I do want to give God glory though because if it were not for His grace I would probably be a lot more stressed out and depressed than what I am right now. I am going to say that on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the worst I am at a 6 on the depression scale.
You know, I am tempted to feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I feel like people expect too much out of me but then again the criticism that I receive from various people is most often justified criticism and I should take it and try to improve myself and my habits with that criticism. You know, use it as constructive criticism. But then again, I also feel like people expect me to do more than what I am currently capable of. All well... that's life. At least I can offer it up.
It seems to be a somewhat breezy/windy day outside. I am going to enjoy that. I am going to the store now so I am sure I will enjoy this warm and beautiful weather.
I honestly believe that here in the United States, the mainstream media, which would include news organizations such as NBC, ABC, CNN, New York Times, etc are very much slanted towards the left. I believe that they would prefer to support the Democrats in just about everything. The Democrats are for "gay marriage" as well as abortion. Regrettably there are now even some Republicans who support "gay marriage" and not all Republicans are 100% pro-life either. A lot of them are also in favor of the death penalty. I am completely against the death penalty, completely against abortion, and I am completely against any and all legal recognition of homosexual relationships.
I am also against adoption of children by homosexuals as children deserve a mother and a father, not two women or two men pretending to be parents. Granted in some cases one of the partners in a homosexual relationship is a true parent. This sometimes comes about because one may be bisexual and was in an opposite sex relationship in the past. This may also happen if a closeted homosexual married a heterosexual and had children with that person. Things like that do happen. From the very beginning of time children have been raised by a mother and a father: read a man and a woman who were married to each other. God designed the family to be that way and that is the way the family should stay.
Some people say that gay couples should be allowed to adopt children because there are a lot of children out there who need to be adopted and there aren't enough heterosexual couples to adopt them. I have no idea how true this statistic is about there being too many children waiting to be adopted but that is not an excuse for a homosexual couple to be allowed to adopt a child. There are quite a few families out there who adopt quite a lot of children. If more families were willing to adopt a significant number of children then that would help to alleviate this problem if it really even exists to begin with. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want families adopting children unless they can afford to care for them. However, I do think that families who are wanting to adopt a significant number of children should be allowed to do so. Indeed they should be encouraged to do so. But of course they should definitely be able to take care of the children too and that would mean that they have at least one source of stable income which is large enough to support a large family. That said I am sure that there are other alternatives to homosexual "parenting". I don't know what they would be at this time but its definitely something to think about.
Another thing that really bothers me is the fact that abortion is still legal in the United States. I wish that it were not legal at all. Abortion is the murder of an unborn child. Sometime it is done by ripping the unborn child, also known as a fetus, apart limb by limb. Other times it is done by giving a medication which kills the unborn baby and then the mother takes another medication which causes her to expel the dead unborn child. Another form of abortion involves a saline injection. Saline abortions are done at 16 weeks of age or older because there must be enough fluid in the amniotic sac which surrounds the unborn baby. A long needle is inserted into the mother's abdomen and then as much amniotic fluid as possible is withdrawn. Then the abortionist injects saline solution into the amniotic sac. The baby will then swallow the saline solution and the solution will burn his/her skin. This solution poisons the baby. Keep in mind that this abortion procedure is incredibly painful to the unborn child. This poor unborn child suffers for some time before he/she dies and is expelled by his/her mother into a toilet or whatever other receptacle. A surgical abortion, of which there are a couple of different types, is also very painful to the unborn child. I described one type above which is the one where the baby is ripped apart in his/her mother's womb limb by limb. Both the Suction Aspiration method and the Dilation and Curettage method involve either ripping the baby's limbs apart or the baby is cut into pieces. There is also an abortion method called Dilation and Evacuation. This method is used in the Second Trimester of pregnancy when the baby is already significantly developed. The abortionist uses forceps to grab parts of the baby such as his arms or legs and then tears the baby apart. After this, the baby's skull is crushed and the remains of the unborn baby is removed. There are also other forms of abortion but I do not have the time to talk about all of them here so here is a link: http://www.all.org/nav/index/headin
I have also noticed an increase in corporate greed here in the United States. Its pretty sad that this is occurring. I wish it would not happen but it does. I sometimes wonder if corporate greed isn't caused or at least aggravated by capitalism.
Another thing that bothers me about this world is that moral relativism is the rule of the day anymore. So many people seem to think that there is no such thing as right and wrong. Well, they may believe that there is such a thing as right and wrong but they believe morality is relative. I don't really know how to explain this but Pope Benedict described the moral relativism problem as the Dictatorship of Relativism which I think is a really good term to describe it.
But anyway, I am going to end this post here. If I were to continue I'd probably go on and on and on....
Precious has been sick lately. I asked for prayers on Catholic Answers Forums for her. Most of the people who posted on her prayer thread have been very kind and I am very grateful for those who were so kind and nice. I have been concerned about her but she is healing so I think everything will be okay. :)
So basically I feel that the term "Undocumented Immigrants" is a better term than "Illegal Aliens". This is, of course, in reference to people who come to the United States in an illegal manner. Many times this would include people from Mexico and other Latin American countries sneaking over the border between Mexico and Texas. There are other instances in which people come to the United States in an illegal manner or they are here illegally. Sometimes this means that they let their visa expire and other times it means that they snuck over here without the United States government allowing them to or giving them permission to do so.
Don't get me wrong, I am opposed to breaking the law in order to enter into the United States of America. It is wrong to do so. As far as I am concerned, the laws concerning immigration and visitation to the United States are just laws although they may need some reform. There is also the fact that sometimes people enter the United States illegally in order to perpetrate crimes on American citizens. Sometimes this means trafficking in illegal drugs. Other times it could be that they have the intention of committing terrorism. But then again, they do not always have an evil motive. Sometimes they are simply trying to escape destitute poverty in their native country. Sometimes they are trying to escape oppression in their native country. This is the main reason why I prefer the term "Undocumented Immigrants" to "Illegal Aliens". The term "Illegal Aliens" just seems to be a very negative and condescending term. Yes, coming to the United States illegally for any reason or staying here illegally for any reason is wrong because it is against the law and we are obligated to obey the laws. However, it just seems to me that this term is kind of offensive to their personal dignity as human beings. The fact is that they are human beings just like us and so they do need to be treated with a certain amount of dignity and respect. Now granted if they commit a crime then they are not going to be given the same amount of respect as someone who didn't commit a crime but nevertheless they should always be treated with dignity. All people should be treated with dignity.
Well, I'm not sure if I expressed my thoughts in a way that is understandable or not but I hope you understand what I mean. Basically I just think that "Illegal Alien" is offensive to their personal dignity. Feel free to comment!
But anyway, an addiction to cigarettes is a very hard addiction to break. For one thing, there is a lot of misinformation out there. A lot of people out there pass of opinions as fact. Regrettably I have been guilty of this myself at times. Here is an example of what I talking about. A man I used to know who had smoked for years and then quit said to me when I asked him for advice on quitting the habit and this is a paraphrase: "The best way to quit smoking is to quit cold turkey. Other methods do not work as well." Well, that's an opinion. Quitting cold turkey probably was the best method for this man to quit. However, for other people the best method to use to quit smoking is nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, lozenges, gum, etc. There is also a somewhat new form of nicotine replacement therapy available now although I'm not so sure you could consider it to be a therapy. Many people call it an "e-cig". This is short for electronic cigarette. Basically these devices look like a cigarette and they have a nicotine cartridge inside. They use steam to deliver the nicotine to your lungs and then you breathe out that steam. That steam looks like smoke. So this form of nicotine replacement therapy is very similar to smoking an actual cigarette. The difference between using an electronic cigarette and nicotine patches, lozenges, etc is that with the former you never have to quit using it. With the latter, you do quit using it. So in other words, you can continue using nicotine for the rest of your life if you want to and in order to do this without smoking a cigarette or using another form of tobacco you would use an electronic cigarette. However, if you want to quit using nicotine and/or tobacco completely then your options would include nicotine patches, nicotine lozenges, quitting cold turkey, and other methods. But anyway, my point is that some people different methods more effective than others. Medical professionals will tell you that the easiest way to quit is to use nicotine replacement therapy. I believe that they are probably right. However, I do know that you can also quit cold turkey if you want to. It can be very difficult to do so due to nicotine withdrawal but it is possible.
One thing I have noticed over the years is that the longer a person smokes, the more difficult it is to quit. I am not sure if the physical addiction becomes stronger or if it is psychological and/or behavioral issues that cause this. My opinion (and this is not medical fact... I am not a doctor) is that the reason for this is because smoking cigarettes becomes a deeply ingrained habit the longer you do it. For example, many people automatically smoke whenever they have a cup of coffee. Other people automatically light up after they are done eating.
So anyway my point thus far is that addiction to cigarettes is a very difficult habit to break and therefore we should have compassion on those who deal with this addiction. It irritates me when I see people who seem to be condemnatory of those who smoke cigarettes because I don't believe that they fully realize just how much of a struggle it is to quit smoking. I am in the process of quitting smoking right now. I have not smoked any cigarettes whatsoever since about 3 AM EST on Saturday morning and believe me, its been very difficult. I think it was last night I had a craving for a cigarette that lasted probably 10 or 15 minutes. Thanks be to God that I was able to keep saying no to the cravings. I have been more irritable than usual as well since I stopped smoking. From what I understand, that is completely normal because I am suffering from nicotine withdrawal.
On the other hand I can completely understand why people have strong opinions concerning cigarette smoking and all tobacco use. After all, there have been many many people who have ended up with a tragic disease due to smoking cigarettes or other tobacco usage. One of my own family members has heart disease and emphysema because at one time he smoked. He quit smoking cold turkey back in the 1980s but still to this very day he has to live with the consequences of having smoked in his past. But then again, on the other hand, had he not quit when he did, he likely would not have lived to see me or my sisters grow up. Because smoking has affected his life so much, he has very strong feelings about smoking and I don't blame him a bit. Smoking has affected my life quite a bit too. My Asthma is currently a lot worse than it used to be and that is at least partly due to smoking cigarettes. I might also have an infection but my body probably would have fought any infection off more easily had I not been smoking those cancer sticks. The fact is that smoking cigarettes or using tobacco of any type can drastically affect your life. Just ask the countless people who are no longer here on earth because smoking cigarettes caused them to have a massive heart attack and die. Ask the countless people who are no longer here on earth because smoking cigarettes gave them cancer. Ask the countless people who are no longer here on earth because smoking cigarettes caused them to have a stroke which killed them. But then again you could also ask the countless people who are still alive but who are living with severe emphysema or another form of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease because they smoke(d) cigarettes. You could also ask the people who had a heart attack, had cancer, or a stroke who are still living. Ask them what life is like because they smoke(d). I can almost certainly guarantee you that none of them will paint a pretty picture of what life is like because they smoke(d). If you want to learn more about the health effects of smoking, visit this website which is from the Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statist
So, in closing, I completely understand if you hate the fact that some people smoke. But if you mention it in your conversation whether online or offline, please try to be charitable and compassionate in your words. You know whether or not you might seriously hurt someone's feelings because they want to quit smoking with all of their heart but they sincerely do not believe that they can. If you are irritable, why not spend that irritation in praying for those who do smoke that they would be able to quit.
May God bless all of you and if you smoke, please consider quitting. I want you to strongly consider quitting. Smoking those cancer sticks may very well cause you to not wake up tomorrow. I want all of you to live in good health, not to suffer like I did and still do because of smoking.
- Current Mood: irritated
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
(Isaiah 5:20 RSV-CE)
So woe to those who call Paganism good and Christianity evil! Indeed, woe to those who call Paganism good but don't even have an opinion on Christianity! And why is that? Because Paganism is evil and it is wrong to call something that is evil a good thing.
There are many forms of Paganism. Some practice a religion called Druidism while others practice a religion called Wicca. Both are modern forms of ancient Paganism. Both are evil religions. Both worship false idols and reject worship of the one true God. I am not certain about Druids but I do know that Wiccans practice divination and spells. Some of them also believe in astrology, palm readings, tarot card readings, and other evil things. Lets see what the Catholic Church has to say about this:
Divination and magic
2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.
2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.
So as we can see, God can reveal the future to His prophets or to His saints but still, a sound Christian attitude consists of putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future and a sound Christian attitude also gives up any and all unhealthy curiosity about the future. We also see that improvidence can also constitute a lack of responsibility.
We also see that all forms of divination are to be rejected. Note that it does not say "some" forms but "all" forms of divination are to be rejected. Conjuring up the dead, consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm readings, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, recourse to mediums and all other forms of divination conceal a desire for power over time, history, and other human being as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. We can see that they contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone. ALL forms of divination are to be rejected.
We can also see that ALL practices of magic and sorcery by which one attempts to tame occult powers, even if it were for the sake of restoring health, are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion and are to be rejected. The practices are condemned even more when they are accompanied by the intention of harming someone or if/when they have recourse to demons. We also see that wearing charms is reprehensible. Spiritism is also rejected. Finally we see that recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.
I also want to make note of the fact that divination, magic, sorcery, spiritism, and other occult practices are spiritually dangerous. The Catechism does not mention this but they are indeed spiritually dangerous. Such practices can lead to serious problems with the demonic realm. Indeed sometimes they can end up with the practitioner becoming possessed by demons or even by Satan himself. Demonic possession isn't the only problem that can occur though. Other problems such as demonic oppression, obsession, and infestation can also occur. Here is an article by a Catholic source which discusses the link between occultism and demonic problems:
I would also like to share with you some passages from the Bible about occultism with a short commentary following each from me:
"Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
(Leviticus 19:31 RSV-CE)
Here in Leviticus 19:31 we see a clear command from God that we not turn to mediums or wizards and that we do not seek them out.
And when they say to you, "Consult the mediums and the wizards who chirp and mutter," should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?
(Isaiah 8:19 RSV-CE)
Here in Isaiah 8:19 we see that consulting God is much better than consulting mediums and wizards. Indeed, as I showed earlier, consulting mediums and wizards is condemned by God.
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death."
(Revelation 21:8 RSV-CE)
Here in Revelation 21:8 we see that sorcery is just as serious a sin as murder, idolatry, fornication, and lying. We see that sorcerers will go to Hell (if they do not repent).
And he burned his son as an offering, and practiced soothsaying and augury, and dealt with mediums and with wizards. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
(2 Kings 21:6 RSV-CE)
Here in 2 Kings 21:6 we see that someone burned his son as an offering, practiced soothsaying and augury, and dealt with mediums and wizards. We see that he did evil in the sight of the Lord by this and provoked the Lord to anger by his occult practices. Clearly this is a condemnation of occult practices.
And beware lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and worship them and serve them, things which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.
(Deuteronomy 4:19 RSV-CE)
Here in Deuteronomy 4:19 we see a condemnation of idolatry which Pagans practice. They often worship false "gods" such as Zeus, Athena, or Aphrodite. Such practices are to be condemned.
"If a person turns to mediums and wizards, playing the harlot after them, I will set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people.
(Leviticus 20:6 RSV-CE)
Here we see in Leviticus 20:6 that turning to mediums and wizards was such a serious sin that God turned His face against the people who did that and cut them off from His people.
And he burned his sons as an offering in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and practiced soothsaying and augury and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with wizards. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
(2 Chronicles 33:6 RSV-CE)
Here again we see how a person provoked God to anger by practicing occult practices.
Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Galatians 5:19-21 RSV-CE)
Here we see that those who practice sorcery (among the other sins listed) will not inherit the kingdom of God, Heaven.
And a number of those who practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all; and they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.
(Acts 19:19 RSV-CE)
Here we see that in the early Church, those who converted to Catholicism and who were previous practitioners of occult practices would burn their magical books as a sign that they had repented of the evil practice of practicing the occult.
Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood.
(Revelation 22:14-15 RSV-CE)
Here we see that sorcerers among others are left outside of the gates of Heaven.
The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
(2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 RSV-CE)
Here we see that Satan can deceive others through signs and wonders. These signs and wonders may be the result of practicing the occult.
And in that day, says the LORD, I will cut off your horses from among you and will destroy your chariots; and I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down all your strongholds; and I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no more soothsayers; and I will cut off your images and your pillars from among you, and you shall bow down no more to the work of your hands; and I will root out your Ashe'rim from among you and destroy your cities. And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance upon the nations that did not obey.
(Micah 5:10-15 RSV-CE)
Here we see that God hates sorceries and soothsayers as well as idolatry. Indeed, He tells us here that he will cut off such things from the hands of those who practice them and that He will execute His vengeance upon nations that did not obey His commands.
And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, every man against his brother and every man against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom; and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their plans; and they will consult the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the wizards; and I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master; and a fierce king will rule over them, says the Lord, the LORD of hosts.
(Isaiah 19:2-4 RSV-CE)
Here we see that the Egyptians who were ancient Pagans practiced the occult.
"When you come into the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD; and because of these abominable practices the LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you so to do.
(Deuteronomy 18:9-14 RSV-CE)
Here we see another condemnation by God of occult practices.
"A man or a woman who is a medium or a wizard shall be put to death; they shall be stoned with stones, their blood shall be upon them."
(Leviticus 20:27 RSV-CE)
Here we see that in Old Testament times the practice of the occult was considered to be such a serious sin that those who practiced this abominable sin were put to death.
"You shall not permit a sorceress to live.
(Exodus 22:18 RSV-CE)
Here is another example of how the death penalty was used for those who practiced the occult in the Old Testament.
But there was a man named Simon who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the nation of Sama'ria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all gave heed to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is that power of God which is called Great." And they gave heed to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed. Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Sama'ria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, "Give me also this power, that any one on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter said to him, "Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity." And Simon answered, "Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me."
(Acts 8:9-24 RSV-CE)
Here we see a story of a man named Simon who practiced magic but who converted to Catholicism.
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: "I am the LORD, who made all things, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth-- Who was with me?-- who frustrates the omens of liars, and makes fools of diviners; who turns wise men back, and makes their knowledge foolish; who confirms the word of his servant, and performs the counsel of his messengers; who says of Jerusalem, 'She shall be inhabited,' and of the cities of Judah, 'They shall be built, and I will raise up their ruins'; who says to the deep, 'Be dry, I will dry up your rivers'; who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfil all my purpose'; saying of Jerusalem, 'She shall be built,' and of the temple, 'Your foundation shall be laid.'"
(Isaiah 44:24-28 RSV-CE)
Here we see how God has the power to frustrate omens and to make fools of those who practiced divination.
Anyway, there are a lot more verses in the Bible which mention occultism. You can find a list of the passages here:
May God bless you all. If you practice the occult or Paganism, please leave that evil religion now! If you do not, you may very well die before you have the chance to repent and find yourself in Hell for eternity.
There are secular/Atheist charities out there which do good works. I commend them for the good works that they do. However, no Atheist will receive an eternal reward for any good works that they do because you must also have faith. It is impossible to please God without faith.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
(Hebrews 11:6 NRSV-CE)
Indeed it is true that Atheists are fools.
To the leader. Of David. Fools say in their hearts, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.
(Psalms 14:1 NRSV-CE)
So, be warned that if you are doing all the good works in the world but yet have no faith, you will receive no eternal reward for your good works. You will receive an earthly reward but not a Heavenly reward. Which reward would you rather have? The reward that lasts for eternity or the reward that ends when death comes? I'd rather have the reward that lasts for eternity and so I will have works and faith.
We are NOT saved by "faith alone"! That is the teaching of this Live Journal post of mine. Many Protestants hold to the heresy that we are saved by "faith alone". That is simply not true! Just because you have faith in God does NOT mean that you are going to go to Heaven. You MUST obey the commandments of God and you MUST avoid sin or you will NOT go to Heaven! Those who disobey the commandments of God and do not avoid sin are often in a state of mortal sin. If you die in a state of mortal sin you WILL go to Hell regardless of whether or not you have faith in God! Indeed, even the demons have faith in God but yet they tremble.
Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble.
(James 2:19 DRB)
The Bible shows us in many places that works and avoiding sin are necessary. Here are a few to prove this:
For if we sin wilfully after having the knowledge of the truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins: But a certain dreadful expectation of judgment, and the rage of a fire which shall consume the adversaries. A man making void the law of Moses dieth without any mercy under two or three witnesses: How much more, do you think he deserveth worse punishments, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God and hath esteemed the blood of the testament unclean, by which he was sanctified, and hath offered an affront to the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said: Vengeance belongeth to me, and I will repay. And again: The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
(Hebrews 10:26-31 DRB)
What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? And if a brother or sister be naked and want daily food: And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works. Shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith. Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou that faith did cooperate with his works and by works faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God. Do you see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only? And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving the messengers and sending them out another way? For even as the body without the spirit is dead: so also faith without works is dead.
(James 2:14-26 DRB)
And why call you me, Lord, Lord; and do not the things which I say? Every one that cometh to me and heareth my words and doth them, I will shew you to whom he is like. He is like to a man building a house, who digged deep and laid the foundation upon a rock. And when a flood came, the stream beat vehemently upon that house: and it could not shake it: for it was founded on a rock. But he that heareth and doth not is like to a man building his house upon the earth without a foundation: against which the stream beat vehemently. And immediately it fell: and the ruin of that house was great.
(Luke 6:46-49 DRB)
Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock, And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock. And every one that heareth these my words and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand, And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof. And it came to pass when Jesus had fully ended these words, the people were in admiration at his doctrine. For he was teaching them as one having power, and not as the scribes and Pharisees.
(Matthew 7:21-29 DRB)
And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why askest thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith to him: All these have I kept from my youth, what is yet wanting to me? Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
(Matthew 19:16-21 DRB)
But if any man have not care of his own and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.
(1 Timothy 5:8 DRB)
But I chastise my body and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway.
(1 Corinthians 9:27 DRB)
Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only but much more now in my absence) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.
(Philippians 2:12 DRB)
For we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil.
(2 Corinthians 5:10 DRB)
Who will render to every man according to his works. To them indeed who, according to patience in good work, seek glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life: But to them that are contentious and who obey not the truth but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation.
(Romans 2:6-8 DRB)
And all nations shall be gathered together before him: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry and fed thee: thirsty and gave thee drink? Or when did we see thee a stranger and took thee in? Or naked and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison and came to thee? And the king answering shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me. Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty and you gave me not to drink. I was a stranger and you took me not in: naked and you covered me not: sick and in prison and you did not visit me. Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to thee? Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen: I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me. And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.
(Matthew 25:32-46 DRB)
And let him that is instructed in the word communicate to him that instructeth him, in all good things. Be not deceived: God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit of the spirit shall reap life everlasting. And in doing good, let us not fail. For in due time we shall reap, not failing. Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
(Galatians 6:6-10 DRB)
And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments. He who saith that he knoweth him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar: and the truth is not in him.
(1 John 2:3-4 DRB)
And he that keepeth his commandments abideth in him, and he in him. And in this we know that he abideth in us by the Spirit which he hath given us.
(1 John 3:24 DRB)
For this is the charity of God: That we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not heavy.
(1 John 5:3 DRB)
And before you complain about it being a Catholic translation of the Bible, I know it is a Catholic translation of the Bible. I am a Catholic and so I use a Catholic translation of the Bible. However, I guarantee you that you can look up these same Bible passages in any Protestant translation of the Bible and you will see that the teaching is exactly the same. Even Protestant translations of the Bible prove that the Protestant heresy of "salvation by faith alone" is false! Go ahead and look up these passages in your Protestant Bible and you will see that the Catholic Church is correct when she condemns the heresy of "salvation by faith alone"!
I think you will also find that these same verses condemn the heresy of "once saved always saved" or "eternal security". This is a heresy that some Baptists teach as well as some other Christians. Beware of this heresy! This heresy can cause people to not be careful enough about their own salvation and thereby end up in Hell!
And just so you know, the Catholic Church does condemn "salvation by faith alone" officially. Here are quotes from the Council of Trent which was a council of the Catholic Church which taught infallibly:
"If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).
"If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema." (Canon 14).
Finally, here are some links on this issue:
- Current Mood: contemplative
2090 When God reveals Himself and calls him, man cannot fully respond to the divine love by his own powers. He must hope that God will give him the capacity to love Him in return and to act in conformity with the commandments of charity. Hope is the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God; it is also the fear of offending God's love and of incurring punishment.
2091 The first commandment is also concerned with sins against hope, namely, despair and presumption:
By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God's goodness, to his justice - for the Lord is faithful to his promises - and to his mercy.
2092 There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit).
I put more line spaces to separate what the Catechism says from what I am saying so that it is clear.
That said, you can see that hope is the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God and that it is also the fear of offending God's love and incurring His punishment. So basically hope means that you have a confident expectation of going to Heaven and also of receiving God's blessings. However, hope is also the fear of offending God's love and of incurring His punishment.
We can also see that there are two sins against hope which are despair and presumption. Despair is when one ceases to hope for salvation from God or for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of one's sins. We see that despair is contrary to God's goodness and to His justice because the Lord is faithful to His promises and to His mercy. Despair is not depression unless that depression is stemming from a loss of hope in attaining salvation or obtaining God's forgiveness or the help from God in attaining salvation.
Presumption is when a person presumes upon his own capacities that he can save himself without help from God or when he presumes upon God's power or His mercy. A person also commits presumption when they hope to obtain God's forgiveness but without conversion or when they hope to obtain glory without merit.
Well, I guess I didn't really have much to say other than to explain what I thought the Catechism means. I hope that I am right in what I have said. If not, I hope someone will correct me. I thought I could expound upon these things more than what I did but apparently I didn't. All well.