Pelagianism: A wretched heresy 1600 years past its shelf life

And when I say 1600 years, I mean it. For it was on 1 May 418 that the Sixth Council of Carthage put a steak through its heart. You can’t get to Heaven on your own. No one, not even the saints, merited Heaven. The merit comes from the redemptive act of Calvary, which is offered to us freely, and which we are free to accept or reject. That freedom is tested in every moral act we make. It is only through our cooperation with sanctifying grace that we have a chance at the Beatific Vision.

Pursuant to the papal command, there was held on 1 May, 418, in the presence of 200 bishops, the famous Council of Carthage, which again branded Pelagianism as a heresy in eight (or nine) canons (Denzinger, “Enchir.”, 10th ed., 1908, 101-8). Owing to their importance they may be summarized:

  1. Death did not come to Adam from a physical necessity, but through sin.
  2. New-born children must be baptized on account of original sin.
  3. Justifying grace not only avails for the forgiveness of past sins, but also gives assistance for the avoidance of future sins.
  4. The grace of Christ not only discloses the knowledge of God’s commandments, but also imparts strength to will and execute them.
  5. Without God’s grace it is not merely more difficult, but absolutely impossible to perform good works.
  6. Not out of humility, but in truth must we confess ourselves to be sinners.
  7. The saints refer the petition of the Our Father, “Forgive us our trespasses”, not only to others, but also to themselves.
  8. The saints pronounce the same supplication not from mere humility, but from truthfulness. HERE
Image result for judas kiss of peace painting
Kiss of Judas, Luca Giordano, 1660
Image result for francis emanuele
Judas exploiting innocent youth

“Don’t worry, Emanuele, Hell doesn’t exist. In fact while we’re at it, neither does Purgatory. Even if those places did exist, your father was a “good” man who merited Heaven all on his own, straight away, and I’m sure he is already there, even though he was an atheist. He refused to cooperate with any of the graces offered to him, yes, but God forced him into Heaven, against his will, you know. This I am sure. This is our faith. So worry not, Emanuele, when you reach the age of reason, do what thou wilt. Just have your children baptized, and you’ll be good to go. Hakuna Matata.”

HERE.

But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6

And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea. Mark 9:41

It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones. Luke 17:2

 

De Mattei *almost* nails it, and my prayer for Universal Acceptance of Objective Reality

There was a remarkable talk given last weekend by Roberto de Mattei, titled “Tu es Petrus: true devotion to the Chair of St. Peter,” and was posted at Rorate HERE.

Please consider clicking the link and reading all of it. At times, it is flowing with rational, linear thought. At other times, it is maddeningly inconsistent. He starts off by establishing a seemingly unambiguous premise:
“The primacy of Peter constitutes the bedrock on which Jesus Christ instituted His Church, and on which She will remain solid until the end of time. The promise of the Church’s victory, however, is also the announcement of a war. A war, which, until the end of time, will be waged by hell against the Church. At the center of this fierce war is the Papacy. The enemies of the Church, throughout the course of history, have always sought to destroy the Primacy of Peter, because they have understood that it comprises the visible foundation of the Mystical Body. The visible foundation, because the Church has a primary and invisible foundation which is Jesus Christ, of Whom, Peter is the Vicar.
 
True devotion to the Chair of Peter is, under this aspect, devotion to the visibility of the Church, and constitutes, as Father Faber observers, an essential part of the Christian spiritual life.”
“Visibility of the Church” — keep this theme in mind. It’s not a false premise, but he will come to apply it in a false setting. I urge you again to read the whole thing. After 2500 words or so, revisiting the forces behind Vatican I, Vatican II, attacks against the papacy, the errors of papalotry, etc, all of a sudden we are hit with this bomb:
“Is a Papal Diararchy Possible?”
Wow. Okay, now you have my full intention. Remember, a papal diararchy was exactly what Pope Benedict attempted in his failed partial abdication. De Mattei, although a vocal critic of Bergoglio and the “new paradigm” for several years now, to my knowledge has never before broached this subject publicly. Given his stature, simply posing the question implies there is widespread discussion happening in the background. Some may be tempted to ask, well, Benedict is super smart, so maybe he was right and this is the kind of papal structure we need in the modern world. So… what says de Mattei?
“Papalotry does not exist in an abstract sense: today, for example, we need to speak in a more precise way of Francisolatry, but also of Benedictolotry, as Miguel Ángel Yáñez observed well, on Adelante la fé [10]. This papalotry can come to counterpoising Pope against Pope: the followers, for example, of Pope Francis against those of Pope Benedict, but also of looking for harmony and coexistence among the two Popes, imagining a possible division of their roles. What took place on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis, was significant and unsettling. All of the media’s attention was focused on the case of a letter of Benedict XVI to Pope Francis: a letter, which turned out to be manipulated and caused the resignation of the head of Vatican communications, Monsignor Dario Viganò. The discussion, revealed however, the existence of a false premise, accepted by all: the existence of a sort of papal diararchy, of which there’s Pope Francis who carries out its functions, and then there’s another Pope, Benedict, who serves the Chair of Peter through prayer, and if necessary, with counsel. The existence of the two Popes is admitted as a done deal: only the nature of their relationship is argued. But the truth is that it is impossible that two Popes can exist. The Papacy is not dismountable: there can be only one Vicar of Christ.”
A papal diarchy is “accepted by all”? I’m not sure what he could mean here, because as far as I know, Benedict and Ganswein are the only two people who think a diarchy exists. But he’s quite right in the conclusion that no such thing does exist, nor can it exist. Here is how I laid it out in a post two years ago on the same topic:

“Let’s talk about Immutability. The Petrine office was instituted by God, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, who is perfect. Not only is He perfect, He also exists outside of time, because it was He who created time. John 1:1-3. Time is a construct, just like all other created things. Being as He is co-eternal with God the Father, He exists both before the beginning of time as well as after the end of time, plus everything in between, AND… it is all happening at once (for God). All of eternity exists for Him in the same instant. Without the construct of time, change is impossible. If this seems to be putting a limit on God’s omnipotence, it does not, because a) in His omnipotence, He could have designed it any way He wanted, b) He designed it this way because that is His will, and c) HE’S PERFECT. Applying all this to the situation at hand, we can see plainly that Jesus Christ, who is immutable and perfect, most certainly did NOT institute an imperfect, defective, ‘version 1.0’ of the papacy, not yet beta tested. And he most certainly did NOT, 2000 years later, send the Third Person of the Holy Trinity down to Benedict in a Geek Squad van to deliver ‘version 2.0’, with bug fixes, increased compatibility, and an enhanced user interface. Furthermore, ponder the idea that a human being, even a pope, could have the authority to alter the intrinsic nature of the divinely instituted Petrine office, the Vicar of Christ, in order to make it more perfect than God made it.”

Getting back to de Mattei, the very next paragraph is a show stopper:

“Benedict XVI had the ability to renounce the papacy, but consequently, would have had to give up the name of Benedict XVI, dressing in white, and the title of Pope emeritus: in a word, he would have had to definitively cease from being Pope, also leaving Vatican City. Why did he not do so? Because Benedict XVI seems to be convinced of still being Pope, although a Pope who has renounced the exercise of the Petrine ministry. This conviction is born of a profoundly-erroneous ecclesiology, founded on a sacramental and not juridical conception of the Papacy. If the Petrine munus is a sacrament and not a juridical office, then it has an indelible character, but in this case it would be impossible to renounce the office. The resignation presupposes the revocability of the office, and is then irreconcilable with the sacramental vision of the Papacy.”

Look at that first sentence and break it down to its basics: “Benedict XVI had the ability to renounce the papacy, but…he would have had to definitively cease from being Pope…Why did he not do so? Because Benedict XVI seems to be convinced of still being Pope…” Isn’t this flat-out stating that the resignation did not take place?

This is huge. In this one paragraph, de Mattei exposes both a) Substantial Error as anticipated in Canon 188, aka The Barnhardt Thesis HERE and HERE, aka Benedict altogether failed to resign the papacy, because he attempted to retain a portion of it by only renouncing the juridical office of the Petrine ministry; and b) the root cause of this error, namely Benedict’s “profoundly-erroneous ecclesiology”, whereby Benedict believes it impossible to fully resign the papacy due to an imagined indelible character irrevocably conferred on all who accept the coronation. This root cause was expressly confirmed in May 2016 by his personal secretary Archbishop Ganswein, who referred to Benedict’s abdication as “quite impossible after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.” HERE

We know where this is leading, right? Canon 188 states: “A resignation made out of grave fear that is inflicted unjustly or out of malice, substantial error, or simony is invalid by the law itself.”

A resignation made out of substantial error is invalid by the law itself.

Benedict believed he was incapable of fully resigning the papacy, because he wrongly believes the papacy itself confers an indelible character on the occupant (“irrevocable” and “forever”, in his own words). So he then attempted a partial resignation by way of bifurcating the papacy into a diarchy, with a juridical head and a spiritual head, which is impossible. This is Substantial Error, rendering the resignation invalid by the law itself.

Except de Mattei doesn’t go there. He takes a left turn. Maybe the abyss stared back. Inexplicably, he dismisses all the evidence, and appeals to Universal Acceptance as the arbiter.

“Regarding the doubts, then, about the election of Pope Francis, Professor Geraldina Boni[13], remembers that Canonists have always taught that the peaceful “universalis ecclesiae adhaesio” (universal ecclesial acceptance) is a sign and infallible effect of a valid election and legitimate papacy, and the adhesion or acceptance of Pope Francis by the people of God has not yet been doubted by any of the cardinals who participated in the Conclave. The acceptance of a Pope by the universal Church is an infallible sign of his legitimacy, and heals at the root every defect of the papal election (for example, illegal machinations, conspiracies, et cetera). This is also a consequence of visible character of the Church and of the Papacy.”

First of all, does anyone really believe there exists a “peaceful universal ecclesial acceptance” of Francis, thus infallibly signalling a valid election and legitimate papacy? The cardinals certainly aren’t helping with their deafening silence, I admit. But if fully 84% of actual Catholics over at the Saint Louis Catholic poll HERE believe Bergoglio is NOT pope, isn’t it fair to say there almost certainly is NOT peaceful universal ecclesial acceptance, even if the dissent remains hidden thus far?

Secondly, the idea of Universal Acceptance providing “dogmatic certainty” as to which man is pope DOES NOT APPLY IN THIS CASE. Stay with me. Universal acceptance only applies in cases of shenanigans during the interregnum or at a valid conclave. The idea is that, should bad actors conspire, even breaking the rules which lay out how things are supposed to work, and even if there is cheating in the ballots, those broken rules do not automatically lead to an invalid result. If the ensuing election results in universal acceptance, then we can be dogmatically certain that the elected man is truly pope and is truly in receipt of the special graces and protections to faithfully execute the office. If not for this provision, which falls under “the gates of Hell will not prevail” promise, one can only imagine how many past popes would have been illegitimate, which eventually would have led to the destruction of the Church, which is impossible.

But that’s not the reality of the current situation. The current situation is that not only the election, but also the conclave itself was invalid in its entirety. Its very convocation was invalid, because Pope Benedict’s abdication was invalid, and the See was not vacant. Therefore the conclave can be classified as a deception: Despite outward appearances, IT NEVER HAPPENED. Whether it was “willful” deception on the part of Benedict is unknown (we know his intent but not his motive). But we do know, as brilliantly laid out by Louie Verrechio, an act of deception, no matter how cleverly conceived or convincingly executed, cannot change the objective reality of a given situation. HERE

So de Mattei’s assertion, supposedly grounded in the “Visibility of the Church” mentioned earlier, doesn’t hold water. He himself lists numerous other “visible” signs pointing to the real truth: Benedict’s choice of title, his retaining the vesture, his “remaining within the enclosure of Saint Peter.” We also have the visible words of Pope Benedict in the Declaratio, in his last General Audience, and the speech from Ganswein in May, 2016.

Folks, the heart of Thomism is forcing oneself to accept what is true. Wisdom is attained by conforming the rational intellect to objective reality. This is literally the opposite of Modernism and the “new paradigm”, which seeks to conform reality to whatever the mind wants it to be. We have before us a data set that very clearly points to a singular reality, and that reality is being suppressed. It’s being suppressed by fear; fear of losing human respect, loss of title, loss of income, loss of pageviews, loss of “Likes”. SOULS ARE AT STAKE, yet those who could and should act, first among them Pope Benedict himself, but also cardinals and bishops, as well as laity in the Catholic media, PREFER TO DO NOTHING. I pray you change course and expose the truth. I pray you take action; cite Canon 188 in declaring the abdication invalid, based on the weight of the evidence. Your reward awaits you, either way.

I guess there is nothing I can do except re-present the evidence once again. Sorry if you’re a regular here. What follows is a re-post from July of last year, which itself is a follow-up to my initial declaration of moral certitude on this matter HERE. Mind you, this is not an exhaustive exposition of all the evidence. For instance, there is also Pope Benedict’s claim of “inner continuity” between two pontiffs each exercising their own distinct role within an imagined Expanded Petrine Ministry HERE.

If I’m wrong, may I be corrected. If I’m right, may the truth be spread AMDG.

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FAQ: Did Pope Benedict reveal his intent to bifurcate the papacy in the actual Declaratio?

Answer: He absolutely did.

It’s far more subtle than the devastating evidence shown previously, but it is clearly visible when read within the context of Benedict’s erroneous ideas about the papacy, which we shall review as a primer. Also, the subtlety within the Declaratio is strategic, due to the criticality of this particular speech/document.

Before I explain this, we need to go over a couple things just to make sure you are framing this up properly in your mind, working from a true premise, and allowing linear thinking to do its work. The majority of reader comments I’ve received, whether they be positive or negative, reveal a disturbing level emotive reasoning. Don’t fall into this trap. Wishing  for Francis not to be pope cannot play any role in your search for truth. Arriving at the conclusion that Pope Benedict failed in his attempt to bifurcate the papacy, therefore rendering his abdication invalid by reason of substantial error, cannot in any way be influenced by your dislike of Francis or out of a desire to see him removed/expunged. That’s called intellectual dishonesty. The flip side of this, and equally dishonest, is resisting the truth out of fear of ridicule or being seen as some sort of freak. PLEASE STOP… THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU.  Your feelings don’t have any bearing on what’s true, and the truth doesn’t care about your feelings. So put Francis out of your mind, demand absolute objectivity from yourself, and start with the Substantial Error supposition. Work through the available evidence, rationally judge the weight, and make your conclusion based on where the weight lies.

Before we get to the Declaratio, we need to review the smoking gun. This is from Benedict’s final general audience of 27 February 2013, the day before his invalid resignation did not become effective, where he exposes his erroneous notion of the indelible nature of the Petrine Ministry. In doing so, he directly contradicts all those previous statements where he claimed he was “renouncing”, “leaving”, and would then be Pontiff “no longer, but a simple pilgrim”. This is the lens through which we must evaluate the Declaratio (comments/emphasis mine):

Here, allow me to go back once again to 19 April 2005 (Ratzinger’s elevation to the papacy). The real gravity of the decision was also due to the fact that from that moment on I was engaged always and forever by the Lord. Always – anyone who accepts the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and completely to everyone, to the whole Church. In a manner of speaking, the private dimension of his life is completely eliminated. I was able to experience, and I experience it even now, that one receives one’s life precisely when one gives it away. Earlier I said that many people who love the Lord also love the Successor of Saint Peter and feel great affection for him; that the Pope truly has brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, throughout the world, and that he feels secure in the embrace of your communion; because he no longer belongs to himself, he belongs to all and all belong to him.

The “always” is also a “for ever” – there can no longer be a return to the private sphere. (<in his mind> the papal coronation indelibly anoints the pontiff in a distinct way, which is different from, and more profound than, the priestly or episcopal ordination/consecration). My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this. (the indelibility is <in his mind> irrevocable – Benedict is pope forever, but <in his mind> now exercising only part of the Petrine ministry)I do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences, and so on. I am not abandoning the cross, but remaining in a new way at the side of the crucified Lord. I no longer bear the power of office for the governance of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, in the enclosure of Saint Peter. Saint Benedict, whose name I bear as Pope, will be a great example for me in this. He showed us the way for a life which, whether active or passive, is completely given over to the work of God. HERE

“I remain, so to speak, in the enclosure of Saint Peter.” I wish I could find video to see if he winked when he said that.

In summary, Benedict erroneously believes that acceptance of the papacy itself confers an indelible and irrevocable character on the man who accepts it (similar to the indelible marks of ordination to the priesthood and consecration to the episcopate, except in the case of becoming pope, there is no such thing). Therefore <in his mind> he (Benedict) remains pope even after he “resigns” the governing office and passes the throne to the next “pope”.

This is SUBSTANTIAL ERROR. Honestly, I don’t understand how anyone doesn’t see it already at this point. But let’s press on.

In the original post where I declared with moral certainty the invalid abdication, we also entered into evidence as Exhibit B, Benedict’s decision to retain the papal title as an “emeritus”, to retain the vesture, to physically remain at the Vatican, etc etc. We also reviewed Exhibit C, Abp. Ganswein’s comments last year where he dropped the bombshell of an “Expanded Petrine Ministry.” These were not off the cuff remarks, but rather a formal, well-prepared speech on Benedict’s papacy, given at the Greg in Rome on 20 May 2016:

Archbishop Gänswein…said that Pope Francis and Benedict are not two popes “in competition” with one another, but represent one “expanded” Petrine Office with “an active member” and a “contemplative.”

“Therefore, from 11 February 2013, the papal ministry is not the same as before,” he said. “It is and remains the foundation of the Catholic Church; and yet it is a foundation that Benedict XVI has profoundly and lastingly transformed during his exceptional pontificate.”

He said that “before and after his resignation” Benedict has viewed his task as “participation in such a ‘Petrine ministry’. (Not in its “Office”, the governance of the Church in the world, but in its “essentially spiritual nature”, through prayer and suffering.)

“He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step he took on 11 February 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry,” Gänswein explained, something “quite impossible after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.“ (Do you see how this echoes Benedict’s erroneous idea of the papal coronation being an irreversible event, creating an indelible/irrevocable mark on the recipient forever? It’s exactly the same idea Benedict put forth in his final general audience).

“Therefore he has also not retired to a monastery in isolation but stays within the Vatican — as if he had taken only one step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy.” With that step, he said, he has enriched the papacy with “his prayer and his compassion placed in the Vatican Gardens.” HERE

Not that we need any additional evidence, but many are clamoring that they just won’t accept reality unless it can be shown that these ideas/intentions can actually be found in the Declaratio itself. So let’s have a look at that, shall we?

As I said at the top, the evidence in the actual Declaratio is far more subtle, out of necessity. Benedict, knowing the extraordinary nature of what he was about to do, would have spent an enormous amount of time writing this short speech. Every single word would have been chosen with great care. Keep in mind, the actual Declaratio was written and read out by Benedict in Latin, so you need to take a look at that as well. But the point is this:

THE DESIGN OF THE DECLARATIO IS PRIMARILY DIRECTED TOWARD ITS LONE OBJECTIVE: TO HAVE THE ABDICATION ACCEPTED AS LEGITIMATE BY THE CARDINALS, AND THUS, A CONCLAVE CONVOKED TO NAME A “SUCCESSOR.” THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE BENEDICT’S ENTIRE PLAN HINGED ON THIS OUTCOME.

So it’s not surprising that Benedict did not speak of the false bifurcation as openly in the Declaratio as he did several weeks later, in his final general audience, at which point he knew his plan had worked, all the wheels in motion, conclave convened, etc. But he also couldn’t help himself, and made sure his meaning was clear if we look with eyes to see.

So now let’s break down the Declaratio of 11 Feb 2013 in its entirety, bathed in the light of the aforementioned evidence. English, Latin, and seven other languages  HERE .

“Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.

He’s saying he is inadequate. His faculties are insufficient to fully execute the entire Petrine Ministry.  He needs help.

“I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.

He’s still up for the prayer and suffering part, but not the words and deeds.  The governance part will need to go to someone else, a new participant in a new “expanded Petrine ministry”, because he feels inadequate for the governance role.

Now comes the money quote. This is the part that Benedict absolutely had to get right, to ensure the resignation looked so rock solid that no one would question it. But yet even within the same sentence we can, with hindsight, see what he did here.

“For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

“In such a way?” Why are those words in there? Those words are a qualifier. He didn’t renounce completely, he renounced in a certain way. Because as we’ve already seen from his own lips, Benedict doesn’t believe it’s possible for him to completely renounce the Petrine ministry, due to its <in his mind> permanent and irrevocable nature. So he is <in his mind> vacating the “See of Rome”, such that a successor must be named to administer the governing office, while Benedict retains the spiritual role of the prayerful suffering servant pope. Nowhere in this sentence, in any language, will you find the words, “I fully renounce the Papacy,” because in Benedict’s mind, that’s not possible.

 

 

Verbal Violence in the service of Christ, against the Tongues of Hell

115. Christians too can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication. Even in Catholic media, limits can be overstepped, defamation and slander can become commonplace, and all ethical standards and respect for the good name of others can be abandoned. The result is a dangerous dichotomy, since things can be said there that would be unacceptable in public discourse, and people look to compensate for their own discontent by lashing out at others. It is striking that at times, in claiming to uphold the other commandments, they completely ignore the eighth, which forbids bearing false witness or lying, and ruthlessly vilify others. Here we see how the unguarded tongue, set on fire by hell, sets all things ablaze (cf. Jas 3:6). HERE

 

Truth is violence.

Truth is slander.

Truth is dangerous.

Truth is false witness or lying.

Truth is hell. (well, at least we can agree Hell exists)

Quid est veritas? Let’s honor the scripture reference and review the entire third chapter of the Epistle of Saint James, shall we?

Epistle Of Saint James, Chapter 3

Of the evils of the tongue. Of the difference between the earthly and heavenly wisdom.

[1] Be ye not many masters, my brethren, knowing that you receive the greater judgment. [2] For in many things we all offend. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man. He is able also with a bridle to lead about the whole body. [3]For if we put bits into the mouths of horses, that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body. [4] Behold also ships, whereas they are great, and are driven by strong winds, yet are they turned about with a small helm, whithersoever the force of the governor willeth. [5] Even so the tongue is indeed a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how small a fire kindleth a great wood.

[6] And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is placed among our members, which defileth the whole body, and inflameth the wheel of our nativity, being set on fire by hell. [7] For every nature of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of the rest, is tamed, and hath been tamed, by the nature of man: [8]But the tongue no man can tame, an unquiet evil, full of deadly poison. [9] By it we bless God and the Father: and by it we curse men, who are made after the likeness of God. [10] Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

[11] Doth a fountain send forth, out of the same hole, sweet and bitter water? [12]Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear grapes; or the vine, figs? So neither can the salt water yield sweet. [13] Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew, by a good conversation, his work in the meekness of wisdom. [14]But if you have bitter zeal, and there be contentions in your hearts; glory not, and be not liars against the truth. [15] For this is not wisdom, descending from above: but earthly, sensual, devilish.

[16] For where envying and contention is, there is inconstancy, and every evil work.[17] But the wisdom, that is from above, first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, easy to be persuaded, consenting to the good, full of mercy and good fruits, without judging, without dissimulation. [18] And the fruit of justice is sown in peace, to them that make peace.

 

 

Diabolical inversion of truth in two easy steps

Antipope Bergoglio: “…give space to Jesus who never separates, but always unites.” HERE

Actually Jesus: “Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword” Matt 10:34

Sometimes it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

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The coming storm, the meaning of this blog, and you.

Matthew 10:34 is a direct quote from the Creator and Savior of the universe:

“Nolite arbitrari quia pacem venerim mittere in terram: non veni pacem mittere, sed gladium”

“Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword”

But but but… isn’t Jesus the Prince of Peace? I thought Jesus was all butterflies and unicorns. So groovy. He came to send the sword upon the earth? How can that be?

Well…

The broader context of the tenth chapter of Matthew is the initial commissioning of the apostles. Not the Great Commission, mind you, but rather the initial commissioning to evangelize only the lost sheep of Israel.  The first fifteen verses lay out how He wants them to go about it. Then comes the warning about how they should expect to be treated by their own people while on this mission:

“Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men. For they will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues.  And you shall be brought before governors, and before kings for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles…The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death.  And you shall be hated by all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.” Matt 10:16-18, 21-22

Read it again, and realize He is not only speaking to the apostles, but to all of us. As the exponential descent of the West hurtles toward oblivion, you better start preparing yourself for what is coming very, very soon. It might be a muslim horde, it might be your “democratically elected” abusers of power, it might even be…the Church. Whatever, the message to all who confess Christ is that we should EXPECT and EMBRACE our material, physical, temporal suffering at the hands of men. It will be torturous, humiliating, and very public. His Passion is our model.

But then He offers hope:

“It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?  Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known.  That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt 10:25-28

The disciples should expect to be treated as the Pharisees treated Jesus, like when they accused Him of being possessed by Beelzebub (Mt 9:34, 12:24; Mk 3:22; Lk 11:15). But they should fear not, so long as they remain focused on the spiritual and not the material. You too will be accused of being evil, precisely because you are proclaiming the Truth. The secular world will accuse you of bigotry, ‘hate speech’, discrimination, judgmentalism and hypocrisy. The faithful will be murdered and imprisoned. Keep your gaze fixed upon your spiritual goal, and fear only “him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Then we get to the meaning of this blog.

“Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it.” Matt 10:32-39

Does any of this describe anything going on in your life right now? Because, if not, you’re doing it wrong. If your testimony is limited to unoffensive doctrine, that’s not the preaching from the housetops He was talking about. If the extent of your mission consists of one hour on Sunday, you are not worthy of Him. If you are a priest afraid to make people uncomfortable, you are not worthy of Him. If you are too polite to offer charitable correction to father, mother, son or daughter, THEN YOU LOVE THEM MORE THAN HIM AND YOU ARE NOT WORTHY OF HIM.  The Word of God will always and everywhere divide men against themselves, including within families. Everyone chooses a side.

This doesn’t mean God wanted it this way. There is a footnote in the Douay-Rheims referencing the passage from verse 35:

[35] I came to set a man at variance: Not that this was the end or design of the coming of our Saviour; but that his coming and his doctrine would have this effect, by reason of the obstinate resistance that many would make, and of their persecuting all such as should adhere to him.

It’s not the Will of God to bring division, destruction, and death. Rather, it is the will of him who can destroy both soul and body.  Lucifer’s “non serviam” caused the first great divide, and subsequently the Fall and the concupiscent wretchedness of sinful man. The divisions are the result of the free will of men, who repeat the non serviam with their thoughts and deeds, with which God does not interfere. Seeking to avoid division means leaving souls to die.

We make our own choices, and those choices determine where we spend eternity. Make a choice to stand for the Truth. Your soul depends on it, and you might save a few more along the way.

 

descendit ad infernos

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae,
et in Iesum Christum, Filium Eius unicum, Dominum nostrum,
qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine,
passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus,
descendit ad infernos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis,
ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis,
inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos.
Credo in Spiritum Sanctum,
sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem,
remissionem peccatorum,
carnis resurrectionem,
vitam aeternam.
Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell; On the third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
Amen

This is the Apostles’ Creed. It’s most commonly recited during the Rosary. Some NO parishes in the U.S. use it during Lent, but it’s uncommon. I believe it’s used during all Sunday Masses in Canada and some other countries. Pious legend has it that each of the apostles contributed one the twelve articles of faith (represented by the twelve lines the creed is broken into).

Today is Holy Saturday, the day Jesus descended into Hell, a real actual place, to rescue the just souls who had been waiting there in limbo for the coming of our Lord. Although they had died free from mortal sin, the gates of Heaven could not be opened to them without the redeeming sacrifice of the cross. So the day after the Crucifixion, Jesus went to free them.

Except, that’s not exactly accurate. To say that the gates of Heaven “could not” be opened prior to Christ’s redeeming sacrifice would be to place limits on God’s omnipotence. Time is a construct; God is not bound by His own creation. If He had so desired, He could have applied the merits of the cross to the righteous souls at the time of their earthly death, but He chose not to. Instead, He reserved the job to Himself to apply it “in person.”

An interesting contrast is the Immaculate Conception, which was the unique result of God preserving Mary from the stain of original sin by applying the redemptive value of the Crucifixion to her at the moment of her conception. Mary, the first tabernacle, could not possibly be impure in any way, because God will not dwell within anything impure (and nothing impure can dwell within God, hence mine will be a long, long Purgatory, God willing). So not being bound by time, and since all events of all eternity occur simultaneously and eternally for God, He chose to preserve Mary from original sin by the retroactive application of grace from an event that had not yet occurred in “real time”.

Back to the descendit ad infernos. Go ahead and picture yourself in the scene. Meditate on how hard it must have been for the righteous of antiquity to die in the state of grace. Think about how much easier we have it, with access to the fullness of Truth, the Barque, the Eucharist, the example of the saints. If they could make it, shouldn’t it be easy for us?

And yet.

The event has been stunningly depicted in iconography through the ages. Much of it is pretty graphic in terms of the furnishings of the place, and demons certainly do come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I’m reproducing a few tame examples here.

Image result for harrowing of hell

Image result for harrowing of hell

Image result for harrowing of hell

Image result for harrowing of hell

Related image

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

I leave you with the famous “Ancient Homily” for Holy Saturday:

Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him, Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying:

“Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.

“I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise.

“I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth.

“For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

“See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

“I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

“Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God.

“The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.”

The reality of Hell, and our knowledge of it, is meant to be used as a spiritual weapon

I knew I had written an essay not long ago loosely based on using meditation on the Four Last Things as spiritual weapon. It took me a little while to find it. I hope you find it useful on this Good Friday, the day our Lord offered Himself in our place, that we might have a chance at Heaven.

The piece gets a little dark, but that’s exactly what’s needed to set your bearing.

Excerpt:

God created us to know, love, and serve Him in this life, so that we might be happy with Him forever in the next. He shared with us through the revealed truths what makes him happy and what hurts him. If we love someone, we try to do those things that make them happy, and avoid those things that hurt them. Sometimes we fail, and we need to be sorry for that and seek forgiveness. Striving to live an authentic Christian life is founded on these concepts. Building your “personal relationship” with the Triune Godhead is based on renouncing your sin AS A SIGN OF YOUR LOVE. Once you start thinking about it this way — that your actual sins are in fact personally injurious to God — you’ll start putting a whole lot more “discernment” into those bad decisions.

If you truly want to grow in your spiritual life, in your love of God, through a terrifying fear of Hell, think about this: If one-third of the angels willingly chose to reject the will of God, and were cast into Hell because of it, what percentage of the human race do you think ends up there? These angels, with soaring intellects orders of magnitude greater than ours, pure spirit, with no temptations of the flesh, the most beautiful and gifted creatures ever created by God… if 33% of these angels each individually chose to reject God to His face, what chance do we have?  Yeah, I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess a frighteningly large majority of the human race ends up in Hell. God’s justice is perfect…

Here is the whole thing. The meatier parts are toward the end:

I have some troublesome “cherished beliefs” I need to share with Cardinal Archheretic Cupich

“It is our job to take up that discernment. It takes time. It involves discipline. Most importantly it requires that we be prepared to let go of cherished beliefs and long-held biases,” said the Archbishop of Chicago in a talk to the Catholic Theological Union published on YouTube October 27. HERE

Dear Blase, may I share with you a particular cherished belief that I’m most definitely not prepared to let go of?

HELL EXISTS: WHERE THE SOULS OF POOR SINNERS GO. HERE

Oh, does it seem wrong to “cherish” the thought of Hell? Nope, think again.  Hell is real. It’s never wrong to love the eternal truths. It’s never wrong to proclaim the Truth. You are obliged to do this. Knowledge of Hell is a great, great blessing. In fact, desiring Heaven solely out of a fear of Hell is good enough to get you there. It’s called Imperfect Contrition.

Cardinal Cupich is a lying heretic who needs to know he will spend all eternity in Hell for leading countless souls astray, and every one of those souls will rage against him personally face to face forever. He needs to repent and renounce of his heresy. He needs to know that there is no way to trick God by discerning, encountering, or attempting to abrogate God’s laws out of faux mercy.

I’ve been praying quite a bit on the Four Last Things. This topic has come at me from several different vectors of late. That’s usually a pretty good sign to sit up and pay attention. In particular, meditating on Hell and developing a deeply terrifying fear of it can be a most helpful exercise. It is an important step in growing our love for God, and wanting never to offend him. But for most of modernist, humanist, secularist western society, the Four Last Things have tragically become the Two Last Things. There are two versions, both as vacuous as they are ubiquitous:

First version: Death, Nothing. This group is split between the exploding number of atheists, and believers who think there might be a Heaven but no way could there be a Hell because mercy. Those who don’t make it to Heaven are just snuffed out… Soul annihilation. For a solid tracing of where this mindset must lead, using rational, linear thinking, go visit Ann Barnhardt, who nails it as usual HERE. 

Second version: Death, Heaven. For most nominal believers, that’s it. It makes no difference how the person lived their lives nor the circumstances of their death, nor really anything, unless they were literally Hitler. I’ve seen a lot of this even in Catholic circles, because of course nobody knows the faith. Yet suddenly when a “nice” person dies unexpectedly, of course he or she goes to meet God right away.  Julie at Connecticut Catholic Corner has a few words about this HERE.

Both versions reek, in different ways, of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. If you want to understand just how far 95% of “Christianity” has gone astray, get to know MTD. The five core dogmas of MTD are:

  1. God exists and He created the world
  2. God wants people to be nice to each other
  3. God wants everyone to feel happy and good about themselves
  4. God doesn’t need to be involved in our daily lives, unless there is a problem and we need Him
  5. Good people go to heaven when they die

It is not an exaggeration to say that hundreds of millions of people today think MTD is the central message of Christianity, which could not possibly be farther from the truth. I am linking here to a site that unfortunately contains quite a bit of anti-Catholic bigotry, but the page I’m sending you to is the best visual representation of MTD I’ve been able to find. Please go take a look. It’s a page that describes hundreds of people I know, both “Catholic” and not. Please go HERE.

This is what happens when you abandon “cherished beliefs”. Pretty soon, not only is your religion hollowed out, it actually turns into the opposite of what it was meant to be. You must call this out, and warn others about it. God’s laws don’t change, because God never changes, because God was always perfect, and you can’t change perfect into something more perfecter.

Let’s get back to Heaven and Hell. God created us to know, love, and serve Him in this life, so that we might be happy with Him forever in the next. He shared with us through the revealed truths what makes him happy and what hurts him. If we love someone, we try to do those things that make them happy, and avoid those things that hurt them. Sometimes we fail, and we need to be sorry for that and seek forgiveness. Striving to live an authentic Christian life is founded on these concepts. Building your “personal relationship” with the Triune Godhead is based on renouncing your sin AS A SIGN OF YOUR LOVE. Once you start thinking about it this way — that your actual sins are in fact personally injurious to God — you’ll start putting a whole lot more “discernment” into those bad decisions.

Hell was first created as a result of Lucifer’s refusal to serve God, when God revealed the entire plan of salvation to all the angels. Lucifer, likely the most glorious, beautiful, and intellectually superior angel created by God, was so disgusted, so enraged, so filled with sinful pride, that he just couldn’t accept the plan. This beautiful angel refused to accept that almighty God would lower Himself to take on flesh, homo factus est, and immolate Himself to redeem humanity. We might imagine that the icing on the cake was being told that God would not only become man, but be born of a woman, the spotless Virgin, and that this woman would in turn become Queen of the Universe. You can imagine the total throw down hissy fit Lucifer had upon learning that he had a female human monarch over him. So he issued his Non Serviam, and fully one third of the angels followed him in their rebellion, and were cast out. The other two-thirds chose wisely and were granted the Beatific Vision.

If you truly want to grow in your spiritual life, in your love of God, through a terrifying fear of Hell, think about this: If one-third of the angels willingly chose to reject the will of God, and were cast into Hell because of it, what percentage of the human race do you think ends up there? These angels, with soaring intellects orders of magnitude greater than ours, pure spirit, with no temptations of the flesh, the most beautiful and gifted creatures ever created by God… if 33% of these angels each individually chose to reject God to His face, what chance do we have?  Yeah, I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess a frighteningly large majority of the human race ends up in Hell. God’s justice is perfect, and the percentages aren’t good. Hammer this fact into your brain until it starts to pop up every time you are in the near occasion of sin.

We must instruct others on the reality of Hell. We must never desire anyone to go there. We must work and pray for the salvation of all souls. But Hell exists, it’s not empty, and people are falling into it every day.

Discern that, Blase.

“Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matt 25:41

When Jesus spoke about that place with the weeping and gnashing of teeth, He wasn’t talking about Walmart

Even as cockle therefore is gathered up, and burnt with fire: so shall it be at the end of the world. The Son of man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matt 13:40-42

It’s pretty basic. Does not require a “sophisticated theologian.”

And if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life, maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into unquenchable fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished. And if thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off. It is better for thee to enter lame into life everlasting, than having two feet, to be cast into the hell of unquenchable fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out. It is better for thee with one eye to enter into the kingdom of God, than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished. Mark 9:42-47

Therefore, Hell is: a) Real, b) Eternal, c) Populated.

[Scalfari:] Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?
[Francis:] “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.” HERE

There is a lot of mainstream huffing and puffing over this, but I don’t really understand why. It’s at least the second or third time he has uttered the annihilation heresy. Maybe it’s the first time he claimed that even the place itself doesn’t exist. Of course Bergoglio has also promulgated Universalist heresy, so it can be a bit confusing.

Then we have the ongoing scandal of sinners encouraged to keep sinning, and that in some concrete situations, God even prefers it that way. God wills sin, most dogs go to heaven, and bad dogs just go poof.

Turn away from this man and finish out Holy Week with a good examination of conscience. Repent, and believe in the Gospel. In other news, the plaster inside St. Peters began crumbling today. Fix your bearing. We are at war.

I leave you with a re-post.

When Francis treats us worse than Satan treats us

From Francis’ comments at WYD this past Saturday, via CNA:HERE

“Today, the Lord wants us to feel ever more profoundly His great mercy,” the Pope said… We may think that we are the “worst” on account of our sins and weaknesses, the Pope told the youth. However, this is how God prefers us to be, in order that “His mercy may spread.”

I can’t find an official transcript of this off the cuff remark, so let’s just go with the CNA version. Such a short and simple statement, yet so many levels of error.

First and most obvious, God does NOT prefer us to remain in our sins and weaknesses. Law of non-contradiction, hello?  Sin is that which goes against God’s will.  Francis’ statement reduces to “God’s will = not God’s will”. So no, that doesn’t work.

Second, if WE prefer our sins and weaknesses over the will of God, it isn’t so that “his mercy may spread.” On the contrary, our refusal to repent and continued disobedience cuts us off from that mercy on our own account. It’s just another example of twisting the truth to the point of a complete inversion of truth.

In order for Francis’ statement to be true, think about what also would have to be true.  It would mean the Non Serviam of Lucifer and his angels was not of their own free will, but that their sinful act was actually willed by God. It would mean the Original Sin of Adam and Eve was not of their own free will, but their sinful act was actually willed by God. And it would mean the transmission of Original Sin down through the ages, its resulting Concupiscence in all of mankind, causing all of us to tend toward sin against God’s will, is actually willed by God.

None of this is Catholic.  But as I have written before, all of it consistent with the constant ramblings of a man so lost in his sins, he doesn’t think it humanly possible to resist any of them. No, what we have here starts out as pure Luther (who was also totally lost in his sins), then dovetails into a Calvinistic Total Depravity, where our free will is completely subjugated to sin. Simply, we are incapable of doing the right thing, so don’t worry, be happy.  This. Is. Heresy.

The total depravity angle has the added benefit of firing up Francis the Insult Machine whenever his comments turn to faithful Catholics.  Because in his mind, there are no faithful Catholics, only hypocrites. The false doctrine of total depravity, taken to its logical end, teaches that ALL of man’s actions, even good actions, are inherently evil because our motivation for doing good cannot be altruistic but rather must be egotistic. So you can take all your beads, counted rosaries, novenas, Masses offered, and get off your high horse.

Lastly, the final diabolical inversion at play here is truly sinister.  In fact, it is an example of Francis treating us worse than Satan treats us.  Oh yes.  When we make some effort to amend our lives, and it goes very badly, as it tends to at the beginning, Satan attacks us by telling us we are miserable pathetic failures and that God will never love us.  His aim is despair, followed by your abandonment of the effort.  Francis attacks us by telling us we are wonderfully blessed by our successful sinning, and that God loves our sins.  Do you see how much worse this is?  By the way, his intent doesn’t matter (except regarding the degree of his culpability).  Whether it is willful or negligent is immaterial to the effects on the ground.  It is still an attack, an attack on souls.

Friends, while we cannot expect to live sinless lives, this is exactly what we must strive for.  At every instance of temptation, God offers sufficient grace to offset the concupiscence, providing us the ability to choose the right action.  Every sin we commit happens because we choose to refuse the grace being offered, and instead choose our will over God’s will. This is what Catholics believe.  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.