Powerful Sermon: Martyrdom on the Installment Plan February 22, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, General Catholic, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, martyrdom, priests, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Wonderful sermon below from that priest who, for nearly two years, was much missed online as his sermons were no longer posted, but who returned late last year with good, new, relevant catechesis.
Most of us will not “get” to be red martyrs like so many of the greats from the early Church. Father relates the life and death of St. James Intercisus, a figure in the Zoroastrian court of Persia who became Catholic, apostasized under threat of loss of wealth and power, and then was martyred when he returned to the Church of Jesus Christ. Few of us will face such a dramatic test (though, the way the world is going, who knows!). One thing is for certain, those who have the strength of faith to be blood martyrs, almost universally were already experiencing many white martyrdoms in death to self as they grew in sanctity and self-denial on their path of sanctification through cooperation with God’s Grace. For those of us who will never have the final test of a blood martyrdom, these white martyrdoms – smaller or larger acts of self-denial and overcoming of attachments on a daily basis (martyrdom on the installment plan) – are all we shall have to grow in virtue, reject sin and vice, and develop in sanctity. They are thus everything for our salvation.
Put much more briefly, is something, like our faith, is worth dying for, is it not worth living for?
Men should pay particular attention to 20:30 – 23:40 where Father talks of common failures in virtue and attachments to sin, especially those men lost in addiction to porn. Even numerous, regular Mass-going Catholic men have severe problems with impurity, self-abuse, and addiction to porn. That addiction can be all but impossible to overcome if a man walks around with a little porn theater in his pocket (smart phone). Far from fleeing it, he literally carries his near occasion of sin with him.
Father notes that such men, even if they go to Confession, likely do not receive absolution, because so long as he carries this deadly occasion of sin with him everywhere he goes, and sleeps with it next to his bed at night, perhaps, he is constantly involved in a near occasion of sin that, practically speaking, invalidates any act of contrition he attempts to make.
I should add, increasingly, this mass moral scandal afflicts not only men but even some women. Exposure to porn and involvement in the moral sewer of the hookup culture and so much of today’s society has even reduced what was once the mighty bulwark of feminine propriety to the level of what would have been the most lust-addled, out of control man from a few decades ago.
As an aside, I think that is part of the reason why Trump’s “p*$$y” comment set so many women off it precipitated some of the largest demonstrations this nation has ever seen. Trump did not say he does this, nor that he advocates others go about “grabbing” certain regions of the anatomy – he said women would even let him do that, because he is so rich and famous. He was certainly bragging and probably exaggerating, but how many of those women out there demonstrating, if they found themselves alone with one of the richest, most powerful men in the world, would really reject his advances? How many have already given themselves away at firesale prices (heck, often for free, nothing more than the cost of a brief phone call or a couple of texts) to just regular ol’ dudes, if not outright losers? I think the reaction against that offhand, supposedly off-the-record comment reveals far more what women think of themselves, than it says of what they think of Trump. You could see this in the unhinged behavior at many of the protests and especially the proliferation of women, publicly, reducing themselves to nothing more than a small part of their anatomy. But I digress.
Having said that, there is a line between a man struggling to come to terms with whether he has a porn addiction, or occasionally/rarely falling into the sin of porn viewing on his smart phone, and one who is so lost that he can no longer make a valid act of contrition so long as he keeps his smart phone. There is a potential to err on the side of harshness, here, but I’m glad Father said what he did because very few men are aware of the fact that they could fall into a state this dire.
Also note, it is not simply sins against the 6th and 9th Commandments that create conditions where contrition is invalidated. ANY severe attachment to a repetitive sin – drunkenness, contraceptive use, actual adultery, etc., – can involve such constant contact with sin/a near occasion of sin that it places great questions on having true contrition. I wouldn’t freak out about this, but it’s something to be cognizant of and watch against. Are our phones worth losing salvation? For many men, they may well be.
But it’s certainly not just the lay people with problems. Priests, bishops, and most others with formal apostolates in the Church do not act as if they believe any substantial part of the Doctrine of the Faith. They don’t act as if Christ is really present in the Eucharist, nor that damnation can happen to lots of people, that hell exists, that God is really concerned about all of our individual acts, etc. They believe a politically correct, politically motivated, societally-acceptable version of the faith. And they lead souls to hell by their millions through their failures.
There’s so much here that I could write several thousand words but hopefully you’ve gotten a flavor for what’s in the sermon. Let me know what you think.
People always ask me what this priest’s name is. I won’t tell you, but folks, if you’re really interested and you listen to more than a few of his sermons with any degree of attention, he pretty much ID’s himself. Don’t write it here, but you’re smart, I’m sure you can figure it out.