Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Evangelizing Those In The Church

"All the while unbelievers laugh; men of weak faith are shaken; faith is uncertain; souls are drenched in ignorance, because adulterators of the word imitate the truth. The mouths of true believers are dumb, while every blasphemous tongue wags free; holy things are trodden under foot..."
In many of today's homilies and talks given in Catholic parishes seem to follow the theme of the "New Evangelization." Of course this new evangelization has yet to really take place, since it is not aimed at converting anyone to anything other than what they already following. The reason for this I believe is that the old way of evangelization, that is the way of the apostles and the Church before the modern changes, had a method that worked, and those in power today don't want that "old way" taking place anymore. The Gospel was fist believed, it changed lives and caused people to live for Christ instead of themselves. They converted from the world and instead became living members of the Body of Christ. In turn the Gospel was passed along through the Church by living and preaching the Gospel to the world.



What is fundamental in all of this is the fact those who were preaching the Gospel, evangelizing those of the world, actually believed in the true Gospel that was passed on to them. They actually desired the good for another and wanted them to experience God as a living, believing member of the Church. If one is not a true believer they simply offer nothing in the way of evangelization. You know, its the old, "you can't give what don't have". The problem in the Church is today is that many involved in this "new evangelization" do not have anything to give. They do not believe what Christ taught, and they are not living members of the Church. If we do not start teaching people what Christ actually taught and passed down, and allow Christ to start living in us, there is nothing to pass down to anyone, other than the world! 

It is up to those who believe the perennial teaching of the Church, who have allowed the Holy Trinity to change them into living disciples to first convert those in the Church. This must start first with the bishops and priests who are true believers. They in turn can involve the faithful laity to help them in beginning to foster a true change in the Church. Those who claim to be Catholic and refuse to be converted by the Holy Trinity, which involves believing everything God teaches them through Divine Revelation, need to be removed from teaching positions in the Church. This can be done by the faithful bishops and priests first. There need be no heretical teachers in RCIA programs, or heretics giving lectures in any parishes. I know this goes against the modernist notion that we must include everyone with any opinion whatsoever. I know this will ruffle the feathers of the modernists who want to eliminate "rigidity"from the Church. The fact is,  this removal must happen if we are going to be doing any real evangelizing through the Church. This mentality that all opinions must be heard and synthesized into the Church is what is crippling it. The world has evangelized a large population of the Church thus those in the Church are not bringing anyone into the Church. 

Those in the Church must be first be evangelized into living members of the Body of Christ if we are to make any progress. Only those who are true converts must be allowed to teach. For the laity, the best remedy is to pray often, visit the Sacrament of Confession often, attend the Latin Mass when possible, read Sacred Scripture, read theology books written before the modernists began to take over Catholic publishing (before the 1960s), read the papal encyclicals written before the 1960s, become familiar with Saint Thomas Aquinas and reliable Thomistic theologians, and finally begin to push for removing those in the Church who are obstinately rejecting the Church's perennial teaching. As more and more of us begin to learn the true faith and pass it to others in the Church we can then begin to bring those in the world into the Body of Christ. As long as we have obstinate defectors in the Church in high levels teaching heresy, we are not going to be evangelizing anyone. The world already has its disciples, they don't need a Church to convert them to something they already are, followers of the world. 



Saint Basil's letter to the Italians and Gauls could have been written yesterday for us as it was during the Arian heresy. The word "modernists" can be substituted for "Arius." The letter is sent to those in Church authority who have not succumbed to the heresy. 

To the Italians and Gauls

... we do beseech you to be roused both to zeal for the truth and sympathy for us. We implore you to put on bowels of mercy, to lay aside all hesitation, and to undertake the labour of love, without counting length of way, your own occupations, or any other human interests.
2. It is not only one Church which is in peril, nor yet two or three which have fallen under this terrible storm. The mischief of this heresy spreads almost from the borders of Illyricum to the Thebaid. Its bad seeds were first sown by the infamous Arius; they then took deep root through the labours of many who vigorously cultivated the impiety between his time and ours. Now they have produced their deadly fruit. The doctrines of true religion are overthrown. The laws of the Church are in confusion. The ambition of men, who have no fear of God, rushes into high posts, and exalted office is now publicly known as the prize of impiety. The result is, that the worse a man blasphemes, the fitter the people think him to be a bishop. Clerical dignity is a thing of the past. There is a complete lack of men shepherding the Lord's flock with knowledge. Ambitious men are constantly throwing away the provision for the poor on their own enjoyment and the distribution of gifts. There is no precise knowledge of canons. There is complete immunity in sinning; for when men have been placed in office by the favour of men, they are obliged to return the favour by continually showing indulgence to offenders.
Just judgment is a thing of the past; and everyone walks according to his heart's desire. Vice knows no bounds; the people know no restraint. Men in authority are afraid to speak, for those who have reached power by human interest are the slaves of those to whom they owe their advancement. And now the very vindication of orthodoxy is looked upon in some quarters as an opportunity for mutual attack; and men conceal their private ill-will and pretend that their hostility is all for the sake of the truth. Others, afraid of being convicted of disgraceful crimes, madden the people into fratricidal quarrels, that their own doings may be unnoticed in the general distress. Hence the war admits of no truce, for the doers of ill deeds are afraid of a peace, as being likely to lift the veil from their secret infamy. All the while unbelievers laugh; men of weak faith are shaken; faith is uncertain; souls are drenched in ignorance, because adulterators of the word imitate the truth. The mouths of true believers are dumb, while every blasphemous tongue wags free; holy things are trodden under foot; the better laity shun the churches as schools of impiety; and lift their hands in the deserts with sighs and tears to their Lord in heaven. Even you must have heard what is going on in most of our cities, how our people with wives and children and even our old men stream out before the walls, and offer their prayers in the open air, putting up with all the inconvenience of the weather with great patience, and waiting for help from the Lord.
3. What lamentation can match these woes? What springs of tears are sufficient for them? While, then, some men do seem to stand, while yet a trace of the old state of things is left, before utter shipwreck comes upon the Churches, hasten to us, hasten to us now, true brothers, we implore you; on our knees we implore you, hold out a helping hand. May your brotherly bowels be moved toward us; may tears of sympathy flow; do not see, unmoved, half the empire swallowed up by error; do not let the light of the faith be put out in the place where it shone first.
By what action you can then help matters, and how you are to show sympathy for the afflicted, you do not want to be told by us; the Holy Ghost will suggest to you. But unquestionably, if the survivors are to be saved, there is need of prompt action, and of the arrival of a considerable number of brethren, that those who visit us may complete the number of the synod, in order that they may have weight in effecting a reform, not merely from the dignity of those whose emissaries they are, but also from their own number: thus they will restore the creed drawn up by our fathers at Nicæa, proscribe the heresy, and, by bringing into agreement all who are of one mind, speak peace to the Churches. For the saddest thing about it all is that the sound part is divided against itself, and the troubles we are suffering are like those which once befell Jerusalem when Vespasian was besieging it. The Jews of that time were at once beset by foes without and consumed by the internal sedition of their own people. In our case, too, in addition to the open attack of the heretics, the Churches are reduced to utter helplessness by the war raging among those who are supposed to be orthodox.
For all these reasons we do indeed desire your help, that, for the future all who confess the apostolic faith may put an end to the schisms which they have unhappily devised, and be reduced for the future to the authority of the Church; that so, once more, the body of Christ may be complete, restored to integrity with all its members. Thus we shall not only praise the blessings of others, which is all we can do now, but see our own Churches once more restored to their pristine boast of orthodoxy. For, truly, the boon given you by the Lord is fit subject for the highest congratulation, your power of discernment between the spurious and the genuine and pure, and your preaching the faith of the Fathers without any dissimulation. That faith we have received; that faith we know is stamped with the marks of the Apostles; to that faith we assent, as well as to all that was canonically and lawfully promulgated in the Synodical Letter.

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