I’m not a bad person

Agnostism and immanentism represent the negative and positive sides of Modernist thought, the former arguing human reason can only consider scientific phenomenon, the latter arguing that religion comes entirely from within the human psiche.

Giordano - Psyche served by invisible spirits

The principle of immanence or modernism destroys the foundation of morality.

For the immanentist it is impossible both to conform ourselves to either the Natural Law, or the Divine Positive Law known through Revelation. The result is a morality independent of God. In fact, morality becomes what the individual chooses it to be, which is just another way of saying in the area of morality, do-it-yourself or cafeteria Catholicism is acceptable. Eventually this leads the immanentist to assert that objective value, i.e.: what is objectively good or evil, is unknowable.

This is why an immanentist who has an ‘experience’ of God is said to be a ‘religious’ person, even if they do not adhere to the moral code of Catholicism. Religion is allowed without any duties and religion and discussions of religion are allowed in the public forum as long as there are no denials in relation to specific forms of behavior. It is forbidden to tell someone that a specific form of behavior is immoral. Since one’s experience of God reveals to the person God Himself, then that becomes the Will of God –  to take it a step further, since one gets a certain pleasure out of doing one’s own will, whatever one does or wants becomes the Will of God. In other words, God’s Will is ‘my’ will. This means that all morality becomes a matter of what one chooses it to be.

As we know, since the dawn of time, people have a general understanding that God forbids some things and allows others, thus limiting an individual’s freedom to do what he will. Immanentists, on the other hand, would deny God in order to guarantee man’s freedom. This is based upon the principle that God’s law might forbid the person to do something he is inclined to do, and so he must deny God in order to continue in his freedom. This is the thinking and the psychology behind the practical atheism often resulting from the principle of immanence. Immanentism destroys common sense. Common sense is always in contact with reality. The principle of immanence, however, cuts one off from reality, and therefore the immanentist cannot rely on common sense. The immanentist simply follows his appetites or emotions – he descends into the emotional and what feels good.

Take up your cross ...Immanentism, therefore, drastically impacts the traditional disciplines of the Church because of the paramount importance of emotions, and the fact that emotions find discipline, mortification and self-denial disagreeable. For those who adhere to objective reality and who look to the Deposit of Faith in which God reveals to men the effects of original and actual sin, we come to realize man’s dire need of mortification, fasting and self-denial. But once again, these have no sway with those adhering to the principle of immanence, and the result is a certain effeminacy or weakness, since immanentists will not want to do anything disagreeable or arduous. 'feel good' religionAs a result, the traditional discipline of fasting and of penance is rejected because it is viewed as too difficult, too harsh or not understanding of modern man! Of course, we all recognize that modern man is unruly and out of control and, if any generation needs more discipline, it is this one.

The principle of imma-nence conjoined with self-love deceives people into thinking their spiritual life is better than it is. This is one of the reasons why today people think they are more spiritually advanced than people in the past. Those who labour under the mentality of immanentism often delude themselves into thinking that God does not demand great things of them or great sanctity and so they neglect their spiritual life. On the other hand, they often think they will have a very high place in heaven without doing anything to merit it. They judge themselves to have very few defects, hence the popular phrase: ‘I don’t do anything wrong, I just lead a normal, boring, life. I’m not a bad person!’

But didn’t Jesus say: ‘Take up your cross and follow me’?  and ‘If you truly want to be my disciple and follow me, you must deny yourself’?


47 Responses to “I’m not a bad person”

  1. 1 Mac Coinnich October 20, 2009 at 16:46

    I must admit, Gabriella, that you’ve got a gift for laying out theology or philosophy questions is a nice, easy and understandable way! 🙂

    You’ve nailed the cockroach to the wall with this one!
    I just wish ‘immanentism’ was slightly easier to pronounce, then I could start accusing all sorts of people of being it.

    It certainly seems influential in many Christian attempts to rethink the presentation of the Gospel to our culture … think emergent church … think charismatics … think novus ordo, and in the prevalence and brand of eschatology fashionable in theology … think ‘new creation’ rather than ‘heaven’.
    You might have to think a while to join the dotted lines, but they are there, and they aren’t that dotty. 🙂


  2. 2 Shirley October 20, 2009 at 16:55

    Good post, Gabriella. This is exactly what my neice and her lesbian partner believe, that since they love each other, and love God, that they are doing His Will, that their will is God’s Will. I wish they would read this, but all I can do is pray for them.

  3. 3 Karinann October 20, 2009 at 16:55

    Thank you for this post. It brought back a lot of things from my pre-reversion days. While I never out rightly denied God’s existence, I definitely denied Him as he should be. I wanted Him on my terms. That, as you point out, is a slippery slope! The lack of willingness to do penance and fast etc. while very much needed, and now desired is still something I struggle with and firmly believe it is a remnant of my former way of life; one that I continue to pray God will heal completely.Penance/fasting isn’t supposed to be easy, but we need to remember we are fighting a battle and if spiritually lazy and unfit, we won’t be able to take our place on that battlefield.
    The “I’m not a bad person” is something I hear all around me even from so-called catholic family members who loosely follow the faith.
    I enjoy your blog immensely; you are not afraid to post about the hard stuff. Thanks for helping us on our journeys of faith and for reminding us of things like this that we all need a reminder of occasionally.
    God Bless!

  4. 4 Griff October 20, 2009 at 18:39

    Well said, indeed. Before converting, this kind of subjectivism was very much my god. It wasn’t so much ‘I’m not a bad person’ for me, but ‘what does it matter if I’m a bad person anyway’. Eventually, though, something happened. I realised that my long-seated dislike of the modern world came very precisely from the same immanentism, subjectivism and superficiality – and other transient, false things – that I myself was guilty of practicing. And so, aligning myself with Truth and the importance of tradition, I eventually ended up becoming a Catholic.

    The only way, I think, to get more people to see through the falsehood, emptiness and artifice of our decadent modern ways is to keep bombarding them with the message – through conversation, through writing, or through any other medium – that these things are bad, and that there are better and more fulfilling things to consider in (and beyond) life in this world.

    The ultimate alternative to such things, of course, is the example of the Gospels. But, with most hearts being deadly hard against Christ in these times, I think it is perhaps better to evangelise surreptitiously, with only the occasional, tactical pointer to Jesus. It is better, after all, for elements of a message to sink in before outright rejection occurs than for none of that message to sink in at all.

  5. 5 Victor S E Moubarak October 21, 2009 at 01:47

    In other words we’re getting too clever for our boots !!!

    When we get to meet God He’ll remind us that His Commandments were just that – Commandments. Not suggestions for a discussion in the pub over a beer or two.

  6. 6 Mary Nicewarner October 21, 2009 at 03:19

    You are right on target again! I don’t think people realize how holy God is. So many people want to take the easy way out rather than face the truth about themselves and the world. Thank you for speaking the truth.

  7. 7 Cinzia October 21, 2009 at 05:37

    FANTASTIC post yet again, Gabriella!

    Although I had never heard the word imman……. I can see here exactly what it means and how relevant it is in today’s world.

    These posts of yours should be the homilies one listens to on a Sunday – shake people into THINKING and REFLECTING … instead of the feel-good, I am SO important, God loves me, let’s all sing and dance and clap for joy, love, love, love, superficial wishy-washy CRAP of novus ordo Masses.

    With any luck, some post-modern priest or bishop is tuned in and can pick up on the suggestion.

  8. 9 Cinzia October 21, 2009 at 07:56

    Grazie Griff!! Yours is not so bad either !!! 🙂

  9. 10 Asmarina October 21, 2009 at 08:08

    I personally think that the majority of us already carry our crosses whether it is having to go to work daily and family problems etc….of course if we want to better our spiritual life we would try and fast on bread and water (to this day I struggle with that) so I give up TV, chocolates etc at times during Lent. But let’s face it : even St Augustine’s said
    “Love God and do what you please” – the obvious being that if we truly love God we would not hurt our neightbour in any way etc and we would love God with our whole hearts and mind etc.
    Yes God is Holy and He made us as we are born with original sin….so it is not easy to be saints although, I guess, people strive towards that. Of course, again, my thoughts are re the christians….if we are not christians…then it is a different matter. I dont think “we are bad people” unless we choose to be evil. Immanentism !!!!

  10. 11 Cinzia October 21, 2009 at 08:23

    Hello Asmarina

    While I applaud the striving to live on bread and water at times, I believe that WATCHING TV these days is the penance, and not giving it up! Giving up TV is a blessing and a relief …

    I have never tried living on bread and water myself, or really given up anything during Lent …. shame shame …. so I admire your fortitude.

    But what does St Augustine’s phrase really mean? I don’t quite understand it. It sounds like one that could be interpreted in an awful lot of different ways.

  11. 12 Asmarina October 21, 2009 at 08:39

    Hello Cinzia

    Actually I said that I struggle fasting on bread and water (which is the real fast) so I give up TV etc…..there are some programmes that I enjoy but most is rubbish so I agree that penance is watching TV!!!!!!jokes. I dont watch the rude and the rubbish.

    Yes we can interpret St Augustines’ message in many ways but it really is the 1st commandment : Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind and your neighbour as yourself.

    It is hard enough living in this life in this valley of tears without adding the burden of being bad people which we all struggle with sins having inherited original sin. If we choose to be evil and do evil is another matter. I love knowing and believing that God is Love and wants us to be happy in this life too and then spend eternity with him.

    ciao..have a blessed day.

  12. 13 Cinzia October 21, 2009 at 08:55

    “It is hard enough living in this life in this valley of tears …”

    Yes I agree with that – thanks for the explanation.

    I too was joking about TV … so no need to explain 🙂

  13. 14 Kaede Sachi October 21, 2009 at 14:30

    Asmarine your comment of 0808 exhudes immanentism – you are right!
    That is exactly the serious problem Gabriella is talking about. People today “already carry our crosses whether it is having to go to work daily and family problems etc…” No! We mustn’t think like this: we all have problems anyway so God will understand if I don’t do anything else ….. I have to work – great – but do I respect and help my boss? my colleagues? do I gossip about them? I have family problems – oh yes, who doesn’t? Do I just accept and pray or do I try and solve these, keeping in mind what would Jesus do? Do I keep away from drunkards and drug addicts and point my finger at them? Am I a father that abandoned his wife when a handicapped child was born? Do I hate it when a stinking beggar sits beside me on the bus?
    Mortification and self-denial is certainly not doing without chocolate or TV (let’s leave this to kids to teach them).
    You cannot come up with a couple of words said by St. Augustine and used out of context. “Love God and do as you please” must never be quoted if you haven’t read the book these words are taken from. Otherwise, it’s plain and dangerous immantentism.
    Like Shirley’s niece and other kids who live together and “feel good” because they “love” God and love their friend and are oh so happy because St. Augustine said it’s fine!
    Immanentism is really dangerous – as Victor says: God’s commandments are just that! The Church’s commandments are just that! Commandments!

  14. 15 Kaede Sachi October 21, 2009 at 14:35

    Oh no, Asmarine, not “chosing” evil is NOT enough.
    We are sinners so we must strive for the good, we must do something ‘EXTRA’ for God and for our spiritual lives.
    Anything in between – anything tepid – anyone who sits between not chosing evil and living for God is simply TEPID and … the tepid God will vomit!

  15. 16 Victor S E Moubarak October 21, 2009 at 16:51

    I remember years ago the sermon in church was from Matthew 16:21-27 where Jesus says to his disciples: “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me”.

    When I got home I thought I’d do something nice. I gave my wife a big hug and a kiss, and carried her indoors.

    Startled she snapped “What’s wrong with you, have you gone crazy?”

    “No my dear,” I replied. “Didn’t you hear the sermon? Jesus said pick up your cross and follow Me”.

    I got a slap in the face and severe backache. No Sunday lunch either!

  16. 17 Kieran October 21, 2009 at 16:53

    Hi Shirley – I’m praying for your niece.
    Don’t worry and put your head on Jesus’ shoulder 🙂

  17. 18 Kieran October 21, 2009 at 16:55

    Hahahahahahahahah! Victor! You’re a funny one! 😀

  18. 19 Ehawee October 21, 2009 at 17:07

    No, from what I gather from your posts, Gabrella, you’re not a bad person! 😉

    Is that a fact, Victor? Can’t stop laughing! 😀

  19. 20 david pierini October 21, 2009 at 17:13

    c’è un episodio nella vita dei padri del deserto che getta un fascio di lucenella discussione…

    Un discepolo andò, un giorno, dal suo maestro e gli disse: “Maestro, voglio trovare Dio”. Il maestro sorrise. E, siccome faceva molto caldo, invitò il giovane ad accompagnarlo a fare un bagno nel fiume. Il giovane si tuffò e il maestro fece altrettanto. Poi lo raggiunse e lo agguantò, tenendogli a viva forza e con grande energia la testa sott’acqua.
    Il giovane si dibattè alcuni istanti, finché il maestro lo lasciò tornare a galla. Quindi gli chiese che cosa avesse desiderato di più mentre si trovava sott’acqua. “L’aria” rispose il discepolo. “Desideri Dio allo stesso modo? – gli domandò il maestro – Se lo desideri così, non mancherai di trovarlo. Ma se non hai in te questa sete ardente, a nulla ti gioveranno i tuoi sforzi e i tuoi libri. Non potrai trovare Dio, se non lo desideri come l’aria per respirare”.

    Aldilà di ogni considerazione io credo che nei cristiani di oggi forse solo uno su cento lo desidera come l’aria per respirare…solo uno su cento realmente lo ha trovato.
    Non sevono a nulla penitenze e digiuni se nel cuore non si ha esigenza vitale di Dio…quell’esigenza che il nostro mondo cerca di colmare con mille idoli.

  20. 21 Ron October 21, 2009 at 21:11

    Immanentism is a philosophy that holds that anything of importance is contained within the individual; the individual becomes the measure or standard by which things are judged. Immanentism essentially holds that exterior reality is not important except to the extent that we can express ourselves in it. What is really important is what is within ourselves. Immanentism came from many sources but three are of particular importance:
    The first was Kant, who, through an epistemology that was founded on Cartesian and empirical skepticism regarding the senses, left one locked in his own mind, logically speaking. This meant that everything was within oneself or his own mind, which in turn meant that man’s experiences were essentially immanent – that is, they are within or remain within himself.
    The second source of immanentism was the location of the theological experience within the emotions. This was developed by Friedrich Schleiermacher. For Schleiermacher, religion was primarily an expression of piety, and piety was to be found only in the emotions. Religion could not be satisfied with metaphysical treatises and analysis – that is, a rational approach – but rather had to be something emotional. This led to the immanentization of religion since piety or religious experience was viewed as something within the individual. We often see this immanentization today: people expect the liturgy to conform to their emotional states rather than conforming themselves to an objective cult which in turn conforms itself to God or in the way people live the liturgy by clapping, shaking hands, waving, all emotional actions.
    The third source that led to immanentization and therefore provided an intellectual foundation for acceptance only of the present and a rejection of the past was the work of Maurice Blondel. Blondel held:
    “Modern thought, with a jealous susceptibility, considers the notion of immanence as the very condition of philosophizing; that is to say, if among current ideas there is one which it regards as marking a definitive advance, it is the idea, which is at bottom perfectly true, that nothing can enter into a man’s mind which does not come out of him and correspond in some way to a need for expansion and that there is nothing in the nature of historical or traditional teaching or obligation imposed from without that counts for him.…”
    For Blondel, only those things that come from man himself and which are immanent to him have any meaning. No tradition or history has any bearing upon his intellectual considerations unless it comes somehow from himself.
    These three sources of immanentism as they influenced the Church during the waning of an intellectual phase of Modernism in the 1950s and early 1960s provided the foundation for a psychological break from tradition as a norm. The work of Blondel and the influx of the other modern philosophical points of view, which were antithetical to the ecclesiastical tradition, had a drastic impact on Vatican II. By the time Vatican II arrived, the intellectual foundation was in place for a systematic rejection of all aspects of ecclesiastical tradition.
    In summary: Blondel and others, under the influence of modern philosophy, thought that modern man could not be satisfied with past ways of thinking. They provided an intellectual foundation upon which the Church, with a Council as a catalyst, could “update” itself or undergo an “aggiornamento.” With the foundations for the extrinsic tradition having been supplanted, the extrinsic tradition was lost. In other words, since the view of man had changed and since the view of the Deposit of Faith was subjected to a modern analysis, the extrinsic tradition, which rested upon these two, collapsed. We are currently living with the full-blown effects of that collapse. Catholics today have become fixated on the here and now, and in consequence the Church’s traditions have come to be treated not only as irrelevant but also as something to be distrusted and even, at times, demonized.

  21. 22 Evelina October 21, 2009 at 22:05

    David, quell’episodio nella vita dei padri del deserto lo conoscevo – veramente bello.
    E quant’è vera la frase: “Non sevono a nulla penitenze e digiuni se nel cuore non si ha esigenza vitale di Dio…quell’esigenza che il nostro mondo cerca di colmare con mille idoli”.

    Sto aiutando la mia chiesetta con i preparativi per la festa di Cristo Re 🙂 Ecco un piccolo anticipo:

    (questo video mi rende felice) 🙂

    Un forte abbraccio a tutti.

    ps: Gabriella, non capisco bene l’inglese ma mi hai spinto a fare una bella ricerca sull’immanentismo su internet – grazie!
    (non è mai troppo tardi per imparare) 😉

  22. 23 Cinzia October 22, 2009 at 01:21

    Ron – great stuff, but I got lost somewhere in there …. line four I think 😦 My problem, I’m a bit thick !! Philosophy is too hard for me.

    David, belle parole e hai ragione. Evelina, anche io credo che fare penitenze e digiuni non serve a nulla senza sentire qualcosa di molto piu’ profondo nelle nostre anime.

    Victor – that was hilarious! Pity I can’t do the same with my husband, he weighs twice as much as I do !!! 🙂

    Thanks everybody for great insights. I am always learning.

    Saluti a tutti !

  23. 24 david pierini October 22, 2009 at 07:15

    La condizione per trovare Dio è avere di Lui un’esigenza vitale…allora ci rendiamo conto che sono avvantaggiati e sono nella condizione ideale per trovarlo tutti coloro che vivono nel peccato.
    Questo fatto fa esclamare a sant’Agostino…”beata colpa che ci hai meritato un tale redentore”…se non ci fosse stato il peccato non sarebbe stato necessario Gesù.
    Dico questo perché chi vive il disagio di essere apparentemente lontano da Dio…in verità è più vicino di quanti credono di averlo attraverso una regolare vita religiosa.
    Quanto poco oggi i cristiani desiderino l’incontro con Gesù lo vediamo quando si parla del suo ritorno nella gloria…vediamo quanti fanno gli scongiuri per quanto stiano tutto il giorno a dire “Signore, Signore”.
    Da questo si vede che amano più il mondo che Dio e che la loro vita tutto sommato è buona così com’è…e per stare tranquilli tengono un piede ben saldo in questo frammento di chiesa che sta andando in frantumi.
    Chi invece vive profondamente la propria spiritualità non può non sentire un’esigenza viscerale di liberazione.
    Nell’ultima chiamata prima della fine del mondo vediamo che cinque vergini vanno incontro allo sposo con le lampade ardenti dal desiderio di incontrarlo e proprio per questo lo vedono arrivare mentre le vergini stolte… non vedono i segni dei tempi.

  24. 25 Asmarina October 22, 2009 at 07:54

    Dear Kaede

    Since we are God’s children…our life must be controlled by love. I am sure we all do more in our christian lives !! but as St Paul says….it is not your works that save you BUT faith in Jesus Christ as well.
    The small acts of penance that we willingly do are to try and better our spiritual lives….the TV and chocolates were examples. Each of us knows what to do to get rid of bad habits !
    1John 3 : v19

    (And so my dear friends if our conscience does not condemn us, we have courage in God’s presence)

  25. 26 Cinzia October 22, 2009 at 08:17

    David – dici bene! E’ proprio cosi.

    Evelina – che meraviglia la Messa di tutti i tempi. Peccato che non se ne dicono vicino a casa mia 😦 Debbo viaggiare per ben due ore per arrivarci …. ma ogni tanto ce la faccio!

    Gabriella – grazie ancora per avermi aperto ben bene gli occhi … mi sembra di essere un’altra … per’ ce la devo mettere tutta a riguardo questa parolona: immanentismo!

    Da quando e’ che esiste sta parola? Giuro che non l’avevo mai sentita 🙂 (faccetta rossa, non gialla) 🙂

  26. 27 Asmarina October 22, 2009 at 09:55

    David Pierini….I like what you write. Many thanks for the great insight.

  27. 28 Louisa October 22, 2009 at 10:35

    Dear Asmarina, are you protestant?
    I’m a Catholic and I fully believe what the Church teaches – therefore I reject your phrase “it is not your works that save you BUT faith in Jesus Christ”.

    It is utterly incredible that many non-catholic christians, professing an acquaintance with the New Testament, deny the role of works (obedience) in the sacred scheme of redemption. Jesus plainly taught that one must “work” for that spiritual sustenance which abides unto eternal life (Jn. 6:27), and that even faith itself is a divinely appointed “work” (Jn. 6:29).
    Elsewhere the inspired apostle admonished Christians to be careful that they “lose not” the things which they had worked for (2 Jn. 1:8). Christians have a faith that works (Gal. 5:6); indeed, they are to “work out” their salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), abounding in good works (2 Cor. 9:8; Eph. 2:10; Col. 1:10), being constantly aware of the fact that they will be judged by their deeds (Mt. 16:27; Rom. 2:6; 1 Cor. 5:10; 1 Pet. 1:17).

    There has been much controversy amongst all protestant sects over the instruction within the book of James regarding faith and works. Clearly, James taught that justification is as much by works as it is by faith (2:21) — a concept which Luther found so obnoxious that he rejected the inspiration of the document, called it a “right strawy epistle,” and suggested that the book was not even authored by James (Lenski, 1966, p. 515).
    But the divine writer unequivocally affirmed that faith without works cannot save (2:14).

    God bless.

  28. 29 Louisa October 22, 2009 at 10:42

    Cinzia, “immanentism” has been “invented” by Kant, Blondel, Luther, Descartes, Rousseau, etc. — but Ron describes its origin well 🙂

    God bless.

    • 30 Cinzia October 23, 2009 at 01:28

      Gabriella, can I ask? Why are we giving immanentism so much importance? Were these people like Kant, Blondel, Descartes so illuminating to the rest of mankind?

      I think I can easily live without knowing about it, like I have so far ….

      Quote: through an epistemology that was founded on Cartesian and empirical skepticism regarding the senses, left one locked in his own mind, logically speaking. This meant that everything was within oneself or his own mind, which in turn meant that man’s experiences were essentially immanent – that is, they are within or remain within himself.
      The second source of immanentism was the location of the theological experience within the emotions. This was developed by Friedrich …….. Unquote.

      WTF ??????? 😦

  29. 31 Andrea October 22, 2009 at 11:01

    David,la Chiesa passerà attraverso la Croce,ma non sarà mai distrutta.
    Ricordo di questo articolo uscito qualche settimana fa:


    “Questa è un’altra menzogna del diavolo, Dio non permetterà mai l’annientamento della Chiesa che è corpo Mistico di Cristo”.
    Così è scritto nell’articolo sopracitato ed è vero.

  30. 32 Andrea October 22, 2009 at 11:04

    David,la Chiesa passerà attraverso la Croce,ma non sarà mai distrutta.
    Ricordo di questo articolo uscito qualche settimana fa


    “Questa è un’altra menzogna del diavolo, Dio non permetterà mai l’annientamento della Chiesa che è corpo Mistico di Cristo”.

    Così è scritto nell’articolo sopracitato ed è vero.

    • 33 Asmarina October 23, 2009 at 08:40

      Andrea……may I ask a question :

      who or what is the church ? Is it not the members (the people) that make up the church.!!

      Also I am sure that I read somewhere in the Bible : and lets remember that all scripture is inspired by God.-:

      In the end my people will worship me in spirit and in truth!

  31. 34 Asmarina October 22, 2009 at 11:20

    Dear Louisa: Let me quote from Hebrews 4 : 12-13

    “The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of man’s heart.
    There is nothing than can be hidden from God ; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes.
    And it is to him that we must all give an account of ourselves.”

    So it is irrelevant whether I am catholic, jew, protestant, muslim etc etc……..God alone knows and understands me better and my thoughts and intentions……and for that I AM GRATEFUL.

    • 35 Griff October 22, 2009 at 11:54

      “So it is irrelevant whether I am catholic, jew, protestant, muslim etc etc……..”

      Dear Asmarina,

      No, it’s not irrelevant at all. This is another example that demonstrates the dangers of quoting out of context: except this time the context being ignored is that of the entire Christian tradition. And that is not irrelevant either.

  32. 36 Louisa October 22, 2009 at 11:50

    I’m sorry Asmarina but it is not “irrelevant if one is a catholic, jew, protestant, muslim, etc”.

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    18: He that believeth in him and is righteous is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    ALL the Catholic Church documents are also very clear on this.
    I suggest you read “Dominus Jesus” and https://gabriella50.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/extra-ecclesiam-nulla-salus/

    Your thinking is exactly the product of immanentism, but then, again, this is widespread amongst the protestants.

    God bless you.

  33. 37 Cinzia October 22, 2009 at 12:28

    Thank you Louisa – I know Ron explained it brilliantly – I am the one with the problem of not understanding …. 🙂

    This immanentism is a form of atheism is it not? Kant was an atheist? Sorry but I am ignorant 100% about this, and am trying to understand. I never studied philosophy (or a lot of other things either!!) 😦

    Asmarina, how do you interpret the words: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one can go to the Father but through me.”


    “Simon, you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.”

    For me as a Catholic this means that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is the only true Church …. guided by the Holy Spirit. And that no one enters the kingdom of God without having followed Christ, eaten His body and drank His blood …

    “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood will not die but have everlasting life.”

    This, at least, is not complicated like immanentism … Jesus was never complicated – but simple and straightforward! – It’s usually always humans who want to make things difficult, warped, and then interpret Christ’s teachings in a million different ways.

    The reason I ask is because of your phrase stating that it does not matter whether one is jewish, muslim, protestant …

  34. 38 Asmarina October 22, 2009 at 12:29

    Christ died for all sinners not the catholics only and God has no favourites : total agreement on John 3 : 16

    Christian means follower of Christ : so there should be no distinction.

    By the way I am a Roman Catholic by birth and still practice my faith.

    • 39 Louisa October 22, 2009 at 16:28

      That’s great! 🙂
      Then, as a Catholic, you must have read the Pope’s encyclicals … it’s the minimum that is expected from us! 😀

  35. 40 Cinzia October 22, 2009 at 12:40

    Asmarina, … so what about the jews, muslims and hindus that you mentioned earlier?

    No God does not have favourites, and yes, Christ died for all mankind …. but it is mankind that either follows Jesus or rejects him.

    That is the issue here. About humans rejecting Christ and his Church.

    No one here is saying that God has favourites .. where did that come from? You still haven’t explained how you interpret those words of Christ I quoted above.


  36. 41 Asmarina October 22, 2009 at 12:42

    Cinzia……I agree on what you write….why complicate things with immantenism !!!

    I always wonder what fault is it of anyone who is not born a Catholic or from a christian family……and some of my muslim colleagues are very good people. I cannot imagine them going to hell because they are not Christians !!!!! They believe in Allah (which is God – another name for God, not so…i might be wrong) but as I said earlier quoting from Hebrews 4……lets leave our actions and judgements to God alone who knows our innermost being………and I thank God that we are not judged by human standards as our God is so merciful and loving.

    And yes Christ is my way, my truth and my life…..and I thank God for my upbringing into a catholic home…..not my doing or choice but God’s.

  37. 42 Cinzia October 22, 2009 at 12:59

    Asmarina, in fact the Catholic Church acknowledges that there are people who through no fault of their own have never known Christ and therefore cannot choose to reject Him … that is a totally different issue again … you should read Gabriella’s earlier blog that Louisa linked. G explains it a lot better than I do.

    Also, the Church NEVER sends anyone to hell. God alone is judge. And we all agree that there are many wonderful people amongst muslims, hindus, etc. again that is not the issue. We are not to judge anyone.

    What people are saying here is all about what JESUS told us, about the Church He established and what His Church teaches. These teachings cannot be changed or interpreted in different ways. Like Victor said above, the Commandments are just that – the Commandments!

    We have to also remember that Jesus told us that the more has been given us and the more knowledge we have, the more will be asked of us … I think that kind of answers the question about those who through no fault of their own, have never known the Truth.

    Also, you are right, faith is also a gift from God. That is why at the end of the day God will expect MORE from those to whom He has given more faith and more understanding …..

    Cheers … this is too hard for me anyway … I need a Gabriella or a Louisa or a Ron or a Griff or anybody to come in and take over!! 🙂


  38. 43 Asmarina October 22, 2009 at 13:20

    Let us rely on our common sense……..I do tend to stray away from the topic………I beg your pardon.

    The title Im not a bad person……is correct. Unless we wilful want to do evil and be evil…..our choice.

    For the rest I am in total agreement but I dont like to be so indoctrinated : I like St Augustine’s “Love God and do what you will”

    I am sure that simplicity and humbleness is more acceptable to God.


    • 44 Mac Coinnich October 22, 2009 at 16:45

      Hence “… whatever one does or wants becomes the Will of God. In other words, God’s Will is ‘my’ will. This means that all morality becomes a matter of what one chooses it to be”.
      (as per post)

      • 45 Asmarina October 22, 2009 at 17:22

        If you truly love God., you will do his will. It will be abhorent to you if you go against God’s commandments !!
        are we talking cross-purposes !!!????

  39. 46 Gabriella October 22, 2009 at 20:11

    Andrea, scusami, non capisco perchè il tuo ultimo commento è andato a finire tra quelli ‘da approvare’ invece di apparire automaticamente come quelli ‘autorizzati’ – e io mi sono collegata solo ora per ‘approvarlo’!
    Misteri della tecnologia!
    Link interessante – grazie.

  40. 47 elizabeth October 24, 2009 at 17:56

    Very helpful and interesting blog, Gabriela. I am such a new Catholic that I am hesitant to comment on it other than to say that I do see a lot of thinking that I now see can be defined as Immanentism. I think these folks miss out on a lot because they come close to God but don’t quite make it all the way — IMHO. That’s sad.

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My Patron Saint

Archangel Gabriel

God's Messenger

Another beautiful day! Praise the Lord.

October 2009
« Sep   Nov »


The most beautiful thing this side of heaven!


e-campagna: Io sto con il Papa


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



The story of our salvation!

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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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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)

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 …

Cantate Domino canticum novum. Cantate Domino omnis terra. Cantate Domino et benedicite nomini Ejus. Annuntiate de die in diem salutare Ejus.

Causa nostrae laetitiae

“We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe”.
(John Henry Newman)

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 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”.