THURSDAY
March 23, 2000
volume 11, no. 59

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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 137:
Seven Deadly Sins part three - Anger and Gluttony

    Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure, combined with a desire to inflict punishment on the offender. An angry man loses his reason. In anger a man will do what he afterwards regrets. From anger arise hatred, revenge, quarreling, blasphemy, contumely, and murder. The virtues of patience and meekness are opposed to anger.

    Anger, or wrath, is a temporary madness. A man with this vice flies into a rage at every little thing. He always puts the blame of his anger on others, and even when he is alone he gets angry. "The wrath of man does not work the justice of God" (James 1:20).

    Willful murder, one of the "sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance", arises from anger. When the first willful murder took place, and Cain killed his brother Abel, God said to Cain, "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth to Me from the earth" (Genesis 4:10).

    He who indulges in anger injures his health, becomes hated, incurs damnation. Many men have had a stroke of paralysis brought on by anger; some have even died. If anger is so hurtful to the body, how much more to the soul!

    When we feel ourselves becoming angry, we should never speak or act, but try to calm ourselves by prayer. Saint Francis de Sales said: "I have made an agreement with my tongue never to utter a word while my heart is excited." "Let every man be slow to speak and slow to wrath" (James 1:19).

    If we should be so unhappy as to have offended anyone by our anger, we should hasten to apologize. "Do not let the sun go down upon your anger" (Ephesians 4:26).

    A just anger against sin and injustice is praiseworthy. We may hate the sin, but not the sinner. Jesus Christ had this just wrath when He drove the sellers from the Temple. Holy Scripture says, "Be angry and do not sin" (Ephesians 4:26).

    Gluttony is an excessive desire for or indulgence in food or drink. Our Lord showed how hateful gluttony is in the parable of the rich man, Dives, and the poor Lazarus. Dives was so greedy that he would not even give scraps to Lazarus, who sat at his gate. But when Dives died, he went to hell, while Lazarus went to Heaven. The brothers of Joseph were so envious of him that they sold him to some merchants going to Egypt. God rebuked their sin by blessing Joseph in Egypt, and causing him to be in a position to help his envious brothers later.

    Gluttony is greediness, intemperance in eathing and drinking. Of the gluttonous, Saint Paul said that "their god is the belly" (Philippians 3:19). We should not be either too greedy or too dainty about the nourishment we take. The virtue opposed to gluttony is temperance. We should not eat more than we need to support life. "We do not live to eat, but eat to live." We must not take what is injurious to health, even if its taste is pleasing. We must have regular hours for our meals. We should not be too particular about food, eat what is set before us, and not get angry when a dish is not very appetizing. The purpose of food is to give strength for the work we do while still on earth preparing for our final end.

    Gluttony produces dullness of mind, laziness, and sensuality. The vice of drunkenness is a terrible evil, leading to worse sins. A man when drunk loses his reason, and often makes a fool of himself. If reason is the chief difference between man and the beast, why should one extinguish it by drunkenness? "The sensual man does not perceive the things that are of the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2:14). "He who sows in his flesh, from the flesh also he will reap corruption" (Galatians 6:8). It is well for young people to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking till after they are twenty years of age. If they do this, the likehood is that they will not contract vice and hopefully never take up cigarettes or chewing tobacco considering the dangers discovered in recent decades.

Tomorrow: Seven Deadly Sins: part four Envy and Sloth

          

March 23, 2000
volume 11, no. 59
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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