LENT DAY 42 – THE WAR CONTINUES

In the last days, mopping up after the Battle of the Pasch, this life can be grubby and hard.

From Fr Robert Barron

As Christians we rejoice for Jesus Christ is Lord. God is King. Sin and death have been defeated. At the same time, we mustn’t succumb to a “cheap grace” interpretation of Christianity, whereby Christ is risen and all is well. As Julian of Norwich said, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” Notice the future tense!

The definitive battle has been won, but the war continues. St. Paul knew this well. His strategy, as we know, was to go to synagogues first, for the message he had was a distinctively Jewish message: that the long-awaited Messiah had come.

Many Jews listened – and this was the beginning of Paul’s church. We hear that in Antioch practically the whole city gathered to listen to Paul and Barnabas. But “when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.” Please don’t fall into an anti-Semitic trap here, for many of the Jews did listen to him. But from the beginning, this message was opposed.

Why? The most basic reason is that acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus means that your life has to change. For many this is liberating good news, but for others it is a tremendous threat. If Jesus is Lord, my ego cannot be Lord. My country cannot be Lord. My convictions or culture cannot be Lord.

The Resurrection is the clearest indication of the Lordship of Jesus. This is why the message of the Resurrection is attacked, belittled, and explained away. The author of Acts speaks of the “violent abuse” hurled at Paul. What was Paul’s reaction to this? He “shook the dust from [his] feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium” where he was “filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”

We’re up against a great mystery here. We are called to announce the good news to everyone, but not everyone will listen. Once we’ve done our work, we should move on and not obsess about those who won’t listen. Why do some respond and some don’t? Finally, that’s up to God.

About Brother Burrito

A sinner who hopes in God's Mercy, and who cannot stop smiling since realizing that Christ IS the Way , the Truth and the Life. Alleluia!
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77 Responses to LENT DAY 42 – THE WAR CONTINUES

  1. Brother Burrito says:

    I suspect that Fr Barron’s words are not fully appreciated by the readership here. In evidence, I posit the lack of comments or paucity of likes. I will refrain from re-posting his articles so.

    I see this as a shame because I think Fr B has a tremendous gift for making orthodox Catholicism understandable and relevant in today’s world.

    He is an evangelist par excellence, imho.

  2. Joan says:

    Well, I like it. It is a sad message to think that everyone gets their chance in life and some refuse it. When my visitation came about I knew how the Jewish people felt climbing their hills in search of our Lord and His Words, a glimpse, a grasping ,reaching out, please don;t let me be left behind desperation. How is it that the Mother of my God should come to me?!

  3. kathleen says:

    Dear Burrito – I notice the disappointment in your tone. That saddens me.

    This is a good article, with a very pertinent message for us today as we fight to defend the lives of the unborn, the sanctity of marriage, against legitimising sodomy, etc. – all the evils being forced upon us by godless, secular laws nowadays.

    However, I think the reason many have a certain reluctance to ‘like’ a post by Fr. Robert Barron is due to Father’s erroneous remarks some time ago about one of the Church’s main Doctrines – that on Hell. To summarise, Fr Barron infers that we may have “a reasonable hope” that although Hell exists, it is empty !!! Wrong of course… and a grevious mistake that could lead many people onto the very path towards Hell.

    Lots of ink was spilt in responding to Fr. Barron’s claims by apologists, bloggers, other priests… here is an excellent one from Msgr. Pope:
    http://blog.adw.org/2012/12/hurts-and-hopes-regarding-the-recent-debates-on-hell/

  4. GC says:

    Brother B, I hope you will continue to share Fr Barron’s work with us. He is a very well qualified theologian, an experienced teacher and professor and well versed in the ways of the media (the better ways, that is).

  5. geoffkiernan says:

    “We can have a reasonable expectation that all will be saved” were the words used to endorse the words of another equally disreputable ‘theologian’.
    “well versed in the ways of the media”. Come on give us a break.

  6. toadspittle says:

    “….although Hell exists, it is empty !!! Wrong of course… and a grievous mistake that could lead many people onto the very path towards Hell.”

    Why “…of course”? Why is it incontestable? How the hell do we know whether Hell is empty or crammed to the rafters with smouldering sinners? We have no credible evidence it exists at all. (…Apart from lurid little Lucia, I suppose.)
    To think that finite people can ever merit infinite punishment – seems to me a grievous enough mistake in logic for a start. And God is, we are told, pure logic.
    Why are you so fond of this absurd medieval notion, Kathleen?
    You are to nice to be a sadist.

  7. toadspittle says:

    Do’h! “too nice,” – quick, before GC pounces.
    WordPressed!

  8. Tom Fisher says:

    In evidence, I posit the lack of comments or paucity of likes. I will refrain from re-posting his articles so.

    Hi BB, for what it’s worth I thought it was a very good read. I hope you post more material from Fr. Barron in the future

  9. Tom Fisher says:

    is due to Father’s erroneous remarks some time ago about one of the Church’s main Doctrines – that on Hell. To summarise, Fr Barron infers that we may have “a reasonable hope” that although Hell exists, it is empty !!! Wrong of course…

    He was simply repeating the point made by Hans Urs Von Balthasar. Technically speaking, Catholic doctrine is silent on whether any particular souls are in Hell. And so, from our position of ignorance as to the contents of Hell, it is our Christian duty to hope and pray that it may be empty (to do otherwise would be a failure of charity). That’s the context for reasonable hope It’s not “wrong of course” Kathleen, Balthasar (highly regarded by BXVI) was well within Catholic doctrine.

  10. toadspittle says:

    Probably highly unchristian even to infer that Kathleen would regard the idea of a Hell not bulging with writhing, moaning, sinners being eternally prodded with red-hot pitchforks by leering, hideous, coal-black demons – as a bit of a swizz.
    …So I won’t.

  11. Tom Fisher says:

    You may remember that the last time this issue came up (just a couple of months ago), a certain commenter rather startlingly asked why, if we can hope that hell may be empty, doesn’t he just kill people whenever he wants?

  12. kathleen says:

    Toad and Tom,

    Here we go again – picking and choosing what one wants to believe! It is “wrong” and very misleading to say that we may “hope” Hell is empty. (Google any good Catholic apologetic site and see for yourselves.) Our Blessed Lord Himself told us that souls do go to Hell; in fact He warns us about Hell more times even than He mentions Heaven! With our Free Will, it is up to each individual to accept or reject our undeserved and God’s lovingly-offered Salvation that He earned for us by His Holy Passion, Death and Resurrection.

    Life on Earth is where we make our choices for where we wish to spend Eternity. Naturally, the very idea of souls being deprived of God for all Eternity is unbearable – the greatest of all the world’s tragedies – but the truth is that this is the terrible CHOICE made by those who reject God. Holy canonised saints of the Church have had plenty to say about the Doctrine of Hell.

    Tom, I believe you are misinterpreting Hans Von Balthasar’s real words.

    Writing of theologians contemplating that people for whom Christ died “may fail to reach their final destination in God, and may instead suffer eternal damnation with its everlasting pain,” Balthasar maintained:
    ‘If we take our faith seriously and respect the words of Scripture, we must resign ourselves to admitting such an ultimate possibility, our feelings of revulsion notwithstanding. We may not simply ignore such a threat; we may not easily dismiss it, neither for ourselves nor for any of our brothers and sisters in Christ”
    (Dare We Hope, p. 237).
    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/2735/did_hans_urs_von_balthasar_teach_that_everyone_will_certainly_be_saved.aspx

  13. johnhenrycn says:

    The principal reason I didn’t ‘like’ this post or comment on it, was because of the photo above it. I clicked on this thread whilst watching the BBC production, Private Peaceful. If any others have seen same, I hope they will agree it deadens one’s emotions for anything to do with war – especially the Great War – and so my trigger finger remained unusually quiescent, which is why I didn’t comment here at all yesterday. Count your blessings😉
    But this has nothing to do with my respect and admiration for Fr Barron. I’m on episode 4 of his 10 part production Catholicism, a very worthwhile way to spend one’s free time.
    ___
    As for whether any human beings are still in hell, or always will be, why did Jesus descend into hell if not to retrieve (some) souls from it? I shall read Kathleen’s link to the Msgr Pope piece about this as I expect he has some worthwhile things to say on the question.
    ___
    If Monsignor Pope is ever elected pope, will he assume his mantle asPope Pope? There’s got to be at least one physician or dentist whose surname is Doctor.
    http://www.192.com/atoz/people/surnames/doctor/50/

  14. Tom Fisher says:

    Tom, I believe you are misinterpreting Hans Von Balthasar’s real words.

    I’ve read the book that extract is from more than once. He remained within the teaching of the Church — that is why he never denied the possibility of damnation — his point was about reasonable hope not certainty. He was not a Universalist. If you read Barron and Balthasar carefully their theology is thoroughly Catholic.

  15. Tom Fisher says:

    As for whether any human beings are still in hell, or always will be, why did Jesus descend into hell if not to retrieve (some) souls from it?

    Read some Balthasar Johnhenry (possibly starting with the introductions written by Aidan Nichols). That questions is addressed in great depth in Balthasar’s work!

  16. Brother Burrito says:

    Personally, I hope hell is empty or as near as.

    With every Mass being effective in saving souls both forward and backward in time, I secretly hope and pray at Mass that every soul at the hour of death is given the Grace to repent.

    If a soul does end up in hell, then I can only surmise that it was a hopeless case. God’s judgement is ultimately final, isn’t it

    If I was designing the ceiling painting to go above an Altar, I would include a cloud of witnesses including future Saints in spacesuits/flying saucers whatever. Call me a loon: I know this already.

  17. Brother Burrito says:

    Well, all the comments on this thread have proved me wrong. Thanks GC and Tom

    I shall thus continue to post Fr B’s material in future. Sorry Geoff.

  18. johnhenrycn says:

    Re: Eternal Damnation (and please note the absence of “scare quotes” bracketing same):
    What is the worst sin a human can commit against a human? To intentionally kill, I’d say. What happens to soldiers who kill in the honourable execution of their duties? No need to answer that one because I use it merely as a primer for my next one, which is: what happens to suicides? Although, like soldiers, under great stress, many do so intentionally. The 5th Commandment says: “You shall not kill.” It does not say: “You shall not kill another.”

    So, if a suicide has committed the worst sin of all, which by logical extension must have been an unabsolved (unconfessed) sin, should we despair or not despair of his eternal salvation? Is there, despite the act of self-destruction still reason to hope for his salvation? I hope that any suggested answers do not descend into the psychobabble world of where to draw the line separating sanity from insanity, because sane people have been known to commit suicide for logical reasons.

  19. Brother Burrito says:

    I posit without any proof that many suicides are committed without full knowledge or full consent due to extraordinary stresses and circumstances being a factor.

    Thus they are not mortal sins.

    I am thinking of a certain twenty something year old girl who hanged herself in the last fortnight, that I know of.

    May perpetual light shine upon her.

  20. Tom Fisher says:

    Given that my brother committed suicide, I may have a bias, but I suspect that once people reach that level of psychological collapse they are in some cases beyond the point where their actions are fully free and rational

  21. Tom Fisher says:

    Catechism:

    2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

    Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

    2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.

  22. johnhenrycn says:

    Brother Burrito, that’s where we approach insanity. Perhaps it’s impossible not to do so when speaking of suicide. Are all suicides insane? If some suicides are not insane, which ones (by way of example) are not? If all suicides are ipso facto insane, why does the Church suggest that some are eternally damned?

    Signed, Socrates

  23. johnhenrycn says:

    With the greatest of respect and sincerest condolences to Tom Fisher regarding his comment at 23:45, my question at 22:10 was about people who kill themselves having logical and sane reasons for doing so – and I’m not talking about martyrs. I think there are or may be such people. Our Catechism at paragraphs 2282-83, especially the first sentence of 2283, tells us not to despair of their eternal salvation.

  24. johnhenrycn says:

    “…and I’m not talking about people in state of psychological collapse, nor about martyrs either…” is how I should have phrased my last comment.

  25. johnhenrycn says:

    I don’t intend to propose specific hypotheticals about the possibility of forgiveable ex post facto suicide (having been burned here once before – and rightly so – when I did so on another issue) but I think the question of suicide is a core one when we consider whether there are any unconfessed, unabsolved sins utterly beyond hope of mercy.

  26. johnhenrycn says:

    Kathleen (20:28) – Reading the link you provide at the end of your comment, I can’t see why you believe it supports a negative critique of Hans Urs von Balthasar. As a side note, is it not ironic that his birth surname, Balthasar, is the same as one of the three wise men, and should not that serendipity, according to tradition, count for something? [What say you, Gertrude ;)]
    ___
    Kathleen: Have now also read the link to Msgr Pope’s piece in your first comment (11:44) about the priest Fr Barron. In his article, Pope doesn’t mention Balthasar. Much as I admire Pope (and Barron) I think Pope should have taken Balthasar (the deeper thinker) head on, especially since Barron is channelling (if you’ll forgive that idiom) Balthasar, but perhaps he was reluctant to do so because Balthasar (the deeper thinker) can no longer answer back in the first person.

  27. toadspittle says:

    I don’t think its necessarily mad to commit suicide – life is, as Sidney Smith puts it, “…a sorry business at the best of times,”and we humans are all mad anyway – we only have to look at history.
    However, re: Hell again. (sigh) I believe it cannot, logically or morally, be justice to condemn a limited being to an unlimited sentence.
    Even if the being demands it – which he, or she, can only do out of profound ignorance.
    I’m not against the notion of some form of reparation for sins. We shouldn’t get away scot free from some of the stuff we do.
    But the punishment must fit the crime, surely?
    Not hoping that Hell is either non-existent or empty seems very sinful to me.

    I shall be accused once more of telling God how to run His train set.

  28. Tom Fisher says:

    Hi lovely moderators, I just posted a comment with two links to Amazon in it, and my comment has been sent moderation (purgatory) can you help? Many thanks

  29. johnhenrycn says:

    Toad asks: “But the punishment must fit the crime, surely?”

    Can I invoke Godwin’s Law and ask in turn what is the worst punishment you can think of?

    …and there’s got to be not just a few readers of this blog who will resent your racist “scot free” remark when it comes to some people escaping hell. I mean, really, is the night shift moderator asleep at the switch, or is he busy putting someone to sleep?

  30. Tom Fisher says:

    Hi Johnhenry, if my comment with links doesn’t emerge form moderation before you retire (for the day) check back in tomorrow, the links were suggestions you might find interesting to check out.

  31. johnhenrycn says:

    The way I figure it, Tom, is that Kathleen and Gertrude have put a contract out on you with Silas, the albino Opus Dei monk. Either that, or the spam filter is acting up like it did with me yesterday.

    You’re right – time for me to sign off…and if I don’t talk with you tomorrow… a blessed Triduum to you and all those whom you love.

  32. Tom Fisher says:

    Thanks moderator!

  33. Tom Fisher says:

    You too JH, God bless

  34. kathleen says:

    JH @ 4:10

    The link was not meant as “a negative critique of Hans Urs von Balthasar”, but simply to show that he does not deny the Doctrine of Hell, and even states that, “We may not simply ignore such a threat; we may not easily dismiss it, neither for ourselves nor for any of our brothers and sisters in Christ”... as some appear to be trying to do here.
    Equally with Msgr. Pope; he was responding to Fr. Barron’s misguided words, and Father’s discussion with the great Irish apologist, Ralph Martin. Msgr. Pope also links from this post to other articles he has written about Hell.

    This is dangerous stuff; it is not Catholic teaching to minimise the possibility of losing one’s soul for Eternity. And we who are members of the One True Church and know our catechism, have received a full quota of “talents”; we should know better than to pretend that Hell could be “empty”! This Dogma of Faith is based on the words and teaching of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ. To deny that Hell exists or that many souls do end up there (through their rejection of God and His Divine Law) is tantamount to calling Our Blessed Lord a liar!!
    “He therefore that shall do away with one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven” – (Matt.5:19).

    It is for this reason that we are exhorted to amend our lives, to pray and make sacrifices for ourselves and those on the path to Hell that they may repent. For this did Our Saviour come down to Earth to suffer and to die. Many will “hear His voice” and be saved. Many (tragically) will not.

  35. Tom Fisher says:

    Kathleen, since Balthasar never denied the existence of Hell, and never denied that it should be taken seriously, it is entirely unclear what your issue with him is!! I think you should consider taking the time to actually familiarise yourself with his work — directly — not via internet articles. It will be well worth doing anyway. Cardinal Ratzinger delivered the eulogy at his funeral, and praised him as one of the greatest theologians of modern times, for a good reason

  36. kathleen says:

    I have no “issue” with Balthasar at all Tom. You are the one who brought his name up into argument in the first place. No where have I said anything for or against his theology.
    Anyway, that mention of him in my last comment was in response to something JH had said.

    P.S. In the paragraph commencing with the words: “This is dangerous stuff…” of my last comment, I was directing those words to the commenters here, and their views taken directly from Fr. Barron’s unfortunate words on Hell a few years ago.

  37. Tom Fisher says:

    I have no “issue” with Balthasar at all Tom.

    But you seem distressed by his argument for the possible emptiness of hell. There is are of course different views within legitimate Catholic theology with respect to the contents of Hell. Balthasar argued strongly for a position of hope for its possible emptiness. And made the case very powerfully, some are more pessimistic. But it simply isn’t true that in making that case he (or anyone else) was doing something tantamount to call the Lord a liar. Ratzinger was of the more pessimistic view, but never suggested that Balthasar was arguing something un-Catholic.

  38. kathleen says:

    Tom, the only thing that distresses me is that certain well-educated Catholics are unwittingly doing great damage to the Faith of others in the world at large (many who are less knowledgeable generally on all the Church’s teachings) when they minimise the reality that one can lose one’s soul by choosing to continually break God’s commandments. With the idea that Hell might well be empty, many people will continue to indulge in sinful lifestyles with no worry of God’s judgements.
    It is no good waiting till we draw our last breath ‘to repent’ – it might be too late, our mindset too far away from God’s Divine laws to even want to do so.
    Now is the time to start amending our lives. “A young man according to his way, even when he is old he will not depart from it” – (Proverbs 22:5).

    I’m afraid I have to go. Our Maundy Thursday celebrations are only just starting, while you, on the other side of our blue planet, are now preparing for bed!😉

  39. geoffkiernan says:

    Tom at 1959 1/4th:
    You are either not as perceptive as you have been given credit in the past or you are being deliberately mischievous.
    The contents and tenor of my missive some months ago were deliberately exaggerated to illustrate the fallacy of the bone headed and erroneous argument, that we can all have a reasonable expectation of being saved despite leading an evil life. But you knew that, so why now attempt to use attach an entirely different slant on what was said?
    It is very much a part of the speaking with a ‘forked tongue’ engaged in by that master of deception. It is a tendency to lessen or degrade the Justice of the Godhead and replace is with a warm fuzzy feeling of mercy and love at any price… To suggest that God possesses the attributes of Love and Mercy to a greater extent that any other attribute suggests God is deficient in some manner and that is not good theology
    That type of Catholicism is skewed so as to ensure nobodies sensitivities are upset. All part of the lie that suggests that everybody is right, nobody is wrong, sin is only relative, one mans sin is another mans simple indulgence, one religion is as good as the next and we can all have that ‘reasonable’ expectation. This ‘new theology’ is devastating to the Church and souls

    Tom I prefer to belong to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Catholic church. You can have your nice (c)atholic church. (rammed down our throat for the last 50 years.) You have no idea it seems of the damage that church, has done and is still doing…

  40. geoffkiernan says:

    Tom at 2335. Sorry to hear about your Brother. I agree with your comments about those with a diminished state of mind in such circumstances. We will Pray for the repose of his soul.

  41. toadspittle says:

    “Can I invoke Godwin’s Law and ask (Toad) in turn what is the worst punishment you can think of?”
    I will resist the almost-overpowering compulsion to be flippant, JH, and suggest spending eternity forced to sit between C.S. Lewis and Big Gil Chesterton on a cloud – instead I’ll be serious and say eternal physical agony in any form. What would I need to do to merit that treatment? Something infinitely evil, I suggest.
    And I just haven’t the capacity. Nor does any finite being.
    ….If someone can fault the logic here, I’d be much obliged.

    Do you actually believe Lucia’s Version of Hell, Kathleen – or not – or what?
    http://www.fatima.org/essentials/facts/hell.asp

    A roughish sort of analogy:

    If someone’s child, say JH’s, (or mine) came to him (or mine came to me) and said, “I hate you and want to use my free will to go and live in a Toronto slum with the grunge people and shoot up crack.” JH (or I) would say, I don’t care whether you hate me or not, or what you think you want. You are foolish. You know not what you do. As long as you are under my care and protection, you are staying right here with me. And if you don’t like it – bloody hard luck.”

    Substitute Hell for Toronto. And God for JH. (or me) You see, surely?

  42. toadspittle says:

    JH, re: “Scot free,” – very sorry, deeply racist as you rightly thunder – mea culpa,* indeed – make that, “Brit free.”

    To suggest that God possesses the attributes of Love and Mercy to a greater extent that any other attribute suggests God is deficient in some manner and that is not good theology.”

    OK, Geoff – but is it “good theology” to suggest, as is endlessly done on CP&S, that an omniscient, omnipotent, and perfect God needs to make made “plans,” – or that He (or She) gets, “angry,” or “saddened,” or even “indignant,” by observing our foolish actions?
    No ‘deficiency’ indicated under those circumstances?
    ….Despite the fact that we are apparently all acting to His script written from eternity, and He alone knows what will happen next, as He always has?

    He knew what was, He knows what is, and He knows what will be. We don’t.

    So we might as well sleepwalk though the whole boiling, for all it matters.
    …Since we are doing just that, anyway. It seems.

    How utterly boring it must all be for God, too.

    *”My Bad.” Loathsome and vulgar newish expression of culpability.

  43. toadspittle says:

    Blimey Toad – what a dreary old bore you are yourself.
    But then, God always knew you would be.
    …From eternity.

  44. Tom Fisher says:

    Tom I prefer to belong to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Catholic church. You can have your nice (c)atholic church. (rammed down our throat for the last 50 years.) You have no idea it seems of the damage that church, has done and is still doing…

    What?? We are discussing the work of a theologian who didn’t even attend Vatican II, didn’t like much of Vatican II, and was one of the theologians who helped (then) Ratzinger move in a more conservative direction after VII.

    the only thing that distresses me is that certain well-educated Catholics are unwittingly doing great damage to the Faith of others in the world at large (many who are less knowledgeable generally on all the Church’s teachings) when they minimise the reality that one can lose one’s soul by choosing to continually break God’s commandments. With the idea that Hell might well be empty, many people will continue to indulge in sinful lifestyles with no worry of God’s judgements.

    His point wasn’t about minimising any of that. It’s a waste of tie discussing a book that you clearly haven’t even read.

    [A moderator, at the behest of Mr Fisher, says: “See below”.]

  45. Tom Fisher says:

    It’s probably pretty clear from my last comment that I was quite irritated. I apologise for that. I’ll try again.

    Kathleen: This began with Fr. Barron’s remarks about Hell. — I’m not familiar with everything Fr. Barron said on the issue, but I know he was drawing on H. Balthasar. So when it comes to clarifying what Barron was saying, it’s best to go back to Balthasar himself, a far deeper thinker.

    I understand what you mean about the danger of minimising the possibility of eternal damnation. But I don’t believe that is what Hans Balthasar was trying to do (although anyone’s work can be distorted, especially after they have died).

    He was essentially asking two questions; with respect to damnation, what stance (prayerful hope, despair etc.) should the Christian adopt towards damnation? — He argues (without claiming certain knowledge) for a hopeful understanding of the doctrine. And with respect to the contents of Hell, what does the Christian know, and what can he hope for? Once again, he argues for a hopeful interpretation of doctrine (without certainty).

    Balthasar had an optimistic theology, within the framework of Catholic teaching. The reason I keep mentioning BXVI is that even though he has a more pessimistic view, he has profound respect for Balthasar, and has never ever suggested that Balthasar was in any way ‘beyond the pale’ of authentic theology,

    Geoff:

    I genuinely believe this issue is separate from VII.

    Moderators: If there is any chance of putting a “see below” note on my previous comment that would be great.

    Very best wishes to all

  46. geoffkiernan says:

    Tom: The inference by Balthasar, that we can have that reasonable expectation, echoed by Fr Barron, supports and solidifies that mindset that developed from VII. His thinking is a product of VII. It has (the comment) become inextricably linked thereby to VII…… IMHO.
    I’ll wager that you were not at VII, but several of your comments demonstrate a perspective ‘coloured’ by the spirit of VII

  47. Tom Fisher says:

    I’ll wager that you were not at VII, but several of your comments demonstrate a perspective ‘coloured’ by the spirit of VII

    Well I certainly didn’t attend the Second Vatican Council. You’re probably right that my perspective has been influenced by Vatican II. But I hope I haven’t fallen into the trap of believing in the “spirit of VII”. I believe in a Church that is much older than the last Council. Sorry I have offended you with my comments

  48. geoffkiernan says:

    PS…. No offence was intended and none was taken

  49. toadspittle says:

    “Here we go again – picking and choosing what one wants to believe!”
    …This from someone who, presumably, has “picked and chosen” the conviction that Catholicism – and only Catholicism – is true, and everything Un-Catholic is untrue. At least we must assume they have. What else can we assume?

    How did you arrive at what you believe now, Kathleen (which might, indeed, be absolutely correct, for all I know)?
    Did you consciously “choose” it? If not, what did you do?
    Were you born knowing it already? Was it in fact, plain old good luck?
    If a non-Catholic “picks and chooses” to be a Catholic,would you object to that?
    Would they be wrong to do so? Was JH? If a Christian “picks and chooses” to be a non-believer – is that a sin… or just poor picking?
    I strongly suspect, Kathleen, if you’d been born, say, a Mormon – you’d a Mormon right now.
    That’s how it works, in about 95% of cases on this planet.
    Silly, but true.
    Not enough “picking and choosing,” a staunch Catholic might argue. But then, they might not.

    What about Lucia’s vision of Hell by the way? True – or not?

  50. johnhenrycn says:

    If we are allowed, nay bidden to pray for the souls of all the dead, doesn’t it stand to reason that all of the dead may (nb: I did not say will) be saved? Otherwise, what sense is there in praying for the souls of, say, unrepentant mass murderers? Why waste any time praying for Lenin, Hitler, Himmler, Stalin or Mao? I, for one, never have, but I’m certain there must be some devout Christians, for reasons known only to themselves, who have and do.

    Our Faith teaches the reality of hell, so yes, there is a hell; and if there is a hell, doesn’t it stand to reason it is occupied?

    How to reconcile these two contradictory appeals to reason is beyond my ken, but I wonder whether hell might in the end be reserved for Satan, the other fallen angels who actually beheld the beatific vision but rebelled against God anyway, and finally by the Antichrist, who admittedly (according to my understanding of doctrine) is a human being?

  51. toadspittle says:

    “Our Faith teaches the reality of hell, so yes, there is a hell; and if there is a hell, doesn’t it stand to reason it is occupied?”

    The Parthenon is a reality. Does it stand to reason it is occupied?
    Don’t see why it necessarily should be.

  52. johnhenrycn says:

    What a twopenny-halfpenny rejoinder. How long did you ‘think’ before posting it?

    “The fairies stole your soul at birth
    And stashed it God-knows-where.
    You are the wretched of the earth,
    Past pity and past care.

    The fairies stole away your soul
    And smashed on the stones.
    Your feral smell is straight from hell
    And death is in your bones.

    We wall you up and when you die
    Unburied in the dust you lie,
    With only Jesus Christ to mark
    Your short remission from the dark.”

    – John Whitworth

    There, I feel better now.

  53. geoffkiernan says:

    Keep at it toad… you will eventually talk yourself into believing it doesn’t exist…. I hear (read) a very forlorn Toad croaking away…God Bless ya, mate.

  54. toadspittle says:

    ..into believing what does’t exist, Geoff?

    Lovely pome, JH.
    Glad it made you feel better. It certainly did me.
    “What a twopenny-halfpenny rejoinder. How long did you ‘think’ before posting it?”
    Seventy-four years.

    A Very Happy, sunny, and hell-free, Easter to all. From Toad the Forlorn. (It says here.)

  55. Tom Fisher says:

    A Very Happy, sunny, and hell-free, Easter to all. From Toad the Forlorn. (It says here.)

    You too Toad!

  56. toadspittle says:

    Likewise, Tom.
    Sad little bit of doggerel from JH.
    Meant kindly no doubt.
    It’s the poor old fairies coming in for a bit of stick now. Always someone.
    …Hope he’s all right.

  57. Tom Fisher says:

    The Parthenon is a reality. Does it stand to reason it is occupied?
    Don’t see why it necessarily should be.

    Well it wasn’t the best of analogies was it? Nonetheless, it was wrong JH to use bad poetry as a weapon, and I’m sure he’s appropriately contrite. Isn’t the old rule that Midsummer night’s Dream was the last work of Eng. Lit that could use the word fairy without sounding silly?

  58. toadspittle says:

    Tom: I’ve just written something on another thread, about a painting, which might be applicable.
    Is it a “bad” pome? Or is it just one that it reads me badly?

    (Analogywise, Maybe I should have said, “My head’s a reality…etc.”)

  59. toadspittle says:

    Well, there’s Yeats. H’mm. H’mmm.

    http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-lover-s-quarrel-among-the-fairies/

    Like “stanza” seven, though. ‘Fruits,’ newts (he must have meant toads) – and the merry blade.

  60. Tom Fisher says:

    but it looks to me not like a painting of a crucified man, but a painting of a model in the artist’s studio, posing as a crucified man

    I suppose no devotional painting can, and it’s for a good reason that most don’t try, actually show us what a crucified man looks like. Perhaps some of the photos from My Lai, and some of the recent images from the Middle East give us some sense of the horror. But maybe it’s unpaintable. But I agree with John that the painting in question captures the moment of acceptance, and transition from lif to death, even if it doesn’t show us the brutal reality

  61. Tom Fisher says:

    Too many italics! GC will fix, she’s good like that.

    [A moderator: Mr Fisher will next time make haste slowly so to remember to put the appropriate html code for closing italics at the end of the text he wishes to italicise.]

  62. Tom Fisher says:

    Well, there’s Yeats. H’mm. H’mmm.

    Well Yeats was occasionally great, but I think the poem you link to proves (or at least doesn’t contradict) my point (as you know)

  63. toadspittle says:

    “Keep at it toad… you will eventually talk yourself into believing it doesn’t exist…”

    If you mean Hell, by “it,” Geoff – I suppose I’m too soft-hearted. God knows why.

  64. johnhenrycn says:

    Au contraire, TF and Toad, I’m far from contrite, and my offering is no more bad poetry, still less doggerel, than the Yeats one above; but yes, it was meant in jest (if not kindly) as any fule (h/t Eccles et al) would know. I did accidentally leave out the word “it” at line 2 of stanza 2, which threw the metre a bit out of whack, and for that I’ve said a pro forma Act of Contrition.

    But Toad, I should have mentioned the title of the poem, Scapegoat, (cf. Leviticus 16:7-10), thus reminding you of your minor, but tolerable role. You are the very picture of another minor functionary known in 19th C. Britain as the Sin Eater:

    “This wasn’t an especially well-paid job – the Sin Eater would receive a half-shilling and a scant meal…No amount of money, however, could overcome the social stigma stemming from a Sin Eater’s line of work, or ameliorate the poverty and solitude most officiates lived amidst. Each village typically had its own Sin Eater, and the villagers believed this individual would become more and more horrible, with each and every ceremony.”

    http://io9.com/the-weird-but-true-history-of-sin-eaters-479990066
    ___

    “And so you scavenge for your food
    And hide yourself from sight.
    You are inimical to good,
    The outcast of the night.”

  65. kathleen says:

    Tom @ 3:17 yesterday

    The “well-educated Catholics” who deny Hell’s existence, or write it off as empty of souls with the ‘how-could-a-loving-God-send-anyone-to-Hell?… blah-blah-blah nonsense’, are all those contaminated with the false post-Vatican II “spirit”, most without even realising it themselves. It has wrought havoc to the Faith and to the souls of countless numbers of people who have no longer striven to lead lives of virtue.

    Your first quote on this comment (that you appear to attribute to me) was something Geoff said. I wholly agree with him though.

    Apologies accepted (thank you), but all the same, you drone on about Balthasar seemingly unstoppably, trying to make out that I was referring to his writings, when in fact Balthasar was a theologian who clearly mentioned that those who discard “the threat” of Hell are wrong to do so! That these or other words of his have been twisted or misunderstood by others (Fr. Barron?*) to try to infer Hell is most likely empty, is hardly logical, either in their assumptions or their conclusions.

    Yesterday we celebrated Our Blessed Saviour’s triumph over the forces of Hell FOR ALL THOSE WITH EARS TO HEAR. The Good Thief was clearly a man who had lead a very sinful life, but whose final sincere repentance granted him entry into Paradise. So where did the Bad Thief go then? We don’t know for sure of course, but he was unrepentant and cursing God to the end… just like many still do today.

    * I am not bashing Fr. Barron. I loved his ‘Catholicism’ series and many of his short video clips are great. I simply disagree with him on his distorted views on the Catholic Doctrine of Hell.

  66. toadspittle says:

    Didn’t think for a moment you’d be “contrite,” JH. Why on earth should you be?
    “Sin Eater” – I like it . May rename myself. On the other hand, can’t be bothered.
    Must be worse ways of making a living. They can’t taste much worse than gnats, my normal diet – and the mortal ones must be nourishing – “zesty,” and “tangy,” even.
    Though if I had to survive on the sins of you lot, I’d very soon stave to death.

  67. kathleen says:

    Toad @ 18:11 yesterday

    All I shall say to this mocking and uncharitable comment to me is this:

    To try* to faithfully proclaim Truth as contained in all the beliefs (Doctrines and Dogmas) of the Catholic Church is not “picking and choosing”. Once the knowledge and truth of it hits you, you have no alternative but to give your “fiat” – “my Lord and my God” – and adhere to all the Church proclaims. It comes from God; it is His Revelation to Mankind.

    Secondly, yes, I believe Our Lady appeared to the three little visionaries at Fatima, and that the vision of Hell shown to them was a merciful warning from the Blessed Mother for all men to the very real possibility we could end up there in Hell if we persist in “offending God”. The children described Hell as a “sea of fire”; perhaps (we cannot be sure) as symbolic of the great pain damned souls will suffer at being eternally separated from God.

    * We can only “try”, tainted as we are by the consequences of Original Sin. When I (or we) “pick and choose” to sin, I am failing to “proclaim” or give a good and faithful Christian witness to what I truly believe. But Our Merciful Saviour has provided the means for sinners to return to a state of grace, in the Holy Sacrament of Reconciliation.

  68. toadspittle says:

    A truly wonderful answer, Kathleen.
    Which, in the Easter spirit, I accept totally.
    Except,“…if we persist in “offending God”
    – How can we offend a being who is plainly “unoffendable,”? Nobody on here can even offend me.
    Oh, forget it – for a day, or so.
    A very happy tomorrow to you, and to all on CP&S.

  69. Brother Burrito says:

    Whatever sin you commit Toad, Jesus has forgiven it already through the Cross.

    What can still damn you to hell however, is your own guilt and shame and despair over your sin. Perhaps you don’t feel these now, but you will.

    Then your Faith will be tested. The Sacraments will serve you well at that point, as long as you are still open to receive them.

    Confession, Anointing, Holy Communion, in that order.

  70. kathleen says:

    Just got back from the long and beautiful Easter Vigil with a heart singing with joy! (O vere beáta nox!)
    It really is at midnight here (well, it starts at 11p.m. on Holy Saturday, with the bells for the Gloria being rung out as midnight strikes) and lasts about two and a half hours altogether.
    In the words of the magnificent exultet:

    Gáudeat et tellus, tantis irradiáta fulgóribus:
    et ætérni Regis splendóre illustráta,

    Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,
    ablaze with light from her eternal King,

    Thank you Toad – and a very Happy Easter on this blessed day to you too, Alleluia!
    And of course, a very Happy Easter to all our faithful readers and commenters: JH, Tom, Geoff, Jabba etc. (far too numerous to mention all by name)… and my wonderful, loyal, hard-working and long-suffering Team-mates.🙂

  71. Darling says:

    ”JH, re: “Scot free,” – very sorry, deeply racist as you rightly thunder – mea culpa,* indeed – make that, “Brit free.”

    I couldn’t find any racist comment here – and then I realised that this is all about misunderstandings of basic English. The word scot here as in scot free has nothing to do with Scotland. It is an Old Scandinavian word, ‘skat’ meaning a tax. My humble apologies if any of these gentlemen are not native speakers of English.
    I hope this defuses any charges of racism and the acceptance of that charge.

    On scapegoats – of course there are many who have that role forced on them today – immigrants, the unemployed, the homeless. Christ would gather them in His arms.

  72. johnhenrycn says:

    I’m glad to take your word, Darling, that “scot-free” is not a racist epithet; but I shall be watching Toad very closely nonetheless. Did you know he once called people in northern Britain “caber-tossing Haggistanis”?

  73. Darling says:

    Thank you, but please don’t take my modest word for it; ‘scot free’ is easily checked.

    I don’t know if your friend made those remarks, yet they seem uncontroversial. Scotland is found in north Britain, cabers are tossed, haggis is eaten. As for ‘stanis’ many ex-colonials from the defunct Empire live there successfully, or so I’m told. In the interests of social harmony, I think we should all be ‘stanis’ – Pomistanis, Canuckstanis, Hispanistanis and so on. You could add your own.

    In vino veritas, as I like to say.

  74. Tom Fisher says:

    A very dry wit, or Asperger’s? Always hard to tell online.😉

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