Negative precepts play an important role in moral formation. They remind us that we are limited, dependent and sinful beings, made to lovingly obey an absolute Being who created us and governs us according to his most wise designs.
In his diabolical quest to destroy the Church at its very foundations, the infernal enemy has made varied and frequent onslaughts against all the Sacraments, from first to last. The heretic Wycliffe attacked that of Penance, which is a powerful aid for sinners to reach heaven: he denied the divine character of the institution of auricular confession while also affirming that it is of no use to the contrite. Following in his footsteps, Peter Martinez of Osma taught that contrition is all that is needed to attain the pardon of sins. Luther, in turn, discarded confession altogether as a ‘slaughter of consciences’. His contempt for auricular confession would be shared by Protestants to this day. Rationalists and unbelievers alike also never cease to insist that confession is nothing but a priestly invention for tormenting souls.
Today, other means and affirmations are employed to challenge this Sacrament and the sound doctrine that the Divine Savior bequeathed to us, lovingly safeguarded by Tradition and the Church’s infallible Magisterium.
Is the sacrament of Penance valid without the confession of one’s sins? It is known that only the mute and hearing-impaired are permitted to confess by means of signs and gestures. But does that make it licit to omit the verbal declaration of our sins in confession out of shame, fear, or some other difficulty we may be experiencing? Can we receive God’s pardon by simply presenting ourselves to the priest with contrition?
Let us review what pure and sound doctrine has to teach on the matter. And let us recall exactly what evils await those who profane this sacred Sacrament, and the end they will meet in eternity. Click here to read the complete Study…
When Pilate, with reverential fear, asked Christ about his sovereignty, he answered: ‘You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice’ (Jn 18:37) Was Our Lord perhaps being a fundamentalist in making this affirmation with so much conviction and resolve? Since he is God, made man, the Truth in substance, he could not have acted differently.
The Gospel of Saint Luke relates that two thieves were crucified with Jesus: one on his right and the other on his left. One of them, repentant, prayed to Jesus: ‘Remember me when you come into your kingdom’ (Lk 23: 42).
Saint Paul teaches that anguish, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or the sword are not sufficient to separate us from God (cf. Rom 8:35). However, could we say the same of vices, drugs or any other thing without making any distinctions? Do these not eradicate the presence of God from our interior?
If there’s a place in the world where anyone, rich or poor, can feel welcomed without restrictions, it’s in a Catholic church. In it, material splendor is at the service of the glory of God and at everyone’s reach – one may calmly enjoy the splendor of the church better than anyone could at palaces or museums.
Despite the indifferentism of our days, it often happens that the same question, which someone — perhaps afflicted with the perspective of eternal condemnation — had posed long ago to the Redeemer keeps coming back: ‘Lord, will only a few people be saved?’
The spiritual good of the People of God depends on the proclamation of the Gospel that was confided by Jesus Christ himself to Saint Peter and the Apostles.
“About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter,” replied Saint Joan of Arc during her trial (cf. CCC 795), evidencing impressive theological precision – despite her lack of education – that was due to her great union with the Divine Savior.
The principle end of human existence is happiness. Even without Aristotle’s affirmation of this principle, no one would ever question that there are few things in this life as universal as the natural desire for happiness, which surges forth from the human heart: there is no one who does not desire happiness. The question is where to find it…the options are many and varied.