Wednesday, 22 December 2010

"Do Catholics buy their way into Heaven?

This week's question and answer from Father Clement Tigar's book, Papist Pie. we buy our way into Heaven?

"Yes, not by money, but by toil, and sweat, and self-denial: by obeying conscience even when it is against their personal inclinations; or, if they have violated the dictates of conscience, by humble painstaking repentance and a firm and sincere purpose of amendment; by constantly getting up again after they have fallen down; by perservering to the end in faith, hope and charity"

A simple, clear and uncomplicated answer (that's what I need). The trouble is, do we overlook the obvious, the simple explanation in our hunt for 'a more informed view'.
It would be easy to read Fr T's answer and move on; but there is a great deal to ponder on in that brief paragraph. 'By obeying conscience' does not mean going against Church teaching on IVF or artificial birth control. What the good priest is talking about is the conscience of St Peter, the Faith, the Holy Father. He goes on to talk about the subjugation of our own conscience again, in obedience to the Magisterium.
How many Catholics today 'obey' the teachings of Christ and His Church? The smart answer is not enough. We tend to airbrush out the bits we don't agree with. How often have I heard Catholics say "I don't agree with some of what the Church teaches".

In the words of Fr Corapi:

"What? You don't agree with the Pope? You are more learned than the Pope?"

And how many Catholics recognise the phrase: "A firm and sincere purpose of amendment?" That means that, when we go to confession we have to be genuine in our plan to avoid those particular sins in future and make a great effort not to repeat them. Without that our confession is not valid.

St Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Jesuit Order

Pray to Fr Tigar, for the return of the Jesuit Order to the same high standards that it enjoyed in his lifetime.

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