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"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Fr. Campbell “Receive the Ingrafted Word” (Jas.1:21)

“Receive the Ingrafted Word” (Jas.1:21)

Fr. Campbell 


 “Walk in the Spirit,” says St. Paul, “and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, so that you do not do what you would.” (Gal.5:25).

 

There is a purpose for our daily trials and struggles. We are on a journey that must lead to Heaven. On this journey we cannot afford to be sidetracked or disabled by the pursuit of worldly goals that become ends in themselves rather than steppingstones to our ultimate goal. “No man can serve two masters,” says Our Lord, “for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will stand by the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Mt.6:24). The Lord’s best advice: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be given you besides” (Mt.6:33). 

The supernatural life is above the natural, unattainable by unaided human effort. Unlike blood or brains, it is not an integral part of our human nature. It is not in the genes. Sanctifying Grace is a God-given gift that comes through Baptism, making us children of God who are capable of pleasing Him. It is true that all human beings are capable of good on the natural level, because they possess the natural virtues in some degree or other, but their good works do not merit a supernatural reward. As St. James says in today’s Epistle:

“Receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (Jas.1:21b).

“You cannot serve God and mammon,” says Jesus Christ. But the church of Vatican II is willing to give it a try by ignoring the distinction between the natural and the supernatural. It believes that every human being is good and capable of meritorious acts that make one deserving of Heaven. Forget about Original Sin. There is now a nearly universal belief that virtually everyone is on a free ride to the “common homeland.” Many would-be Catholics no longer struggle. They have already lost the battle and are on their way to Hell, imagining themselves safe in having the form of religion, but without its power.

The false prophet Francis Bergoglio allows everyone to think that they can earn their way to Heaven by means of their good works. This is a catastrophe for the faith of Catholics. It is true that we must do good works, but they must be done under the conditions that are acceptable to God, that is, being baptized and living in the state of grace. St. Paul says of those who do not understand the things of the Spirit:

“The sensual man does not perceive the things that are of the Spirit of God, for it is foolishness to him and he cannot understand, because it is examined spiritually. But the spiritual man judges all things, and he himself is judged by no man” (1Cor.2:14,15).  

The ancient heresy of Pelagianism claimed that the sin of Adam was only “bad example” and didn’t leave any lasting effects on human nature. But the heresy rendered the Sacrament of Baptism unnecessary and undermined the Redemption itself. It was condemned by two councils in Carthage, North Africa, in 416 AD and 418 AD. When St. Augustine heard that the Council decrees had been accepted by Pope Zozimus, he is supposed to have said, “Roma locuta, causa finita” (Rome has spoken, the matter is ended). But then he added, “utinam finiatur error!” (If only the error were ended!). But the error survives!

Those who wish their good works to merit a supernatural reward must first believe as did the Apostles and the martyrs and the saints of all time. Besides having faith, one must be baptized according to the traditional form of Baptism, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And then one must obey the Lord by keeping His Commandments and belonging to the Church He founded, the Holy Catholic Church. We do not speak of belief as the word is now often used in the conciliar church – Muslims are believers; Hindus are believers; Jews are believers. A believer in the truly Catholic sense is one who has faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior and Lord.

Remember the story of Lot’s wife! The Lord had told Lot and his family to flee the condemned city of Sodom, and not to look back, because the Lord was about to destroy it with burning sulphur falling from the sky. But Lot’s wife allowed her curiosity to get the better of her. She looked back at the burning city, and she was turned into a pillar of salt. This could shed some light on a terrible problem of these times, the problem of pornography. Many who look at pornography may never be able to turn away. They are like a dead branch cut off from the tree, good only to be thrown into the fire and burned. But we must learn how to love what is good, and hate what is sinful. The psalms are helpful, as in the following:

“Taste and see how good the Lord is; happy the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for nought is lacking for those who fear him. The great grow poor and hungry; but those who seek the Lord want for no good thing” (Ps.33:9-11).

Use your mind well, says St. Paul:

“Whatever things are true, whatever honorable, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever lovable, whatever of good repute, if there be any virtue, if anything worthy of praise, think upon these things… And the God of peace will be with you” (Phil.4:8,9b).

Focus on Our Lord’s promises, as in these words:

“Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many mansions. Were it not so, I should have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again, and I will take you to myself; that where I am, there you also may be” (Jn.14:1-3).