The worship of … nothing

a) LuciferOnly one creature out of all the billions of intelligent beings ever created actually exercised what modern man celebrates as his unique and exclusive achievement: the freedom of autonomous choice.  That creature was an angel named Lucifer, the original pro-choicer.  Although St. Michael and the good angels certainly exercised their choice for God freely, they did not experience their choice as a choice. In other words, their choice was not existentially autonomous. They were conscious solely of their obligation of unquestioning and unhesitating obedience to God. And by preserving their ignorance of any possible alternative, they preserved their innocence. The first stirrings in their angelic intellects of the mere consideration of the possibility of disobedience to the source of all being would have been their downfall.

Their first experience of the real possibility of a choice against God occurred not in the subjectivity of their own choice, but in the objective awareness of the choice of Lucifer.  It had no influence on Michael and the good angels. Not so with the bad angels. They seem to have acted ‘under the influence’ as it were. b) LuciferThe scriptures say: ‘With his tail he dragged a third of the stars out of the sky and threw them down to the earth’, ‘The great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him’. We can conclude that the devil possessed a powerful influence over a number of the angels. At some point they became his angels. Thus, Lucifer and his angels tasted the original forbidden fruit, the experience of autonomous, free choice – the choice of the nothing over God.

The essence of the Luciferian program is to seduce human beings into believing that their salvation lies in experiencing the freedom of autonomy that Lucifer felt. That hesitation we often feel in our wills, even when confronted with an obvious good, is the sinful inheritance of Adam, but in the religion of Lucifer, it is to be deliberately cultivated as the supreme virtue. The ever-elusive experience of autonomous choice becomes the new sacrament of initiation, the Baptism by which we are prepared to participate in the worship of … nothing.

c) LuciferHas the modern world given in to Lucifer’s  allure? As  modern men and women – to the degree that we are modern – we believe in nothing. This is not to say, I hasten to add, that we do not believe in anything, I mean, rather, that we hold an unshakable, if often unconscious, faith in the nothing, or in nothingness as such. It is this in which we place our trust, upon which we venture our souls, and onto which we project the values by which we measure the meaningfulness of our lives. Or, to phrase the matter more simply and starkly, our religion is one of very comfortable nihilism.

If we want some tangible evidence that the established religion of modern culture is the Luciferian worship of nothing, we only have to look for its visible fruits. The most visible fruit of the worship of the living God would be joy, and in a Catholic culture predicated upon this worship, one would see evidence of this joy, particularly among the young. But what do we see when we look at the countenances of today’s youth? Absolute boredom – the rotten fruit of nothing-worship!

A world that is ‘beyond good and evil’, in which nothing is either genuinely good or genuinely bad, and no truth, goodness, or beauty are revealed, is a world in which nothing is either intrinsically desirable or detestable. Boredom is therefore the defining condition of a people uniquely in danger of losing their capacity to love, that is, a people uniquely in danger of failing to grasp ‘the mystery of its own being’ and losing its very humanity.

43 Responses to “The worship of … nothing”


  1. 1 Kaede Sachi September 10, 2009 at 11:22

    This is deep philosophy🙂
    Had to read twice and take it in a phrase at a time!
    This luciferan worship of nothing as you describe it is surely the established religion in my country: Japan🙂 And Japanese young people have everything and are very very bored with life hence high percentage of young suicides.
    Hope many people read this post.

  2. 2 Llewellyn September 10, 2009 at 11:45

    Perhaps Lucifer employed his unimaginably powerful intellect to create and then immerse himself in an ABSTRACT and ureal universe of words (“liberty” and “equality” come to mind) thereby severing himself from the concrete and real Being of God. I think man’s worship of nothingness is made possible with a similar misuse of language, through a relentless program of abstraction. Since his creation, man has attempted to free the ubiquitous reality of God through creative abstraction from the natural things of His creation and the supernatural plan of His redemption. Fallen man has always been offended at the “scandal of particularity”, always seeking to live in a universe of his own devising, always abstracting from the concrete, contingent, particular, fleshy, historical realities in which he, as a creature of matter AND SPIRIT, finds himself, and through which God has chosen to communicate Himself to him.

    My encomium!

  3. 3 Victor S E Moubarak September 10, 2009 at 12:03

    Is modern man really worshipping nothing? Or is he worshipping money, power, greed, posessions and so on?

    You can’t serve two masters – can you?

  4. 4 Cinzia September 10, 2009 at 12:35

    Hello Victor, I guess worshipping money, power, greed, possessions and so on … is essentially and at the end of the day, worshipping nothing.

    That’s my understanding.

    However, what a difficult post this one Gabriella! Hard to understand. As Kaede says, deep philosophy. I have read it twice, but still fail to grasp … except that it looks and feels really scary to me. Even the pictures are awful!

    All I know is I don’t want to be there …. not anywhere near.

    God save us from the terrible fires of hell. I am going to pray harder and harder so as to learn to be ever nearer to God – let us all pray together that the Devil steers clear from all of us.

    Oh sweet Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and bring all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy. Amen.

  5. 5 anne bender September 10, 2009 at 12:41

    Yes, Gabriella, this is a difficult post, and the above comments are all very good-Cinzia-I love the prayer!

    I guess I’m too optimistic most of the time, because I don’t choose to look at the youth (and adults!) who worship nothing-for when I do, I am only saddened and discouraged and angry-and my soft heart just can’t take it! Instead I look to the youth (and adults!) who have a strong love for God and worship Him with all that they have and all that they are! There are many youth like this, although I know they are hard to find most of the time. The media like to focus on the negative.

    God is working so hard at all times to draw all hearts to Him, and we are all at different stages of acceptance. I pray that even with the smallest nugget of love in our hearts, God will grow that into a boulder sized desire to worship and praise Him above all of the secular, material nothings in this world.

    God bless you for this insightful post, Gabriella! You are one of those adults whose worship for God helps to enlarge my own little nugget of love.

  6. 6 Brian September 10, 2009 at 13:20

    Hello Gabriella !

    Yours is a very serious reflection here. First of all, the pictures are quite scary. To think that Lucifer is alive, always trying to trick us – keep us away from Our Lord – is truly scary.

    Yes – the modern world has given in to the devil’s allure. But not only the modern world, but from the beginning, with that first sin – man has had a problem of choice.

    Prayer is the answer – keep praying, stay close to Our Mother, stay close to Jesus. The more we strive for holiness, the harder for the devil to take hold.

    God loves us so much – He gives US the choice – let us always make the right one.

    God bless you!

  7. 7 Victor S E Moubarak September 10, 2009 at 13:32

    “Hello Victor, I guess worshipping money, power, greed, possessions and so on … is essentially and at the end of the day, worshipping nothing.”

    Good point – well made.

  8. 8 Ron September 10, 2009 at 15:30

    There are two extremes to be avoided in dealing with the devil.

    1) Over-emphasizing the devil
    Some people emphasize the devil too much. They think about him all the time. They see the devil’s hand in everything that happens. They talk about him all the time. They are all wrapped up in Satan. But the believer in Christ needs to be all wrapped up in God. We need to have our thoughts centered in the Lord our God. We need to see God’s hand in everything that happens. We don’t need to constantly be thinking about the devil, because the God who lives in us is infinitely greater than Satan (1 John 4:4).

    2) Under-emphasizing the devil
    We do need to recognize the reality of the devil and clearly understand all that the Bible teaches us about this evil fallen angel. We need to know our enemy and understand his deceptions. We should not be ignorant of Satan and his devices, but God should always be our main focus. To learn how to handle the devil, read Matthew chapter 4, The temptation of Christ.

  9. 9 Kieran September 10, 2009 at 16:00

    Satan rebelled. He wanted to be “top-dog” (as you might say). He did not want to be alone in this opposition; but really wanted souls to be subjectgated to him as well. So he, by his cleverness, swayed 1/3 of the host of heaven (the Angels) to Fall with him.
    He is unrelenting in his anarchic “Protest”. He will not be happy untill all of Christ’s creation is destroyed. He does not believe this to be impossible. Like all deranged souls, he does not see the impossibility and futility of his direction.
    Therefore, he is unredeemable.
    It is Satan who causes despair. And despair is the only unredeemable sin; not just because suicide is the usual mortal result, but because this sin denies the Redeeming Grace of Christ (which Atones for all, no matter what the offense to God and Mankind and His Creation has been).

    Satan/Lucifer makes us believe that there is no such thing as Repentance and Absolution from all sin. Once, Lucifer – as his name implies – was an wonderful Angel of Light: Mighty and Lovely to behold! Now he is associated with only the dregs of filth and evil….a total abomination before God.

    Someday, his so-called “power” will be totally erradicated. A good portion has already been: As Jesus has destroyed forever the “sting” of death and Mary, our mother and our queen, is the woman who will crush the serpent’s head. Under the protection of Our Lady, we need not fear.

    Now, we must have hope in Christ and never despair;…never giving into Satan and all the evils he has bestowed upon and swayed man with.

    He is a real being….powerful, but not anywhere’s as powerful as God.

  10. 10 Davide September 10, 2009 at 16:00

    Talking about sin and Satan in today’s society has become a real taboo. So much so that bringing them up in a discussion is a sure way of ending the discussion. This has certainly been my experience when discussing religion and theology with coworkers and friends, especially with my Catholic friends. This is going to sound strange, but reading your blog on Satan was relieving. Satan is no longer mentioned… not even by our parish priests during their homilies! Yet he is real! Why is this? This, is the real scary thing… scarier than Satan himself! Because if nobody talks about him then the world forgets about him and Satan wins! If the concept of sin and Satan is lost then “truth” becomes relative and many souls will go to hell where “there will be the weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Luke 13:28).

  11. 11 Raman Chakravorthy September 10, 2009 at 16:46

    St. John Chrysostom, a beloved Father of the Church, used to say and repeat that the Lord Jesus preached more often on the Catholic Dogma of Hell than any other subject.
    Many priests believe that it is better to preach on Heaven. I believe that the more a person meditates on that truth which we call Hell, the more that meditation produces many fruits of conversion.

    St. Benedict, the founder of the Benedictines, was in Rome and the Holy Spirit told him, “You are going to lose your soul.” He left Rome and he went into solitude to meditate on the Holy Gospel. He meditated, prayed and did penance, and the Holy Spirit spread the word and people flocked to him. Holiness attracts souls.
    Why do you think St. Augustine changed his life? Because of the fear of Hell.
    Pope Pius IX, who gave us the Roman Catholic Dogma on the Immaculate Conception; Pope Pius IX, who has given us the Syllabus, used to preach and ask preachers to please, please, preach more often on Hell.

    The thought of Hell makes saints. Curiously, saints are afraid to go to Hell. The Curé of Ars was afraid to go to Hell. St. Therese of the Infant Jesus was afraid to go to Hell. Saint Simon Stock, the Superior General of the Carmel priests, said that his monks were even afraid to go to Hell despite the fact that they were fasting, praying and living out of the world.

    Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, appeared to Saint Simon Stock and told him: Don’t be afraid anymore, I’m giving you Carmelites a special vestment; all those who will die wearing that vestment will not go to Hell.
    So I believe in Mary’s promises and I wear the Brown Scapular round my neck.
    This is another fact our modern priests NEVER tell us about!

  12. 12 Mary Nicewarner September 10, 2009 at 17:37

    Gabriella,
    I am glad you posted this. So many people in our day don’t believe that the devil exists. Satan loves this delusion as it makes his work much easier. This is sad because it is better to be aware of the enemy of our souls, at least we know who we are battling against.

    I have seen the boredom, apathy and lack of hope in the eyes of many of our youth. Teen suicide rates are very high. I pray for the young people of our times. To not experience the joy and love of God is heartbreaking. May God have mercy on our children.

  13. 13 ginny September 10, 2009 at 19:03

    Very deep and serious, Gabriella. The sadness comes from the knowledge that many people do not believe the devil/evil exists. I know so many who worship nothingness. Very sad, indeed

  14. 14 Griff September 10, 2009 at 21:35

    The town I grew up in was recently subject to a media scurry in the UK because of its high suicide rate – “Death Town” they called it, though it is an intensely average place. ‘Average’ in modern society, however, is not a good thing. By today’s standards it seems to denote emptiness and boredom and the pursuit to conquer them through frivolity. Being the case in this town, the average life there, evident through many that I know, is one of largely purely material concerns with no real depth or spiritual awareness beneath them. And beyond this shallow existence lies a void, an emptiness, that is forever inches away from engulfing everything in its proximity.

    Rather than this emptiness itself being worshipped, it is, I think, the things that lead to this emptiness that ensnare people. It is the bait laid by this empty darkness, in the form of drugs, sex, money, alcohol and gluttony to name just a handful, that lures the unwitting into the jaws of the roaring lion that prowls about in search for souls to devour.

    The behaviour that leads to entrapment, of which there is visibly a great deal in my old home town, may seem to be worshipping nothingness, though in truth it is too blind to do so knowingly. The symptoms of this entrapment, which are evident in materialism, nihilism, selfishness, despair, and in the case of somewhere like “Death Town”, suicide, are very much the same as if the emptiness itself were in fact worshipped. The end resu

  15. 16 Salomao September 10, 2009 at 23:15

    Like Davide, I have also found that talking about sin and Satan in today’s society has become a real taboo unless one is referring to songs or to sects of the occult, then people are interested.
    Here in Brazil there are a couple of towns like the one described by Griff (and here people are either ensnared by those things that lead to darkness or completely soaked in superstition), then there is one area (Campos) that is entirely traditional Catholic and then there are all the rest where the people have left the modern Catholic churches and are desperately joining some evangelical religion.

  16. 17 Seth, Manitoba September 10, 2009 at 23:48

    How can you people believe that satan is a real entity?
    Come on guys, let’s be serious here.
    Satan or devil or whatnot is just a metaphor for “evil”.

  17. 18 Cinzia September 11, 2009 at 00:08

    I think Australia can be listed under the same category as Japan. And suicide numbers among young people are very high – so high that the government and the media don’t mention them, and hardly ever talk of suicides. No one is supposed to know. Just like abortions, no one really counts them …. so people don’t get to think about uncomfortable issues such as these.

    To look at something positive: it is so heartening and wonderful to see so many people with a huge amount of faith and love for God and His Church, like all of you people on this blog and all the other similar ones (I discover more and more every day!)
    🙂 – I am certain there are thousands, if not millions, of others out there just like you ….. wonderful people.

    Even if so much looks dark and desperate out there … God is still the omnipotent and thankfully we are all under His loving care and guidance. The devil can do nothing if God does not allow it.

    I am no saint😦 – but like those saints mentioned above – I am terrified of hell – Gabriella and all of you have helped me out of the “blind darkness” I was in for so long, and thanks to all of you, I think I am on the road to recovery and back to God. It’s a steep, long, road, but at least I am hoping to be back on the right track. (Sorry that this sentence is all about “I”).

    We must pray incessantly so that many many people out there, particularly the young who are falling into despair, can also find these blogs, or people like you out there, to help them find the right road. I have a feeling that these blogs can help more than many wishy washy churches and priests out there who seem afraid to speak the truth and speak clearly and sensibly.

    You bloggers should be very proud of what you are doing – I am full of admiration and will be forever grateful to you all.

    Muchas gratias amigos!

  18. 19 Cinzia September 11, 2009 at 00:21

    Seth – believe us – we are all very serious!!

    How about you try opening a bible some day and start reading for yourself?

    Satan is not a metaphor for evil. He is evil incarnate and the fount of all evil that is found on earth.

    You seem to have fallen for the “suitable” post modern thinking that likes to call things by euphemisms rather than face realities.

    Examples: Calling sodomy “gay” – calling Satan a “metaphor” – calling death a “passing away” – calling a prostitute a “call girl” – calling sin a “mishap” or “mistake” and so on.

    Trust me, I kind of strayed there myself for a while (the modern thinking), it’s dangerous territory! 🙂

    Cheers

  19. 20 Nachmanke September 11, 2009 at 09:52

    The wishy washy churches with priests too afraid to speak the truth pushed me away from the church for a long long time.
    I too, like Cinzia, love reading all your blogs, and the ones on Gabriella’s links, and others, and I’m also learning from them. Some of Gabriella’s old posts I read again and again.
    Thank you to all of you, my virtual friends.

  20. 21 Antonella Oliver September 11, 2009 at 11:18

    In Matthews Gospel, the powers of evil retreat when confronted by the Son of God: (Mt 8 :28 -32)

    The church has given us a beautiful prayer to St Michael
    “St Michael, the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and may thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell, satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen”

    Satan is trying to find emptiness in us so he can enter and destroy us. We must not surrender but always be filled with the Spirit of God. The Gospel writers also reveal to us the Evil One and his cruelty but show us as well his powerlessness when confronted by the Son of God. This eternal victory of Christ over evil is also our victory. When calling on his name in time of temptation, the enemy is immediately routed. We must pray with the heart…in this way prayer will obtain victory.

  21. 22 giovanni September 11, 2009 at 14:24

    “They were conscious solely of their obligation of unquestioning and unhesitating obedience to God. And by preserving their ignorance of any possible alternative, they preserved their innocence.”

    How can you be innocent, if you have no choice?

    When you have no choice, your behaviour is not free, therefore is not moral, because you haven’t choose to be moral: you are forced to be moral, just like a robot.

  22. 23 Ron September 11, 2009 at 15:41

    You’ve got a point there Giovanni.
    The angels were created wholly spirits subsisting in God and full of the knowledge and love of God and since for them there was nothing outside all of this, they really had nothing to choose. Lucifer did not choose something other than God in the sense of choice, he just thought to himself Wow! I want to be like God, I want to be higher than God.
    But your question is thoroughly studied in the Summa Theologica and if you find it interesting I suggest you read it – a link could be: http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/dmj.htm#na – the deepness of the thought in the Summa is mind boggling.
    Cheers!

  23. 24 Davide September 11, 2009 at 16:00

    “Since the angels by their intellect know the universal aspect of goodness, it is manifest that there is a will in them.” Summa Theologica I Qu.58 a.7.

    Thank you Ron for the link. There is nothing better than some good old Thomas Aquinas to clarify things for us. We need to remember that our Church is almost two thousand years old. In that time, it has had plenty of scholars, saints, and doctors to answer all kinds of questions. And Giovanni’s question is no exception. I would like to add, and I apologize if this causes some confusion, that chosing evil is not fulfilling your Free Will. It is the abuse of Free Will, since Free Will was designed to do Good.

  24. 25 Mitchell September 11, 2009 at 16:09

    I see it from a different point of view.
    Take the ‘pro-choice’ people. If we love God and obey His comands we are not free to choose – we cannot be pro-choice when this means going against God’s comandments. We are able to choose nothing over God, yes, but it’s something against nature and creation and inside ourselves, somewhere deep deep down there, there’s a voice telling us we are wrong.
    We are not free to choose in the sense that God created us to love serve and adore Him and His love is so fulfilling that there is no need at all to look, and choose, something else. What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong so.. why choose the wrong? It doesn’t make sense and we are not free to choose the wrong.
    Don’t know if I’ve made myself clear, I’m no philosopher😉

  25. 26 giovanni September 11, 2009 at 19:47

    “What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong so.. why choose the wrong? It doesn’t make sense and we are not free to choose the wrong.”

    “…chosing evil is not fulfilling your Free Will. It is the abuse of Free Will, since Free Will was designed to do Good.”

    This is a nice paradox. You are showing me that religion can be right, but it can’t be moral.

    You can’t choose the wrong, because of the fear of Hell and the hope of Heaven that, being infinite, overcome any possible “mortal” fear and hope. So, your choice of the good depends on economic evaluations. And this, in my opinion, is not moral.

  26. 27 Ron September 11, 2009 at 20:55

    Certainly it is wrong not to choose evil only for fear of Hell – this is not moral.
    The concept of damnation, due to its just and evidently negative connotations, tends to leave the reality in which its true essence is rooted in the background: the fact that it really consists in the rejection of a LOVE that offered itself beforehand and meant to be accepted.
    Love has to be exercised with such freedom that absolutely no one can be constrained to love. But if love is freely offered, and if it is also essential to it that there be total reciprocity, then it also has to be accepted in freedom.
    Damnation therefore is the situation which arises when Love, which has been offered in a most free, total and definitive manner, is also rejected in a most free, total and definitive manner.

    Hence, rejecting Love is indeed abusing free will.

  27. 28 Cinzia September 12, 2009 at 04:38

    This is getting really complex!!😦 I believe I have completely lost the plot.

    I have to confess that in a way, I don’t choose evil for the fear of Hell … I love God, sure, and have a strong faith. But “fear of Hell” is a big thing for me. I honestly don’t want to end up over there. If only we could have some sort of certainty in life! Why do we have to just believe in so many mysteries? Couldn’t our Heavenly Father have made it just a little easier for us? Is this a wrong question?

    And if predestination is true … then I understand the point that we are not completely “free” at all, if our destinies in this life and the next have all been predetermined. Can someone please enlighten me?

    As for the Summa Theologica .. it’s all very well to say, go and read such and such a passage. I guess you people have studied theology and other real deep stuff and know what you are talking about. But I haven’t, and I have tried reading Thomas Aquinas and I have to honestly say I can hardly understand any of it. After a couple of lines, I am lost! (A bit like reading legal documents :-))

    Gabriella, this post of yours has really shaken me! I am looking forward to moving on to your next post so that I don’t have to cast my eye over these hellish pictures any more. They are giving me nightmares.

    All comments, criticisms and enlightenments will be greatly appreciated.

  28. 29 Ward Torres September 12, 2009 at 09:10

    😀 ha ha ha Cinzia — you are very simpatico😀

    To make things a little simpler:

    1. God knows all things, including those who will be saved (THE ELECT). 2. God’s foreknowledge does not destroy, but includes, free will. 3. God desires all men to be saved. 4. Jesus died to redeem all men. 5. God provides sufficient grace for all men to be saved. 6. Man, in the exercise of his free will, can accept or reject grace. 7. Those who accept grace are saved, or born-again. 8. Those who are born-again can fall away or fall into sin. 9. Not everyone who is saved will persevere in grace. 10. Those who do persevere are God’s elect. 11. Those who do not persevere, or who never accepted grace, are the reprobate. 12. Since we can always reject God in this life, we have no absolute assurance that we will persevere. 13. We can have a moral assurance of salvation if we maintain faith and keep God’s commandments (1 John 2:1-6; 3:19-23; 5:1-3,13).

    IMPORTANT DISTINCTIONS

    1. Predestination is not predetermination :

    “Predestination is nothing else than the foreknowledge and foreordaining of those gracious gifts which make certain the salvation of all who are saved.” (St. Augustine, Persever 14:35)

    Predestination is God’s decree of the happiness of the elect. God’s infallible foreknowledge (and thus predestination also) includes free will. God’s foreknowledge cannot force upon man unavoidable coercion, for the simple reason that it is at bottom nothing else than the eternal vision of the future historical actuality. God foresees the free activity of a man precisely as that individual is willing to shape it, predestination is not predetermination of the human will.

    Predestination is only the fact that God know all, he knows everything, therefore he knows who will choose Him and who will reject His love.

    Hope this has clarified things a little😉

  29. 30 giovanni September 12, 2009 at 09:24

    Just some points:

    1. Damnation is not the rejection of love. The Bible clearly says that Hell is a punishment.

    2. God’s love can’t be rejected in a free manner – because of Hell. I think it’s strange a person who says: “Love me or I’ll punish you!”

    3. Church has always said that Hell is a punishment. Thomas Aquinas was HAPPY thinking of the future sufferings of the damned persons.

  30. 31 Pyralis September 12, 2009 at 10:20

    Kalimera Giovanni, my real name is Γαληνος

    All of us, I think, have the same human doubts and observations you make but for centuries men of great intellect have been discussing and pondering these mysteries and we can rest assured that what the Church has declared is correct for the simple and only reason that it is guided by the Holy Spirit (notwithstanding the weakness of men).

    1. Damnation is not the rejection of love. The Bible clearly says that Hell is a punishment.

    Hell is a punishment in the sense that if one rejects God and His love completely, this person cannot go to Heaven – don’t you think? He has rejected this. So, as all of us are eternal, where has he chosen to go if not to hell?

    2. God’s love can’t be rejected in a free manner – because of Hell. I think it’s strange a person who says: “Love me or I’ll punish you!”

    God only says ‘love me’, God yearns for our love.
    We are free to love Him or not.
    If we choose to love ourselves rather than Him, well, what do we expect? Life, here or there, without God, is hell!

    3. Yes, certainly, in our human language ‘hell’ is a punishment. But tell me, wasn’t God right in punishing Lucifer for his haughtiness (su-perbia in my language)? And what is God to do with all those people who refuse Him, who exclude Him, our creator, from their lives? We call it ‘punishment’ but it is these people themselves who don’t want to be with God. They have chosen not to be with Him for eternity. So it’s not ‘love me or I’ll punish you’ it’s more ‘love me and you’ll be with me forever because I love you and I died for you, but if you don’t want to reciprocate my love, then OK you are free to live forever without me’.

    Ciao🙂

  31. 32 Cinzia September 12, 2009 at 10:47

    THANK YOU WARD TORRES !! I will go and ponder on what you have written – it is certainly clearer than St Thomas Aquinas (no offence to him at all – he’s just too much for me).

    I will also reflect on what Pyralis has written which is excellent. Makes so much sense.

    Thanks for calling me simpatica too … how nice! I think I like you Ward !! 🙂 You are very simpatico e intelligente🙂

    Now all you guys: Ron, Raman, Kieran, Ward, Pyralis and the rest of you …. well I’m impressed. You sure know stuff!

    Much as I love reading this blog, it invariably makes me feel like one humungous ignoramus on the subject of my very own religion. If there were any red smiley faces, then definitely those would be the ones I would use all of the time! Thankfully I am learning things now after years of ignorance – so better late than never.

    Which also means: please don’t stop commenting.

    Thank you

  32. 33 giovanni September 12, 2009 at 12:20

    For Pyralis:

    I like your post: that is also, more or less, my religion. But it’s not Christianity.

    Read the Bible. Jesus always says that Hell is a punishment. A punishment eternal, with fire and torture, not just the lack of God.
    It’s hard to believe that when Jesus said “punishment” his intention was to say “rejection of love”. All the Fathers of the Church understood “punishment”, and so did millions and millions of Christians for centuries. Were they wrong?
    Your (sharable) post is a modern idea born when we have understood that the old conception of Hell was absurd and immoral. But in the Gospels there is the opposite of your post, which Thomas Aquinas, problably, would have condemned as heretical.

  33. 34 Pyralis September 12, 2009 at 15:45

    No, Giovanni, millions and millions of Catholics during the centuries were not wrong because those are the words of Christ as reported in the gospel.

    Why do you say that the old (!) conception of hell is absurd and immoral — who are we to judge God? Let’s not fall in the error of ascribing human attributes, characteristics or behavior to Almighty God. God Is Love — whether He chastises or punishes!
    For as God is an Infinite Being, all His perfections must be infinite; that is, He must be as infinitely JUST as He is infinitely MERCIFUL, true, wise, or powerful. Now He has promised to punish sin; and since He is infinitely true, He must keep His promise.

    Punishment is a concept that is very unpopular in today’s culture. Corporal punishment is not favored in our society and our youth have very little discipline as a result. Catholics believe God is a “loving God” but he is also a “just God” — an awesome God.

    What I wrote is the same as Sister Lucia of Fatima said: “And let us not say that it is God Who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. In His kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom He has given us; hence people are responsible.” (In a letter to Pope John Paul II, May 12, 1982)

    For the normal Catholic, the question of one’s salvation is not a major concern or emphasis; rather it is to love God by following His will by means of a sacramental life, preceded and followed by prayer, penance, love of neighbor, in one’s state of life. There is a trust that God will bring one to heaven because of what He has started in our souls. Looking at oneself there is reason to be fearful; but looking at God there is reason to hope.

  34. 35 giovanni September 12, 2009 at 18:34

    Pyralis

    Ok, but don’t you think that is a little unjust to punish a sin (causing a limited amount of pain for innocent people) with an ETERNITY of pain, without the possibility of redemption?

    Are you able to imagine a man burning in the fire, second after second after second, forever and forever?

    Don’t you see that the punishment of the hell is out of proportion with any possible sin?

    In Heaven, I don’t think it will be possible to be happy, thinking about the millions of persons (maybe your brother, or your son) screaming for the pain, down there.

    • 36 Griff September 12, 2009 at 21:16

      > In Heaven, I don’t think it will be possible to be happy, thinking about the millions of persons (maybe your brother, or your son) screaming for the pain, down there.

      This makes me recall Dante’s Inferno, where, on seeing the soul of Filippo Argenti being punished in the circle of the Wrathful, Dante praises God for his righteous punishment and confers his wish that he receive more. Virgil praises him for this, as hitherto he had pitied the damned souls.

      On realising the nature of divine justice – by thinking like God and not like man – it becomes possible to put aside pity for those who are righteously punished by God. In the Commedia, which is largely Thomist, this realisation is clearly an important part a Christian’s spiritual development.

  35. 37 Davide September 12, 2009 at 20:44

    I feel compelled to intervene here after reading Giovanni’s last comment. There is a definite lack of knowledge on Catholic doctrine on his part. His ignorance combined with his obstinacy needs some serious chemiotherapy. Unfortunately, many Catholics no longer realize the seriousness of “Sin.” Instead of learning what the Church teaches about “Sin” they are simply content with their personal delusions. Sin is not something that “causes a limited amount of pain for innocent people.” If you are Catholic, you have to believe that ‘Sin,’ and here I am referring to ‘Mortal Sin,’ is the distortion of Divine Law, and subsequently turns us away from God, who is our true last end. Therefore ‘Sin’ offends God, who is INFINITE goodness and INFINITE beauty (note the adjective INFINITE). A sin against God is therefore infinite and it follows that its punishment must also be infinite (or eternal). Hence, the punishment of Hell is not out of proportion with any sin, but it is the only just consequence of Sin.

  36. 38 Pyralis September 12, 2009 at 22:44

    Giovanni, you’re thinking like man😉
    If you want to go to the sea for your holidays and I want to go to the mountains, well we’re free to do what we want and if you go to the sea and I go to the mountains we won’t meet🙂
    Our God is a just and merciful God. “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25). He will not condemn His loved ones for little sins (but we must repent and confess because Our Creator deserves perfection).
    The Catholic Church is very clear in her teachings – we know what are venial sins and we know what are mortal sins and we all know what are the Sins Against the Holy Spirit and Those that Cry Out to Heaven for Vengeance … so, we are all free to choose … the wide way or the narrow one.
    We must understand that salvation begins and ends with God and we must trust in God’s wisdom.
    God is in charge of what happens
    when it happens
    how it happens
    why it happens
    And even what happens after it happens
    This is true of
    all events
    in every place
    from the beginning of time.
    He does this for our good
    and his glory.
    He is not the author of sin, yet evil serves his purposes.
    He does not violate our free will, yet free will serves his purposes.
    We’re not supposed to understand all this.
    We’re simply supposed to believe it.

    Thank you and καλή νύχτα (Kalini’hta – goodnight) to all🙂

  37. 39 Kieran September 12, 2009 at 23:30

    …..Then he began to teach them that the Son of man was destined to suffer grievously, and to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be put to death, and after three days to rise again; and he said all this quite openly. Then, taking him aside, Peter tried to rebuke him.
    But, turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said to him, “Get behind me, Satan! You are thinking not as God thinks, but as human beings do.” …..(Mark 8,27-33)

  38. 40 giovanni September 13, 2009 at 09:45

    “Giovanni, you’re thinking like man”

    Of course, I AM a man.

    “On realising the nature of divine justice – by thinking like God and not like man – it becomes possible to put aside pity for those who are righteously punished by God.”

    This is one of the most horrible thing I’ve ever read. A mother will not “put aside pity” for his son in Hell. It’s inhuman, therefore God is inhuman.

    But, as you said, God doesn’t think like a man.

    Thank you, bye.

    • 41 Griff September 13, 2009 at 14:34

      Yes, this is difficult. But we don’t really know, do we, of the true nature of union with God. Will we still think like human beings, then? I’d say no. We can only assume, with things like this, that the ordeal of purgatory and our taking on an entirely spiritual/resurrected nature alters us in ways we cannot comprehend while we still walk in the flesh.

      To restore prespective, let’s not forget that heaven

      “is neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but a living, personal relationship with the Holy Trinity. It is our meeting with the Father which takes place in the risen Christ through the communion of the Holy Spirit” (Pope John Paul II on 21 July 1999)

      and

      “Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy” (Pope John Paul II, 28 July 1999)

  39. 42 Cinzia September 13, 2009 at 15:21

    I have to admit Giovanni has a good point! How can a God full of love for us to the point of sending His Son to redeem us and give us eternal life, then at the same time be able to “put aside pity and send so many souls to eternal damnation?

    As Jesus tells us, “many will be called, but few will be chosen …”

    To me, these are really terrifying words! I mean, God created as as fragile human beings, full of faults and weaknesses, and every one of us a sinner …. so He knows exactly what we are like! Then He “sets aside His pity” and sends us to Hell.

    I know I am thinking like a man (well, in this case like a woman🙂 …. but gee, it’s really tough to understand – in fact impossible!

    Gabriella, when do we get to see a new post? I think after this one, we need one of those full of annunci parocchiali, or a story on Our Holy Father’s most recent adventure (after driving his chauffeur around New York …)

    Thanks!

  40. 43 Antonella Oliver September 14, 2009 at 08:40

    People who go to hell no longer want to receive any benefit from God. They do not repent nor do they cease to blaspheme. They make up their minds to live in hell and do not contemplate leaving it……they deny God, even when it is time to die. And they continue to deny him, after they are dead. It is their choice. It is their will that they go to hell. They choose hell.”

    God does not send anyone to hell…..we ourselves have been given the choice….we can choose one of two paths in our lives: to become even more humane, compassionate and loving or become more inhumane, cruel, evil etc….

    The choice is ours.

    Hell is reality (Luke 16 : 22-23)


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FALANGI, TRUPPE, DIVISIONI CORAZZATE. ECCO CHE AVANZA IL NUOVO CATTOLICO: INNAMORATO DI GESU', INTRANSIGENTE, MOVIMENTISTA, IL CROCIATO DEI VALORI, IL SOLDATO DI CRISTO, UN CUORE TRADIZIONALISTA, AMANTE DELLA MESSA DI TUTTI I TEMPI ...



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IL CANTO DEL PARADISO


Dopo due millenni di studi, di ricerche e di esplorazioni scientifiche, la genesi del canto gregoriano resta un mistero irrisolto


RELIGIOUS LIBERTY MIGHT BE SUPPOSED TO MEAN THAT EVERYBODY IS FREE TO DISCUSS RELIGION. IN PRACTICE IT MEANS THAT HARDLY ANYBODY IS ALLOWED TO MENTION IT.



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IN HOC SIGNO VINCES




INDIFFERENTISM is a mortal sin; a condemned heresy. That's the Catholic view of the matter. INDIFFERENTISM paves the way to MORAL RELATIVISM. I have been accused of the opposite of ‘Indifferentism’, which is defined as ‘Rigorism’, and the charge is not without some merit. I believe in a rigorous following of Church doctrine and in strict accuracy in proper Catholic catechesis, and I openly attack watered-down Catholic doctrine and catechesis whenever and wherever I encounter it. Many friends scold me saying that for me it’s either my way or the highway. But here’s the thing … it’s not my way; I didn’t make up all (or any of) the rules of Catholicism. I’ve been told “you’re too rigid in your doctrine,” as if it were my doctrine. When it comes to Catholic catechesis, there is only one Church teaching, and it is represented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I’m prepared to defend any item in it, against any opponent. I draw the line at ‘indifferentism’ and ‘moral relativism’. All belief systems are not the same. The ones who push it the most are the ones who seek to replace it with something less. Again, indifferentism paves the way to moral decay. Don’t let it seep into your thinking. May you please God, and may you live forever.

“Oremus pro beatissimo Papa nostro Benedicto XVI: Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.”



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MODERN CATHOLICS SEE THE CHURCH AS AN ‘OLD-FASHIONED’ DISCRIMINATORY INSTITUTION OF WHICH THEY ARE ASHAMED – A TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC WILL DIE TO DEFEND IT.

MODERN CATHOLICS WOULD JUST AS SOON LEAVE THE CHURCH FOR A TRENDY ALTERNATIVE IF THEY DON’T GET THEIR WAY – A TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC WILL REMAIN UNTIL THE END OF TIME.


THE CHURCH MILITANT NOW, MORE THAN EVER, NEEDS STRONG WARRIORS.




The Catholic Church doesn’t need progressives, Nor does it need Reactionary Conservatives - It badly needs Catholic Traditionalists that practice faith, hope and charity. So don’t be shy! Come forward.

“When Christ at a symbolic moment was establishing His great society, He chose for its corner-stone neither the brilliant Paul nor the mystic John, but a shuffler, a snob, a coward - in a word, a man. And upon this rock He has built His Church, and the gates of Hell have not prevailed and will not prevail against it. All the empires and the kingdoms have failed because of this inherent and continual weakness, that they were founded by strong men and upon strong men. But this one thing - the historic Catholic Church - was founded upon a weak man, and for that reason it is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.”
(G.K. Chesterton)



Anno Sacerdotale

Pope Benedict XVI has declared a “Year for Priests” beginning with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 19, 2009. The year will conclude in Rome with an international gathering of priests with the Holy Father on June 19, 2010.
******

Quest'anno sia anche un'occasione per un periodo di intenso approfondimento dell'identità sacerdotale, della teologia del sacerdozio cattolico e del senso straordinario della vocazione e della missione dei sacerdoti nella Chiesa e nella società.
******

Let your light so shine before men that, seeing your good works, they may glorify your Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
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In Domino laudabitur anima mea.





"That sense of the sacred dogmas is to be faithfully kept which Holy Mother Church has once declared, and is not to be departed from under the specious pretext of a more profound understanding."- Pope Leo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae

Nessuno di noi entrerà in Paradiso senza portare con sé un fratello o una sorella. Ciascuno di noi deve uscire dalla folla e reggersi sulle proprie gambe, fiero di essere un Cattolico e capace di testimoniare la sua Fede.
Ci stiamo comportando come se la Fede Cattolica fosse un affare privato. Questo non è affatto vero. Penso che potremo andare molto, molto lontano, se riusciremo a convincere tutti i Cattolici a farsi carico della salvezza del mondo intero.
Il mondo ha bisogno di essere salvato e deve essere ciascuno di noi a farlo.




Cantate …


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“We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe”.
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Pueris manus imponit

Iesus vero ait eis - Sinite parvulos, et nolite eos prohibere ad me venire - talium est enim regnum caelorum.




“There is another essential aspect of Christianity: the interior, the silent, the contemplative, in which hidden wisdom is more important than practical organizational science, and in which love replaces the will to get visible results”.
(Thomas Merton)



Lo Spirito Santo


Uno dei Suoi nomi è "Consolatore"!




Confession

Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession.




“Almeno sei volte durante gli ultimi anni mi sono trovato nella situazione di convertirmi senza esitazione al cattolicesimo, se non mi avesse trattenuto dal compiere il gesto azzardato l'averlo già fatto”.
(G.K. Chesterton)



"Whatsoever I have or hold, You have given me; I give it all back to You and surrender it wholly to be governed by your will. Give me only your love and your grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more."

(St. Ignatius of Loyola - Spiritual Exercises, #234)



"Mia madre è stata veramente una martire; non a tutti Gesù concede di percorrere una strada così facile, per arrivare ai suoi grandi doni, come ha concesso a mio fratello e a me, dandoci una madre che si uccise con la fatica e le preoccupazioni per assicurarsi che noi crescessimo nella fede".
J.R.R. Tolkien scrisse queste parole nove anni dopo la morte di sua madre.






Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)




“Beati sarete voi quando vi oltraggeranno e perseguiteranno, e falsamente diranno di voi ogni male per cagion mia. Rallegratevi ed esultate perché grande è la vostra ricompensa nei cieli”.