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January 22, 2008

Comments

California Star

Here is an interest contradiction in some Christian churches. They proclaim very loudly the sanctity of life for little babies, but then flip around and condemn them to an eternal damnation if they don't get baptised in their church.

If a little baby is not saved in heaven, had not been better for the baby to never be born?

And cannot babies call upon the mercy of God in the next life for forgiveness on events that were clearly beyond their control?

Where is the Love of God?

paul f

Isn't exactly the point that human life doesn't begin at birth? Having never been born solves no problems.

Tim J.

"They proclaim very loudly the sanctity of life for little babies, but then flip around and condemn them to an eternal damnation if they don't get baptised in their church"

And, who does this, exactly?

Ed Peters

Tim, as Bugs Bunny would say, "Whadda maroon."

studdunker

At least let the baby have a chance to be baptized.

BillyHW

California crazies.

J.R. Stoodley

Catholics certainly do not believe that babies go to hell. Neither does hardly anyone else. Crazies indeed.

David B.

Hey folks,

I just heard that actor Heath Ledger, infamous star of "Brokeback Mountain" and of the upcoming film "The Dark Knight," is dead. R.I.P. Prayers for his soul would probably be good.

M.Z. Forrest

J.R.

Yes, we are so certain they don't go to hell that only relatively recently did we grant Christian burial for unbaptised infants. Yes, there are theories - and Jimmy has written about them before - that infants lacking baptism do in fact achieve heaven; however, Augustine and others had a very difficult time reconciling a belief that the unbaptised achieved heaven. It certainly isn't a proposition that has been condemned by a Council.

David

"We" as Catholics do not condemn babies, or anyone for that matter, to eternal damnation for failure to get properly baptized. Rather, those that do so knowingly have condemned themselves. Those that are not baptized through no fault of their own have other options, such as baptism of desire or baptism of blood (martyrs). As for babies, we honestly don't know what God does, so we entrust them to His mercy.

Kyl Schalk

I posted this on a couple of other blogs:

I saw the movie Juno. The movie was able use particular types of visuals to show the unborn is a human being. I was impressed with actor’s abilities to (for the most part) portray the pro-life view as a respectable position to hold. Each character’s performance made the entire movie interesting, educational, and important. Hopefully the world's first pro-life film festival (Cinema Vita) can create or inspire more films that teach wise things. http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2008/01/cinema-vita-the.html

And…

I posted part of this on the Between Two Worlds blog (Between Two Worlds blog has a lot of great pro-life information!) http://theologica.blogspot.com/

www.abort73.com has a myspace page. The page reads, “Abort73 has already had one MySpace account inexplicably deleted (costing us close to 6,000 friends).” They had their account deleted! Another part of their page reads, “As best we can tell, it was our "This is Abortion" video that cost us our first MySpace account. Though the video had been on our MySpace page for over 6 months, it started receiving massive viewership right before our account was pulled (which made the deletion even more painful). After receiving maybe 10 or 15 comments during the first 6 months, it suddenly received close to 300 comments in 2 days, pushing the total play count past 100,000. The next thing we knew, MySpace pulled the plug.” When these types of things happen, we have to be very creative.

Here is a link to the very, very useful abort73 myspace page:
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=154776612&MyToken=d7476d11-75bf-4d32-a859-b9a2bd2e8253

Here is their webpage: http://www.abort73.com/

Memphis Aggie

California Star,

This attitude you speak of is not Catholic - although it exists. It comes from a misunderstanding of Baptism. This thinking is that because God attaches great graces to Baptism that only through Baptism can original sin be cleansed. The error is thinking that God is in some way restricted to Baptism alone. In reality God's mercy may have any number of avenues ( the Baptism of desire for example). However we only have clear revelation of Baptism. His other methods are known only to Him. We can take comfort however in the fact that He is a just and loving God and therefore no innocent will suffer.

I imagine the angels will baptize the souls of these infants on their way to heaven, but I'm a sentimentalist.

You might be surprised to hear than at least one well regarded Catholic Theologian (Hans Urs von Balthasar) argued that we may devoutly hope that Christ will , in His infinite Mercy, empty Hell leaving the devil alone based on 1 Timothy 2: 4 Obviously no one knows who is where or where they will finally end up - Catholics do not believe in assurance like some Protestants.

American Phoenix

Listening to Jimmy Akin!

Terence M. Stanton

A.M.D.G.

1 Timothy 2: 1-4 says, "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.
This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

God wants all men to be saved but that doesn't mean it happens. He gave us free will. You can't get out of Hell once you are there just like you can't get out of Heaven.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church #1035 states, "The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of Hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell, where they suffer the punishments of Hell, 'eternal fire'. The chief punishment of Hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs."

Memphis Aggie

You don't know and I don't know. I don't expect Hell to be empty because I believe the visions of St. Don Boscoe and those given by Our lady of Fatima, both include really scary images of Hell. That said I would argue that there are no limits on Gods Mercy and when we pray as Our Lady of Fatima ask we ask that ALL souls be spared from the fires of Hell.

Memphis Aggie

Also Christ rescued Adam from Hell - so you can get out if He so chooses.

Vesa

Also Christ rescued Adam from Hell - so you can get out if He so chooses.

Memphis Aggie,
Where did you get the idea that Adam was in Hell in the first place?

I don't believe Catholic teaching ever declared Adam was actually in Hell nor do I know of any Protestant denomination that says likewise.

Memphis Aggie

Bottom line while I believe in Hell, don't use it as a way to limit God, making Him smaller than He is. He is infinite in love and mercy - final judgment has not yet come. His divine mercy is limitless and bestowed on the unworthy, like yours truly. If He so wills ANY soul can be redeemed. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of extraordinary graces.

Memphis Aggie

That's how I was taught: why else did Jesus descend into Hell? It's in the creed (the descent not the rescue) and it's pictured on icons.

Vesa

Memphis Aggie,

Where did I say anything that, in any way, limits God's mercy?

Where have I ruled out the possibility of extraordinary graces?

All I've asked is where in Catholic teaching does it state that Adam was in Hell?

Vesa

Memphis Aggie,

I believe the "Hell" you are thinking of is quite contrary to what is mentioned in the Creed.


Here's a citation from the Catechism (pay particular attention to the idea of "Sheol"):

Paragraph 1. Christ Descended into Hell

632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was "raised from the dead" presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.478 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ's descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.479

633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.480 Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom":481 "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."482 Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.483

634 "The gospel was preached even to the dead."484 The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus' messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ's redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.

635 Christ went down into the depths of death so that "the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."485 Jesus, "the Author of life", by dying destroyed "him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage."486 Henceforth the risen Christ holds "the keys of Death and Hades", so that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth."487


Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him - He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . "I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead."488

Memphis Aggie

From the Catechism on the Holy see website:

633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom": "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."481 Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.


About Adam:

"he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him - He who is both their God and the son of Eve .. "

from an ancient homily according to the Holy See website

Memphis Aggie

You found the same reference

Memphis Aggie

From your post (634) this is especially beautiful:

"This is the last phase of Jesus' messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ's redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption."

Great is the Glory of God - beyond all understanding

Vesa

Memphis Aggie,

Sheol is not the same thing as the "Hell" that you had in mind in your above posts.

Although, I can understand the reason for the confusion.

You need to keep in mind that as they were translating the bible from the original language to Latin, there was no equivalent to the word Sheol; instead, the Latin word that translates into "Hell" in English was used.

Memphis Aggie

Vesa - I was responding to Terence on the "limits" question. The core message I was trying (failing obviously) to get across is that while we can't know who is saved etc we do know something about His nature. We know God is infinite in His love and power and therefore could effect any outcome. Further we have been encouraged by Our Lady to pray for ALL souls, presumably then any soul may benefit. Of course God is also just and therefore the justly damned may only be saved via extraordinary acts of Mercy.

I was presenting the extremely positive and still controversial opinion of Von Baltasar. I was challenged with it a few weeks ago by a priest and I was shocked to find it more mainstream than I imagined. It dovetails nicely with St Faustina. We are living in the Day of Mercy - when great graces are possible - only God knows when that door will be shut and we will only have Judgment.

Memphis Aggie

About Hell. Sheol is merely Hebrew for Hell. I'm not confused. I recognize the distinction between the just waiting for the redeemer and the unjust. That said Adam was justly punished because his sin was a direct rejection of God. Further Adam had special personal knowledge of God making it worse. Adam was redeemed as an extraordinary grace for our benefit.

Memphis Aggie

One more detail, Adam showed regret but not contrition. When confronted with his sin he blamed Eve. I'm arguing that his sin was mortal. I wonder what might have happened if he had trusted God and begged for forgiveness.

Vesa

Memphis Aggie,

While I may disagree with certain particulars in your statement, I do agree wholeheartedly with their intent; that is, that God's mercy is limitless and that we do not know how each will be judged and that this is entirely up to the Providence of God and not us.

Counting on His Mercy and praying for those who have departed (as accounted for by the long tradition of the Qaddish in Jewish Piety) is not futile for, as we know, the "prayers of the just man availeth much" (James 5:16).

I don't think Hell of Heaven exist. So all this debate seems quite pointless. Man is neither good or evil, these are terms defined by Religious Nuts.

Memphis Aggie

Nicely stated Vesa and I'm sure I have much to learn about theology. There may be particulars in error, I wouldn't be surprised.

Vesa

Nicely stated Vesa and I'm sure I have much to learn about theology.

You can count me in that boat!

bwillams

Why do you believe in Hell or Heaven. Is this not an invention of Medieval Popes?

Memphis Aggie

I ran across a statement in St Faustina's diary to effect that graces given by Heaven are not lost in that even if a soul is closed to them (by mortal sin) another soul may receive them. I would guess that any prayers offered for the dead who can not receive their benefit due to just punishment are given to the holy souls in purgatory.

bill912

"I don't think Hell of(sic) Heaven exist."

Well, that settles it!

"So all this debate seems quite pointless."

I wonder if he realizes the irony of *his* use of the word "pointless"?

"Man is neither good or(sic) evil..."

How does he know? And on what basis would he judge?

"...these are terms defined by Religious Nuts."

Ah, the bigotry spews out at last!

Memphis Aggie

I believe in God and His Church the rest follows naturally. Heaven and Hell predates Christianity and is not limited to the west - Buddhists and Hindus believe it as well.

bill912

But it is a well-known secret fact that Medievel popes had time-travel capability. They time-warped back to the distant past and invented heaven and hell.

Vesa

Why do you believe in Hell or Heaven. Is this not an invention of Medieval Popes?

I would recommend you take a course in Philosophy.

The concept of "Heaven" and "Hell" are not limited to Christianity and have actually been in existence even in earlier primitive civilizations.

That said, humanity, as a whole, have often acknowledged the existence of such places/states and continue to maintain such notions even today.

Are you arguing that these places/states *positively* do not exist?

Alice

Heaven and Hell predates Christianity and is not limited to the west - Buddhists and Hindus believe it as well.

They "believe it" to be an invention, not to be believed any more than to be transcended. To quote one, "In the Vedas, there is no mention of hell. But our Puranas, the later works of our scriptures, thought that no religion could be complete, unless hells are attached to it, and so they invented all sorts of hells." He goes on, "In India, the idea of the goal (salvation) is this: There are heavens, there are hells, there are earths, but they are not permanent. If I am sent to hell, it is not permanent. The same struggle goes on and on whatever I am. How to go beyond all this struggle is the problem ... The Indian idea is not to go to Heaven. Get out of this earth, get out of hell, and get out of heaven! What is the goal? It is freedom! You must be free."

Dr. Eric

"Why do you believe in Hell or Heaven. Is this not an invention of Medieval Popes?"

And

"I don't think Hell of Heaven exist. So all this debate seems quite pointless. Man is neither good or evil, these are terms defined by Religious Nuts."

This is why I propose that High Schoolers and College Students should be banned from posting on these blogs.

To turn a phrase:

"Don't trust anyone under thirty!"

David B.

Dr. Eric,

This is why I propose that High Schoolers and College Students should be banned from posting on these blogs.

Okay, but please inform me how the comboxes are going while I'm banned.

David B.

I get you're point, Doc, but I'll bet that plenty of the nutjobs here are over thiry. Some of the posts I've read on this blog must've been written by people who needed years to become who they are... :-)

David B.

Uh, Thirty heh...

Memphis Aggie

Alice,

Your main point on their rejection of the eternity of Hell by Hindus and Buddhists is accurate. Hell and Heaven to those religions is not the same as we mean it in Christianity. My point was that the belief in Hell extends beyond Christianity. A better case in point would be the ancient Greeks whose concept of Hell is much closer to the Christian understanding.

Ryan C

"Hell" is an Old Norse word--check out some Old Norse mythology (it's pretty cool).

My Cat's Name is Lily

[quote]I imagine the angels will baptize the souls of these infants on their way to heaven, but I'm a sentimentalist.[/quote]

Personally, since the Blessed Virgin is the best of all possible mothers, I believe that she baptizes these infants....If that makes me sentimental, I can live with that....

The Truth Hurts

The pro-life movement is minimalist.

What needs to be done is to create an enthusiasm for the virtue of chastity for both men and women.

But since the ones who usually practice this virtue are also soft and not militant catholics, well that usually doesn't work.

So thus we arrive at the conclusion that LOTS of more things need to change and collaterally others will too.

David B.

What needs to be done is to create an enthusiasm for the virtue of chastity for both men and women.

That is being done. People like Dawn Eden are working hard to promote Chastity for all Catholics. Here's her blog:

http://www.dawneden.com/blogger.html

The Truth Hurts

Its so inspiring.

We need combativity and enthusiasm.

Soft and cudly does not move anybody.

Not even God.

David B.

The Truth hurts,

Its so inspiring.

We need combativity and enthusiasm.

Soft and cudly does not move anybody.

Not even God.

Dawn is someone who was once into the free love 'culture.' She has spoken frankly on the subject. You want effectiveness? Dawn's talks are popular with the people. Can you say the same? Your sarcastic words are the words that won't move anybody.


The Truth Hurts

That is why pro-life is victorious.

Because we need to sing kumbayah and hold hands.

David B.


I have a resolution: I will only talk to people who try to engage in a thoughtful, respectful, intelligent, charitable, and calm converation. In other words, I'm done with this particular message bored.

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