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The Lord’s Mercy Without Justice is mere Sentimentality

Articles | March 1, 2024 | by Catholics for Catholics

These are the words of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger echoing the sentiment of the Angelic Doctor, Thomas Aquinas.    

Each Lent, Catholics reflect on the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.  It is tempting to be presumptuous and to place ourselves in the sandals of the Jews whom the Lord guides across the Red Sea.  Afterall, Passover is a foreshadowing of the events of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.  However, the modern Christian, at times, fails to remember the dues that the Israelites had to pay for their salvation.  In short, there is no Easter Sunday without Good Friday. 

Consider.  Why didn’t God immediately lead all of the Israelites into the Promised Land?  Not until each of the military age men had died in the desert, until all the warriors among the people who fled Egypt had died off, did he lead them into the land of milk and honey.  This generation was not to enter Israel, because they had not obeyed the command of the Lord (Joshua 5).  Not only that, but before the surviving men, those who were either very young during the Exodus or conceived in the desert, could be brought across the Jordan into Canaan, they had to be circumcised with a flint knife.  These are hard words, indeed.

What then had to happen, before the Jews could enter into their Promised Land?  God had to remove the Canaanites.  Not unlike modern man, the Biblical account describes the Canaanites as given over to the dominions of demons, being dominated by idolatry, sexual immorality, and even the sacrifice of children.  God enacted justice upon them to purify the land of their iniquities so that the Israelite people could reclaim it for God.  Like those slaughtered at Sodom, the poor Canaanites probably felt that God did not “Get them”.

To use the words of that blasphemous commercial, yes, God gets us, right where we are, including our transgressions.  He knows us and the hairs on our heads better than we know ourselves. He knows us in a way that is free from self-delusion or willful fantasy that all is well.  The real question is:  do we get God?  Is our understanding of the Covenant correct or are we fooling ourselves?  The sentiment that God is infinitely merciful, that redemption and salvation have already been secured for us is just that, overly sentimental.  Emotional.  Fantastical.  It is all of these and at the same time it is Protestantism, and it is false.  As the newly circumcised Israelites can attest, God both requires, and in his mercy, allows us to have skin in the game.    

This Lent, one must only look at the Israelites and the Canaanites to convince themselves that there is much required of us, despite what the heresy of presumptuous modernism would have us embrace.  The watered down, “God is love”, needs to be measured very carefully before adopting it and its damning results.  If we remain under slavery to sin, never called to repentance, we will experience death.  It is a terrifying truth to behold, but better to hear the truth and reform our life than to be told that everything is fine, only to be lost.  Our Lady of Fatima, Herself, warned us of the harm we would inflict upon ourselves as a result of our sins: wars, famines, plagues, persecution of the Church and the loss of many souls in Hell which the children saw as “a sea of fire” with demons and human souls shrieking “in pain and despair.”

What is truth?  The truth is that if we don’t at least attempt to conform and order our interior selves to the Lord, what have we to offer him?  We have nothing.  Old Testament High Priests offered lambs and immolated them, as the smell pleased God.  Ordained Catholic Priests offer the unblemished Sacrifice, the perfect Sacrifice.  The layman is unable to offer anything other than our sacrifices; our pains and our attempt at mastery of the self.  These are our crosses.  And it is, in fact, merciful that the Lord has allowed us this, through redemptive suffering, to have a place in his Divine Plan. 

The heresy pushed by the James Martin and ‘God Gets Us’ crowds rob us of our participation, our role in the redemptive plan that God chose for us.  Our daily toils are both our responsibility and our privilege to offer to the Lord.  The error here is two-fold.  Not only does a failure to acknowledge this lead us to sin, but it also robs us of the opportunity to meritoriously link our faith to the suffering of Christ.  It is a double whammy, and we are not even getting the whole story.  Somewhere, along the line, rebellious religious decided to allow followers to go blindly on the wrong path, purposely ushering us onto the path which leads to perdition.  Woe to them who mislead the little ones.  How terrified they themselves should be. 

No Catholic organization may be directly behind these foolish ads, but through Francis’ writings in Fiducia Suplicans, Laudate Si, Fratelli Tutti and Amoris Laetitia, the Roman Church is singing the same hymn.  They are complicit in this campaign and they are lurching toward outright Protestantism.  This could be the simple failure of men, but they are so blind that it almost seems as though it is by design that they are losing souls.

The Justice that the Angelic Doctor is talking about is that of the Master, “And calling the multitude together with his disciples, He said to them:  If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel, shall save it” [Mark 8:34-35]

The Cross is Justice.  The Cross is our only hope.  Ave Crux spes unica.




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