LOVE OF GOD
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself.” Luke 10:27
Charity is the very core, center and heart of religion. Charity is love, the love of God. To love God, means to put Him first and foremost before anything else. It’s the resolve to die, rather than offend God in a serious way.
It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for “God is Charity” (1John 4:8) — St. Albert the Great
Charity is that with which no man is lost, and without which no man is saved. – St. Robert Bellarmine
At the end of our life, we shall all be judged by charity. — St. John of the Cross
Faith is not enough without love. Works are not enough without love.
“If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.” 1 Cor. 13:1-13
“Love transforms one into what one loves.”
Reflect that God requires nothing else of us except that we show our neighbors the love we have for God.”
“For you, high eternal Father, loved me without being loved by me.” – St. Catherine of Siena
You know that our Lord does not look at the greatness or difficulty of our action, but at the love with which you do it. What, then, have you to fear? –St Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face,
“But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing: and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Apoc. 3:16-17
No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Matt6:24
‘Do not be deceived; there are only two roads: one that leads to life and is narrow; the other that leads to death and is wide. There is no middle way.’ – St. Louis Marie de Montfort
‘They who are to be saved as Saints, and wish to be saved as imperfect souls, shall not be saved.Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor and Father of the Church (d. 604)
You cannot be half a saint; you must be a whole saint or no saint at all. -St. Therese of Lisieux
‘Some will say, It is enough for me to be saved. “No,” says St. Augustine, “it is not enough; if you say that it is enough, you will be lost.”‘ – St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Doctor of the Church
What makes an ordinary marksman? One that tries just to hit the target, or one that aims for the bull’s eye, but usually misses it a bit? Of course, no one aims at “just the target”. So, when aiming at salvation, you MUST aim at sainthood. Try to do things right, really do things right. Then if you don’t quite reach adequate dedication etc, then you will go to purgatory. Aim for Heaven, you probably won’t quite make your target, so you probably will go to purgatory. Aim for purgatory, you probably won’t quite make your target, so you probably will go to HELL!
BAPTISM OF BLOOD AND DESIRE
The Fathers and theologians frequently divide baptism into three kinds: the baptism of water (aquæ or fluminis), the baptism of desire (flaminis), and the baptism of blood (sanguinis). However, only the first is a real sacrament. The latter two are denominated baptism only analogically, inasmuch as they supply the principal effect of baptism, namely, the grace which remits sins. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church that when the baptism of water becomes a physical or moral impossibility, eternal life may be obtained by the baptism of desire or the baptism of blood.
The baptism of desire The baptism of desire (baptismus flaminis) is a perfect contrition of heart, and every act of perfect charity or pure love of God which contains, at least implicitly, a desire (votum) of baptism. The Latin word flamen is used because Flamen is a name for the Holy Ghost, Whose special office it is to move the heart to love God and to conceive penitence for sin. The “baptism of the Holy Ghost” is a term employed in the third century by the anonymous author of the book “De Rebaptismate”. The efficacy of this baptism of desire to supply the place of the baptism of water, as to its principal effect, is proved from the words of Christ. After He had declared the necessity of baptism (John 3), He promised justifying grace for acts of charity or perfect contrition (John 14): “He that loveth Me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.” And again: “If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him.” Since these texts declare that justifying grace is bestowed on account of acts of perfect charity or contrition, it is evident that these acts supply the place of baptism as to its principal effect, the remission of sins. This doctrine is set forth clearly by the Council of Trent. In the fourteenth session (cap. iv) the council teaches that contrition is sometimes perfected by charity, and reconciles man to God, before the Sacrament of Penance is received. In the fourth chapter of the sixth session, in speaking of the necessity of baptism, it says that men can not obtain original justice “except by the washing of regeneration or its desire” (voto). The same doctrine is taught by Pope Innocent III (cap. Debitum, iv, De Bapt.), and the contrary propositions are condemned by Popes Pius V and Gregory XII, in proscribing the 31st and 33rd propositions of Baius. We have already alluded to the funeral oration pronounced by St. Ambrose over the Emperor Valentinian II, a catechumen. The doctrine of the baptism of desire is here clearly set forth. St. Ambrose asks: “Did he not obtain the grace which he desired? Did he not obtain what he asked for? Certainly he obtained it because he asked for it.” St. Augustine (On Baptism, Against the Donatists , IV.22) and St. Bernard (Ep. lxxvii, ad H. de S. Victore) likewise discourse in the same sense concerning the baptism of desire. If it be said that this doctrine contradicts the universal law of baptism made by Christ (John 3), the answer is that the lawgiver has made an exception (John 14) in favor of those who have the baptism of desire. Neither would it be a consequence of this doctrine that a person justified by the baptism of desire would thereby be dispensed from seeking after the baptism of water when the latter became a possibility. For, as has already been explained the baptismus flaminis contains the votum of receiving the baptismus aquæ. It is true that some of the Fathers of the Church arraign severely those who content themselves with the desire of receiving the sacrament of regeneration, but they are speaking of catechumens who of their own accord delay the reception of baptism from unpraiseworthy motives. Finally, it is to be noted that only adults are capable of receiving the baptism of desire. (Note: “adults” here obviously means “of the age of reason.”) The baptism of blood The baptism of blood (baptismus sanquinis) is the obtaining of the grace of justification by suffering
martyrdom for the faith of Christ. The term “washing of blood” (lavacrum sanguinis) is used by Tertullian (On Baptism 16) to distinguish this species of regeneration from the “washing of water” (lavacrum aquæ). “We have a second washing”, he says “which is one and the same [with the first], namely the washing of blood.” St. Cyprian (Epistle 73) speaks of “the most glorious and greatest baptism of blood” (sanguinis baptismus). St. Augustine (City of God 13.7) says: “When any die for the confession of Christ without having received the washing of regeneration, it avails as much for the remission of their sins as if they had been washed in the sacred font of baptism.” The Church grounds her belief in the efficacy of the baptism of blood on the fact that Christ makes a general statement of the saving power of martyrdom in the tenth chapter of St. Matthew: “Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven” (verse 32); and: “He that shall lose his life for me shall find it” (verse 39). It is pointed out that these texts are so broadly worded as to include even infants, especially the latter text. That the former text also applies to them, has been constantly maintained by the Fathers, who declare that if infants can not confess Christ with the mouth, they can by act. Tertullian (Against the Valentinians 2) speaks of the infants slaughtered by Herod as martyrs, and this has been the constant teaching of the Church. Another evidence of the mind of the Church as to the efficacy of the baptism of blood is found in the fact that she never prays for martyrs. Her opinion is well voiced by St. Augustine (Tractate 74 on the Gospel of John): “He does an injury to a martyr who prays for him.” This shows that martyrdom is believed to remit all sin and all punishment due to sin. Later theologians commonly maintain that the baptism of blood justifies adult martyrs independently of an act of charity or perfect contrition, and, as it were, ex opere operato, though, of course, they must have attrition for past sins. The reason is that if perfect charity, or contrition, were required in martyrdom, the distinction between the baptism of blood and the baptism of desire would be a useless one. Moreover, as it must be conceded that infant martyrs are justified without an act of charity, of which they are incapable, there is no solid reason for denying the same privilege to adults. (Cf. Francisco Suárez, De Bapt., disp. Xxxix.)” Catholic Encyclopedia – Nihil Obstat. 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.
GOD IS LOVE God is love. This is dogma. God loves every human soul as if there were no other. God is never against a soul. It is the soul which is against God. God is does not, cannot be against a soul that loves Him. This cannot take place.“Charity covereth a multitude of sins.” But Love cannot exist as long as a person refuses Faith. A soul that does not resolve and intend to do everything that God demands does not love God. A soul that loves God perfectly cannot remain in the state of sin. The two states are mutually exclusive. CHARITY We Catholics do not believe in salvation by Faith alone. We, essentially, believe in salvation by LOVE alone. Mortal sin involves hatred of God. What is almost never talked about is the basis for Baptism of Desire and this is a critical point. The Sacraments bestow Sanctifying grace. The Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity are infused with Sanctifying grace. Just as simply desiring to go to confession is not sufficient for extra-sacramental justification of a person in mortal sin, neither is simply desiring to be baptized for a person in Original Sin. There must also be the equivalent of Perfect Contrition. “He that loveth Me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.” And again: “If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him.” Since these texts declare that justifying grace is bestowed on account of acts of perfect charity or contrition, it is evident that these acts supply the place of baptism as to its principal effect, the remission of sins.” – Catholic Encyclopedia “….the state of grace at the moment of death is absolutely necessary for salvation. Without it, it is not possible to attain supernatural happiness, the beatific vision of God. An act of love can suffice [i.e., Baptism of Desire] for an adult to obtain sanctifying grace and supply for the absence of Baptism; for the unborn child or for the newly born, this way is not open….” –Pope Pius XII, Address to Midwives, Oct. 29, 1951
What effort is required to find the truth? The maximum effort. What do people do when they are wrongfully accused of a crime and are facing imprisonment? Or when they are sued and are going to lose “everything”? They seek knowledge; they go to lawyers; they spend money; if it would do any good they would cross the globe! They would do anything; whatever it takes! And they don’t miss a chance when they think maybe, just maybe, there could be a way out, then they try that too. Now, how many people are doing that when it comes to finding the true faith? Very few. “Well, my family’s Baptist.” What kind of argument is that? Who founded your Church, and why do you think it’s real? “Umm, I don’t really know.” Or, “Well, I do know all the Churches broke away from the Catholic Church……” Sometimes you hear, “Well, I don’t believe…..” (and this is a very honest answer…) Why don’t you believe? “I just can’t believe that …..” No reason, they just don’t! These answers are not those of one with invincible ignorance. But they are the normal answers. If you’ve never heard any other kind of argument, then you’ve never met anyone with invincible ignorance. And, if you’ve never met anyone with invincible ignorance, why would you assume there are lot of people have it? The truth is, if anyone has been saved this way, it is a rare thing indeed. The same goes for pagans, uncivilized people in the forest. They sometimes have some idea of the Creator. But, have you ever heard of a missionary going to a heathen land only to find they were already worshiping the Creator and devotedly keeping the natural law? Yes, sometimes they’ve found some evidence of worship of the Creator, but keeping the natural law as best they knew? No, they always found people sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, a prey to the most detestable vices, consumed by sin. Cruel, selfdestructive people. It doesn’t take a study of theology to know this, it’s historical fact. It’s the way it is. Why? Because before you can love God, you must know God, because it is impossible to love one you do not know. Now, it is true that a person can know God, to a certain extent from the natural light of reason, but Divine revelation is necessary to know more. Now, if it is so very hard, for those of us who know God, in all the grandeur of His Revelation to continue in His love, in the state of grace, which we were privileged to have infused at Baptism, then how extremely difficult for someone who knows God only ever so vaguely, and has not had the privilege of the Sacramental infusion of Grace, which carries with it the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and CHARITY? You, see, while theoretically it may be possible, it is by no means likely or common. And how unlikely is it for them to pray for deliverance from hell, who have but a vague concept of punishment, when we find it ever so difficult, when we know all its horrors from Divine Revelation, and have the support of the Sacraments? The chances of an outpouring of Love, such as would be necessary for justification, is almost nil. You could say, it would be rather of a miracle for such a thing to happen. And Protestants? Well, being free to not love God is what it’s all about! Most Protestant sects profess that they do not love God. That’s what is means to be “saved by Faith alone.” (“If you love me, keep my Commandments.”) So, unless they don’t know what their religion, teaches (never suspected?), then of course, justification is not possible. Obviously, since the catechumen does know and believe the truths of divine Revelation, it is conceivable that he would achieve a state of perfect Charity. So, this situation is far more likely than the idea that a Protestant or pagan in the wilderness is going to achieve it. I believe that is why it is referenced by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, while invincible ignorance is not. So, the issue would be some extremely unusual case. God could grant the grace, if He so willed. The
person could respond to that grace, if he so willed. And that person could be saved, by the fact that, by his willing to give himself over unreservedly to God, he would will to believe and receive the sacraments, if he had the knowledge. This has been brought up in the Church. The Church knew this. It is totally unreasonable to imagine that they didn’t know this had come up. The Church permits, this opinion. No simple Catholic can make the final decision, based on his personal outlook, and then impose it on the Church. That belongs to the pope.
The human tendency is to reflexively go the opposite direction from what is causing trouble. The doctrine of Baptism of Desire, as well as invincible ignorance, have been severely exploited and distorted by the Modernists to mean that everybody is saved. In reality, invincible ignorance is so unusual and unlikely that it wasn’t even considered in the declarations of the popes, writings of the Fathers etc. It’s kind of like talking about a person having twins, and you say, “Well, what about when a person has octuplets?” AUTHORITY Br. Dimond is not infallible and he cannot impose his opinions on another Catholic. Neither can Traditional priests. They can explain their take on certain issues, but they cannot make a final decision, nor can they claim the decision was previously made when the magisterium of the Church says otherwise. The Magisterium of the Church is not to be taken lightly. We are not to brush it aside, just because something isn’t “infallible.” Before one tosses out a decision of the Holy Office, for example, he must be extremely careful what he is doing. And to take the interpretation of some layperson who did not receive his education under the authority of the Church (self-educated) is not permitted. The Holy Office is not to be scorned. Dimond condemns every book, pronouncement and everything that any bishop or priest has said in the last 100 years or so, and replaces it with himself. He gives his interpretation, with no back up, and then condemns those who do not agree as if he were the pope himself, (like Henry VIII?) Any Catholic book that doesn’t agree with him is “heretical”. So, Catholics are now forbidden to study their religion, but instead are to go to Br. Dimond as their sole source of knowledge. Then, Dimond proceeds to interpret the Apocalypse, “This is this, this is that”. He is heavy on private revelation. A Catholic is not permitted to believe private revelation, no matter who it is, against the decisions of the Church. A house built on private revelation, outside of the protection of the Church is a house of cards. “Dogma as it was once declared” We are cannot give dogma a meaning different from that which it originally was meant to have. That the simplest, literal sense is the necessarily the original sense is Dimond’s opinion. That has nothing to do with the Truth. This idea of not needing to “understand” is Dimond’s idea. He is not quoting anyone. The pope is saying the meaning must not change, not that the words couldn’t be misunderstood. This is Dimond saying what this dogma means. If Dimond’s idea of simply the literal meaning of the words, without reference to the context in which they were stated, were true, we would have no need of papal infallibiltiy – there could be no questions, no errors.You’d just be ipso facto excommunicated and that would be it! But that’s not how God set His Church to be. We are under Authority, the Church is our mother. We must submit, in humility, to her laws and the superiors she places over us. The Church says how this works, it is not up to us to invent a new way. Jesus says “I am the way the TRUTH and the life.” We must seek the truth, not take the “safest” (strictest) interpretation. We must seek the truth, if we are to be in accord with God.
“Believe dogma as it was once declared” means, that, knowing what was meant by the pronouncing authority, you decide, at a later time, to give it a new meaning, knowing that was not the original meaning.
Here are a couple of Dogmas which will be misunderstood when taken out of context: The sacramental confession of sins is ordained by God and is necessary for salvation. The Sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation to those who, after Baptism, fall into grievous sin. D895 While these dogmas were all made at the Council of Trent, they were not made together, as one thing. The above was against the reformers, and below against Baius (Michel du Bay) So we see, the Council, pulling from the opposite poles of the lax theories of the Protestant Reformation, with no need of Confession, and the Rigoristic theory of Baius, in claiming Perfect Contrition could exist without Justification. If it were not for the need to condemn the teaching of Baius at the same time, the first mentioned dogma would likely stand by itself, and if taken out of context, eliminate the possiblity of justification by perfect contrition. Extra sacramental justification: The Council of Trent, against Baius D 898 The Catechism of the Council of Trent teaches Baptism of Desire quite clearly, which gives a very stong indication that Dimond’s explanation is not the original meaning of the definition. So, in reality, Br. Dimond is the one running the risk of giving it a new meaning. St. Charles Borromeo, another canonized saint wrote the catechism. Was he a heretic?
DECREE OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT ON BAPTISM Page 40: The decree on Baptism says “or the desire for the same”. Here Br. Dimond says the word “aut” could also mean “and”. Just because it could doesn’t mean it does. The sentence is non-sensical if you replace “or” with “and”. As no similar decree exists, he cannot give a “for instance”, so he resorts to making up an imaginary canon! If the Church made such unreasonable statements, he could easily find a “for instance” without having to make one up. But that’s what he did: If a person says “This shower cannot take place without water or the desire for it” (“No kidding?”) …….This is Dimond’s interpretation………….That he is making into dogma. Now, Catholic dogmas aren’t rediculous, as the above statement is. Infant baptism comes to mind here, as the infant is incapable of desiring baptism personally. It seems to me, in Dimonds “literal sense” world, infants baptism would be invalid. ERRORS? To destroy the credibility of the Church’s theologians, and gain credence for his “authority”, Dimond points out all these supposed “errors” in Catholic doctrine. This is Br. Dimond’s misinterpretation, not error: Page 135 says there is an error about grace in Council of Trent Catechism: “For the Eucharist is sthe end of all the Sacraments, and the symbol of unity and brotherhood in the Church, outside of which none can attain grace.” Dimond goes on to say this is an error, because there are prevenient, actual graces. That’s true, but the Catechism is talking about sanctifying grace, not actual grace which Dimond refers to. Such as in the expression “in the state of grace”. This is not an error. Page 136: Council of Trent Catechism: “should any unforeseen accident make it impossible for an adult to receive baptism, his tintention and determination to receive baptism willabail him to grace and righteousness.” – Dimond goes on to say there is no such thing as an “unforeseen accident”, that God could not prevent. Of course not. But, that’s isn’t what the Catechism was referring to. “Unforseen accident” does not refer to God’s accident, it means unforseen to the man. It is saying this, so you know it’s not talking about the result of carelessness or neglect. I find it hard to believe anyone in their right mind think the catechism was trying to say God has accidents!!!
Page 84, A similar quote by St. Bernard when he expressed his belief in Bapism of Desire, speaks of when someone in prevented from baptism by some “invincible power”. Dimonds says that God alone is the “invincible power.” This is an insult to St. Bernard, who, of course, meant invincible to the man, in other words, not humanly possible, and therefore, not the result of negligence. Again, I don’t think anyone really thinks that St. Bernard, a canonized saint and doctor of the Church, forgot that God was almighty!!!
Page 135 Claiming error in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, “can’t attain grace” here is an example of needing to know the meaning, not just taking the words. It means sanctifying grace, not actual grace.
Page 154 and 168 Dimond claims that St. Alphonsus Liguori, another canonized saint and doctor of the Church erroneously interpreted the Council of Trent, and therefore taught Baptism of Desire. So, he expects us to believe his interpretation instead of St. Alphonsus’. Is Br. Dimond infallible, then?
CANONIZED HERETICS?! page 33 Dimonds first “infallible” statement on invincible ignorance or baptism of desire seems to be 1312. That was before the canonization of St. Alphonsus, or St. Thomas Aquinas. Now, saints writings are sifted for heresy before they are canonized. So, if Baptism of Desire were heresy, these saints would not have been canonized. Dimond makes room for them to be in innocent error, but does not make that same room for others. He does not consider him excommunicated, but he does consider present day Catholics to be excomunicated. How does he dare to be sure, and demand the assent of all Catholics, that he is a far better theologian than St. Alphonsus or St. Thomas Aquinas, both doctors of the Church? I think he’s saying they were not culpable because they didn’t have a theologian so capable as himself to explain it to them. Dimond undermines St. Thomas Aquinas’ character, not just his opinions. “In a feeble attempt”, he says. This implies St. Thomas Aquinas was careless, he wasn’t trying too hard. St. Thomas Aquinas is a canonized saint (infallible), and we Catholics had better beware when accusing him of serious sin. At the same time, he uses a theory of St. Thomas about invincible ignorance that is quite clearly not in accord with Catholic Teaching. It is an error, albeit an error in good faith. I’m referring to the theory that invincible ignorance is a “punishment for sin”. God is Love. God punishes in the next life – in Hell. Here, we may be rebuked, and chastised, but it is for the good of souls; if not that person’s then others, such as when God struck people dead in the Old Testament. It was for the correction of the living. Or, maybe God withholds His grace because He foresees that it would be rejected, and only add to the person’s guilt. “Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.” – St. Catherine of Siena
These things were alive and well during the reign of St. Pius X. Is Dimond saying he was neglectful or that God gave his Church such a poor design, that it is impossible to control, and cannot even get the dogmatic truth through to the saints? But there’s no other explanation. You are either saying that St. Pius X didn’t try too hard, (was no saint) or you’re saying that God’s Church is impossible to keep! Because, if this is the problem, and it could not be stopped, then the Church is a very flawed institution.
THE FATHERS OF THE CHURCH CONTRADICT THEMSELVES?! pages 43-49 Br. Dimond says the fathers of the Church were unanimous about Baptism of desire. This is absolutely not true. Then he says the fathers contradicted themselves, they didn’t know what their
own selves meant, but Br. Dimon does?! Instead of acknowledging that he is misunderstanding them, he instead says they contradict themselves. So, we are basing “Tradition” on the Fathers, but the Fathers taught something else, but Br. Dimond knows when they are in error?! If you met someone, and you thought they said they had ten children, but later they say, “No, I have two”; would you assume you misunderstood, or would you assume they decided to change their story, and go on believing they have ten children?
page 78 St. John Chrysostom: “And plainly must we grieve for our own catechumens, should they, either through their own unbelief or neglect, depart this life without the saving grace of baptism.” Br. Dimond highlights this sentence, but not the part about unbelief or neglect, which gives it a completely different meaning.
Page 72, St. Ambrose, Funeral Oration of Valentinian, “But I hear that you grieve because he did not receive the sacraments of baptism. Tell me: What else is in your power other than the desire, the request? But he even had this desire for a long time, that, when he shoud come to Italy, he would be initiated…..Has he not, then the grace which he desired; has he not the grace which requested? And because he asked, he received, and therefore it is said; ‘By whatsoever death the just man shall be overtaken his soul shall be at rest’ (Wis.4:7)…Or if the fact disturbs you that the mysteries have not be en solemnly celebrated, then you should realize that not even martyrs are crowned if they are catechumens, for they are not crowned if they are not initiated. But if they are washed in their own blood, his piety and desire have washed him, also.” ….Now, Dimond quickly interprets the word “crowned” as meaning saved, which it does not, which is clear from the rest of the quotation.
ACERBO NIMIS Page 36 POPE PIUS X, Acerbo Nimis: “And so Our Predecessor, Benedict XIV, had just cause to write: “We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.” If you read the paragraph that precedes this, you will see that it is clearly talking about vincible ignorance: “It is a common complaint, unfortunately too well founded, that there are large numbers of Christians in our own time who are entirely ignorant of those truths necessary for salvation. And when we mention Christians, We refer not only to the masses or to those in the lower walks of life — for these find some excuse for their ignorance in the fact that the demands of their harsh employers hardly leave them time to take care of themselves or of their dear ones — but We refer to those especially who do not lack culture or talents and, indeed, are possessed of abundant knowledge regarding things of the world but live rashly and imprudently with regard to religion. It is hard to find words to describe how profound is the darkness in which they are engulfed and, what is most deplorable of all, how tranquilly they repose there. They rarely give thought to God, the Supreme Author and Ruler of all things, or to the teachings of the faith of Christ. They know nothing of the Incarnation of the Word of God, nothing of the perfect restoration of the human race which He accomplished. Grace, the greatest of the helps for attaining eternal things, the Holy Sacrifice and the Sacraments by which we obtain grace, are entirely unknown to them. They have no conception of the malice and baseness of sin; hence they show no anxiety to avoid sin or to renounce it. And so they arrive at life’s end in such a condition that, lest all hope of salvation be lost, the priest is obliged to give in the last few moments of life a summary teaching of religion, a time which should be devoted to stimulating the soul to greater love for God. And even this as too often happens only when the dying man is not so sinfully ignorant as to look upon the ministration of the priest as useless, and then calmly faces the fearful passage to eternity without making his peace with God. And so Our Predecessor,
Benedict XIV, had just cause to write: “We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.” HERESY A person comes with a new idea, and claims it all works out just fine with dogma. Others see a contradiction of dogma, they see heresy (material heresy). His arguments may be absurd, but he says it makes sense to him, and that he has no intention of going against dogma. O.K., fine, but let’s take it to the source of Truth, to the Authority. Now, the theory/hypothosis is reviewed by the Holy Office. If they feel it is wrong, then, they will censure it. It may be condemned as heretical, close to heresy, and in descending levels of censure. Now, a Catholic is bound to respect this decision. However, it is not infallible. If the person, being sufficiently educated to be competent to do so, re-investigates, and comes to the conclusion that the decision rests on error, he may withhold internal assent, and still not be guilty of heresy. For the situation to be finally concluded, the pope or a general council would have to make a final declaration, which is usually done by taking the exact formula, as it is written by it’s author, and essentially saying “This theory, these words, are against Catholic dogma.” So, the question is over, there’s no room for interpretation, because his exact theory, in his own wording, has been condemned, by the infallible authority of the Church. Now, the person up until this point remained in good standing in the Church, even though he was believing a material heresy. Now, he must submit to the final decision. Now, but not until now, he will be excommunicated ipso facto if he continues to hold his theory, as it will be formal heresy. EXCOMMUNICATION While it is true, the sin of heresy carries censure of excommunication, ipso facto, for a person to incur excommunication of any form, he must be “contumacious”; he must know with full knowledge that he will incur the censure. No one falls under censure without knowing they are incurring it. It is said, in Church law that excommunication is presumed in the case of material heretics. But, my understanding is, that this is referring to those who are outside the Church, but possibly ignorant – like Protestants. Otherwise, when there is question about whether a person is under censure or not, the Church takes the lenient stance, of assuming the censure has not been incurred.
Br. Dimond freely declares who is excommunicated. But note: no censure takes effect without the person knowing full well that they are incurring it. Furthermore, when there is doubt, the law of the church says, to always take the lenient side of the doubt. The only person capable of making such pronouncements is the pope, because he is infallible. Br. Dimond is not infallible, and he cannot tell every Traditional Catholic priest or layperson that he must agree with him, or else he is excommunicated. THE REASON WHY THERE ARE NO MISSIONARIES? Dimond says the reason there are no misionaries these days, if because of belief in Baptism of Desire. This argument shows how little he understands about the necesity of the love of God for salvation. While yes, it is possible for a pagan to seek/find God, it is extremely difficult and unlikely. To obtain justification, outside of the Sacrament of Baptism or of Penance, Perfect Love of God is necessary. Now, we can know God to a certain extent, by natural reasoning. However, we need more, and that is why God has given us revelation. Why do we need to know more? Because you cannot love what you do not know. We need to know God in order to love Him. And it is very hard to know God, if no one teaches you what God has revealed. A child brought up with all sorts of bad influence can still save his soul, so does that mean we don’t need to protect our children from bad influence? I believe in Baptism of Desire and I am passionate about teaching the Faith to the most
abandoned souls I can find. I find those souls in prisons. For some reason, Br. Dimond put a video of a prisoner assaulting an officer on his “news”. Yes, things like that do happen, but what is the point of showing this? It just stirs up more hatred and despair. And this is the real reason there are no missionaries – lack of love. “Love God above all things, and your neighbor as yourself.
WHAT IS THE REAL, MORAL REASON FOR THIS CRISIS IN THE CHURCH? I think there is only one thing that can be the problem, really. And that is, a lack of Charity. LOVE. GOD IS LOVE. This isn’t a conciliar slogan. It is Catholic dogma. Jansenism, with it’s over-emphasis on Justice and vengeance, struck at the very heart and soul of religion. Once that was lost, all else quickly follows. Why can’t people accept the Faith is all about Love? Protestantism says it’s all about Faith. Dead Faith. Jansenism says it’s all about works. Dead works. But Catholicism says it’s all about Love. Keeping the externals of the Commandments without having the love of God and our neighbor as it’s root, means nothing to a God that is love. The state of Grace is no small matter. It entails the love of God above all things. “ And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Come Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy Faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy Divine LOVE. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shalt RENEW THE FACE OF THE EARTH.
ON THE PAIN OF LOSS WHICH THE DAMNED SUFFER IN HELL – St. Alphonsus
” Cast him into the exterior darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” MATT. xxii. 13.
ACCORDING to all laws, divine and human, the punishment of crime should be proportioned to its grievousness. “According to the measure of the sin shall the measure also of the stripes be.” (Deut. xxv. 2.) Now, the principal injury which sinners do to God by mortal sin, consists in turning their back upon their Creator and their sovereign good. St. Thomas defines mortal sin to be”a turning away from the immutable good” (p. 1, qu. 24, art. 4).
Of this injury the Lord complains in the following words: ”Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord; thou hast gone backward. ” (Jer. xv. 6.) Since, then, the greatest guilt of the sinner consists in deliberately consenting to lose God, the loss of God shall constitute his greatest punishment in hell.
”There shall be weeping.” In hell there is continual weeping; but what is the object of the bitterest tears of the unhappy damned? It is the thought af having lost God through their own fault. This shall be the subject of the present discourse.
Be attentive, brethren.
1. No! dearly beloved Christians! the goods of the earth are not the end for which God has placed you in the world; the end for which he has created you is the attainment of eternal life. ”And the end life eternal.” (Rom. vi. 22.) Eternal life consists in loving God, and possessing him for eternity. Whosoever attains this end shall be for ever happy; but he who, through his own fault, does not attain it, loses God; he shall be miserable for eternity, and shall weep for ever, saying: ”My end is perished.” (Lamen. iii. 18.)
2. The pain produced by loss is proportioned to the value of what has been lost. If a person lose a jewel a diamond worth a hundred crowns, he feels great pain; if the diamond were worth two hundred crowns, the pain is double; if worth four hundred, the pain is still greater. Now, I ask, what is the good which a damned soul has lost? She has lost God; she has lost an infinite good. The pain, then, arising from the loss of God is an infinite pain.
”The pain of the damned,” says St. Thomas, ”is infinite, because it is the loss of an infinite good.” (1. 2, qu. 87, a. 4.) Such, too, is the doctrine of St. Bernard, who says, that the value of the loss of the damned is measured from the infinitude of God the supreme good.
Hence, hell does not consist in its devouring fire, nor in its intolerable stench, nor in the unceasing shrieks and bowlings of the damned, nor in the terrific sight of the devils, nor in the narrowness of that pit of torments, in which the damned are thrown one over the other: the pain which constitutes hell is the loss of God. In comparison of this pain, all the other torments of hell are trifling.
The reward of God’s faithful servants in heaven is, as he said to Abraham, God himself. ”I am thy reward, exceeding great.” (Gen. xv. 1.) Hence, as God is the reward of the blessed in heaven, so the loss of God is the punishment of the damned in hell.
3. Hence, St. Bruno has truly said, that how great soever the torments which may be inflicted on the damned, they never can equal the great pain of being deprived of God. Add torments to torments, but do not deprive them of God. ”Addantur tormenta tormentis, et Deo non priventur.” (Serm. de Jud. Fin.) According to St. Chrysostom, a thousand hells are not equal to this pain. Speaking of the loss of God, he said: ”Si mille dixeris gehennas, nihil par dices illius doloris.” (Hom, xlix., ad Pop.) God is so lovely that he deserves infinite love.
He is so amiable that the saints in heaven are so replenished with joy, and so absorbed in divine love, that they desire nothing but to love God, and think only of loving him with all their strength. At present, sinners, for the sake of their vile pleasures, shut their eyes, and neither know God nor the love which he deserves; but in hell they shall, in punishment of their sins, be made to know that God is an infinite good and infinitely amiable. ”The Lord shall be known when he executeth judgment.” (Ps. ix. 17.)
The sinner, drowned in sensual pleasures, scarcely knows God: he sees him only in the dark, and therefore he disregards the loss of God. But in hell he shall know God, and shall be tormented for ever by the thought of having voluntarily lost his infinite good. A certain Parisian doctor appeared after death to his bishop, and said that he was damned. His bishop asked him if he remembered the sciences in which he was so well versed in this life. He answered, that in hell the damned think only of the pain of having lost God.
4. ”Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire. ” (Matt. xxv. 41.) “Depart from me.” This command constitutes the hell of the damned. Begone from me; you shall be no longer mine, and I shall be no longer yours. ”You are not my people, and I will not be yours.” (Osee i. 9.)
At present this punishment is, as St. Augustine says, dreaded only by the saints. ”Hæc amantibus non contemnentibus pœna est.” It is a punishment which affrights the soul that loves God more than all the torments of hell; but it does not terrify sinners, who are immersed in the darkness of sin. But at death they shall, for their greater chastisement, understand the infinite good which they have lost through their own fault.
5. It is necessary to know that men have been created for God, and that nature draws them to love him. In this life, the darkness of sin, and the earthly affections which reign in their hearts, stifle their natural tendency and inclination to a union with God, their sovereign good; and therefore the thought of being separated from him does not produce much pain. But when the soul leaves the body, and is freed from the senses, which keeps her in darkness, she then clearly sees that she has been created for God, and that he is the only good which can make her happy.
”But,” says St. Antonine, ”the soul separated from the body understands that God is her sovereign good, and that she has been created for him.” Hence, as soon as she is loosed from the bondage of the body, she rushes forward to embrace her supreme good: but because she is in sin, and his enemy, God will cast her off. Though driven back and chased away, she retains her invincible tendency and inclination to a union with God; and her hell shall consist in seeing herself always drawn to God, and always banished from him.
6. If a dog see a hare, what effort does he not make to break his chain and seize his prey! Thus, at her separation from the body, the natural inclinations of the soul draw her to God, while at the same time sin separates her from him, and drags her with it into hell. Sin, says the prophet, like a wall of immense thickness, is placed between the soul and God, and separates her from him. ”But your iniquities have divided between you and your God.” (Isa. lix. 2.)
Hence, the unhappy soul, confined in the prison of hell, at a distance from God, shall weep for ever, saying: Then, my God, I shall be no longer thine, and thou wilt be no longer mine. I shall love thee no more, and thou will never again love me. This separation from God terrified David, when he said: ”Will God, then, cast off for ever? or will he never be more favourable again ?” (Ps. Ixxvi. 8.) How great, he says, would be my misery if God should cast me from him, and never again be merciful to me! But this misery every damned soul in hell suffers, and shall suffer for eternity. As long as he remained in sin, David felt his conscience reproaching him, and asking, ”Where is thy God ?”
David, where is thy God, who once loved thee? Thou hast lost him; he is no longer thine. David was so afflicted at the loss of his God that he wept night and day. ”My tears have been my bread day and night, whilst it has been said to me daily: Where is thy God ?” (Ps. xli. 4.) Thus, even the devils will say to the damned: Where is your God? By his tears David appeased and recovered his God; but the damned shall shed an immense sea of tears, and shall never appease nor recover their God.
7. St. Augustine says, that if the damned saw the beauty of God, “they should feel no pain, and hell itself would be converted into a Paradise.” (Lib. de Trip. Hab.) But the damned shall never see God. When David forbade his son Absalom to appear in his presence, the sorrow of Absalom was so great, that he entreated Joab to tell his father that he would rather be put to death than never more be permitted to see his face. ”I beseech thee, therefore, that I may see the face of the king; and if he be mindful of my iniquity, let him kill me.” (2 Kings xiv. <32.)
To a certain grandee, who acted irreverently in the church, Philip the Second said: ”Do not dare ever to appear again in my presence.” So intense was the pain which the nobleman felt, that after having returned home, he died of grief. What then must be the feelings of the reprobate at the hour of death, when God shall say to them: Begone; let me never see you again: you shall never more see my face!”I will hide my face from them; all evils and afflictions shall find them.” (Deut. xxxi. 17.)
What sentiments of pity should we feel at seeing a son who was always united with his father, who always eat and slept with him, weeping over a parent whom he loved so tenderly, and saying: My father, I have lost you; I shall never see you more. Ah! if we saw a damned soul weeping bitterly, and asked her the cause of her wailing, she would answer: I weep because I have lost God, and shall never see him again.
8. The pain of the reprobate shall be increased by the knowledge of the glory which the saints enjoy in Paradise, and from which they see, and shall for ever see, themselves excluded. How great would be the pain which a person should feel if, after being invited by his sovereign to his own theatre, to be present at the singing, dancing, and other amusements, he should be excluded in punishment of some fault!
How bitter should be his anger and disappointment when, from without, he should hear the shouts of joy and applause within! At present sinners despise heaven, and lose it for trifles, after Jesus Christ shed the last drop of his blood to make them worthy of entering into that happy kingdom. But when they shall be confined in hell, the knowledge of the glory of heaven shall be the greatest of all their torments. St. John Chrysostom says, that to see themselves banished from that land of joy, shall be to the damned a torment ten thousand times as great as the hell which they suffer. ”Decem mille quis pœnat gehennas, nihil tale dicet quale est a beata gloria excidere.” (S. Joan. Chry. ap. 8. Thorn. Suppl, qu. 98, art. 9.)
Oh! that I had at least the hope, the damned will say, that after a thousand, or even a million of ages, I could recover the divine grace, and become worthy of entering into heaven, there to see God! But, no! he shall be told, ”When the wicked man is dead, there shall be no hope any more. ” (Prov. xi. 7.) When he was in this life he could have saved his soul; but because he has died in sin his loss is irreparable. Hence, with tears of despair, he shall say: “I shall not see the Lord God in the land of the living.” (Isa. xxxviii. 11.)
9. The thought of having lost God and Paradise, solely through their own fault, shall increase the torture of the damned. Every damned soul shall say: It was in my power to have led a life of happiness on earth by loving God, and to have acquired boundless happiness for eternity; but, in consequence of having loved my vices, I must remain in this place of torments as long as God shall be God. She will then exclaim in the words of Job: “Who will grant me that I might be according to the months past, according to the days in which God kept me ?” (Job xxxix. 2.)
Oh! that I were allowed to go back to the time I lived on earth, when God watched over me, that I might not fall into this fire! I did not live among the savages, the Indians, or the Chinese. I was not left without the sacraments, sermons, or masters to instruct me. I was born in the bosom of the true Church, and have been well instructed and frequently admonished by preachers and confessors.
To this prison I have not been dragged by the devils; I have come of my own accord. The chains by which I am bound and kept at a distance from God, I have forged with my own will. How often has God spoken to my heart, and said to me: Amend, and return to me. Beware, lest the time should come when thou shalt not be able to prevent thy destruction. Alas! this time has come; the sentence has been already passed; I am damned; and for my damnation there neither is, nor shall be, any remedy for all eternity. But if the damned soul has lost God, and shall never see him, perhaps she can at least love him?! No; she has been abandoned by grace, and thus she is made the slave of her sins, and compelled to hate him.
The damned see that God is their adversary on account of their contempt for him during life, and are therefore always in despair. ”Why hast thou set me opposite to thee, and I am become burthensome to myself.” (Job vii. 20.) Hence, because the damned see that they are enemies of God, whom they at the same time know to be worthy of infinite love, they are to themselves objects of the greatest horror. The greatest of all the punishments which God shall inflict on them, will consist in seeing that God is so amiable, and that they are so deformed, and the enemies of this God. “I will set before thy face.” (Ps. xlix. 21.)
10. The sight of all that God has done for the damned shall above all increase their torture. “The wicked shall see and shall be angry.” (Ps. cxi. 10.) They shall see all the benefits which God bestowed upon them all the lights and calls which he gave them and the patience with which he waited for them. They shall, above all, see how much Jesus Christ has loved them, and how much he has suffered for the love of them; and after all his love and all his sufferings, they shall see that they are now objects of his hatred, and shall be no longer objects of his love.
According to St. Chrysostom, a thousand hells are nothing compared with the thought of being hateful to Christ. ”Si mille quis ponat, gehennas, nihil tale dicturus est, quale est exosum esse Christo.” (Hom xiv. in Matt.) Then the damned shall say: My Redeemer, who, through compassion for me, sweated blood, suffered an agony in the garden, and died on the cross bereft of all consolation, has now no pity on me! I weep, I cry out; but he no longer hears or looks to me! He is utterly forgetful of me. He once loved me; but now he hates and justly hates me; for I have ungratefully refused to love him.
David says, that the reprobate are thrown into the pit of death. “Thou shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction.” (Ps. liv. 24.) Hence St. Augustine has said: ”The pit shall be closed on top, it shall be opened at the bottom, it shall be expanded downwards; and they who refuse to know God shall be no longer known by him.”“Puteus claudetur sursum, aperietur deorsum, dilatatibur in profundum: et ultra nescientur a Deo qui Deum scire noluerunt.” (Hom, xvi., cap 50.)
11. Thus the damned see that God deserves infinite love, and that they cannot love him. St. Catherine of Genoa being one day assailed by the devil, asked him. who he was. He answered with tears: I am that wicked one who is deprived of the love of God. I am that miserable being that can never more love God. They not only cannot love God, but, abandoned in their sins, they are forced to hate him: their hell consists in hating God, whom they at the same time know to be infinitely amiable.
They love him intensely as their sovereign good, and hate him as the avenger of their sins. ”Res miserrima,” says a learned author, ”amare vehementer, et amatum simul odisse.” (Magnotius Medit.) Their natural love draws them continually to God; but their hatred drags them away from him. These two contrary passions, like two ferocious wild beasts, incessantly tear in pieces the hearts of the damned, and cause, and shall for all eternity cause, them to live in a continual death.
The reprobate then shall hate and curse all the benefits which God has bestowed upon them. They shall hate the benefits of creation, redemption, and the sacraments. But they shall hate in a particular manner the sacrament of baptism, by which they have, on account of their sins, been made more guilty in the sight of God; the sacrament of penance, by which, if they wished, they could have so easily saved their souls; and, above all, the most holy sacrament of the altar, in which God had given himself entirely to them.
They shall consequently hate all the other means which have been helps to their salvation. Hence, they shall hate and curse all the angels and saints. But they shall curse particularly their guardian angels their special advocates and, above all, the divine mother Mary. They shall curse the three divine persons the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; but particularly Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, who suffered so much, and died for their salvation.
They shall curse the wounds of Jesus Christ, the blood of Jesus Christ, and the death of Jesus Christ. Behold the end to which accursed sin leads the souls which Jesus Christ has dearly bought.