Tuesday 27th June 2017

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A Leaven In The World… “My Grace Is Sufficient,” But Not For You

June 19, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

As I prepare to retire from the military with 26 years of service with active and reserve in the Army and Navy, I come to discussions in the Church with a strong ecumenical background. Priests who serve in the military live in an ecumenical and interfaith world.
Catholic military chaplains share many duties with Protestant Chaplains with the exception of leading services or celebrating sacraments for non-Catholics. They also rub shoulders with Jewish and Muslim chaplains as well.
One area where military priests have experience not often possible in a typical parish is extensive interaction with former Catholics. Some Catholics want to be Protestant and we are not to proselytize them. Some Catholics go to weekly services at a non-Catholic church but then in a kind of syncretism seek out a Catholic chaplain for Baptism as a kind of celebration.
I met recently with a military spouse who says she was raised Catholic and attends a Protestant church but wanted Catholic Baptism for her children. When I explained that all grace, including that of Baptism, comes through the Church and that we must establish a reasonable hope the children will be raised Catholic, to include the non-negotiables like weekly Sunday Mass, she was not moved.
The couple walked away, preferring to remain as they are, judging themselves unworthy of the will of God and the sure salvation through the Church. Some people just want to be Protestant.
The Church has a unique mission given by God: faithfulness to His holy will. The Church knows, believes, and lives the teaching of St. Paul who handed on the divine words: “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Grace promises change for sinners. Take away the possibility of change and you destroy hope for mankind. The possibility of change always promises us the hope of becoming better, happier, and for faith more holy. This is always true for all people, no matter where they currently find themselves in the life of faith.
Grace is about change. Baptism changes us from one stained by original sin to one radiantly clothed and transformed in baptismal holiness. Confession changes us from one baptized, yet condemned to Hell by mortal sin, into one clothed once again in resplendent baptismal garments. Communion changes us by forgiveness of any venial sins we may have committed since our last Communion or Confession.
These changes made possible by reception of grace provide the foundation for hope for all of us. We can look ahead to the promise of a better spiritual life for ourselves in the future that tends toward eternal salvation rather than dwelling upon the sins and failures of the past.
But denying people hope is exactly what some bishops are now doing. Destroy ideals and you eliminate the reason why a person lives for tomorrow. Bishops destroy ideals when they suggest that persons in a state of mortal sin may receive Communion. Such a position suggests that somehow God’s loving plan is lacking in some way.
Blase Cardinal Cupich has written the foreword for a new book about Amoris Laetitia in which he “approves Communion for adulterers,” according to LifeSiteNews.
Plundering the Church’s treasury of sacraments to give people false assurance of salvation does not solve anything. It can trade one illusion or false hope for another, however.
Communion is not something someone takes like refreshments at a funeral or a children’s Christmas play, as a participation prize or for appearances because we want friends and family to think well of us.
The battle over who receives Communion goes to the core of who we are as Catholic Christians; it concerns truth about conscience.
Truth is full in God and Incarnate in Christ. We are created by Truth and in His image but depend completely upon a relationship of His initiative.
We just celebrated the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity and recalled that the inner life of God thus described is not knowable by us had not God revealed it. Christ’s own teachings have made the truth of the Trinity known. We learn this Revelation in the Church through which all graces of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit flow.
Everybody knows you can Google for answers and many people frequently do. That people do not Google also to learn the faith is vincible ignorance. Not making the effort needed on one’s own to learn the faith is a culpable omission.
We do not speak here of the invincibly ignorant. There are some people who, through no fault or choice of their own, could not know the truths of faith.
Cardinal Cupich deflects criticism of Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia by claiming that it is up to those with doubts about the document to reconcile themselves to the teaching in AL. This is nothing more than intellectual laziness. The tried and true technique for promoting alien agendas with which we have become familiar came into vogue in the wake of Vatican II.
It goes like this: Come up with unfounded theological innovations without any basis in Church teaching or doctrinal development, float them through official channels by putting them into a Church document, publish and disseminate them widely and then refuse to defend, explain, or justify them.
It’s one thing for a member of the Body of Christ, knowing or not knowing the truth about the proper dispositions to receive the Eucharist, to come forward at Mass of their own accord and to approach the priest to receive it. Some do so for appearances at funerals, though they may have abandoned the practice of keeping the Lord’s Day holy or may be remarried civilly after a divorce.
But it’s far more grave for leaders in the Church to commit scandal by stealing what is not theirs, to include the sacraments, and to invite and give them unlawfully to persons they know are not properly disposed to receive them.
We hear a lot currently about ending corruption in the Church, most of all from Pope Francis. It seems, though, that under his signaling through Amoris Laetitia and approval of interpretations by others, that at least one sort of corruption is okay.
The sacraments are entrusted by Christ to be administered for the sake of saving souls. God desires that all be saved and thus grace is made available for all. No one can be saved, however, if sacraments are received without the proper disposition.
It is indeed a corruption to teach others that the Eucharist can be received if not in a state of grace. It is also a corruption to fail to teach that one must be able to receive the Sacrament of Confession before receiving the Eucharist if not in a state of grace.
@MCITLFrAphorism

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