Monday, November 6, 2017

What is a Pharisee?

I wish I had a dime for every time we heard a Catholics who was asked to stop teaching heresy used today's readings to imply Christ fought against faithful teachers.   

Yesterday's homily blew me away.  As is customary, I went to confession this week to confess my contempt for what the pope is doing, that I was seeing the consequences and he's driving me bonkers.    I always explain that I'm a writer and so my screw ups are more serious than the average person because they could cause a reader to despair.   And I'm working out a lot of frustration before I post.

Lo and behold, the homily was about our little problem in Rome.  No names were mentioned but great emphasis was placed on the baptismal duty to challenge leadership even at the top because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Father mentioned you may be accused of being a 'pharisee', but to remember that 'pharisees' were people who were teaching the law but not practicing it themselves.    Pharisees were actually teaching people it was ok to divorce and Christ corrected them.  

He said it doesn't matter how high in leadership a person is, you have to balance what they say against the Catechism, the doctors of the Church to confirm whether the person is teaching Truth.  If in error, the person needs to be corrected and if he doesn't correct himself, the error needs to be explained to the people so they do not follow the leader into the rabbit hole.  It needs to be done charitably - which is where I think we often fail - but not to ever convince ourselves that we should hold back from challenging the person in error.

As the confessor reminded me, the key is supernatural Grace and to keep pursuing it because using It in practice does not come easy.    I've been taking my frustrations to confession about the Holy Father to try to draw supernatural Grace so I can use it to keep readers from despair, tethered to the Sacraments and on the path to know what to say and how to say it to the people around us, for years.  I never once heard the pope is being misunderstood.   I have heard "don't even get me started", "it's a problem", etc.

Please - if you are struggle with this - take your concerns into the confessional.   As a reminder, the confessional is a place to plan to say whatever needs to be said in less than 2 minutes and to have expectations that what will be said to you will be said in less than 30 seconds.   I wait in long lines with good confessors and people are in and out in less than 4 minutes.   It's not a place for a long-winded sob story.  You touch the cloak to draw supernatural Grace, get a one-minute summary of your trajectory and you are off like bride's pajamas. 

I don't think we've seen the tip of the iceberg of destruction at hand, so there is a looong road ahead of us.    Christ help us to always serve You, come what may.

The King of love my shepherd is,Whose goodness faileth never; I nothing lack if I am His and He is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow, my ransomed soul He leadeth, and where the verdant pastures grow,with food celestial feedeth.


Michael Dowd said...

Carol--Why would you confess contempt for pope Francis? Contempt is a positive and appropriate reaction to this destroyer of Catholicism and his totalitarian ways. It has never occurred to me to confess my contempt for him which I express continuously and openly. Please help me on this as one would never confess his contempt for Hitler for example. How is it any different with Pope Francis who for millions of Catholics and others is killing their faith and leading them into sin? To me, a failure to have contempt for Pope Francis is not to be a serious Catholic.

On the movie of the Gypsy Rose Lee priest: A pathetic attempt at self ingratiation. Contemptible!!! And, no need for confession.

Anonymous said...

I am convinced that the Pharisees (and Jesus condemnation of them) are grossly misunderstood today.

Take every passage of Sacred Scripture about the Pharisees and review all of them (in context) together, and you will see a much clearer picture of the problem Jesus was expressing regarding them.

They were not condemned because of their strict adherence to the Law, (as Pope Francis - and others - seem to believe) but because they did not understand the Law to which they were “strictly adhering.” Moses (the ultimate authority on the Law - “Pope” if you will) allowed divorce and the Pharisees were simply following Moses lead - but Jesus points out to them that Moses was wrong to do so, he caved into the demands of the people to allow them to do something evil (sounds familiar doesn’t it?).

The Pharisees were blind guides not because they taught strict adherence to the Law but because they could not tell anyone why they had to follow those Laws. “Just do it!” “Because I said so!”

God expects us to use our great gifts of intellect and will. The Pharisees (for the most part) did not do so. Most of them were just parrots repeating what they heard from someone else. Thus Jesus tells us “do what they tell you but do not do as they do.” (Follow the letter of the Law and the spirit of the Law – the Pharisees did not grasp the spirit of the Law).

Modern day Pharisees are those who want to be accommodating to the sinners of our day - over the exact same things the Jews of Moses day hardened their hearts and convinced Moses to contradict the Law. They don’t understand the spirit of the Law and so they justify the twisting of the Law to suit their sinful purposes all the while claiming there is no change to the Law.

I believe our modern view of the ancient Pharisees is totally distorted, thanks in large part to our modern day Pharisees who believe the Law can be changed without actually changing it. (that is, the Law developes over time as we gain understanding - a distortion obviously).

Demonic times we live in.......I would love to see an “expert” develop this in greater detail.

TLM said...

I can only imagine the responsibility you feel to your readers, but keep this in mind as well...we read facts on the goings on in Rome and often perpetuated by Bergoglio. We see who he has chosen to surround himself with and put into his 'court'. We hear and read pretty much verbatim the insults he throws out almost daily at people trying to be faithful to the teachings of Christ in His Church. Yes, our job is to 'correct' him or any other Catholic prelate that declares error, and yes, to do it as charitably as possible without 'beating around the bush.' The Lord God knows the position we are in. But to ignore his failings altogether, as some bloggers do, is to ignore the elephant in the living room. I pray for him every day, and I pray not only for his intentions, but I pray that he completely convert to Catholicism and lead the Church of Christ in the direction she should go.

Michael Dowd said...

Edward Pentin at the Catholic Identity conference discusses Pope Francis and his methods of manipulation, etc

Irenaeus said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What a great and encouraging post. LOL about "off like bride's pajamas." God help us all.

TTC said...

Michael, you're right of course, it's righteous to see evil as our enemy and what's happening in Rome is evil. Emnity with evil is a natural protective gift that comes from Sanctifying Grace. I guess I was dancing around that my feelings for the man crosses the line and while I don't confess my contempt for other tyrants doing evil to our people - like Obama, Hillary and the coven of Democrats - this is a pope and I'm writing about him. Those two things can go terribly awry and I want to stay on top of it with Supernatural Grace.

Thanks for the Pentin link - can't wait to read it!

Michael Dowd said...

Thanks Carol. If you think you are over-doing it with a critique of PF try a little elixir of Barnhardt.

TTC said...

Michael, Haha!! That is exactly what I think has lost its connection to charity. Imagine going into the public square and talking about your own dad like that? Or your children? Your spouse? All you are doing is inspiring people to despise your family member. When I separated from my husband, as much as his conduct was bad, I never once spoke about him like that in front of the children. Every time they got mad, I led them down the path of believing he wasn't right in the head and heart and we can't wrap ourselves around the wheels of anger. Ive seen people do it and the children suffer the effects. I think that's what she is doing and what I want to avoid. There is a way to say things that acknowledges evil and spiritual abuse but keeps the family from destructive emotions.

The Holy Father is our spiritual father. He is abusive in the most damaging way, and worse, he arrogantly defends his abuse. I am furious but want and need to do a better job getting people through the crucible healthy. If that makes sense!

M. Prodigal said...

Yes, I have had to confess my uncharitable thoughts and words about our pope who, I truly believe, is not a loving spiritual father to the most faithful of Catholics. The confusion and division he is fostering is upsetting and hard to watch happening. I pray for his conversion. But I do not like him nor trust him at all.