So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Marriage, divorce, remarriage, adultery. Coddling the unrepentant?

Pearls before swine?

If some people care so little about keeping the Lord's teaching, and care so much about their happiness in this life (rather than the next) by entering into relationships which they, as Catholics, should know better than to enter into, then why are a few misguided clergy in the Church attempting to accommodate such obstinate sinners who have little or no interest in keeping the Lord's commandments? Are those clergy somehow wiser than the Lord? Are they enabling people to circumvent God's design for marriage? Was Jesus' death and resurrection for nought? Has the witness of the martyrs—i.e., the saints who witnessed to the teaching of Jesus and remained faithful in the midst of hostile cultures—been for nought?

Shame on those bishops and priests who attempt to water down the teaching of Jesus Christ and who sow confusion among the faithful! A much stiffer judgement awaits those who lead others astray, a much harsher judgement awaits them than for those they abandon to false teaching and sin.

Wake up, fathers! Your souls, too, are on the line. Start acting like priests of Jesus Christ who lead people in the way of truth. Sinners—we, all of us—need clear, compelling teaching that motivates us to change direction, to turn toward Jesus. Excusing sin damns souls to hell. Do you/we want to be the cause of the loss of souls?

The Good Parent

Of the four parenting/teaching models (authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, indifferent), the "Now-Church" seems to be stuck in the permissive domain, popular since the 1970s. The permissive parent is low on expectation and goal setting but high in responsiveness or emotional support. Sentimentality, but no real love for the child. The child of the permissive parent, like the child of the indifferent parent, has little or no formation in moral behaviour. Inevitably, because she has had no model of authentic love (which unites high expectation with loving support), the child looks for love in all the wrong places.

By contrast, the authoritative parent has high expectations, but also provides excellent spiritual, emotional, practical, moral and intellectual support to his or her children to help them develop into mature, responsible adults capable of authentic love and relationships. The Church may have been more authoritarian at times, though that accusation usually has come from our more petulant brethren who, stuck in a rebellious phase, see every exercise of authority as merely authoritarian, but she—Holy Mother Church—is like the authoritative parent whose love and support and expectations mirror those of her Lord and Saviour.

The Now-Church, by advocating "mercy" of a kind that, unfortunately, enables sinful behaviour, is not really exercising the love-justice or authoritative mercy of Jesus Christ. Our Lord engages the sinner, meeting the sinner where he or she is "at", so-to-speak, but immediately makes clear that sin places an obstacle between them. He makes clear in the Gospels that sinners must leave behind sin and cooperate with grace to save their souls. The Lord's command to convert is not the demand of an authoritarian, and neither is His Church's call to conversion. Jesus offers His very life, His grace, to enable the sinner to convert from a sinful life to a life of hope.

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