Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
Vic Biorseth, Saturday,
August 06, 2016
A while back, I wrote Unlimited Mercy, in response to Fr. Larry Richards' radio broadcast, calling for the expansion of mercy and the elimination of, what seemed to me, simple adult judgment of actions. It appeared to me to be a gross misinterpretation of the necessary daily exercise of responsible adult judgment with judgment of souls, which none of us can do anyway. But that doesn't mean we should never reprove sin when we see it, right in front of our faces. To not reprove sin is to approve sin, by default. To let it stand unopposed is to strengthen it, by appearing to support it.
Yesterday, I finished and published the Institutional Stupidity page, about the insidious lies that are invading and taking over American education, and through education, politics, news reporting, and even science, and even religion, of all things. It has infected our own government, all three branches. And it is caused, or rather allowed, by just this kind of thinking: the near abandonment of critical thinking and the massive failure to exercise simple adult judgment.
Today, I attended the Dayton Ohio Region 12 Catholic Men's Retreat, with the theme, "Merciful Father". It was an excellent retreat, soul stirring and thought provoking, by four very good speakers. Two Priests, a Seminarian and a Theologian. The overall theme was to juxtapose the relationship between God and Man, with the relationship between Father and Child, and in both situations, to balance Mercy with Justice.
And, I must say, it was extraordinarily well done, from my perspective, and I think from many others, too. At least the ones I spoke to.
For once, I heard some quotes of Pope Francis - these regarding his Year of Mercy - that made some sense to me. Perhaps my earlier readings of some of his more questionable words makes me a bit pre-judgmental and inclined to non-acceptance. I admit to that, and that it's a hard thing for me to overcome. But I'm trying. What I heard today was spiritually inclined and uplifting. We all have our own "filters" through which we understand the words of others. These presenters were all a lot more scholarly and knowledgeable, and a lot more spiritual, than me, and that lends credence to their words.
Through my fault, I have not gotten in touch with the spiritual message of Pope Francis, because I am easily distracted by his worldly messages, regarding political organization in particular. And I think I have missed much, and Pope Francis' work deserves a more careful re-reading. I'm not good at that, but I will try.
A discussion arose regarding the dichotomy between Mercy and Justice, and between "Fear of the Lord" and "God is Love". I have about a 30% loss of hearing, so I didn't catch all the words from everyone, especially from those who were particularly soft spoken. But, I think, there wound up being more or less equal contingents who saw God as unlimited Love, and nothing to fear, and those who saw fear of God as the beginning point of wisdom, and absolutely necessary.
I am a "fear the Lord" kind of guy. You cannot begin to recognize His unlimited awesomeness without a tinge of fear. But, that's just me.
Go to Bible Browse, and do a "simple search" with the following search strings, one at a time, and I think some of you may be surprised.
It would appear, from Scripture, that Christians should fear God.
The discussion, and the discussions during fellowship at breaks, lunch and afterward, all reawakened the questions at the heart of so much that I have written on this site, summed up in one quote from Unlimited Mercy, shown here:
And, we have some of the verses that tell us to keep apart from those not keeping to the doctrine, quoted here:
So, the question arises again: At what point, after showing the obstinate unrepentant sinner his error and pointing the way to redemption, and he will not hear of it and continues in his sin, - at what point do you "shake off the dust on your feet in testimony against them", and depart from them, and have nothing to do with them?
(See Matt 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5.)
These things have to do with our brothers, or those close to us; members of the community to which we belong. But there are worse cases; there are enemies of the community to consider. Is our mercy to extend to them, too?
This site is overladen with fears and warnings about the unwarranted glorification of "Diversity" to the destruction of human society. That way lies the ruin of nations and the wreckage of religion. The once unique American culture is being turned into an indistinquishable "Muliti-Culture" right before our eyes. And, the Catholic Church appears to be allowing itself to be turned into an indistinquishable "Multi-Cult".
The two enemy ideologies of America, and, not incidentally, enemy ideologies of Christianity, are Marxism and Islam. They are diametrically opposed to and seek the destruction of the American Constitution, and all religion.
Today, after having undergone a metamorphosis into "Cultural Marxism", and after going on steroids after falsely demonizing and destroying Senator Joe McCarthy, Marxism "owns" the American Presidency, much of Congress and the Supreme Court, our own News Media and Entertainment Industry, Academia and formal education. And, as Pope Francis himself has demonstrated, it has made serious inroads into Catholic thinking.
Similarly, Islam has undergone a metamorphosis into "Civilization Jihad", by which it "Immigrates" itself into enemy territory and then grows there, until it can take over.
Both of these evil ideologies have global intentions. In both of them, their very purpose for being is to bring about the destruction of all other institutions, ideologies, forms of government and jurisprudence, and religions. To bring all the world under their brutal domination.
To that end, one of them promises to end hunger and poverty, and the other assures us that it is a religion of peace.
But they lie. They are full of treachery and deceit.
We have opened the gates and let the enemy in. He is among us.
He is even educating us. He has made himself a part of us.
So you see why I worry about Mercy without end, and trying to emulate God in His infinite mercy. Our mercy cannot be infinite and unlimited, if we are to keep true to the original teaching.
I don't know where all of this is going, but it doesn't look like its going to a good place. Offering a "Rainbow" Mass at a homosexual Parish, with the blessing of a Bishop, as horrible as that looks, may in fact be the least of our worries, but ...
How did we ever let it get this far?
Why is it not being corrected?
Why is it so glaringly obvious that the whole Church is not following ONE AND ONLY ONE DOCTRINE?
Is the Catholic Church already a Multi-Cult?
Because I live and work in the world, my worldly side gets more attention than my spiritual side; maybe that's the problem. I know God wins in the end, but, what horrors will occur before the end?
Everyone, among our brothers and our neighbors, is not going to hear and accept the Word. That's one problem.
Among those who are not among our brothers and our neighbors are those who intend to dominate us and eliminate our government, law and religion. And even terrorize and kill us. That's another problem.
To me, neither case deserves unlimited mercy without conversion.
But that's just me. What do you think about it?
Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life. Please God and live forever.
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Date: Sun Aug 07 17:31:06 2016
You are at the top of my list for worthwhile reading for years now and I look forward to your posts. As a devout follower of Christ, albeit non-Catholic (loved the Father,Son, Holy Spirit and Mary posts), I agree with 99.9% of all you write spiritually and politically. I am thankful for you. You help keep me sane in an insane world. Today you address an issue I'm struggling with regarding mercy for my husband. He now claims that Christ is the way to heaven for him but not necessarily everyone - that he believes there are other ways if one loves others enough and are considered "good." He reads the Bible daily but still swallowed the lie. This was not the faith we shared when we married. Ironically two days ago, I wrote him a letter using many of the same passages you quoted and more. Today, you addressed obvious mega evil issues regarding withholding mercy, and I agree with your position. But to me, this blasphemy, which he stubbornly holds, seems even more dangerous in its insidious appeal. It's now the theology for so many in the church and market place today - having it both ways using "Love" not Christ's atonement as the gateway to heaven. Clever but evil. Aside from intercessory prayers, what mercy would your priests offer for such as these who hold fast to this affectionate lie? What would you?
Date: Mon Aug 08 2016
From: Vic Biorseth
Thank you for those kind words.
A fully orthodox Catholic Priest, meaning one who is unwavering in the original unchanged teachings of the Church, might begin with more gentle advice, but would continue the dialogue encouraging eventual entry into the Church Christ founded. Believe it or not, most of these more orthodox Priests, today, will be among the youngest ones, not so much among the oldest.
I am no Priest, but a simple minded layman. My weakness may be a lack of diplomacy, for by nature I tend to go straight to the point, and many find that abrasive. Perhaps men like me are needed to "fill the gap" between gentle persuasion and straight up proclamation.
Being "Good", in and of itself, doesn't cut it. We need to be Holy.
It is true that Jesus gave us one new Commandment - to love one another as He has loved us. But that is not the only Commandment given. God is Love, true enough; and many believe that love of God and love of neighbor equates to "Goodness" and thus, even to final salvation. But, how do we prove our "Goodness" and our love of God and neighbor?
We must keep the whole faith that is passed on.
We gain holiness by cooperating with the unmerited grace that is given. Staying within the fullness of Jesus' teaching is just the beginning point. Receiving the Seven Sacraments includes receiving Sanctifying Grace; grace on steroids. The holiness that is within us is actually the Holy Spirit Who was sent. As we embrace and cooperate with grace, the Holy Spirit acts in and through us. As we fall out of grace - as we sin, or as we reject any of the teaching - the Holy Spirit leaves us.
It is not we who are holy so much as the Spirit Who is within us. God does not dwell in the company of evil. To reject the whole of it is to reject the indwelling holiness without which we will not see the Lord.
Sin itself drives out the Holy Spirit. Serious sin kills holiness completely. What we believe has no effect. Dwell upon what is.
The entire Revelation is objectively true, and does not change. It always deserves more weight than the opinions of contemporary man.
It is, or it may be, "Possible" for one to be saved outside the full revelation of the original Gospel of Christ. Which is to say, outside of the Church He founded. I don't know about you, or your husband, but for me, "Possible" doesn't cut it. I need more than that.
For me, it's a whole enchilada thing. I take every bit of it I can get.
I hope this helps; it might help more to somehow open up a dialogue with a Priest.
Date: Wed Aug 10 16:09:00 2016
First, thank you so much for taking the time to reply. your words and thoughts are very much appreciated. On becoming Catholic, I actually considered it.
This came after a major conflict of faith. A friend gave me Thomas Merton's "Thoughts in Solitude" and I immediately found a kindred spirit in him - finally. I then read his book "Life and Holiness" which again refocused my spiritual journey. He may have diverted later - I'm not sure. I did attend a Catholic Silent Retreat, a supportive retreat of Merton's work and was greatly blessed. The problem was that the Catholic Churches I encountered seemed more politically liberal and off the mark, not unlike the Church you speak of in your posts. It has taken a long time to regain my spiritual balance and depend on the truth of Scripture and the active work of Christ through the Holy Spirit in my life. It is powerful. I attend a solidly Biblical teaching church but will now always be wary and test all the spirits all the time. I don't believe any church, even the original, gets us to heaven, it is our personal ongoing living relationship with Jesus Christ and accepting his atoning sacrifice for my sin and the sins of the world, as taught in the Holy Bible. I do have a Catholic Bible along with others and love it. It is a joyous and powerful walk and ever growing. Is the church you attend as faithful as you are about living and teaching the way of the Lord? I've not had time yet today to read your most recent post but certainly will.
Date: Wed Aug 10 2016
From: Vic Biorseth
Yes, I belong to a "faithful" Church with an excellent Pastor and multiple Priests and Deacons, ministering to a "Region" including four Parishes. Ours is Holy Cross. It offers the Novus Ordo (New Order) Mass, the art and architecture is Lithuanian, and it is just an absolutely beautiful little Church.
On rare occasions we pray the Latin Mass at nearby Holy Family Church, to recharge our ancient Catholic liturgical batteries. (We grew up praying the Latin Mass.) Whenever we go to Michigan for family doings, we go to Assumption Grotto for the Latin Mass.
There are four books that immediately come to mind that you might find helpful in your search.
You might point your husband to some of the pages among the Orthodox Catholicism pages.
It's a wonderful journey, Rue. May the Lord bless you as you go.
Date: Mon Aug 15 16:51:00 2016
Just was able to get to your response. I grew up with Archbishop Sheen listening to him on TV with my grandmother. We were not Catholic but I believe it was the first work of the HS in my life. I loved him. So thank you! I will pursue the other books as well. The book of John plus 1,2,3 John are my favorites though I never come away from Scripture without being instructed and blessed in so many ways. It surely is a living book. Again, many thanks and God bless you.
Date: Mon Aug 15 20:04:49 2016
Location: Bonney Lake, WA USA
Some of Archbishop Sheen's sermons and classes he gave students are free on the internet. YouTube has a bunch of them. His Life is Worth Living television program (not all I don't believe) are also free.
Date: Sun Aug 21 18:49:07 2016
To Lanie: Thank you! I will surely check out You Tube. It never occurred to me. What a blessing.
Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
Do not allow our common destiny as a whole people to just happen without your input.
Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life; please God, and live forever.
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The Purpose of this grouping of links is to highlight miss-placed and miss-applied Christian Mercy, which inevitably becomes Super-Toleration of Evil, and Progressive Compromise with Evil, until Evil Rules.
The Miss-Placed Mercy Pages.
Describing the process by which formerly Christian American Culture degenerated into the corrupt, decadent and perverted mess we see today, in art, entertainment, literature, science, journalism, politics and general social behavior. Evil now dominates. Mercy is best applied to those best disposed to receive it. Note well that Biblical Mercy was not applied to the ancient Canaanites.
Does the Year Of Mercy mean the end of Moral and Spiritual Discernment? Fr. Larry Richards says the one thing you are absolutely forbidden to ever apply to anyone else is Judgment. Is that true? And is Mercy absolutely Limitless?
On The Evil One's Mal-Formed Compassion and Malignant Mercy. In malignant mercy we see that evil and untruth can infiltrate and commandeer even the virtues.
On the developing Catholic theological "Mercy War". Has Blessed Cardinal Newman's "Development of Christian Doctrine" been weaponized in the new Mercy War?
Is our Mercy to be unlimited? Should Mercy be applied even to Satan himself? Mercy for your brother, your neighbor, your political enemy; the common criminal. But what about Mercy for the murderous, rapacious horde outside the city walls?
On the Year of Mercy, Obstinate Unrepentant Sinners, and Pure Evil. In this Year of Mercy, are we to be merciful even to the evil barbarian hoard laying siege outside the city walls?
"We belong to the Church militant; and She is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass Her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights.”--Pope Pius XII
"It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor. It is a sin worthy of punishment, not an act deserving a reward, to give away what belongs to others."--St. Francis of Assisi
Truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.—Winston Churchill
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.—Ayn Rand
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