After being immobile for several weeks, I've been taking a long walks over the past few days to gear up for going back to work tomorrow. (Please keep me in your prayers) While walking a few days ago, I man riding a bike stopped me and asked a few questions. Was I new in town, what kind of dog I have, etc. He was doing neighborhood watch. Don't ask me how, but we ended up talking politics. He told me he was a Jew but shockingly told me he did not give a bleep if Iran blows the Jews in Israel to smitherines.
"So what", he told me, "I don't give a bleep about those people. It has nothing to do with me".
He went on to say he wanted to kill his mother who had Alzheimer's, there were three young unmarried women in his neighborhood who had children that were 'bastards' and they should be forced into abortions.
I thought, My God..is this it? Are these the convictions of our fellow countrymen? Is this chilling selfishness behind it all?
I spent an hour cordially speaking to him about Catholic theology, how love for souls and our brothers and sisters manifests itself. We parted friends though I am sure he went home and reached for an Advil. LOL.
Afterwards, I thought about how lost we are without sanctifying grace. I thought about how little I actually draw and how much benefit I receive, how foolish we are. We are our own worst enemy.
From Fr. John Hardon.
The theology of grace is not simple, as may be seen
from the sequence of errors strewn along the path of the Church’s history.
The complexity of the subject is due as much to its intrinsically mysterious
character, since it deals with nothing less than the life of God shared by His
creatures, as to our natural proneness to rationalize and explain everything
in this-worldly terms. Yet a clear grasp of the basic principles is useful
and may at times be indispensable, for directing oneself and others on the road
to salvation. It is no coincidence that the great heresies on grace, like Pelagianism
and Jansenism, had a profound influence on the morals and spiritual life of
those who professed these errors; and that the influence is still exerted centuries
after the original aberrations arose. On a smaller scale obscurities or deviations
from the authentic teaching can be harmful to individuals who are living otherwise
normal Catholic lives; as clarity and certitude can be of immense value for
persons who are sincerely trying to serve God and respond generously to His
The saints understood the importance and dignity
of grace, which they attested is so excellent that neither the gift of prophecy,
nor the working of miracles, nor any speculation, however sublime, is of any
value without it. For the gifts of nature are common to the good and bad; but
grace is the proper gift of the elect. They that are adorned with, influenced
by, and sanctified in it are esteemed worthy of eternal life.
No one has spoken more eloquently about grace than
the author of the Imitation who, through his influence on the Spiritual
Exercises of St. Ignatius, has shaped so much of modern spirituality. “Grace,”
he wrote, “is the mistress of truth, the light of the heart, the comforter of
affliction, the banisher of sorrow, the expeller of fears, the matrix of devotion,
the producer of tears. What am I without it but a piece of dry wood and an
unprofitable stock, fit for nothing but to be cast away.” This is not rhetoric
but only a faint declaration of the truth, since without grace man is not only
left to his own resources and incapable of reaching the Trinitarian destiny
to which he was raised but, because of the fall, cannot for long even remain
faithful to the laws of his own nature.