FRI-SAT-SUN
March 10, 2000
volume 11, no. 50

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APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH Series         INTRODUCTION

    Every day we present a short point that helps bring into focus the treasures of the Roman Catholic Church that comprise the great Deposit of Faith.

    It is no secret that over the past thirty years fewer and fewer know their Faith and it shows with the declining number of vocations, parish participation and attendance at Holy Mass. We have the new Catechism of the Catholic Church but for the common man, the one brought up on sound bites and instant gratification, it is more of a text book and that in itself prompts them to shy away from such a tome. So what's a loyal Catholic to do in evangelizing to fellow Catholics and understand their Faith? Our answer: go back to basics - to the great Deposit of Faith. We have the Baltimore Catechism which, for unknown and ridiculous reasons, was shelved after Vatican II. We have the Holy Bible but there are so many newer versions that the Douay-Rheims and Confraternity Latin Vulgate in English versions, the ones used for so long as the official Scriptural text authorized by the Church, seem lost in a maze of new interpretations that water down the Word. This is further complicated by the fact there are so few Douay-Rheims editions in circulation though it is available on the net at DOUAY-RHEIMS BIBLE. We have so many Vatican documents available at the Vatican web site and other excellent Catholic resource sites that detail Doctrine, Dogma and Canon Law. We have the traditions, and the means of grace but how do we consolidate all these sources into one where it is succinct and easy to understand? We have the perfect vehicle. It is called "My Catholic Faith", now out of print, that was compiled by Bishop Louis Laravoire Morrow and published by My Mission House. This work ties in Scriptural references, the Sacraments, Dogmas, Doctrines, Traditions, Church documents, Encyclical and Papal decrees to clearly illustrate the Faith in simple, solid and concise terms that all can understand and put into practice. We will quote from this work while adding in more recent events and persons when applicable since the book was written in the late forties during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. We also quote from the Catholic Almanac published by Our Sunday Visitor for the Roman Curial offices and from Old Testament Confraternity Edition and New Testament Confraternity Edition of the Saint Joseph New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible.

    Nothing in Holy Mother Church's teaching has changed and therefore we feel confident that these daily "points of enlightenment" will help more Catholics better understand their faith, especially those who were not blessed with early formation of the faith in the home and their parish school. Regardless of where any Catholic is in his or her journey toward salvation, he or she has to recognize that the Faith they were initiated into at the Sacrament of Baptism is the most precious gift they have been given in life. For points covered thus far, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH


installment 128:
Actual Sin part two

    In continuing our treatise on Actual Sin, an exterior sin often causes scandal, and is more severely punished by God here on earth as well as after death. Drunkenness reduces the drunkard and his family to poverty and sickness. Impurity destroys the body, and is one of the quickest routes into depravity and the road to hell. Murder often leads the culprit to the electric chair.

    And worse, an exterior sin increases the malice of the will, and destroys the sense of shame. The repetition of exterior sins forms the habit of sinning, and vice is formed. The conscience goes to sleep, and the sinner becomes so hardened that he no longer sees the evil and wickedness of his sin.

    Thus it becomes easier and easier for him to commit sins of a worse kind. His state becomes worse and worse until finally he becomes a hardened sinner who believes himself sinless.

    Not all evil acts are sinful; there may be times when such acts are not sinful, as: When we do not know that the act is sinful. Noah became intoxicated, but committed no sin, because he was not aware of the strength of the wine. So one ight by mistake take poison instead of medicine and die, but he would not be guilty of suicide. Such an act is termed a material sin.

    When the act is done through no fault of our own. If one is not aware that a certain day is a day of abstinence, and eats meat, he commits no sin. Again, one might, by pure accident and through no negligence on his part, drop a loaded revolver. Even if it explodes and kills a person, he is not guilty of murder.

    When we do not consent to the evil. A stronger man may take our hand, and in spite of our refusal and protest force it to drop a lighted match into a gasoline tank. Even if there is an explosion and a whole town is set on fire, we are not guilty of arson. In the same way, as long as one does not consent to an evil thought, it remains a temptation, and he commits no sin.

    We are guilty of sins which we ourselves do not commit when we cooperate with another person's sins. We share in another's sin:

  • (a) by counsel;
  • (b) by command;
  • (c) by consent;
  • (d) by provacation;
  • (e) by praise or flattery;
  • (f) by silence;
  • (g) by assistance;
  • (h) by defense or concealment; and
  • (I) by not punishing the evil done.

    Thus rulers, legislative leaders, parents, employers, teachers, superiors, owners of shows and theater complexes, editors, publishers, and others in a position of responsibility, may easily render themselves guilty of the sins of others. One who is to blame for another's sin is as guilty as if he had committed the sin himself. One who tempts or provokes another into sin is perhaps the more guilty of the two.

Monday: Mortal Sin part one

          

March 10, 2000
volume 11, no. 50
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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