Fighting for the Kingdom |
Make no mistake, it is a battle to the finish and the victor will only be those who remain ever loyal to Jesus Christ, Who has given us "the truth, the way, and the life" - Himself and His teachings through the infrangible tenets He established for His one, true, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. To not fully accept these truths is to serve mammon, embodied in the three-headed dragon of the world, the flesh, and the devil. As today's Gospel so clearly defines: "No man can serve two masters." We must either fight for the Kingdom of Heaven or succumb to the fires of hell.
"The war rages on, and our holy Religion is being taken away from us. If we do not stand up and fight for it, we will end up thinking like the others that a normally good person, as the world understands it, is guaranteed a place in Heaven. This is the ancient heresy of Pelagius, who believed that the sin of Adam was only 'bad example' and didn't leave any lasting effects on human nature. The heresy rendered the Sacrament of Baptism unnecessary and undermined the Redemption itself. It was condemned by two councils in Carthage 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 case is ended). But then he added, 'utinam finiatur error!' (If only the error were ended!). But the error survives! "
Editor's Note: In Father Louis Campbell's sermon for the Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost, he focuses on St. Paul's vital formula to the Galatians to stay the devil from conquering souls, our own and others. In order to assure this, we must have control of our concupiscences if we are to win in the battle against the world, the flesh and the devil. He reminds that it is only by walking in the light of the Holy Ghost by remaining in the state of Sanctifying Grace that we can overcome the flesh, for the age old idiom is true: "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." That is why satan plays on this Achilles heel of man's fallen nature. That is why Catholics must truly know their Faith, know Who Christ truly is and all He has handed down through His one true Church from Peter through Pope Pius XII so that all who hear will willingly choose to follow the Son of God by subjecting themselves, body, mind and soul to the King of kings. To be His willing servants, man, who has been given a free will, must be willing to make reparation and exercise his mind and body through the heart of prayer in order to abhor sin and heresy for they are the siren of satan. The choice between the Son of God or the son of perdition could not be clearer as Father points out in today's Gospel for indeed "No man can serve two masters" and yet the conciliar church has the audacity to contradict this basic truth by pandering to followers of mammon, to unbelievers who claim to believe but by their rejection of the Kingship of Christ in their hearts and their laws, have, without a shadow of a doubt, cast their lot with satan. The choice is ours. We can surrender or, with the grace of the Holy Ghost and girded by the garments of spiritual warfare defined by St. Paul in Ephesians 6: 12-18, and in imitating Christ in all things, we can continue fighting for the Kingdom.
[bold and italics below are editor's emphasis.]
Father Louis J. Campbell
There is a purpose in life, a reason 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 other 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" (St. Matthew 6:24). We must apply the Lord's good advice: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be given you besides" (St. Matthew 6:33).
St. Paul also talks about two diverging paths, one leading into the spiritual realm, the other into the unspiritual, or carnal (Galatians 5:16-24). There is a struggle, he says, between the spirit and the flesh. The flesh does not refer to the body, but to our wounded human nature after the Fall, which is incapable of doing works which are pleasing to God. The spirit refers to human nature after it has been "born again of water and the Holy Ghost" (St. John 3:5). It is then capable of bearing fruit pleasing to God.
Here we are dealing with the difference between the natural and the supernatural. Human nature must be healed and raised to the level of the supernatural if its actions are to be pleasing to God. "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." He adds, most importantly, "They who belong to Christ have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk" (Galatians 5:25).
This spiritual struggle within us may be explained in terms of a divided human will, as St. Augustine explains in his Confessions (Catholic Book Publishing Co., N.J., 1997):
"It is then no monstrous thing that one should be partly willing and partly not willing. Rather, it is a sickness or weakness of the mind that, being weighed down by evil custom, it does not entirely arise when lifted up by truth. There are, therefore, two wills… (Book 8,Chapter 9).
"So also when eternity delights us above, while the pleasure of temporal good holds us fast below, it is the same soul that with a will in conflict must choose one or the other. Therefore, it is rent and torn, suffering grievous embarrassment, while, for the sake of truth, it prefers the one, but out of habit does not relinquish the other" (Book 8,Chapter 10).
The saint advises: "If material things please you, take occasion from them to praise God, and turn your love from them toward Him Who made them, lest in these things that please you, you displease Him. (Book 4,Chapter 12).
The war continues on another front. "You cannot serve God and mammon," says Jesus Christ. But behold! The conciliar church 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 among Catholics that virtually everyone is on a free ride to the "common homeland." Many 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.
St. Augustine speaks about being seduced by false philosophies in his time: "For the space of nine years, from my nineteenth to my twenty-eighth year, we were seduced and did seduce others, being deceived and deceiving others in various inordinate desires, openly by what they call the liberal sciences, secretly by the false name of religion - proud in the one, superstitious in the other, vain in both..." (Confessions, Book 4,Chapter 1).
The supernatural 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.
Those who wish to avoid Hell and be saved must not rely upon the good works of which fallen human nature is capable. 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. 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 true believer in the truly Catholic sense is one who has faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior and Lord.
In addition to 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.
The war rages on, and our holy Religion is being taken away from us. If we do not stand up and fight for it, we will end up thinking like the others that a normally good person, as the world understands it, is guaranteed a place in Heaven. This is the ancient heresy of Pelagius, who believed that the sin of Adam was only "bad example" and didn't leave any lasting effects on human nature. The heresy rendered the Sacrament of Baptism unnecessary and undermined the Redemption itself. It was condemned by two councils in Carthage 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 case is ended). But then he added, "utinam finiatur error!" (If only the error were ended!). But the error survives!
St. Paul's advice to Timothy is for us: "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; but pursue justice, godliness, faith, charity, patience, mildness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on the life eternal, to which thou hast been called… I charge thee in the sight of God, Who gives life to all things, and in the sight of Christ Jesus, Who bore witness before Pontius Pilate to the good confession, that thou keep the commandment without stain, blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Timothy 6:11,12a,13,14).