Relative to “San Bernardino Catholics Respond, After a Day of Horror” (Dec. 5, NCRegister.com):
“God isn’t fixing this!” blared the New York Daily News newspaper headline the day after the tragedy. Little do they realize God already fixed it 1,982 years ago, when he sent his only Son, the promised Messiah. The God-Man Jesus Christ, once for all, exercised his Father’s gift of human free will and willingly chose to sacrifice himself to his Father and our heavenly Father for the sin of humanity.
Jesus Christ was and remains the only acceptable sacrifice to God his Father for sins committed and those sins humans continue to commit against God and neighbor since God created man in his image.
In the beginning, God blessed Adam and Eve saying, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and all the living things that move on the earth.”
In sacred Scripture, the Bible, God communicates to man the wisdom of God when man needed to know it. In the beginning, there was only one commandment: “You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.”
Tempted by Satan, the fallen angel, deceiver of man and a liar from the beginning, Adam and Eve exercised their free will, and both ate from the tree that God had forbidden.
Reparation to God for the first sin continues today — man toils to eat the yield of the ground, and woman experiences intensified pangs during childbearing. People can offer their sufferings to God for their sins and the sins of the world.
In the beginning, God spoke directly to man. Next, God spoke through the prophets, who taught God’s will to man. God gave to Moses the Ten Commandments; God authored the list of right and wrong. Finally, God chose to write his will upon the heart and mind of man.
Since that day, everyone knows God’s will, but some exercise God’s gift of free will to deny God exists so they can do what they want.
The mystery of the Trinity — God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; three as one God — is confirmed by a person’s: faith, hope and trust in God.
To man it remains a mystery. One human — the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God — alone was conceived sinless. Everyone else at the age of reason begins committing sin, and by their sins committed, they fall short of the glory of God and are in need of redemption and forgiveness from God.
Our particular judgment is exclusively ours.
Every life decision is made to love God and neighbor or not respect and worship God or the dignity of the human person; all our good and evil acts carried out — unless our sins confessed, followed by reparation made and forgiveness received from God before death, plus God’s mercy, if any — accumulates to be our life record in God’s Book of Life. Jesus will return to earth when commanded by his Father to judge the living and the dead on the last day of the world. No one knows that day except God the Father, not even the Son.
Holiness and Celibacy
I was surprised to read in “Vatican II, the Media and the Council’s Aftermath” (Vatican, Dec. 13 issue), Germain Grisez’s claim that since holiness is available to anyone in any state of life, it is not the case that “celibacy for the kingdom of heaven is a better vocation” than marriage.
He goes on to assert that the notion that celibacy for the kingdom is superior to marriage originated with various Fathers of the Church and medieval scholastics.
But do we not find this very teaching in St. Paul, I Corinthians 7, especially verse 38, “So that he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better”?
Moreover, this Pauline teaching has been authentically reaffirmed over and over again.
To cite merely two examples: The Council of Trent (canons on marriage, No. 10, pronounces an anathema on anyone who “says ... that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity or in celibacy than to be united in matrimony.” And Vatican II’s Optatam Totius (No. 10), while noting that “[seminary] students should have a proper knowledge of the duties and dignity of Christian marriage,” proceeds to state that such students “should recognize the greater excellence of virginity consecrated to Christ.”
Of course, this does not mean that every unmarried person consecrated to Christ is holier than any particular married person.
Holiness is possible in any state of life.
The traditional teaching concerns the question of the objective holiness of states of life, and when understood thus I do not see how it is possible to deny that the Church unambiguously teaches “the greater excellence of virginity consecrated to Christ.”
Focus on Faith and Morals
Regarding “Climate Change and the Church” (page one, Nov. 29 issue):
My list of today’s serious issues I hoped the Church would become vocal about did not include global warming.
Have we forgotten about “global-warming gate,” where supposed “scientists” intentionally fudged research to promote an agenda?
I agree that “it makes sense for the Church to add her voice” on issues. But instead of science, can we focus on the Church’s forte — faith and morals?
Can we focus on known destructive forces of pornography, abortion, “gay marriage” and the pill? These four issues are causes for people to spend an eternity in hell. Global warming is not even in the same league.
“Now that we know what we are doing to the planet,” the story says. The jury of scientists is still out on this “know.”
What we do “know” is the increased quantities of estrogen in the water system due to widespread use of the birth-control pill is wreaking havoc on the environment.
We “know” pornography is addicting and destroying families.
We “know” the vast majority of men in jail are from families without a father.
We “know” abortion is murder.
We “know” that the act of sodomy between two men in a “gay marriage” is not the same as the holy and procreative union between a man and woman in the bond of sacramental matrimony.
In eradicating our nation of fossil-fuel use, where is mention of something our country has much of — natural gas? It is very clean and plentiful. At best, wind, solar and geothermal energy on a national level would take decades, and the manufacturing of such would cause more global warming.
There is no immediate threat to mankind in global warming.
There is an immediate and eternal threat if we disregard the effects of pornography, abortion, “gay marriage” and the pill.
Let us pray that in this Year of Mercy God may have mercy on humanity: that we may recover from our addiction and sense of “normal and legal” to these grave sins.
Flower Mound, Texas
The issues of Oct. 18, Nov. 1 and Nov. 15 were outstanding.
Your coverage of the recent synod should go a long way to clearing up the confusion I’ve seen on the Internet and elsewhere.
Thomas McDonald’s “The Church Will Survive” should also help the numerous bloggers who seem to think that Armageddon is coming tomorrow; if they, as he suggests, would read some Church history, I believe they would calm down considerably.
I really appreciated the series of articles marking the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. I was a teenager during Vatican II and often feel frustrated by comments from people who seem to know nothing of the Council itself, only of the excesses and distortions of its teachings. Your summaries of the actual documents are invaluable for setting the record straight.
“Marriage is Irreplaceable” by William May is especially insightful. His statement — “Marriage is the free choice of a man and a woman to make themselves irreplaceable to each other” — reminded me of several pieces of great literature (such as Anna Karenina) and numerous incidents in real life, which illustrate the tragedies resulting from treating the marriage bond lightly.
It also prompted me to reread C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength, the third novel in his Space Trilogy. While its overall plot concerns a cosmic struggle between good and evil, set in a small English university town, much of the action is seen through the eyes of a young married couple, Jane and Mark, whose experiences make them painfully aware of the inadequacy of their “modern” view of marriage as “equality and free companionship.”
Separated by the conflict, Mark becomes ensnared by the evil organization (ironically called NICE), while Jane takes refuge with a small Christian group resisting them. They gradually learn the true meaning of marriage, based on humility and obedience.
Jane, contemplating Mark’s possible death at the hands of NICE, realizes the indissolubility of their bond: “She just saw the image of Mark dead ... those hands and arms (for good and ill so different from all other hands and arms) stretched out straight and useless like a doll’s.” Mark is saved as he comes to understand why he fell in love with Jane in the first place, recaptures his authentic self and acquires “the humility of a lover.”
The Register just keeps getting better. Keep up the good work!
Anne G. Burns
Cos Cob, Connecticut
I found your article on the 2015 best movies very interesting (“Brilliance in the Darkness,” Jan. 24 issue).
I did not see all of those movies but very much enjoyed and recommended Phoenix to others. I would have put it in the “top 10,” and I would have dropped Creed in the runner-up category (pending I agreed with the rest of your list, most of which I did not see).
However, I was surprised that the movie Little Boy did not make your list. This was a movie that all could watch — no objectionable content at all — and had a great message! (The story behind it: a deathbed promise to never make a bad movie!) I highly recommend this movie and paid to see it twice in a very short time. Little Boy, Phoenix and Bridge of Spies were the best movies I saw in 2015 and would highly recommend.
Floyd, New York
Issue of ‘Transgenderism’
Re: “Gender-Neutral Bathrooms Have Arrived at Catholic Colleges,” (Blogs, Feb. 4, NCRegister.com):
Great article by Patty Knapp — needs to be distributed widely!
Flushing, New York
In the Jan. 24 issue, in “Common Core’s Conundrum Continues” (page one), the National Catholic Education Association should have been referred to as the National Catholic Educational Association. The Register regrets the error.