I have spent the last few days out in the blogosphere defending the Catholic faith, both against the New Age movement and against Anti-Catholics.  On one level, I have possibly softened the hard line of some of these folks.  Let’s always remember in our efforts that we should speak the truth always, but always with charity, as Jesus would want us to do.

From a sermon by St. Augustine on Pastors:

When the Lord had explained what these bad shepherds seek, he also said what they neglect. The defects of the sheep are widespread. There are a very few healthy, fat sheep – that is, those that are made strong by feeding on the truth, by God’s gift making good use of the pastures – but they are not safe from the bad shepherds. Those shepherds not only do not look after the sick, the weak, the wandering and the lost, but they do as much harm as they can to the strong and sleek among the flock. Those sheep survive – by the mercy of God they survive – but the bad shepherds do what they can to kill them.
  You may ask how they do this. By living badly, by setting a bad example. There was a reason why the servants of God, eminent among shepherds, were told In everything you do make yourself an example to them of working for good, and Be a model for the faithful. Often even a strong sheep, seeing its leader living a wicked life, will turn from contemplation of the laws of the Lord to the behaviour of the man and say to itself, “if my leader lives thus, who am I that I should do things differently?” In that way the shepherd is killing the strong sheep: and if the strong, then what of the rest? Even if their strength did not come from his care – even if they were strong and healthy before he saw them – still he is killing him by his evil life.
  I say this to your loving kindness, I say it again: even if the sheep are living strong in the word of the Lord, even if they follow what their Lord has told them: Do what they say; but what they do, do not do yourselves, whoever lives wickedly in the sight of the people is a murderer in so far as he is able. Let him not flatter himself that his victim is not dead. The victim is not dead but the man is still a murderer. When a man lusts after a woman then even if she remains chaste he is still an adulterer. The Lord’s judgement is clear and true: If a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. He has not come to her in his bedroom but in the interior bedroom of his heart he is already in the throes of passion with her.
  And so it is that anyone who lives wickedly in the sight of those over whom he has authority is killing them, even the strong ones, as far as he is able. Whoever imitates him dies and whoever does not imitate him lives, but as far as he himself is concerned he is killing them all. As the Lord says, You are killing the fattest sheep but you do not feed my flock.
You have already been told about the wicked things shepherds desire. Let us now consider what they neglect. You have failed to strengthen what was weak, to heal what was sick, and to bind up what was injured (that is, what was broken). You did not call back the straying sheep, nor seek out the lost. What was strong you have destroyed. Yes, you have cut it down and killed it. The sheep is weak, that is to say, its heart is weak, and so, incautious and unprepared, it may give in to temptations.
  The negligent shepherd fails to say to the believer: My son, come to the service of God. stand fast in fear and in righteousness, and prepare your soul for temptation. A shepherd who does say this strengthens the one who is weak and makes him strong. Such a believer will then not hope for the prosperity of this world. For if he has been taught to hope for worldly gain, he will be corrupted by prosperity. When adversity comes, he will be wounded or perhaps destroyed.
  The builder who builds in such manner is not building the believer on a rock but upon sand. But the rock was Christ. Christians must imitate Christ’s sufferings, not set their hearts on pleasures. He who is weak will be strengthened when told: “Yes, expect the temptations of this world, but the Lord will deliver you from them all if your heart has not abandoned him. For it was to strengthen your heart that he came to suffer and die, came to be spit upon and crowned with thorns, came to be accused of shameful things, yes, came to be fastened to the wood of the cross. All these things he did for you, and you did nothing. He did them not for himself, but for you.”
  But what sort of shepherds are they who for fear of giving offence not only fail to prepare the sheep for the temptations that threaten, but even promise them worldly happiness? God himself made no such promise to this world. On the contrary, God foretold hardship upon hardship in this world until the end of time. And you want the Christian to be exempt from these troubles? Precisely because he is a Christian, he is destined to suffer more in this world.
  For the Apostle says: All who desire to live a holy life in Christ will suffer persecution. But you, shepherd, seek what is yours and not what is Christ’s, you disregard what the Apostle says: All who want to live a holy life in Christ will suffer persecution. You say instead: “If you live a holy life in Christ, all good things will be yours in abundance. If you do not have children, you will embrace and nourish all men, and none of them shall die.” Is this the way you build up the believer? Take note of what you are doing and where you are placing him. You have built him on sand. The rains will come, the river will overflow and rush in, the winds will blow, and the elements will dash against that house of yours. It will fall, and its ruin will be great.
  Lift him up from the sand and put him on the rock. Let him be in Christ, if you wish him to be a Christian. Let him turn his thoughts to sufferings, however unworthy they may be in comparison to Christ’s. Let him centre his attention on Christ, who was without sin, and yet made restitution for what he had not done. Let him consider Scripture, which says to him: He chastises every son whom he acknowledges. Let him prepare to be chastised, or else not seek to be acknowledged as a son.

4 thoughts on “Activities

  1. What game are you trying to play? I’m not playing games. I’m simply showing people what’s wrong with your ideas and writings about the Catholic Church. It’s really funny, I came to your blog to agree with you, and did, as far as it goes. You are right about a lot of things. And I said that right up front on your blog. But where you’re wrong about something, especially when you obviously are drinking the kool-aid about how pagan the Catholic Church is, and how you ascribe certain meanings to what we do (sorta like saying your cat smiled at you), there I am sworn and bound to God above to try and show you the unvarnished truth. Through the eyes of someone who was other faiths, became Catholic after studying, and works to know what his faith is.

    It’s great to see how interested you are in honest debate. And why am I not surprised? Because many protestant churches do not accept people as Jesus would, they do not treat people as Jesus did. So blocking me from commenting on your blog–great. Go back to your kool-aid now…

  2. You came to my blog and informed us all that you are right, we are all wrong and you are an expert on everything apparently. You called me a pharisee, etc. etc. Jesus said we will know his followers by their fruit, so the rudeness you displayed to people who do not agree with you lets us all know what sort of fruit you have. I apologize for coming to your blog David, I really do. You can insult my beliefs and that is ok, in your mind you are correct so I guess that is ok with you to have a superior attitude and try to convince yourself since you spent most of your life hopping from church to church, until you became a catholic and think your right about everything now. As you put it so kindly we will keep drinking the kool aid. I hope your proud of yourself, I really do. Again I apologize for posting here. I hope you find purpose or whatever it is your looking for besides Christ. If you were truly trying to teach people the truth about him and his Church, I would think your approach would have been a little bit different.

    Peace to you, and I will not post here again. In fact you can delete this if you need to.

  3. I did no such thing. In fact, I said you were right about many things. I said your idea of Catholics was wrong. It is wrong. I tried to show you how you were wrong, but your heart was too hard, which is what Jesus said about the Pharisees. I don’t care if you agree with me or not. What I care about is that you get your facts straight. If you want to find fault with the Catholic faith, find it on a factual level. I did not insult your beliefs, I insulted your belief about my beliefs, which are insulting to me. You think we’re pagan, you think we worship other gods, etc. And you are blatantly wrong, and blatantly misrepresenting our faith. In fact, I have said quite a few times that all other faiths have some part of the truth, for the truth is written on our souls. I don’t even know what faith you are, so how could I insult it? I don’t have a superior attitude about my faith, I do have a secure knowledge that the Catholic faith is the one with the fullness of truth. I don’t claim I’m right, but I do believe the Catholic Church is right. I have found Christ, and I have a very intimate relationship with Him, every day, in the Eucharist.
    Again, the only thing I’m trying to do is put away the urban legends that are easily disprovable. I would invite you to read a little bit on this blog, and try to see the faith through the eyes of a Catholic. It might be fruitful.
    By the way, I’m not afraid to display your comment. I am also not afraid of your persecution. Harassment, indeed. Folks, I sent this by email to the writer just to let her know what I wrote to her, and was told I was harassing her. WordPress, I hope you see that there is no harassment. Lots of persecution, but no harassment.

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