Wednesday, August 13, 2003

A Miscellany

Since my trip to Alaska my whole routine has been disrupted and I've been reading other blogs and not getting much posted on my own. To get back into the routine I offer a few thoughts on a couple of different topics.


Christine over at Christus Victor has done a couple of posts on Luther and the difficulties one encounters when delving very deeply into both his personal life and his theology. Coming from a Protestant background Luther has been a figure of interest to me but I must confess that he remains an enigma.

Luther was an Augustinian priest - he studied and taught theology at the university level, and yet it seems he was unable to understand the most basic of the Church's teaching on justification. The source of his difficulties seem to lie more in personal and psychological problems rather than theological differences with the Church. He seems, in fact, to have been somewhat ignorant of theology. Here lies the enigma: what drove Luther to do what he did? I have never read a satisfactory explanation of Luther's motivation in tacking in 95 theses on the door. I wonder of anyone out there can "splain me, Lucy?"


We are confronted every day with those who wish us to water down our faith. The ECUSA has just elected a bishop who is living in an openly homosexual relationship and has voted to bless gay unions. A US senator, a practicing Catholic I believe, has stated publically that he thinks there are many "good" Catholics who practice contraception and support abortion. But, I believe it is intellectually and morally impossible to proclaim oneself a Christian and live a life contrary to God's expressed will.

To proclaim that one is a Christian and yet deny central teachings of the Christian faith is to proclaim a contradiction, it's nonsense. This is the issue that brought about my conversion to the Church. The pastor of my church was preaching something totally contradictory to what I understood Scripture to be clearly saying. I knew we couldn't both be right while at the same time basing our understanding only on Scripture. There are many who support homosexual clergy who would also say sucth things as, for example, that we shouldn't take Jesus' miracles quite so seriously. Many people today seem to accept it as truth when someone says "Well, you know, when Jesus fed the 5,000 he didn't do a miracle, everyone had fish sandwiches with them and he just encouraged them to bring them out and share." It never occurs to them that, one, if that were indeed what happened, it would hardly be remarkable and no one writing of the event later would have even bother to write down a brief description, much less the detailed account of the event we find in Scripture. They also seem to have little idea what damage they are doing to their faith. Fr. Thomas DuBay writes:

". . . we need to bear in mind that the virtue of faith is total. According to St. Thomas the person who embraces heresy regarding one article of faith has regarding the other articles not faith but only 'an opinion according to his own will.'" What is going on with the Episcopal bishops and the U.S. senator is an acceptance of personal opinion regarding human sexuality, not traditional Christian teaching and practice. For a Catholic this is morally impossible - you can't have just a piece of the pie, the one you like, you have to have the whole pie. To say one part is wrong is to say the whole thing is false.

Steven (at Flos Carmeli) has been writing about seeking the truth lately and I agree with him on the importance of doing so. Without truth we are lost in a fog of unreality - we are insane. The problem our ECUSA friends have is that they have become accustomed, even sought, to live without a teaching authority, a Magisterium. They deny the very validity of such a thing. It seems the only refuge for those who wish to sincerely seek the truth is Rome.

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