THURSDAY
March 9, 2000
volume 11, no. 49

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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 127:
Actual Sin part one

    Christ permitted Himself to be tempted by the devil. After Our Lord's forty days' fast in the desert, the devil appeared to Him and tempted Him to gluttony, to pride, and to avarice. But Our Lord resisted the devil and sent him away. Then angels came to minister to Him. God wishes to show us that temptation, far from being a sin in itself, is a cource of merit if we resist firmly. Then God will send us His blessings and consolations, and we shall be dearer to Him after our successful fight against temptation.

    Actual sin is any wilful lthought, desire, word, action, or omission forbidden by the law of God. There are two general classes of sins: original and actual. Original sin is the kind of sin that we inherit from Adam. Actual sin is the kind of sin that we ourselves commit. In general, when we speak of "sin" we mean actual sin. Sin is an offense against God, a violation of His commandments. To sin is to despise God, to disobey Him, to offend Him. One who sins takes the gifts that God has given, and uses them to insult Him.

    No person exists who does not sin, however holy he may be. The only human being who was created without sin, and never committed sin, was the Blessed Virgin Mary; this was a special privilege bestwoed on her because she was to be the Mother of our Savior. Saint John says: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). We fall step by step from temptation into sin. The different steps at times follow each other rapidly and are accomplished in the twinkling of an eye.

    Sin is not committed without temptation. First an evil thought comes into the mind. This in itself is not sinful; it is only a temptation. A man may be in a jewelry store looking at some jewels. The salesman turns away to talk to someone else, leaving a precious diamond ring on the counter. The thought enters the man's mind that it would be easy for him to take the ring and walk away unnoticed. This is temptation, not sin.

    If we do not immediately reject the thought, it awakens in the mind an affection or liking for it. If the man in the above example does not resist and reject the thought, but plays with it, and becomes pleased with the idea, he thereby gives partial consent, and commits a slight sin.

    Next the thought is followed by an evil desire in which we take pleasure. If, still playing with the thought, the man wishes that he could take the diamong ring without being noticed, the consent is complete, and he commits a sin in his heart (interiorly).

    The resolution to commit the sin when occasion presents itself follows. Then the exterior act is committed. Finally, the man glances to see if the salesman is still busy. Then he takes the ring and walks away with it. Thus the wish or desire has been translated into an exterior act. Even should the man be prevented from stealing, he is guilty of grave sin. An exterior sin is more evil than in interior sin, because it is attended by worse consequences.

Tomorrow: Actual Sin part two

          

March 9, 2000
volume 11, no. 49
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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