Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Toughie..the real problem with the Synod proposals and its consequences...

I know it's virtually impossible for me but I'll try to be as brief  as possible.

The first thing to explain is that we are not equal - God isn't a democrat - in just the same way as there is a hierarchy of ranks among the angels there is a hierarchy of human souls and their perfectibility - it's known as Predilection - God loves us all infinitely and calls us to fulfil our created perfectibility - but some are created to be more - to do more [remember the parable of the sower? 30, 60, a hundredfold?] God loves them more because they are created to be more lovable because they have a vocation to be more... I know it doesn't sound fair but He's God: We're not - we have our place in His divine plan as either tiny cogs or hard-working pistons or massive power-wheels - whatever that position we were made for it - and can achieve perfection within it and be fulfilled with absolute joy and happiness in being everything we were called to be. God made us so we ultimately wouldn't ever wish to be anything but ourselves in our perfection in our part of His Divine plan [this is why envy - wanting to be another - is the greatest sin against oneself]
Finally on this point it must be noted that in regard to Predilection how we repent from and amend for our sins will also be variant - for some it will be easy and lengthy - for others it will be more gruelling and intermittent.

Got that bit?
Ok now secondly we have to understand what the Holy Spirit is about - for most of us the Holy Spirit keeps us in existence, He inspires our intellects with truth, beauty and the notion of the good - which motivates our will to carry out this inspiration freely towards the good - this is what Love is - the Holy Spirit provides us with Sufficient Grace to never sin - He provides our intellects and consciences to be aware of the Good, the True and Beautiful - and we can conform to this and be truly free [remember the only thing we are ever free to do is to do good - sin is always a denial of our freedom and actually traps us and makes us less free] or we can hoodwink ourselves into thinking happiness may be achieved through another route - a short-cut - an easy way - and hence we lie to ourselves and our God and our created reality and the rest of creation and we commit sin - and in the process we as temples of the Holy Spirit in whom we live , move and have our being - abuse and defy the Lord, the Giver of Life with our lies and sin...the only two things we can say we possess - every other thing comes from God, is worked by God and returns to God - every other thing is Grace of which we are unworthy but in which we we happy receivers can and should boast.

Now normatively the Holy Spirit works through Sufficient Grace - but there are times where through an extraordinary act of predilective Love the Holy Spirit acts upon us with what's known as efficient Grace - unstoppable, unpreventable grace which compels us towards an act...

There's an old Fulton Sheen story of a wayward alcoholc actress who accepts his invite to see the Church on the proviso he would not ask her to go to confession - he kept the promise in his own way for as they were touring the Church he opened the confessional door and threw her inside....
Divine Providence decrees that God does this to some of us in extraordinary circumstances. God does not work against our wills - but instead He takes over with Efficient grace to ensure something happens....
Think the Conversion of St Paul and other profound conversion stories. Think Miracles. Think the imposition of the knowledge of God upon the Prophets or all who lived and believed during the Incarnation or the appearance of the Sacred Heart or Our Lady. Think of the Promises of Christ re Papal Infallibility and the Gates of the Underworld shall not prevail - all this is Efficient Grace - unpreventable, unthwartable - it has nothing to do with the arbitrary, discretionary choices within human free will. God just does it!

Sometimes God uses efficient Grace upon us to actuate His will 
Otherwise it is sufficient grace where we are at the helm of our wills - the Holy Spirit inspires our intellects and carries out our wills - but we choose - we decide.
The Holy Spirit does not treat us like puppets or cosmic chess pieces - He limits himself to inspiration of the intellect to motivate the will - we choose whether to conform to that will or not....
Hence in matters of the Church the Holy Spirit may inspire - but the Pope and his Brother Bishops and clerics and religious act according to their own either conformed or refusenik wills.
The Holy Spirit does not choose a Pope - Cardinals choose a Pope.
The Holy Spirit does not appoint Bishops - The Pope does.
The Holy Spirit does not gerrymander or rig Synod or Oecumenical council votes - The Pope and Bishops vote.

 Now there is only one real argument against the existence of God - all the others fall apart when rationally confronted with reality but one remains - one so confrontational that it compelled Ivan Karamazov to refuse to participate and return his invitation to belong to God's creation...
The problem of Evil.
...and there is only one rational response.
"How else can evil be allowed to exist, save for a greater good?"

God permits evil - He permits sin.
Yes - Nothing happens but what God wills - but there is a profound difference between what God wished [His Antecedent will] and what God permits [through which He will actuate a greater good] - i.e. His Consequent Will.
God's antecedent will was for none to fall. for all to share Heaven in their created perfection with Him for eternity - for all to be saved.
God's consequent will - because angels fell, because we fell, because we continue to sin and because ultimately some of us will not wish eternity with Him if the price means dying to our selfish vices - is axiomatically very different from God's original antecedent will.

Therefore when anything happens - we are absolutely forbidden from the presumption that what God's consequent will has permitted remotely conforms to that which His antecedent will desired.
Just because something happens - be it some remarkably fortuitous or ostensibly miraculous event or a revolution or a restoration or discovery or victory over an evil aggressor in war? or alternatively  the horror of war and famine and personal tragedies or holocausts upon Jews, Chinese, Russians, the Unborn, our euthanised sick and unwanted.or the ravages of spanish flu or AIDS or ebola..
We are absolutely prohibited from ever presuming it is part of God's antecedent will [eg Divine vindication/reward or Divine retribution]
...merely what happens is what God permits....
...and from the ostensible benefits or the blatantly obvious ravages of what God permits?
We are guaranteed that God's resolution of it all is assuredly a greater Good.

Now comes the big crunch question:
What in the name of all sanity has any of this to do with the impending Synod on Marriage and the Family?
It's about the proposed reception of Holy Communion for civilly divorced and remarried Catholics and active homosexuals isn't it?
That the ongoing mortal sin of adultery and fornication should not be a barrier from being one in communion with one's neighbours?
By appealing to mercy and tolerance and the notion of integration and unity and even [ironically] appealing to the notion of solidarity that no-one is isolated or alienated or ostracised?
That we all be one?

What has any of this to do with God's sufficient grace or the Holy Spirit not treating us like puppets or God's antecedent and consequent will?
Well the answer is quite simple:
It has EVERYTHING to do with it!!

Primarily you have to understand how the world has been contaminated in two ways over the past two centuries - and how this ideological contamination has infected the mindframe of those within the modern Church.
The first is easily recognised and understood - Evolutionism - not in the limited biological sense regarding certain developments within certain species: but universal development of everything - absolute ever-fulfilling progressivism...things can only get better - things only do get better...for further reading look at the writings of Teilhard de Chardin and Emile Mersch and Karl Rahner and a host of moderns to understand this notion of everything evolving to some ieffable ethereal omega point where we all become so like God we collectively usurp the role in some Buddhist nirvana of everything and nothing.

Secondly we have to get a bit philosophical - and although I'll skip the background of the whole metaphysical potency/act problem in presocratics through stoical pantheism and enlightenment naturalism and pantheism - [which Aristotle and Aquinas perfectly refuted and dealt with] we end up with the nightmare philosophy of Hegel which like a virus has infected every socio-cultural and political ideology of any wing and flavour..be it nazism or stalinism, capitalism or revolutionary marxism, libertarianism or totalitarianism...

Now I suppose yet again you're asking - what has Hegel to do with the Synod?
Please bear with me for a few more minutes:
Now Hegel's philosophy is grounded in two main principles

a] The Dialectic - where there is no actual truth or understanding of reality - there cannot be as there is division and dissension and alienation - therefore all is merely a movement towards a more truthful understanding through a position of compromise and unity between the extremes and tensions of all aspects of reality - one takes two seemingly opposing positions and seeks the underlying truth within both to synthesise this thesis and antithesis into a higher thesis - which in turn is still imperfect and has opposition through an antithesis and must again be synthesised into a higher thesis..and the process continues.

b] Now how can we be certain this process works and we won't be misguided or misdirected throughout this?
- ahhh but that's impossible because there is a universal spirit within reality that seeks this unfolding, flourishing, unifying. coalescing synthesis of the dialectic
- a spirit leading us ever onward and upward in all spheres of reality towards a universal holism - this spirit is known as The Geist 
- and the Geist ensures the validity and integrity of the ideological system itself and its ultimate destiny in perfection. [notice the similarities in all our utopianisms of reichs, and the a communist world-state, or universal randian liberty, or the integrationist wonderland of the multiculturalist or the feminist or the eco-warrior?]. We are enslaved to the machinations and functions of the Geist - we are part of a system which is inseparable from this unstoppable force leading humanity towards its inevitable destiny.

Now are you beginning to see where I'm coming from?
The development of Doctrine?
It being the will of the Holy Spirit ?
We are mere pawns and puppets of this Divine Will - this movement of this religious geist - the Holy Spirit - towards this evolving ever-reflourishing  progressive end?
That we are to seek an end to division and synthesise into uniformity and unity via a compromise dialectic which will placate and satisfy- where tolerance and 'mercy and charity' dwell via acceptance of all and the elimination of alienation and ostracism?
For we are all equal in the sight of God and none are loved more or less - and equality indicates sameness and uniformity and homogeneity - where dissociating divisive factors like difference or independence or non-confomity are anathematised.? 

Now the Synod's proposed 'theology of mercy' Kasperite position is going to be grounded upon what I call "three great heresies and a lie".
The first two heresies are going to be promoted at every opportunity in order to introduce a third with which the Church has been contaminated for centuries & manifested itself in three forms of a heresy against God's sufficient grace {Neo-Pelagianism/Molinism- then Jansenism- then Gradualism}- and which rebel Bishops sought to impose at synod 35 years ago but were halted in their tracks by Pope St John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio.

The first heresy is quite obvious:
a] That everything that happens within the Church conforms to the antecedent will of God - that God wished this for the Church from before creation - and that all movements of the Holy Spirit are manifestations of this Church progression - forward ever forward - we cannot go back - all is development and what God planned.
Of course we have absolutely no idea whether it does or not - we are not open to the innermost mysteries of the Divine plan - but it would be the gravest presumption to not believe that the mass exodus out of the Church - that its secularisation and desacralisation and its loss of the apologetic and its cultural identity and the falling away of so many are not merely what God permits in His consequent will - and were never part of His antecedent. But this naiive ludicrous hegelian optimism that it's all happened because it's what God always wished is a heresy.

the second is simple
b]  We are but pawns and puppets of the Holy Spirit in our wills - our Bishops  and clerics and bodies of our reformist laity by their very existence and every thought, word and deed is all subsumed into the system by which the Holy Spirit moves them all towards the desired end....
Of course this is a heresy - the Holy Spirit inspires our intellect - and we accept or reject and act accordingly - free will - our choice - we may do good and conform with the Holy Spirit's inspiration - but we can just as easily renege and defy and choose to sin...

Thus these two heresies will be promoted at every opportunity to lay the groundwork for the third:
You can guarantee the the major soundbite and buzzword from the lips of all those who seek to change Catholic teaching via a perversion of its pastoral implementation will be one of lebensraum:

"We must allow the Holy Spirit space to reform the Church"

The third heresy is quite confusing [which is probably why during the last extraordinary synod there was almost universal ignorance of what the heresy entailed among Catholic journalists, commentators and media representatives who all spoke at great length claiming great understanding about it - and every last one of them got it wrong]
Now in Familiaris Consortio Pope St John Paul II refers to the law of gradualism - an easily recognisable phenomenon - our gradual progression through the consequences of our sin after our repentance and absolution we are still weak , weary and scarred and it will take us a while to gradually heal.
BUT Pope St John Paul II rejects absolutely the heresy known as the Principle of Gradualism.
Now I could go into this heresy at great length and explain its intricacies and consequences and the way it destroys the very fabric of the notion of grace and God's love for us and the integrity of the human person....

But all you really need to know about it is simply it denies God's sufficient grace to immediately repent of all sin or sinfulness - and the sufficient grace to not sin again.

In other words God does not provide sinners with the grace which will prevent them from being able to stop sinning or to not start sinning again...

The underlying great lie in it all is 'God doesn't love us enough to get us out of our mess"

...hence all sinners cannot be expected to stop sinning immediately - they must be treated with compassion and understanding to be weaned off from their sinfulness - go on a sin-controlled diet - enter into a sin-reduction spiritual fitness plan.
It cannot be expected for severe or long-term sinners to immediately stop their sins - it is simply not possible for them...

In other words the underlying message of this heresy is that when it comes to repentance and turning away from sin - GOD COMMANDS THE IMPOSSIBLE!!!

God has not provided the sufficient grace - therefore they cannot do it!!

Now you see this is where the Heresy comes undone [incidentally many Church fathers, St Augustine & the council of Trent absolutely repudiate and refute Gradualism - I'll give you the links when I have time but in the meantime]

The heresy is not going to be very palatable to the collective faithful when it comes to the conclusion that God commands the impossible from sinners....
We Sin and can't stop: And it's God's fault

Hence the Gradualists - of which Kasper and his cronies are mere successors - have to now insert a lie into the equation...
[yes it's irrational - yes it's mendacious - yes it is the actions of anti-intellectual scoundrels but this is what the Gradualists do...if a heresy gives you the principle you want but not the conclusion you desire? You simply change the conclusion.]

In order to retain this "Principle of Gradualism" they have to twist the argument on its head
It is not that God commands the impossible
How could He?
He's a merciful, tolerant, forgiving, ever-loving and always charitable and inclusive God?
it's not God that's demanding the impossible from these poor sinners trapped in their sinful ways needing slow, pastoral assistance and reassurance to slowly reduce their sinfulness...it's not God who is lacking in Love and Mercy

It is the Church which is cruel and uncharitable and merciless and intolerant with its hyper-proscriptive alienating legalism and donatism - its judgmentalism upon the sinner [actually it's judging the sin but they're on a roll here]
It is the Church's heartless, calcified, rigorist legalism which is to blame...
...and this is NOT WHAT GOD WANTS!!!

We are therefore not walking in God's ways
- we are not living according to His gospel and the values of His kingdom
- we are standing in the way of His message of welcoming love which calls all sinners to Himself...
Remember the ludicrous tag-line to the film "Love Story"?
"Love means never having to say you're sorry"
Well gradualism considers God's love means 'we have nothing about which to ever be sorry'

In other words when Our Lord said
 "If you love Me you will keep My commands"
He never really meant we had to do it!!!
That's Donatism - that's heartless legalism
Haven't they both donatism and legalism been recently condemned by our Bishops Conference and Pope Francis?

Do you see what's at stake?
I'm not sure you do yet...
Because have a little think about the ramifications of a single gradualist principle being inserted in any moral adjudication on pastoral practice and praxis within Holy Mother Church - even to something as seemingly remote as using it to justify the slow reception of people still in mortal sin to reception of the sacraments...

A single gradualist principle sets a moral precedent which may subsequently be applied to any and every aspect of Catholic moral teaching and its pastoral applications....

In other words the entirety of moral and pastoral theology - contaminated with the lethal virus that sin is something with which we have to deal with, to negotiate with, compromise with, excuse and slowly wean people off from and lead people away from...
becomes a hellish nightmare of counterproductive self-contradicting heterodoxy, lie, fallacy and heresy-in-itself...

Catholic morality in one fell swoop would collapse and fall dead in the water - not merely ineffectual but directly counterproductive - lethally destructive and toxic!!

Now if you wish any further clarifications or explanations please ask in the combox - but I've already spent way too long writing and taken up far too much of your time.
God bless you all - but please pray long and hard for the upcoming Synod
- pray the gradualists do not get a foothold [please read some of the synod committees [especially the French & the English one led by Burke] as they trounce Gradualism underfoot]

For if the Gradualists were to succeed?
The price would be too high for us all....


Rita said...

Paul, dangerously over educated, you may be, but THANK YOU!! A thousand times THANK YOU! You've lanced the boil. My thoughts were drifting the same way, but I couldn't put it all together. May God bless you and keep you.

Luke O'Sullivan said...

Can you say a little more on your comment "God loves them more because they are created to be more lovable because they have a vocation to be more"?

Giving someone more talents isn't necessarily indicative of "more love". Are you hinting at something akin to qualitative vs quantitative love? Is God's love for us unconditional - it is rather our capacity to receive it (related to our interior perfection) that determines the degree to which it is fulfilled in us?

I'm not contradicting you, I just seek to understand.

On the side of the angels said...

Yes having more 'talents' isn't indicative of more love. Being made to contain more love and more grace is indicative of more love. God creates some to be higher in the hierarchy of Grace - it's an awkwardly discomforing reality which the modern church has sought to suppress and deny in these days of 'universal equality' but all men and women were not created equal [they're actually to be treated with equal dignity in their unique created position and vocation in God's divine plan]
We are called to perfection - but this perfection is quantitative by our created reality - in Heaven we will be of infinite quality in our limited unique role in the hierarchy of grace - some may be lower in this hierarchy than we are, many, many will be higher [for instance Our Lady is the pinnacle of all creation and affords hyperdulia].
We will exult in our position within this hierarchy because we will be the sole key to that single lock - we will be that unique facet of the diamond.

Repeated anecdotal evidence from exorcists in their dealings with demons has indicated one of the main reasons why humanity - and especially Our Lady - is hated by these fallen angels - because among we spiritual material hybrids - some of our greatest saints are to replace the exalted roles these angels once held within the hierarchy of Grace - and to hell's minions this is the utmost blasphemy - that a lowly female palestinian descendant of apes is now Queen of the angels?!! That where once they stood in a heavenly choirs and cohorts around God's throne their lost positions are now 'usurped' by our saints?!! A good reminder is remembering exactly who St Michael was - where Lucifer was the Grand-Field Marshall in the heavenly hierarchy Michael was the equivalent of a lowly corporal who defied the mighty rebel with the response "Mi-cha-el?" i.e. 'who is like unto God?'

yes it's awkward - yes it is something the world will hate and which seems a stumbling block for many Catholics [remember Zebedee's wife asking if James & John can sit either side of Jesus?] but it's a reality we have to confront head on - we're not equal and were not created to be equal - we were created to be uniquely perfectly us - and because that is our formal and final end - it is what will make us perfect and infinitely happy.
There is one part of the film "A Matter of Life & Death" where they really do get what Heaven is like - where the young airman Richard Attenborough discovers he's going to be a clerk in the after life and he responds "It's Heaven!" - for to him and for him - it was and is!

The Bones said...

Can I put this on the Guild blog (formatted)?

Supertradmum said...

This is superb and I put a link on my blog. Hope many read it...

Luke, God gives us the capacity to love and yes, some saints love more than others..we are not equal, as all love comes from God according to His Will, which creates the will and the capacity in us.

Supertradmum said...

Laurence, I was just thinking this should be on the Guild blog