Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Christ appearing to Saint Anthony Abbot during his Temptation

Posted on the 4th Day of the 29th Week of Ordinary Time - 2006 AD - (Year B)

Temptation needs only a chink in the armour, as St Paul said. Sin requires only the slightest gap in our defences and in it will rush. It's as if if has no real mass, if a tiny bit of it is in, it's all in. Such is the power of sin that binds us to the world. The other thing about it is that it is chameleon like. Very often, in sin, we are not really aware of the sin itself, or we look at it and it turns into something else, like a chameleon moving over a varying surface, you have to constantly re focus to keep it in sight. Good things can turn into sinful things, or, rather, on the continuum between good and bad, our actions can, very easily, slip into the bad where the original intention was good and noble. Such is the nature of sin and the ruin of souls. Good people who just stop looking, maybe have a proclivity to pride, stop examining their conscience, or look at it, as like so many things in this world, through a glass darkly. Advice here: always return to Our Lord, in prayer, and to sacred Scripture, our Blessed Mother, the Holy Spirit. If in doubt, pray. In fact, always pray. Pray the Rosary daily.

Recently I have read some extremely well presented, very cogently argued, very enlightening and educating material regarding a variety of issues affecting the Catholic Church and Christianity in general. The issues dealt with ranging from pornography and how it can limit individual freedom of action as people become slaves to their passions, which are extremely strong and hard to resist, leaving room for little else. Birth control, contraception, abortion as eugenic practices which are primarily aimed at demographic control and Catholics as the major force acting against this politically driven 'health care' system. Ideas on the implications of the messages of Fatima, and how many anti Christian countries, including Russia, are even today, moving together in coalition with the possibility that they could threaten the freedom of the Christianity and Christians worldwide. The idea that once, not so long ago (1950's), America was on the verge of becoming a Catholic country with a Catholic President and that the demographic changes wrought through the pushing of contraception, have prevented this to some degree. Lots of research, lots of sources quoted, good solidly argued, very enlightening stuff.

But something was wrong. I see this a lot with Catholic writers who seem to be very close to a sensitive issue, maybe even a sensitive truth. They destroy their own credibility. With monotonous regularity. The two writers I am referring to above, had me enthralled, until I turned the page (figuratively speaking) and both of them began to attack organisations and individuals of very high standing within the Catholic community. Organisations and individuals whom I greatly respect and who have given immesurable service to our Faith and asked for nothing in return. Who have gone that extra mile and given, out of love of Our Lord, freely to others, helping them to form their own Faith and conscience as my own was formed. The attacks also were on the most flimsy of pretexts, in such stark contrast to their other works, attacks riddled with pettiness, jealousy, innuendo, half truths.

The net effect of this is to stop you reading. I discard what I have read because I feel offended, let down, I now doubt the credibility and integrity of the material. It is a double attack. Not only do you lose faith in the useful educational material the writer has presented, you also can't help but wonder if there is any substance to the attack on the respected person or organisation they have also targetted, a seed of doubt is sown in the mind. The overall effect is very much to weaken and confuse the readers perception, their confidence in Catholic writers who seek to present some kind of truth to them. My instinct was to dismiss them entirely as cranks. But then I thought, why must we throw away the baby with the bathwater. I feel that perhaps on a supernatural level, people who deal very closely and intensely with the truth, may be systematically tempted. The temptation to pride and into areas which may serve to undermine their main, and highly valid, arguments, is a kind of subtefuge attack on the truth. Like the devil seeks to twist beauty and turn it into pornography, so he seeks also to twist truth, to turn something as beautiful and enlightening as a clear idea, a truth, clearly stated and well argued, and foul it up with something which turns attention more onto the writer as crank, than to the ideas he or she is presenting. This is not to deny the personal responsibility of the writer, but from my point of view I have decided that the best way to approach this issue in the future, is to avoid the knee jerk reaction. Take what helps build up Gods Kingdom on Earth, discard the sniping, petty attacks on fellow Catholics. Love the sinner and the truth he can present, hate the sin. I read something quite recently which I really like, it's the kind of thing I'd like to have pinned up on a poster somewhere, maybe at work, or could quote endlessly to people as a kind of catch phrase: "Better to light a candle than argue about the darkness" or something like that. To me it's up there with "Home Sweet Home".

Beware of the serpents smoke and mirrors, of the confusion he puts in the mind. Pray and return always to Our Lord, Our Blessed Mother, Sacred Scripture and the Holy Spirit.

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