance your attack on the Church.

Esau

Crimen Sollicitationis imposed secrecy on canonical investigations as in the sex abuse cases, for example, since there is good reason for such secrecy. It allows witnesses to speak freely, victims to come forward who don’t want publicity and accused priests to protect their good name until guilt is established.

To make a point about the latter, let's take our justice system, for example. You know how our system of justice has a presumption of innocence, so that you’re innocent until proven guilty? Well, then what if we flipped that? What if we said, ‘oh, you know, some murderers might get away if we give them a presumption of innocence because we may not be able to marshal enough evidence to convince a jury or the jury may just have a closed mind, or something like that, and so we should, to prevent those murderers from getting away, we should throw every resource we have at them, and one of the resources we have is the presumption of whether they’re guilty or innocent; so, let’s change that and presume that criminals that are accused in any way are guilty of the crimes that they are accused of'. That way, we’d have a lot better chance of putting these murderers in jail.

Do you actually think this is fair and just? No one in their right mind would ever favor this proposal because we’d be living in a totalitarian state where all anyone had to do was to accuse you and you would be presumed guilty. It’s true that with this kind of sytem, you would probably get more murderers in jail, but you’d also put a lot more innocent people in jail.

Further, when the church imposes secrecy in canonical proceedings, that’s meant to be in addition to, not instead of, cooperation with civil and criminal investigations. It didn't order anyone not to cooperate with civil or criminal investigations.

Realist

My first post with respect to this thread about prayer:

Do not the God-gifts of Free Will and Future vitiate the power of any prayer? i.e. God cannot intervene no matter how much we ask Him to because of His self-imposed laws of natural life/evolution?
i.e. the big Bang started the wheels of life and the adventure has been ongoing and evolving based on the scientific principles of energy and mass?

Ditto with respect to miracles? "

The responses to this brought into play the subject of Scripture which then lead to a debate as to what is the true Scripture of the historic Jesus.

And following the dictates of Crimen Sollicitationis has resulted in four dioceses going bankrupt no matter how you want to view the document. And the current cost of these cases is over a billion dollars of our money, money that should have gone to feed the poor and clothe the naked.

See http://www.telegram.com/static/crisisinthechurch/083005.html for a discussion as to how this document is used in the pedophile court cases.

An excerpt:

"He (Mr. Daniel Shea, Houston lawyer) went to the gates of the Vatican two weeks ago (2005) to press his argument that Pope Benedict XVI has actively conspired to keep cases of clergy sexual abuse under wraps. He bases his claim on the Crimen document and a letter that the pope wrote in 2001, when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, instructing church officials on how to handle these cases. Crimen was footnoted in the 2001 document."

Let us all pray that such secrecy never happens again.

J.R. Stoodley

Let us all pray that such secrecy never happens again.

I thought prayer didn't work.

Of course it does, because on the one hand God takes the prayers of people into account in his ordering of history, and on the other hand he is not limited to the laws of nature he has created and can break them whenever he wants.

Esau

"And following the dictates of Crimen Sollicitationis..."

Get the whole story, 'Realist' and not your typical one-sided rant. You know full well you're taking advantage of the MSM's typical anti-Catholic bias.

Here's some info for you:
Crimen Sollicitationis dealt with canonical cases against a priest that could lead to removal from ministry or expulsion from the priesthood. Its imposition of secrecy thus concerned the church’s internal disciplinary process. It did not, according to canonical experts, prevent a bishop or anyone else from reporting a crime against a minor to the civil authorities.

http://www.natcath.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2003c/081503/081503n.htm

As relevant to our situation, if you look at 1 Samuel Chapters 1 and 2, you’ll see that at the time the priests (the sons of Eli) engaged in a variety of different things that could be classified as embezzlement as well as the sexual harassment of the women who served at the Temple (it says that they slept with the women who served at the Temple). Eli, the high priest who was their father, did not take effective action in dealing with these priests. So, that’s a fairly notable analogue to the situation that we’ve had where some bishops failed to take effective action to deal with priests who were sexual predators. At the time of these incidents in the Old Testament though, could one actually judge the truth of Israel’s religion based on the conduct of its priests? You can’t judge the truth of a religion based on the holiness of its clergymen, because there are going to be unholy clergymen somewhere. The people in the Church, mind you, are human; and, unfortunately, there are those few who are scoundrels out there (just as there was a traitor among the 12 Apostles of Christ), but God will judge them (as well as us) in the end. For the victims, of course, this is truly a tragedy and something like this should never have happened to them – especially from someone from the ecclesiastical community.

________________________________________________________________________

Regarding your mention: “…has resulted in four dioceses going bankrupt”

To be fair, you should also take into account some opportunists out there who have no regard for both the tragedy these victims suffered and the innocent people in the Church and trivialize the whole situation by submitting bogus claims of a fabricated sex abuse story just for the sake of winning the jackpot and obtaining cash settlements.

________________________________________________________________________

Concerning your phooney sentiment though: "And the current cost of these cases is over a billion dollars of our money, money that should have gone to feed the poor and clothe the naked" -- I'm sure you devote all the money you have and give it to the poor.

Funny, but wasn't there somebody in Scripture that said something similar under the same pretense to Jesus???? Let's see...

Jn:12:4: Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
Jn:12:5: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
Jn:12:6: This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

You and he have a lot of things in common!
________________________________________________________________________

Lastly, about the questions you posed:
"Do not the God-gifts of Free Will and Future vitiate the power of any prayer? i.e. God cannot intervene no matter how much we ask Him to because of His self-imposed laws of natural life/evolution? i.e. the big Bang started the wheels of life and the adventure has been ongoing and evolving based on the scientific principles of energy and mass? Ditto with respect to miracles? "

Answers were provided for these. However, you never provided answers to our questions. For example, did you ever answer any of bill912's questions?

Realist

Esau,

Someone very famous once said, "its not what you know, but where to find it." I have listed these places/books many times before so if you are interested in the answers to bill912's questions simply buy and read the books of Crossan, Armstrong, Schillebeeckx and the Jesus Seminarians or check them out at your local public library. Again Crossan's book, The Historical Jesus, is a great starting point as it addresses the complex questions surrounding the Scriptures with special emphasis on the Crucifixion and the Spiritual Resurrection in a blend of attestations and stratums which are of such length that they would not be allowed in a blog commentary. Enjoy!!!

Another of Crossan's book is "Who is Jesus" (co-authored by Richard Watts) is excellent with somewhat shorter commentary.

J.R. Stoodley

Realist, you should know by now that we do not accept "read this book" as a rational answer to a question. If you have read the books and find them convincing, answer the questions posed to you based on your knowledge gained from them, or else admit that you do not know the answer.

A Simple Sinner

"St. John Vianney was approached by a family that had a father that had committed suicide and jumped off a bridge. God gave St. John Vianney a Word, if you will, which then, that person repented on the way down and actually made it to Purgatory. Now, that’s a private revelation and this isn’t definitive Catholic teaching. I share that with you only to say this: we never know the state of that soul. We pray a lot of rosaries in our life “Pray for Us Sinners Now and at the Moment of Our Death – At the Hour of Our Death.” We pray every day so many times because we believe in the mercy of God. "

I had a friend some years back that checked into a motel room and killed himself with sleeping pills. When the EMTs came to collect the body they found him kneeling by the side of the bed.

It has always been my hope that in the very last moments he was aware of what was going on he was given the Grace to make peace.

It might be fanciful thinking on my part, but I find comfort in the fact that there could be a final option - even if at the very last moment, the very last second - to reoncile with God and humbly ask not to be forever apart with God the angels and saints in heaven.

Mary Kay

JRS, well said!

Simple Sinner, that's very similar to what I've always thought.

Realist

A selected quote from John Dominic Crossan's Who Is Jesus?

"Do I personally believe in an afterlife? No, but to be honest, I do not find it a particularly important question one way or the other."

"Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

"Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion ws foretold by the prophets." Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."

"In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life."

bill912

"...many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies..." Evidence, please? Also, for the umpmteenth time, why did the Apostles willingly suffer exile, torture, and death rather than recant their "stories"? (No, I don't expect an answer this time, either. The answer to my question doesn't fit in his template).

bill912

Thanks for the quote from Crossan. What a small,limited, impotent god he believes in!

"...many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies..."

Evidence, please?

Realist has to believe that since he believes that God can't know what is future to us and thus can't inspire true prophecy.

bill912

Yeah, but we've already covered that with him. The concept that time is God's creation, that He exists outside of it, is something else that does not fit Realist's template.

Mary Kay

Realist, you've bought into the old trap of faith versus science, as if they are opposites. They're not.

The other piece that is that God is not simply an intellectual construct, but a living God. You've missed that God is love.

Realist

I am only quoting one of the many questions/answers in Crossan's "Who is Jesus". I have my own ideas about "prayer", miracles, the OT, the NT, Heaven, Hell, Limbo, infallibility and the historic Jesus. I call it a realistic, rational Catholicism based on the inputs of Crossan, Armstrong, the Jesus Seminarians, Schillebeeckx, thirteen years of Franciscan education/example and Somerville. Hopefully all of you will take time to read of the contemporary books about the historic Jesus in order to answer some of your own lingering questions about Christianity and its roots.

Esau

"I call it a realistic, rational Catholicism based on the inputs of Crossan, Armstrong, the Jesus Seminarians, Schillebeeckx, thirteen years of Franciscan education/example and Somerville."

13 years plus some opinions proferred by the majority of heretics! How impressive!

And here I am wasting all my time with the 2000 years teaching of the Catholic Church, its Tradition and Scripture, as well as all the Catholic scholars of past ages in all those 2000 some years, including the wisdom and testimony of the Church Fathers and others, not to mention the very individuals who had actually lived at the time of Jesus and those of the Apostolic Age as well as others who came about only a few years thereafter!

Such a body of evidence and Church history can't compare with the outrageous fantasies of your merry band of heretics who lived just only 2000 years later after Christ and, therefore, should have a more accurate view of the Gospels and the other books of Scripture, enough in fact for them to slice out all the parts you and they believe are genuine and not genuine, and actually pick and choose those sayings that Christ either did say or did not say, according to some divine authority I have yet to figure out!

Tim J.

"I call it a realistic, rational Catholicism"

Catholicism *Lite*!!! All the conscience-numbing materialism you crave, along with a hint of that spiritual flavor you grew up with...

Try it today!

(Artificial spiritual flavor added. Not available in the Catholic church. Continued use may lead to damnation. See pakage insert)

Mary Kay

Realist, yes you have your own ideas. However, your "rational Catholicism" is incomplete.

Crossan's starting point and/or logic is flawed and I don't have the time at the moment to pinpoint where.

Inocencio

Mary Kay,

Crossan's starting point...is flawed

Exactly!

Realist,
For 2000 years people like you and your looney tune theologians have come and gone.

The Church remains and is consistent in her teaching because she is the Bride of Christ and our Mother. So don't be continually surprised that we seek her guidance and obey her authority.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Esau

" 'I call it a realistic, rational Catholicism'

Catholicism *Lite*!!! All the conscience-numbing materialism you crave, along with a hint of that spiritual flavor you grew up with...

Try it today!

(Artificial spiritual flavor added. Not available in the Catholic church. Continued use may lead to damnation. See pakage insert)"

-- Is that with or without MSG????

Realist

Hmmm, no comments about Crossan's note on atonement? i.e.

"Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

And keeping with this prayer thread, two versions of the authenticity of the Our Father:

"John Dominic Crossan in The Historical Jesus, 1991, Harper San Francisco, p294, does not believe that the Lord’s Prayer originated with Jesus but was composed by later Christians as a summary of Jesus’ themes. The basis for his belief is that a prayer given by Jesus himself would have greater attestation and be more uniform in versions. This is a rare occasion where I disagree with that eminent scholar. The form and structure of the prayer, particularly in it’s "reconstructed" Aramaic form convinces me that it is Yeshuine in origin. Lack of uniformity is not, to me, a strong argument given the rampant lack of uniformity in all four Gospels and other early Christian writings. Obviously the modification of Jesus’ words from either written or oral sources to enhance a specific christological or eschatological tradition was more the rule than the exception."

as per Jack Kilmon, http://www.historian.net/lp-pap2.html


Inocencio

Realist,

"but it is an obscene picture of God

1. You are made in the image and likeness of God.

2. You cannot make God into an image you like.

3. When you do you worship the unholy trinity of me, myself and I.

St. Paul of the Cross pray for us!

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Mary Kay

Realist, to repeat what I said this morning, you've missed something essential about God, which is that God is love.

Again, I say that God is not an intellectual construct, but a living God, the source of love.

Your quote from Crossan about atonement theology very much misses the point.

As several posters have suggested, you and Crossan seem to be saying that humanity is the standard and trying to mold God into human terms. You've missed the goodness of God.

The suggestion of child abuse in heaven is a contradiction in terms and very much off base.

Realist

Mary Kay,

What Crossan (not me)and many other contemporary biblical scholars are saying is that it is very probable that Jesus was only one of the billions of Souls, Sons and Daughters of God in this local solar system.

Inocencio

Realist,

it is very probable that Jesus was only one of the billions of Souls, Sons and Daughters of God in this local solar system

Then you deny not only that you need a savior, you deny that our Blessed Lord is Who He said He is: Yeshua.

You have made yourself your own god and savior.

Enjoy this life it is your only reward. You have my pity and prayers.

Take care and God bless,
Inocecio
J+M+J

Realist

Inocecio,

I was going to respond with Matt 7:1-2a, "Do not judge others (i.e. Sons and Daughters of God), so that God will not judge you" but as per JD Crossan et al's analyses, this saying was not of the historical Jesus but I like the embellished conclusion of Matthew anyway. And please note, I am only reiterating what Crossan et al have concluded about Jesus. The God-gifts of Free Will and Future allow me to judge otherwise.

118-. Judgment for Judgment: (1a) 1Q: Luke 6:37a = Matt 7:1-2a; (2a) 1 Clem. 13:2e; (2b) Pol. Phil. 2:3a.

Mary Kay

Realist, so tell me why you are quoting Crossan if he doesn't speak for your "rational Catholicism."

Realist

Mary Kay,

Crossan et al discuss/review/debate the important aspects of Christianity something sorely lacking in Catholic orthodoxy which has simply too many unanswered questions. This will continue until we can brake the yoke of "celibate" old white men who continue to rain guilt upon us when indeed many of them are guilty of significant wrongdoings themselves. I say let us "clean house" and let the free debate begin with representation from all members of God's Sons and Daughters.

Tim J.

"Catholic orthodoxy... has simply too many unanswered questions"

For whom? they are called mysteries, or if you want to be more philosophocal, "first principles". I'm comfortable with them. If you aren't, there's the door.

"This will continue until we can brake the yoke of "celibate" old white men who continue to rain guilt upon us"

How can you claim they are heaping guilt on you? You're not making sense.

Do you feel guilty, or not? If you do, that means you must attach some importance and authority to what these old white men are saying, which you deny. If, on the other hand, you don't feel guilty, what are you complaining about? You aren't even close to being a Catholic, why spend so much time griping about a religion that has nothing to do with you?

These are MY shepherds you are talking about. If you don't like what they say, go form your own church, if you can find anyone fool enough to follow you.

You and J.D. Crossan can practice your sophistry on one another until the cows come home. Or, you can consider becoming a Christian. It will take a little open-mindedness on your part, though. What if everything you think you know is wrong?

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