Guest Article: A Lenten Examination of Conscience 10

Gospel Nonviolence and Trust, the sine qua non of Holy Thursday, Good Friday—and Easter Sunday

Nothing, but nothing, requires us to trust Jesus as does a commitment to completely give up the protection and use of violence and enmity in order to follow the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. To daily chose to confront evil in every form in which it manifest itself through human beings—whether it be by deceitful words or by murderous deeds—with only Christlike Nonviolent Love towards every human agent of evil encountered, rationally necessitates believing that Jesus is absolutely trustworthy. “Jesus, I trust in you,” allows for no timeouts from trusting in Him as the Way, the Truth and the Life, as Lord, God and Savior.

When I chose not to follow Jesus and His Way—which are ineradicably one—I am choosing not to trust Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, the Word (logos) of God Incarnate. I am not simply choosing to distrust merely another smart or holy guy. When I distrust His Way, I distrust Him. When I distrust HIs teaching, I de facto say, “Jesus, I do not trust in you,” “God, I do not trust you.” As William James writes in his classic work on religious consciousness, The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902):
“So long as any secular safeguard is retained,
so long as any residual prudential guarantee is clung to,
so long as the surrender is incomplete,
fear still stands sentinel
and mistrust in the Divine obtains.”

The Christian’s enfleshing of trust in Jesus in daily life, whether in common affairs or in crisis moments, is evidence of belief in Him as Lord, God and Savior, the Way, the Truth and the Life—as Him as risen from the dead. To not believe in Jesus as the Christ or as Lord may be a rational choice a person can make. To believe in Him, however, but not to believe Him is a self-evident absurdity. Partial trust of another human being can be reasonable. Partial trust of God can never be reasonable. After saying, “I believe in you, Jesus,” to then not believe the will of God as He reveals it by His words, deeds and person is logically and spiritually preposterous. It is the same as saying, “Lord! Lord!” but then not doing the will of the Father in Heaven (Mt 7:21-23). Chosen and enfleshed trust in Jesus, the Word of God Incarnate, e.g., by rejecting without reservation violence and enmity and choosing only to follow Jesus’ new commandment, “love one another as I have loved you,” is the bridge of trust over which the Father walks to bring the almighty power of God, which is love, to humanity in order to heal and to save each and all by events that before they occur are beyond all calculation, imagination or prediction.

If total trust in Jesus and His Way of Nonviolent Love of all, friends and enemies, is missing from a Christian’s life or from a Christian Church’s life, their daily prayer, said in heartfelt sincerity must be:
Jesus, I trust in you.
Help my untrust.

For a Christian or a Church to knowingly and willfully remain in a state of distrust of God and His Word, and to simultaneously refuse even to ask God’s help in overcoming this nonsensical way of living a Christian life is itself a significant moral problem with severe consequence far beyond all human calculation, imagination or prediction.

-ECM

Ten minute video, #10, for a Lenten Examination of Conscience

Guest Article: A Lenten Examination of Conscience 9

Gospel Nonviolence and the Right to Life

For the Christian, capital punishment, abortion and war are not only “right to life” issues, they are also “right to be loved” issues—”right to be loved as Jesus loves” issues. What Christian among us would dare to vest himself or herself with the illusionary authority to decide and to declare to a fellow human being, to another son or daughter of the Father, “You have lost the right to be loved by Jesus,” or “You have lost the right to be loved as Jesus loves you by Christians?”
—ECM

Inquisition into Science Fiction part 3

Following on from part 2,

To skip the disclaimer please click me

Disclaimer

As I mentioned in Part 1, in the absence of sanctioned Inquisitors, I’m going to play “The Game” with Hard Science Fiction in general from a Catholic theological point of view. Why? All fiction requires some extent of the suspension of disbelief. Hard Science Fiction attempts to minimise that as much as possible. But the problem is that Hard Science Fiction, just as Science in general, denies the existence of God, and in particular the Truths of the Catholic Church. This makes the suspension of disbelief more difficult for the Catholic.

It’s at this point that I need to remind the reader, that I write from the perspective that the Dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Church are the fullness of the Truth, that all other religions are false and that there is no other means of Salvation than by the means that the Catholic Church teaches as Dogma (meaning; to be believed).

Science, in denying the ontological Truths of the Catholic Faith, such as the existence of the Soul, wastes it’s time and effort on areas, that a Catholic would logically say “that’s most likely a dead end”. Hence in Fiction the suspension of disbelief more difficult for the Catholic, I am going to play “The Game” in order to help people understand that concept.

Please note that I will use terms like “Impossible”, what I mean is “according to the current understanding of Catholic Dogma, this is Impossible”.

Why do I make this important note? Galileo. As a scientist, he was able to prove that the Earth rotated around the Sun (heliocentric), not the other way round (geocentric). The Church authorities, who were not scientific at the time, threatened to condemn him as a heretic, unless he recanted. The reason for this was the inappropriate application of the Dogma of the Inerrancy of Sacred Scripture. I say inappropriate, because as Augustine said:

For I confess to your Charity that I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error. And if in these writings I am perplexed by anything which appears to me opposed to truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either the manuscript is faulty, or the translator has not caught the meaning of what was said, or I myself have failed to understand it.

Letter 82, i, 3 St Augustine to Jerome.

Notice how Augustine doesn’t jump down the neck of the Scientist…

It is also important to note, that consciously or unconsciously Modern Science desperately seeks to rid itself (and the rest of humanity) of the “yoke” of the Catholic Church.

The Inquisition Part 3

Psychic Powers

Otherwise known as Extra Sensory Powers, this particular idea features in many Science Fiction works. Examples: Babylon 5, Star Trek and Star Wars. It is not particularly “hard science fiction”, but it is a persistent topic in Science Fiction and continues to attract research.

Response: Impossible
Why? Well it contradicts several Dogmas, principally the Dogma of Divinity. Psychic powers are portrayed as the ability to read peoples minds (read: Omniscience), or to bend their free-will by transmitted suggestion/order (read: Omnipotence). Neither of these are acceptable to the Catholic.

God alone has Omniscience. Not even the devils are able to read our minds. The daemons are able to read our outward reactions to the temptations they broadcast, and so it may seem that they can read our minds, but they can’t.

God alone has Omnipotence. But even He does not overrule our Free Will. He will give us inspirations, but leaves us free to choose to cooperate with His Divine Will. The daemons when they transmit temptations, the daemons themselves do not have the power to override our Free Will, we must cooperate with the daemonic will, and that is what is called sin. It is important to state that because of Original Sin, every time we sin, the less strength we have to resist the temptation and so it becomes perpetually easier to sin. Sadly, it is not the same with cooperating with the Grace of God, due to Original Sin, it never gets easier to cooperate with Gods Will, there will always be a degree of difficulty.

Again, Science makes the mistake of thinking that everything is physical, explainable, so the proponents of Psychic Powers in Science Fiction, think it is a function of the Brain. The ability of daemons to transmit temptations, is because they are Spiritual entities, not physical ones. The reason why human beings can’t do the same, is because we are Incarnate Spirits (physical).

Sadly we humans being so fallen and depraved can bend people to our wills, by psychological torture, threat or conditioning. But it is via the physical universe that we do those terrible things. Please read and watch the Lenten Examination of Conscience #8 to understand this

Guest Article: A Lenten Examination of Conscience 8

Putting on the Mind of Christ

The destruction of the mind, the psyche, the emotions, the heart of children, that is destruction by sexual means, sometimes called by the more generalized term, child abuse, is only one means to destroy the mind, psyche, emotions and heart of a child. Drenching children’s minds in glory-filled, noble, heroic, honorable, self righteous, “holy” violence—through the churches, the schools, the media, the electronic and physical toys and games given to them, the incessant beat of military propaganda to which they are permitted to be exposed—is another and equally insidiously destructive means of child abuse. It is a form of child abuse whose long term, savage consequences fill the graveyard, mental institution, prisons, hospitals and alleys in numbers that far exceed the numbers of victims of sexual child abuse. It is the radical opposite of “putting on the mind of Christ.” And, the behavior it brings forth is behavior that is radically opposed to the behavior that Jesus insist His followers exhibit.
–ECM

Guest Article: A Lenten Examination of Conscience 7

The Church and War

Christians, whether they be bishops or bumpkins, who speak 99% against war, capital punishment, abortion, violence and/or enmity are not proclaiming the truth that Jesus taught. They are treating Jesus’ teaching as if it were philosophy. It is not! It is the revealed will of God, or it is nothing The spiritual blind spot, that underlies proclaiming this “99% Gospel,” this “Gospel with Loopholes,” is that such Christians have not grasped the totality of the difference it makes if God has really spoken His definitive Word to humanity in Jesus. For a Christian to say that God has to be corrected by him or her by their making the logical opposite of what Jesus taught as truth the new truth of the Gospel is just silly—but catastrophically destructive.

 

Inquisition into Science Fiction part 2

Following on from part 1,

To skip the disclaimer please click me

Disclaimer

As I mentioned in Part 1, in the absence of sanctioned Inquisitors, I’m going to play “The Game” with Hard Science Fiction in general from a Catholic theological point of view. Why? All fiction requires some extent of the suspension of disbelief. Hard Science Fiction attempts to minimise that as much as possible. But the problem is that Hard Science Fiction, just as Science in general, denies the existence of God, and in particular the Truths of the Catholic Church. This makes the suspension of disbelief more difficult for the Catholic.

It’s at this point that I need to remind the reader, that I write from the perspective that the Dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Church are the fullness of the Truth, that all other religions are false and that there is no other means of Salvation than by the means that the Catholic Church teaches as Dogma (meaning; to be believed).

Science, in denying the ontological Truths of the Catholic Faith, such as the existence of the Soul, wastes it’s time and effort on areas, that a Catholic would logically say “that’s most likely a dead end”. Hence in Fiction the suspension of disbelief more difficult for the Catholic, I am going to play “The Game” in order to help people understand that concept.

Please note that I will use terms like “Impossible”, what I mean is “according to the current understanding of Catholic Dogma, this is Impossible”.

Why do I make this important note? Galileo. As a scientist, he was able to prove that the Earth rotated around the Sun (heliocentric), not the other way round (geocentric). The Church authorities, who were not scientific at the time, threatened to condemn him as a heretic, unless he recanted. The reason for this was the inappropriate application of the Dogma of the Inerrancy of Sacred Scripture. I say inappropriate, because as Augustine said:

For I confess to your Charity that I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error. And if in these writings I am perplexed by anything which appears to me opposed to truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either the manuscript is faulty, or the translator has not caught the meaning of what was said, or I myself have failed to understand it.

Letter 82, i, 3 St Augustine to Jerome.

Notice how Augustine doesn’t jump down the neck of the Scientist…

It is also important to note, that consciously or unconsciously Modern Science desperately seeks to rid itself (and the rest of humanity) of the “yoke” of the Catholic Church.

The Inquisition Part II

Sapient Alien Lifeforms

The worlds most hated “sapient” alien lifeform.

The concept that on other worlds life has developed sapience, equal to or greater than human beings.

Response: Impossible as stated

There are two fundamental Dogmas that this particular speculation contradicts.

Firstly, the Dogma that the Immortal Soul is a Divine creation, not a natural development.
Sapient Alien lifeforms is the natural extrapolation of the prevalent scientific error; atheistic Darwinism. It is the denial of the Catholic Creator God. Here the Science Fiction writers use the concept of Darwinism to justify that life can naturally “develop” sapience. This can’t happen. Sapience is an expression of the Intellect and the Will, which are the two supreme faculties of the Soul. The Soul is the image and likeness of God, it is created by God.

Secondly, the Dogma of the Incarnation.
Sapient Alien lifeforms can’t exist because the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity (the only one God), God the Son became a man (named Jesus) and was born of a virgin woman named Mary. Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary is titled the Mother of God. Sapient Alien lifeforms can’t exist because of that fact.

If you can’t work that one out, the logic goes like this:
One God
Three Divine Persons, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost,
All distinct from one another, yet all God, not Gods plural, one God.
God the Son, assumed human flesh and a human soul, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and became Man. This is the Dogma of the Incarnation.
At the moment of conception, the One God creates a soul and unites it to matter, that being is a human, from conception to natural death.

Science Fiction writer Indy M Ryte pretends that on the planet Zog six-limbed Zogglites “develop” sentience, launch their Zog destroyers into space, and arrive at earth declaring non-zogs Zogged.

Translated into Catholic Fiction, it would read: God creates Immortal Souls infused to the bodies of the six-limbed Zogglites from the planet Zog, and clearly since they are belligerent have also suffered from Original Sin and are therefore in need of salvation.
Hence the impossible conundrum.

God became Flesh in the womb of a female human being, named the Blessed Virgin Mary. He became Flesh in order that by His Sacrificial death in His Humanity, He could reconcile the human race to God and bring about the possibility of Salvation.

40 days after His resurrection (in His glorified human body) He Ascended into Heaven, and reigns there (in His glorified human body) until the end of time.

There is no salvation outside of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (that’s the Roman Catholic Church united under the Pope).

I could go on, but hopefully you’ve got the gist on why Sapient Alien lifeforms don’t fit with Catholic Dogma.

Finally there are two associated points I wish to make.

1. There is nothing in Catholic Dogma that contradicts the possibility of life on other planets.

Nor the possibility of highly specialised and efficient predatory life that would make mincemeat of any “squishy” human visitors (read: nyom nyom), such as depicted in Alien.

Catholic Dogma only contradicts the possibility of life like humans. So no ET, Predators or giant Blue Cat dances-with-wolves-ferngully rip-offs.

2. There is a peculiar trend that I noticed about Science Fiction alien movies. The archetypical Alien Invasion. They come to earth to destroy us, they decend from the sky, and attempt to wipe out humanity. Humanity has to run away or fight them.

This basic plot is seen in: Independence Day, Skyline, Battle: Los Angeles, Battleship, Signs, War of the Worlds, The Avengers, Transformers, Enders Game, Oblivion, Starship Troopers etc.

What did I notice?

This plot trope is a perversion of the Book of Revelations. It perverts the Book of Revelations, indoctrinating the viewer to fear things that come from above, fight them, hate them. This is particularly easy to see in the film Skyline, where the antagonists are swathed in light. Read Revelations, then watch any of these movies. Compare. Nice tactic Satan, indoctrinate the people of earth to do exactly what it says will happen in Revelations:

Behold there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair: and the whole moon became as blood: And the stars from heaven fell upon the earth, as the fig tree casteth its green figs when it is shaken by a great wind: And the heaven departed as a book folded up: and every mountain, and the islands were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the princes, and tribunes, and the rich, and the strong, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of mountains:

And they say to the mountains and the rocks: Fall upon us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of their wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?

Guest Article: A Lenten Examination of Conscience 6

Post Constantinian Christianity

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right

The history of war is the history of powerful individuals willing to sacrifice thousands, and even millions, of other people’s lives for personal gains. The struggle of human beings against those who lust to have power over them is the struggle of memory against forgetting. A long habit, systematically nurtured and sustained, of not remembering the violent, vile and vicious as wrong gives them a superficial appearance of right—which then morally permits, indeed fosters, ever more zealous violence, vileness and viciousness. To justify an evil is to perpetuate an evil. To justify an evil is to be a perpetuator of that evil.