When the Holy Spirit comes, he will convince the world concerning sin... righteousness... judgment.
The thing about the Roman Catholic Church, with the primacy of Peter - the Papacy and the Magisterium in place - is that the Christian can have confidence that the Holy Spirit leads and guides the Church.
The convincing of sin is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
The emphasis on 'the convincing power of the Holy Spirit' is a favorite source of meditation for me, it is part of my deepest prayer. It is the Holy Spirit who convinces us and the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment. How essential this action is, not just once, in a sort of baptism of the Spirit, or confirmation, but ongoing: deep calling unto deep, drawing us deeper into the mystery of the Trinity; the abyss of mercy and love, calling to the abyss of sin and misery, convicting the soul in an embrace of the merciful love of Christ crucified.
The Church in the sacraments, especially the sacrament of penance, assures us - guarantees that the sins we confessed have been forgiven, our guilt removed, and so on. This exemplifies what I say about the assurance we have that the Holy Spirit leads, guides, and vivifies the Church. As the Catechism explains:
The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit:
- in the Scriptures he inspired;
- in the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are always timely witnesses;
- in the Church's Magisterium, which he assists;
- in the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit puts us into communion with Christ;
- in prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;
- in the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;
- in the signs of apostolic and missionary life;
- in the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work of salvation. - CCC
Reading Catholic blogs, and most especially the comments on particular posts, such as those at 1P5 and The Remnant has become a bad habit with me, one I need to temper. Reading such posts and comment, or simply reviewing news aggregated sites such as Canon 212, give me the impression that many Catholics are no longer convinced of the promises of Christ and that the Church "is the Reign of Christ already present in mystery."
The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. This joint mission henceforth brings Christ's faithful to share in his communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ. The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God, that they may "bear much fruit." - CCC
‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’ - Luke 16:31
I wrote that passage in another post, taking into consideration how a 'Protestant', or 'cafeteria Catholic' mentality has taken hold among those people who write and subscribe to those extreme conservative sites - which secular groups have gone so far as to identify with hate groups due to some of their extremist claims.
Thus, wondering to myself, I concluded that even if the Blessed Virgin appeared again at Fatima to support the Holy Father and affirm the canonization of Jacinta and Francisco, many would probably reject her. Critics already have suggested the recent canonizations have been politically motivated, or accomplished to bolster Vatican II and the 'new' Mass. Therefore, it perhaps may be said about them, "If they will not listen to the Pope and the Magisterium, if they reject the Councils and the Liturgical books, if they even reject the emerging recognition of the SSPX and Bishop Fellay, if they reject the authenticity of the election of Pope Francis, then they will not be persuaded if the holy Virgin appears here or there, or if the SSPX is united with the Pope, or the consecration of Russia is repeated every day - word for word - until the end of the world."
These people, with their groups, blame the Church for not promoting Fatima, for not 'responding to Our Lady's call'. They claim educated, liberal Catholics are embarrassed by apparitions - and never more so, than about Fatima. They just don't get it it however - those who feel persecuted for their devotion and promotion of the Fatima message. My first impulse is to say they are stupid people - but they are really not... and of course, who am I to judge? Therefore I apologize for having done so, or called them out as 'stupid people' - only some of their theories are stupid - I think I covered that already.
However, if these groups and their followers really want to understand why many normal Catholics - well educated or not - reject private revelations and the fringe Fatima cults, it is because of the nuttiness they have layered on top of the authentic message. So many adherents to Fatima, and other approved/unapproved apparitions and private revelations involving a garden variety mystics, come out with parallel messages, crazy interpretations of secrets, infighting about this or that detail, absurd claims, and just very strange superstitious analysis of every sort of unusual phenomenon - be it weather related or political. What reasonable person would be interested in that stuff? So don't blame reasonable people for having doubts or not paying attention to you.
So anyway. As Doris Upson said about Gloria's ping-pong story, "Well, it was amusing." And that's why I will read and comment on such nuttiness from time to time. It's amusing. If it annoys you, please don't read me, I have no interest in promoting my blog. I like to write because it helps me think and come to terms with issues which trouble me. In real life, as online, I find religious people nearly impossible to carry on a conversation with.
Just yesterday, a high school friend on Facebook, whom I haven't even talked to for over 50 years, and who happens to be a minister/preacher, took offence at some satirical comments I made about VP Pence, President Trump, as well as those traditional Catholics who support Trump as chosen by God - yet reject the fact that Pope Francis really was/is the Successor of Peter - and for that matter, successor of Benedict XVI. It strikes me as beyond irony how easily they can compartmentalize these things in their head. Nevertheless my Evangelical brother took it personally and posted a couple of anti-papist videos on another friend's blog, in response to the comment I made. I removed my comment and his offensive response left with it. I don't want to be cluttering up other friends walls.
The upshot? I'll try to be more sensitive when writing about Protestants and protestant Catholic Traditionalists on Facebook or in the com-boxes of others.
Well, that does it for today I guess.
Lord Paddington: "Now don't get excited, old boy...
Come now Fatty, do try to calm yourself.
One doesn't have to be coarse."