No greater offering…

“[A]s St. Thomas maintains: ‘Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.’ (Summa theologiae, IIa-IIae, qu. iii, art. 2, ad 2m.) To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. … Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: “Have confidence; I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33) … Power certainly is not wanting to [Christ], but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace. The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error. So soon as Catholic truth is apprehended by a simple and unprejudiced soul, reason yields assent.”

— Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae, 14-15 (1890)

I’m not a traditionalist Catholic, I’m not a traditional Catholic, and I’m not even a conservative Catholic–I’m just a Catholic.

As it happens, though, Sacred Tradition is the only possible criterion for establishing continuity from one ecclesial epoch to the next, viz., Vatican II can only be shown not to be a dogmatic rupture by interpreting it with a scrupulous awareness of and systematic commitment to the Church’s credal and liturgical rule prior to that Council.

Now, insofar as my commitment to Vatican II logically entails my commitment to pre-Conciliar Tradition as the only possible criterion for judging its continuity or novelty, I am considered a traditionalist Catholic. Further, insofar as it is the long-standing rule of Catholic life to adhere to Tradition per se as seriously as one adheres to the Scriptural witness, I am considered a traditional Catholic. Finally, insofar as I try to apply the above mentioned zealous deference to the Biblical Tradition to all manner of issues and options in the contemporary world, I am considered a conservative Catholic. But those are just logical ascriptions.

At the end of the day, I’m just a Catholic. I’ve got no greater wisdom than my assent, no greater offering than my obedience, and no greater joy than God’s mercy.

About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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10 Responses to No greater offering…

  1. psychthomist says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful posts. You are helping me to settle down and find peace in the midst of the Bergoglio Imbroglio. Finding Fr. Rodriguez on several sites has also helped me a lot. I feel that I am beginning to learn that it really is time, now that we have gone through the phases of shock, confusion, and bewilderment about our Pope and his confused, at times, modernist mixed with orthodox thoughts, as expressed in his very revealing interviews, time to pray deeply for him and for the strength to defend orthodoxy as just plain old Catholics!

    I have discovered that my own devotion to Our Lady, especially Our Lady of Fatima, had not received enough attention of late. I pray to Blessed (or is it Saint yet?) Jacinta to give me the strength to sacrifice for “poor sinners” and to speak up more as a thoughtful, Catholic witness for the faith of all time. I even had a co-worker, who is pagan, tell me that she has found my recent speaking up about the faith with clarity to be “very beautiful.” Perhaps saints are being made right now as we all have to decide to get off the fence and be brave and speak up. This situation sure is making us choose which spirit we will be with, that of Modernism, which we knows brings death to the soul, or the Spirit of Truth which resides in the Blessed Trinity. I can almost see the fruit of “all things work together for good for those that LOVE the Lord.” I pray that the battle that devil must be waging for the soul of Francis will be WON by God for the ultimate, long term benefit of His children, all of us.

  2. Dale Price says:

    Well, truly, and perfectly said. That is, indeed, the way forward. To crib a phrase, you are a son of the Church.

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