Friday, May 11, 2012

Have you been saved?

"...always on the way and therefore always at risk..."

From Salt of the Earth, the Peter Seewald interview with Cardinal Ratzinger.  Discussing issues of sexuality, and the contemporary tendency/danger of making sex a commodity:
So if someone who lives strictly in accord with Catholic teaching proof against these temptations?

You can't say that, if only because man is never simply complete but is, as we have observed, always on the way and therefore always at risk.  He must become himself anew again and again. He is never simply there.  He is always free, and freedom has never reached its conclusion.  But I think that someone who is really living in a living community of faith in which we support one another, in which mutual support creates encouragement, can also live his marriage well. - Cardinal Ratzinger

I expect the same can be applied to the unmarried, single person striving to live chastely.  I was reminded of that quote while thinking about conversion and the danger of backsliding and/or falling away from that first grace.  St . Peter points out the danger, warning:
"When men have fled a polluted world by recognizing the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and then are caught up and overcome in pollution once more, their last condition is worse than the first." - 2 Peter 2:20

In this life, there is no resting point, no finish line; "man is never simply complete."  Which says to me, we can't rest on our laurels or ever claim to have arrived...
"When an unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it wanders through arid wastes searching for a resting place; failing to find one it says, 'I will go back to where I came from.'  It then returns to find the house swept and tidied.  Next it goes out and returns with seven other spirits far worse than itself, who enter in and dwell there.  The result is the last state of the man is worse than the first." - Luke 11:24-26

In past ages, people usually became penitents after their conversions, not teachers and celebrities.

So if we think we are standing, we better watch out, lest we fall.

Art: Prodigal Son, no further information available.


  1. Very good reminding post.

  2. "In past ages, people usually became penitents after their conversions, not teachers and celebrities."

    ... there is so much true in this observation.

  3. Terry said, "In past ages, people usually became penitents after their conversions, not teachers and celebrities."

    Boy, ain't THAT the truth?! It makes me wonder whether this phenomena of "sinner to celebrity" is an American thing? like the whole "Oprah tell all philosophy". It's like the "Mega church" phenomena and the fall of "charismatic preachers" and how lost their disciples are when they fall from grace and have to find another preacher to follow.

  4. When I shared my criticism of a certain celebrity Catholic with someone over e-mail, he asked, "Well, what would you have this person do? Give up an entire livelihood?"

    I said, "Yes."

    But I'm not a spiritual director, so never mind.

    PS -- Because Mark Shea writes his lower-case Ds with big balloon stems, I have to clarify: I'm not talking about Mark Shea. (Well, okay, I am in this postscript, but not in the first part of this comment.)

    PPS -- Terry, did I ever tell you that I have a Mark Shea playlist? I really do! =P

  5. +JMJ+

    PPPS -- When I first saw that image of the Prodigal Son, I thought it was the Good Shepherd. It took a while for the pigs to register properly.

    PPPPS -- Oh, I get it . . .


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