Monday, 7 April 2014

Redemption is Real

1 Cor. 10 

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Do not seek your own advantage, but that of the other. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience, for “the earth and its fullness are the Lord’s.” If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, out of consideration for the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— I mean the other’s conscience, not your own. For why should my liberty be subject to the judgment of someone else’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why should I be denounced because of that for which I give thanks? So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, so that they may be saved." [8]

One of the growing problem with traditional Catholics is Jansenism and a neo-Puritanism. As Catholics, we have been free of the chains of seeing nature and especially humans in terms of depraved flesh. We are not Puritans, nor are we those few odd religious people, such as Christian-Scientists, who believe all matter is either evil or illusion.

Being a Catholic has given us some freedom with regard to art, especially "fine art".

But, the judgmental attitude of many trad Catholics has infected the Catholic beliefs as to enjoying life. Yes, we are in a vale of tears, but God has not only redeemed us, but nature.

And, as being made in the Image and Likeness of God, although as St. Bernard states, we have kept the Image but lost the Likeness, we have creative instincts, as well as reason and free will.

The likeness we have lost is grace. I contend that most of the unhappiness in the blogosphere has to do with expectations of either a Puritanism, or a seeping Jansenism. In a depraved world, it is too easy to emphasize depravity and man's fallen nature instead of the grace of God.

We cannot believe in irresistible grace. Nor, can we believe in relativism. The path of Catholicism means that we walk a path of prudence and temperance, not one of unnecessary strictures or gross freedoms.

There is enough Puritanism in some popular religions. Catholics can avoid such by concentrating on the Resurrection and the Redemption of Christ, rather than on our own sorry sins.

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