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Are right and wrong always black and white, or are there shades of grey?

There is the Spirit (the Kingdom), the Flesh (the World), and You.  Love unites (or divides) you to one of them, and Love is Black and White.  Always.

Vic Biorseth, Wednesday, April 15, 2015
http://www.CatholicAmericanThinker.com/

[41] Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."--Matt 26:41

The Spirit of the Kingdom is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity: God the Holy Ghost.  The Tempter of the Flesh is Lucifer, the Ruler of the World.  You stand in the middle, here in this world, where the battle between Good and Evil rages.  The battle is being fought over You

The deepest kernel or seed of "Good" exists in the hearts of all men, from conception.  It is the natural sense of Right and Wrong, called the Natural Law, graven on the hearts of men by the Lord.  It is the bare beginning of the thing we call a Conscience.  When man is tempted to do something against Nature, a little warning is sounded in his heart of hearts - his Conscience - because it is against our own nature to oppose nature.  That's the way the Author of Nature designed Nature, including your nature. 

But Conscience itself needs nurturing, nourishing, development, guidance, strengthening and activation.  To gain the Kingdom, it needs to approach Natural and Spiritual - and Conscious, purposeful - Perfection

[48] You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.--Matt 5:48

Of course, we cannot be perfect, but we are called to try.  We cannot depend entirely upon Conscience alone to keep us on the path; it takes conscious, concerted effort to seek good and avoid bad.  To purposely do good, and to purposely fight evil. 

We cannot be perfect, in our fallen nature, because of concupiscence.  Since Adam's fall from Grace his descendents have this tendency to not resist temptation to sin.  To overcome this seemingly natural concupiscence requires more than natural conscience; it requires purposeful and determined resistance. 

And it needs one more thing. 

Baptism is not what I'm talking about, although the Spirit in you is certainly activated by the sacrament of Baptism.  In Baptism, all your sins, including even Adam's Original Sin, are washed away, and you are Born Anew of Water and Spirit, and given Sanctifying Grace by which you may enter the Kingdom, provided that you stay in Grace and do not fall into disgrace, through succumbing to worldly concupiscence. 

We get a clue regarding the One More Thing we need to move closer to perfection in Galatians 2:

[20] I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.--Gal 2:20

We die to the World in the waters of Baptism, and we are reborn of the Spirit into the Kingdom.  It then becomes Job One to stay there, for the rest of our lives.  A tall order.  But read the verse again as if it were you speaking, rather than St. Paul.  Take it personally. 

Christ now lives in you, and the rest of your life is lived by faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord your God.  And why? 

Because He loved you, so much that He gave His life for you. 

So the One More Thing we are talking about is Love.  A Loving Relationship.  And what is Love?  At the core, it is a free will decision, an approving choice and favoring of something or someone.  A step out from that core it is a commitment to a loving relationship.  Note this well: there is no love in the absence of free will.  Love is meaningless in the absence of free will.  We can love God of our own free will, or not at all. 

This is the fatal flaw in the false religion of Islam, which demands only one thing of disciples: absolute submission to Islam.  Absolute submission is not love, freely given.  Love demanded, and love submitted simply because it is demanded, is not love.  It is obedience, but not love, either given or taken.  Love goes two ways.  For what is Love, in the absence of free will?  It doesn't exist.  True love is absolutely dependent upon free will. 

This goes all the way back to our very purpose for being.  Go back to the old Baltimore Catechism and you will find that purpose.  To know, love and serve God in this life, and be happy with Him in the next.  So the very reason we exist and our very purpose for being is deeply involved in Love.  We are called to Love God, with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind and our whole strength.  A tall order, yes?  but Love goes two ways. 

That's how God loves you.  That means God is free to not love you; but He does.  If anyone has free will, it is God.  He loves you, truly, of His own free will.  Go back and read Galatians 2:20 (above) again, and again, read it personally.  As if you were speaking in Paul's place. 

And remember that He humbled Himself to become incarnate, a mere creature, emptying Himself of Godliness just to show you the Way, and to suffer horribly and die for you, to redeem you, personally.  And He did all that out of nothing other than Love for you. 

That means you, personally, are beloved of God. 

With this knowledge of the Love of God, you can resist concupiscence and conquer sin.  Any sin.  Even habitual sin, and even addiction, of any kind whatsoever.  All forms of sin are potentially addictive, obsessive, controlling, possessive and enslaving. 

With recognition of God's love for you, and realization that it is true, you, and He, can break the chains of any worldly slavery to sin.  Die to yourself, die to the World, surrender in Love to the Truth, and get yourself free. 

[26] But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." --Matt 19:26

[23] And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes." --Mark 9:23

[27] Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God." --Mark 10:27

[27] But he said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." --Luke 18:27

What gives you this habit-breaking ability is not only the knowledge that God is with you, but the new knowledge that God actually Loves you, personally.  The Love of God gives you the additional strength you need to overcome the Flesh for the sake of the Kingdom.  And, in returning this Love to God, in strengthening your Love relationship with Him, you overcome sin and move into Grace, in the proper manner, and, most importantly, for the right reason

If there is some sin you keep committing, repenting of, confessing, receiving absolution, and then falling back into it again, supernatural Love is your way out of that cycle.  If you merely pray for strength to resist temptation, but your strength proves too weak, and you fall again, you are trying too much to do it on your own, and maybe blaming God for not coming through. 

That's putting too much emphasis on your self, instead of your Love relationship with God.  Remember, we have the World, the Self and the Kingdom.  Every man wants to be strong, to exercise self control, to take charge of his life, and to master sin through self discipline, self mastery and sheer force of will.  But that's almost standing alone, against the World.  Why?  To prove something?  To proudly show off your manly strength? 

It's really the same problem with the "I know the rules" and "letter of the law" going through the motions Catholics.  They learned their Catechism, they know the Commandments, they know the Sacraments, the know the Precepts, and they do all that.  They go to Mass every Sunday and Holy Day, and, there's no denying, they are on the right path to the Kingdom.  But why?  Because it's a rule

Didn't Jesus slam bang the Pharisees, and He Himself was a Pharisee, calling them a brood of vipers and blind guides?  They, or most of them, did everything the Law required, proudly and loudly, with open public demonstration of living by the Law of God.  But for the wrong reason.  They had no Love.  Before Love can be received, it must be given.  They lived as they lived simply because their rules were written down for them.  But that's not what God wants.  That's what Jesus - God - was telling them. 

God made us to Love Him.  As He Loves us.  That is our purpose for being.  God wants a personal Loving relationship with you, and He has done His part.  The relationship is already initiated; the rest is up to you. 

When the slave of addiction to alcohol, opium, cocaine, fornication, pornography, masturbation, homosexuality, etc., commits himself to Love of God, cementing the relationship that is already present, the chains are broken

When the going through the motions good Catholic commits himself to the Love of God, cementing the relationship that is already present, he comes to Mass and participates in Sacrament for the right reason. 

Love sets Faith on fire, builds the Kingdom and laughs at the World. 

Love is very simple, really.  Love is black and white.  It is the New Law.  Or, at least, a new way of looking at the Law.  Most importantly, it is a new reason to obey the Law.  It involves aligning your will with the will of God, out of Love of God. 

For instance, a man might be determined to not commit adultery, because he is committed to his wife by having given his personal word in the Sacrament of Marriage.  And because he would not break the Law of God.  And because he would not break an existing legislated civil law.  But a real man would not commit adultery because he loves his wife so much that he would never do anything that ever might hurt her in any way, or go against her.  This is the motivation that comes out of Love, not Law. 

So it is with the Law of God.  If you do it because that's what Scripture says, or that's what the Catechism says, or that's what the Precepts of the Church say, or that's what the Bishop says, or that's what the Pope says, well, you might be on the right path, but not for the best of reasons. 

If you really Love God, you do nothing to hurt him.  Sin hurts God.  That's black and white.  All sin, of whatever variety, is saying no to God, one way or another.  When you have the unlimited Love of God, any sin you commit is hurting the one Who Loves you the most.  If you participate in that Love, to whatever degree you enter into a Love relationship with God, to that same degree do you die to self, and to the World.  To that same degree are you born anew into the Kingdom, where you belong. 

That's just black and white.  There are no shades of grey.  Out of Love, you seek, learn and fulfill the Will of God.  Very simple; nothing to it. 

But, concupiscence will never fully leave you, the World ever increasingly opposes all of this, and Satan will have his souls.  To achieve his ends, Satan introduces his "shades of grey" to destroy your Love relationship with God, one little nibble at a time.  He cannot affect God's Love for you, but he can and will toy with your Love of God, in a million different little ways. 

Just look at pop culture today. 

Once upon a time, Catholic culture anathematized flagrant public sinners, as we said in Anathematizing Anathema.  Today, flagrant public sinners, as an integral accepted part of pop culture, are quite successfully anathematizing us.  And when we protest, or even when we call a scandalous public sinner, and the promoters of scandalous public sin, sinners, we are are further anathematized and pilloried for being Judgmental, of all things. 

Adult judgment is no longer to be used.  But only by us.  Yet, Revealed Truth, in the unchanging Word of God, condemns wrong judgment, or unjust judgment, not all judgment.  We are instructed by the Word of God to exercise good judgment. 

[43] Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more." And he said to him, "You have judged rightly."--Luke7:43

[57] "And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right"--Luke 12:57

[24] Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."--John 7:24

[51] "Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?"--John 7:51

[19] But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge;
[20] for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard."--Acts 4:29-20

[19] Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God,
[20] but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood.--Acts 15:19-20

[25] But as for the Gentiles who have believed, we have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity."--Acts 21:25

[3] For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.--Rom 12:3

[10] I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.--1 Cor 1:10

[15] The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.--1 Cor 2:15

And yet, the most popular among the Catholic clerics and teachers you see on TV and hear on the radio will all go on about the sin of judgmentalism as if it were the worst of sins, or almost the only sin.  These same "Catholic" spokesmen will often go on and on about the "shades of grey" in certain sins, too.  The "New Evangelization" appears to me to be at least partially co-opted and commandeered by Left leaning and World compromising clerics, many of them wearing mitres. 

All of that came out of a multiple decades long social process of practically clericalizing the laity and laicizing the clergy.  Out of this Worldly blending process emerged all the collar-less "just call me Larry" Priests, and all the Sister Imincharge Pastoral Administrators, and all the many, many "Lay Pastoral Ministry" Program Lay Pastoral Ministries and Ministers. 

"Hate the sin but love the sinner" and "meet them where they are" is the new evangelization mantra, noting how Jesus associated with the sinners.  What they do not note is that He did not join them in their sin, nor did they themselves remain in their sin.  He went to them to convert them, not to hang out with them while they continued in their sinful ways as if He were not there calling them to repentance and conversion.  So today, we have real live Catholic Priests reaching out to active homosexuals, not to call them to repentance, but to be there for them, with a big smile.  They put a smiley face on sodomy. 

But the worst of all of this, to me, and to the greater negative effect not only on the Church, but on the larger culture itself, is the teaching of a radicalized Gospel, and in what is not taught at all.  Absolutely incorrect, invalid and incomplete Catechesis. 

For example, answering on-air questions about such things as abortion and same sex "marriage" and so forth, I have heard Catholic "experts" and even Catholic Priests use the term "Shades of Grey" in their toned-down and softened condemnation of absolute mortal sin.  There are no shades of grey.  Right is right, and wrong is wrong.  Abortion and active homosexuality are black and white issues. 

Yet "shades of grey" advice is given to troubled people invited to homosexual celebrations.  Well, if it's a family member, it might be OK; if not, but it's a close friend, then don't attend the "Sacrament" but go to the reception afterwards, to love the sinner. 

Gimme shelter. 

Attending one of these events means witnessing same sex couples embracing and kissing, proudly, in front of everyone, even in front of children.  With smiles and blessings all around.  Including you.  You thereby participate in normalizing the abnormal, in naturalizing the unnatural, and in blessing highly public mortal sin and mortal sinners.  In the company, almost certainly, of a whole "community" of public mortal sinners.  Who are happy to see you, too, blessing their ungodly choices, and making your contribution to the eventual destruction of the family, which is the primal social unit. 

And "shades of grey" advice is often given to troubled people with questions on rare abortions or abortions involving unusual conditions.  It's black and white.  Human life is either Sacred, or it is not.  If it is a living human being, and the DNA says that it is indeed a living human being, even from the very instant of conception, then

  1. It is Sacred to God.
  2. It is just as beloved of God as you are. 
  3. It has civil rights, under the Constitution.
  4. All of it's rights are absolutely equal to the rights of every other living human being.  

The unwarranted taking of innocent human life is murder.  That's black and white.  There are and can be no shades of grey here. 


I started writing this Wednesday morning before starting work, and now I'm finally finishing it, Friday, April 17, after work and after dinner.  And the latest (and last?) Vortex episode came into my email.  Since it seems entirely appropriate to this topic, I am posting the Image and Link below for you to watch the video.  May the Lord bless Mother Angelica on her birthday. 

One more thing perhaps needs to be said.  The Catholic talk radio Priests and others who would have listeners "meet people where they are" even if it may be at a homosexual "marriage" or reception appear to hold one thing in common:  The late Cardinal Bernardin's "Seamless Garment" approach to judging sin.  Seamless Garment espouses "Moral Equivalency" of all sin, or at least all mortal sin.  And that is just plain stupid. 

Moral Equivalency is almost as bad as the Moral Relativism championed by Libertarianism.  Another term for Moral Relativism might be Variable Reality, which is why we Oppose Libertarianism.  Libertarians don't know right from wrong, or, they do not believe in any fixed moral standard for a whole identifiable People.  I submit that a fixed moral standard is precisely what identifies an identifiable People in the first place. 

Moral Equivalency of sin holds that there is no difference between, say, missing Mass on Sunday and "Coming Out" as a publicly proclaimed active homosexual.  Since both can go to hell if they die before repenting and getting absolution, both are equal.  And, further, we, the people, should not be so quick to rush to judgment and anathematize one and not the other. 

The glaringly obvious problem with that is the highly public nature of one sinner, but not the other.  We might not even know when or if someone missed Mass, or confessed it and received absolution.  But we all certainly know about the blatant, open, in your face, purposely public, active and perhaps even activist homosexual.  They want us all to know all about it, whether we want to know about it or not. 

And we all certainly know about the blatant, open, in your face, purposely public political actions of Marxocrat Party sponsors and champions of establishing unlimited abortion in law, and establishing special rights and protections for other public sinners such as open public homosexuals. 

How, exactly, do such sins achieve "Moral Equivalence" with missing Mass in the tiny little minds of these possibly evil, but probably stupid Priests?  This, too, contributes to the decline of Western Civilization and the advance of barbarity.  The Homo-Nazis, Femi-Nazis, etc., will all say that the obvious social acceptance today of public homosexuality is the mark of Social Progress.  But progress toward what, exactly?  Sodom and Gomorrah? 

The Word of God has not changed.  God has not moved.  If the whole of our culture has moved, we must judge whether it moved toward the Kingdom or toward the World.  And we must judge our own part in that movement.  At the end of every Mass we are "sent out" into the larger culture to spread the good news, as we received it.  But know this: 

There are Shepherds who feed their flock, Shepherds who do not feed their flock, and Shepherds who feed on their flock.  Beware of which kind your own Shepherd might be. 

Know your faith

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. 



=====

Smart-Assed Hover-Link Footnotes:  For the convenience of those readers using devises that lack a mouse, these footnotes are provided for all webpages, in case any webpage contains any hover-links.  (If you don't have a mouse, you can't "hover" it over a link without clicking.)

SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
GESGOEAEOT2 Gradually, Ever So Gradually, Over Eons And Eons Of Time
PEWAG3 Punctuated Equilibrium's Wild-Assed Guess
TTRSTF4 Them There Real Scientifical-Type Fellers
TTRSPTF5 Them There Real Smart Perfesser-Type Fellers
TTRSJTF6 Them There Real Smart Journalistical-Type Fellers
SNRTACBT7 Surely No Right Thinking Adult Could Believe Today
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WDN9 We Don't Know
BMDFP10 Baboons, Mongrel Dogs, Filthy Pigs and ...
HBAACOTE11 Human Beings Are A Cancer On The Earth
ACLU12 Anti-Christian Litigation Union
FLORMPORIF13 Flagrant Liar, Or, Mindless Parrot, Or, Innocent Fool
MEJTML14 Marxist Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
IEJTML15 Islamic Ends-Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
MPAV16 Marxist Principles And Values
WBESSWG17 Wise, Benign, Elite, Super-Scientific World Governance
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IYI19 Intellectual Yet Idiotic

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Date:  Fri Apr 17 21:54:14 2015
From:  marlene
Email:   rhetorektum@aol.com
Location:  phila., pa   USA
Comment: 

A moral life in Jesus is superlative.   God does not judge us by our gray matter, but by our evil black or pure white heart. 


Date:  Sat Apr 18 07:23:10 2015
From:  Lori
Email:  
l.baxter@sbcglobal.net
Location:
  Carmel, IN, USA
Comment: 

Thanks Vic.  You do my soul good to see someone clearly spell out what our religion or faith is supposed to be about.


Date:  Sat Apr 18 09:20:45 2015
From:  Mariann
Email:   
Location:  
Comment: 

Excellent!  Thanks for every moment you put into this excellent writing as well as your excellent blog, dear brother!  May the Lord continue to bless you and your lovely wife with grace upon grace.


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Your Host, Vic Biorseth

Never be lukewarm.
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He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
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The Winnowing Pages
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