So there we have it!!
Sins of irreligion are tempting God in words or deeds, sacrilege, simony, and atheism
Paragraph 2119 says, “Tempting God consists in putting his goodness and almighty power to the test by word or deed…”
Tempting God is condemned in Scripture by Jesus Himself
This is basically when people say, “Ok, God. If you are God then…”
“If you are good, then…”
“If you love me, then…”
It involves putting God to the test
We know this is not the right thing to do
When we are desperate we can think, “God, this is what has to happen. I need this answer. I need this response. I need this outcome. So if you are good, if you love me, if you are God, if you are there, then here is the thing I need.”
Clearly, tempting God is obviously a sin
In our hearts, when we are desperate, fearful, or troubled, we also can be tempted into this exact sin of tempting God
Do you think you would never consider it?
Yes we would
That is the reality of the human heart
Right now I am fine
There could be a time when my fear would be so great that I would be tempted to tempt God
These sins are all in our hearts
Paragraph 2120 says, “Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin, especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us.”
There are some fantastic PRAYERS OF REPARATION against the sin of sacrilege, particularly against the Eucharist so go look some up!!!! (Here is one!! https://thefullnessoftruthapostolate.wordpress.com/prayer-of-reparation/ )
Paragraph 2121 says, “Simony is defined as the buying or selling of spiritual things. To Simon the magician, who wanted to buy the spiritual power he saw at work in the apostles, St. Peter responded: ‘Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money!’ Peter thus held to the words of Jesus: ‘You received without pay, give without pay.’ It is impossible to appropriate to oneself spiritual goods and behave toward them as their owner or master, for they have their source in God. One can receive them only from him, without payment.”
In receiving gifts from God, we receive them with gratitude
We are never the owner of spiritual gifts or spiritual things
Paragraph 2122 says, “‘The minister should ask nothing for the administration of the sacraments beyond the offerings defined by the competent authority, always being careful that the needy are not deprived of the help of the sacraments because of their poverty.’ The competent authority determines these ‘offerings’ in accordance with the principle that the Christian people ought to contribute to the support of the Church’s ministers. ‘The laborer deserves his food.’”
You can never pay for the sacraments
There is a custom to have an intention for a Mass
Maybe there is a fee for that, but you are not buying the Mass
You are not purchasing the graces of this for yourself or for someone else
“The laborer deserves his food.”
In weddings and baptisms, there is a lot of preparation
There is a stipend for them if that is what the priest lives on
The stipend is not expected and not necessary but reasonable
Gaudium et Spes has a lot of quotes on it
Paragraph 2123 says, “‘Many…of our contemporaries either do not at all perceive, or explicitly reject, this intimate and vital bond of man to God. Atheism must therefore be regarded as one of the most serious problems of our time.’”
Paragraph 2124 says, “The name ‘atheism’ covers many very different phenomena. One common form is the practical materialism which restricts its needs and aspirations to space and time. Atheistic humanism falsely considers man to be ‘an end to himself, and the sole maker, with supreme control, of his own history.’ Another form of contemporary atheism looks for the liberation of man through economic and social liberation. ‘It holds that religion, of its very nature, thwarts such emancipation by raising man’s hopes in a future life, thus both deceiving him and discouraging him from working for a better form of life on earth.’”
That version of contemporary atheism can be incredibly hostile to religion
It could accuse Christians by saying, “You don’t care about this world right now because you are only living for the next world. You are fine tolerating bad stuff in this life because you are banking on the reality of the next life.”
That is a false dichotomy
Because we believe there is eternity and what we do in this life makes a difference in eternity, Christians have done more to create hospitals, education, social reform, and end slavery than any other group
Those people that believe in heaven have done more to make this earth a better place than any other group
What does Jesus say about caring for each other?
Matthew Ch 25 is about dividing the people into sheep and goats
Those who go to heaven are those who cared for those who had no food, had no drink, took care of the poor, who cared for those who were homeless, in prison, and sick
Those who did not do those things are condemned
If you ever hear the claim that Christians are only concerned with heaven and we let the rest of this life in the world go to pot, we know that is not true
Paragraph 2125 says, “Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the virtue of religion. The imputability of this offense can be significantly diminished in virtue of the intentions and the circumstances. ‘Believers can have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion.’”
So why are there atheists?
Maybe because we have not witnessed to the love of God in the way that we should
“Ok, Lord. Let me never conceal your goodness. Let me never conceal your truth. Let me never conceal your love. We have been going through 276 days of learning the Faith. Here is what the Church teaches, the beauty and the truth, the power of what the Church teaches. Lord, let me reveal this to the world. Let me proclaim this. Let me live it. Let me live it, in truth and in love, in goodness and in power, with grace and humility.”
THAT IS OUR CALL!!
We are surrounded by a culture that is largely atheistic, at least in our behavior
The reason why is that many Christians are largely atheistic, at least in our behavior
St. John Paul II called it “practical atheism” which means, “I profess faith. But I do not live like God is real. I don’t necessarily live like Jesus is God. I do not necessarily live like Jesus Himself founded the Catholic Church. Because of that, I am a practical atheist.”
Because of that, so many people in our world are also practical atheists
So we pray for conversion of hearts
“Lord, in this moment, convert me. Convert my heart. Help me to reveal rather than to conceal your truth and your goodness.”
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you hopefully later this week!!