Sunday, December 24, 2017

When the World Lost the Sacraments: The Church and the World Today

 I would propose that the loss of grace through the loss of the proper reception of the Sacraments in the Church over the past 50 or so years has helped to put modern cultures across the globe over the edge into the immoral abyss of hell.

As Catholics we know that the Sacraments are the ordinary means of grace that God uses to allow man to grow in holiness. I wonder if many Catholics meditate on this fact. Although our prayer life at home is immensely important, do we fully grasp the essence of the grace that comes through the Sacraments that fuels our prayer lives at home? As we know the Catholic Church organically developed through the centuries converting Kings and Queens and developed Catholic monarchies and societies. The Catholic Church in its prime age had a huge impact on society. Although we will never see utopia on earth where all men are infused with God's grace, since men will always have freewill, the period of time leading up to the Reformation saw great stability in the acceptance of morality that was founded upon the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church.

With the help of the Sacraments the accepted moral life of the average person followed the Church closely. Although sin existed it was not largely accepted in social circles. A larger majority of the public were receiving the Sacraments in faith. You can think of it like the acceptance of pornography 40 years ago, yes people looked at it, but it was largely done in secret. It was looked upon as being sub-defective on a social level, as it rightfully should. If we believe as Catholics that the Sacraments are indeed  "defined as outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ to help individuals in their spiritual life and to grow in holiness" then we should be able to document a loss in the moral stability of a culture when a substantial portion of society no longer receives them in faith.

Looking at the immoral social fallout across Europe following the Reformation I believe we can indeed link this reality to the loss of grace normally given through Sacraments. As we know when the pretended "Reformers" arrogantly broke from the Church a majority of them denied most of the Sacraments. As they denied Church teaching and separated themselves from the Church I believe that grace was severely diminished throughout Europe. What were the results of this reality? Can we see them? I believe we can, for example, the Sacrament of marriage was assaulted by these heretical sects. The infamous Martin Luther for example broke his vows and also coerced others to do so. As we know he "married" an ex-nun. Divorce, while largely rejected in Catholic societies began to be accepted in Protestant circles. With the coming of Protestantism we saw rules for marriage being shifted over the state rather than the Church. Luther even supported this idea. Divorce and remarriage became more and more accepted in Protestant countries eventually eroding the sacredness of marriage. I believe this moral erosion can be traced back to the loss of grace through the Sacraments as a result of the Reformation. As we know the valid reception of the Most Holy Eucharist was severely diminished, causing a loss of grace across entire cultures.

Likewise the sanctity of human life would also erode with the coming of the "Reformers." Eventually contraception would be accepted by almost every division of Protestantism. Some even have accepted abortion as being morally licit, even using the Bible to justify their position! With the downfall of marriage has also come with it the inevitable acceptance of sex outside of marriage, and finally the acceptance of same sex "unions" or "marriage." Of course not all sects of Protestantism accept this, but many. The loss of grace in society has brought with it the rejection of the love of humanity. Without grace man devolves into a dark immoral creature that cannot see the good any longer. I think that a deeper investigation into the loss of grace following the coming of the pretended "Reformers" would be interesting to undertake. For now however I close this post with a look to the Catholic Church in the modern age.

Can we also attribute today's further moral decay to the loss of grace in the Sacraments within the Catholic Church? I think this would also be an interesting topic of investigation. My first notion is to unfortunately assume that most Catholics today are either not receiving the Sacraments at all or receiving them in a state not conducive to producing holiness in their souls. As a result I believe we can see that the Church is no longer as strong a force as it should be in fighting the immorality of modern society, and unfortunately many in the Church are contributing to it! There are many Catholics today who do not even teach that grace comes through the Sacraments! The grace that comes through the Sacraments is real and necessary. I believe that we can see the proof in the results that follow the loss of the grace that the Sacraments normally provide when they are not received as they should. Looking at history as well as our culture we can see that as the Sacraments go the world goes. I would love to make a more formal study of this topic. If anyone else has done so please send the link to me. For now I would propose that the loss of grace through the loss of the proper reception of the Sacraments in the Church over the past 50 or so years has helped to put modern cultures across the globe over the edge into the immoral abyss that we see today. Without the grace of the Sacraments we are seeing the reality of hell on earth!

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