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Note: The 11 footnotes are added as clarifying remarks…

For 30 years, or more, the oft-heard lament, as well as petitioned prayer, from Catholic clergy, has been the lack of priestly vocations; with aging priestly population; it’s become difficult for casual observers to deny the crisis regarding the dwindling number of Catholic clergy. Constitutionally, the clergy is to dispose the electorate morally agreeable to limited self-government; the soul ordered by reason is lawful…

The Priesthood suffers from making itself irrelevant, by leaving the anti-Christian culture un-critiqued1, while simultaneously leaving Christendom, or if you will, rational Western Culture, undefended2. Moreover, concepts such as sin3, specifically the Seven4 Capital Sins – and how they parasitically subsist on the human soul – are almost universally left unmentioned from the pulpit; they – the Seven Capital Sins – have actually become perceived as generalized virtues which we have unconsciously assimilated as we have synthesized them with our Christian weltanschauung, thus reducing Christianity and sleeping Christians – of all denominations – to a sentimental proselytizers’ for the Culture if Death5 – or as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger characterized it in The Yes of Jesus Christ (published in English in 1991) as the “civilization of Death6“. Instead, Catholic clergy presents a non-judgmental, affirming, unconditionally loving Jesus, as if Christ & Billy Joel, love (accept) you, “just the way you are!” In light of this, one may wonder why it was necessary for Jesus to suffer the crucifixion for the expiation of our sins.

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To criticize is: to contrast an event, performance, activity, phenomenon etc. with a standard; in noting the disparity, it can then be assessed what effort need be employed to bring the object of criticism7 (in this instance, the object is the individual’s soul) in agreement with the standard. Rather than taking the opportunity of a scandal e.g., the clergy pedophile cases, as an opportunity to indicate the ubiquity of moral degeneration (did not Jesus choose Judas to teach that even amongst the elect is treachery?), and the need for the individual to strive to conform (submit) one’s will to the standard i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ; clergy behaved sheepishly, as if they were secret participants i.e., as if they are all unexposed pedophiles…

Historically the Catholic Church teaches that self-possession8 (the habits of the Seven Cardinal virtues9 – note that such habit is a conscious deliberative refusal to be carried away by sentiment/emotion; one is incessantly conscious of the ‘log in one’s eye’) as the necessary criteria for submitting one’s will to that of Christ’s. Many a sermon could critique, and relate current events/trends (i.e., the Culture of Death) to the Apocalypse, very likely, a battle waged daily in individual souls; a battle likely lost, unless the awareness of such a battle is made manifest by a Priest of the Order of Melchizedek10 (this Order is the order to which Catholic Priests belong); hence the means by which Catholic Priests (apart from the Sacraments11) may make themselves relevant, and likely generate/germinate an increase of vocations.

1 To critique the culture is to contrast the actions, and advocacies of this culture with the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the historical teachings of His Church… Such a critique is not a one-time event, but a continuous ongoing program…
2 The defense of Christendom (i.e., rationality) lays in criticism i.e., the juxtaposition of “what is” with “what ought to be.”
3 Sin – turning away from God; rejecting the natural law. The natural law presupposes God, and thus not only the creation of all that is, but intentional relatedness of all that is, as well; free-willed entities may discern and choose to reject, or discern and choose to submit, to God’s intention/purpose; such purpose is discerned by a reflection upon faculties e.g., eye’s are for seeing, ears for hearing, hands for grasping, organ’s of catharsis for purgation, thus the purpose of organs of reproduction are not for practicing amateur proctology (i.e., anal sex)…
4 The Seven Capital Sins: Pride i.e., the rejection of truth/s which are deemed, by oneself, as frustrating one from realizing one’s perceived interest); Avarice i.e., greed, in particular what is meant: the ordering one’s life so as to obtain transient goods; Lust (ordering/altering one’s actions so as to sate a passion); Anger i.e., one which allows the desire to “balance the scale” – so to speak – to prevent one from rendering another their due; Gluttony i.e., generally habitual overindulgence of food and drink, but what is key is the subordination of the will to the appetite; Envy manifests itself in the desire for harm to befall another because of their good, or perceived, good fortune; Sloth is an inattentiveness to what ought to concern one e.g., ignorance regarding things essential to being able to differentiate good from the meretricious i.e., insidious evil, and fulfilling one’s moral obligation to others i.e., the wide culture…
5 May also be understood as the culture of the Antichrist…
6 Romans 1: 18 – 32; “The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness. For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God, they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.
Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, and ruthless. Although they know the just decree of God, that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
7 The soul is the nexus of impetuses, and the eternally animating principle; the soul may be said to be locus and nexus of mind and will… Criticism – ‘the contrast of what is with what ought’ – allows, through acceptance i.e., intellectual acquiescence to the truth, altering one’s “path” from darkness to light…
8 Self-possession i.e., virtue: defined for practicality as: “the conscious striving to conform one’s appetites to their ontological limit i.e., God’s intent.”
9 Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude, Faith, Hope, Charity (many like to render this Love).
10 Melchizedek: An Old Testament Priest of God Most High – as opposed to Levitical – Priests; he is reported in Genesis as the king of Salem, and he comes from the desert to offer Abram (whose name is changed to Abraham, by God, as part of God’s covenant) bread and wine; thus Melchizedek prefigures Jesus Christ and the Priesthood of His Church established upon the Rock (Petrus) which is Simon Peter.
11 Sacraments: Baptism, Confession, Communion, Confirmation, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, Extreme unction i.e., last rites i.e., Anointing of the Sick

Thomas J. Donegan
guildma@msn.com

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

TJDonegan7

 

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