Monday, November 03, 2014

Praying for the Dead

There is news about a young woman who killed someone. She told everyone that she was going to do this evil act and many people enthusiastically supported her and a few even helped her do the deed. This woman, this killer, is now dead.

Do you pray for the perpetrators of evil who are now dead? If so, how do you pray? What do you pray for?

We might start with mourning, with recognizing that it is a tragedy that she is dead, even if one is justifiably angry at the evil that was the murder she committed. We might pray that God remember that, despite whatever evils she might have done and did do, she still is a child of God. We might pray that God’s will be done -- that is, given that she is a child of God, that He forgive her this great evil if it be His will to do so and take her into heaven.

Now, as a general matter, forgiveness implies that the deceased had repented of any mortal sin and accepted such forgiveness and redemption before dying. And if they died while in a state of mortal sin, that would be, again as a general matter, an indication that they did not seek or want such forgiveness. But what if the evil were committed in the very act of dying (as it was with this young woman)?

Again, it is a tragic thing that happened. Both the death of the sinner is a tragedy and the committing of the evil, of the sin, is a tragedy. And it is made all the more tragic because such evil tends to cause other people to commit the same evil. Although the evil was committed concurrent with death, we might pray that God find whatever ember of remorse might have been present. We might recall that the Lord delights not in the death of even the wicked (Ez. 18:23, 33:11).

Often we pray, “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.”

If we were to be so presumptuous to judge the soul of this young woman who was a killer -- and it is NOT our job to do so, but if we were to -- we might conclude that she is among those “most in need” of Christ’s mercy. So, in saying this common prayer, we are already praying for her and others who have done such evil.

We might also pray that people having sympathy for this young woman's death (as would be proper) not think that such sympathy dictates overlooking the evil that she did. To do that risks presuming upon God's mercy and presumption is one of the gravest sins that we can commit. In addition, we might also pray for our society, for those who effectively cheered at the prospect of a young woman being killed. Too many people in this culture have made a covenant with death, they revel in killing, their consciences having been effectively killed long before.

God save us. It's clear that we aren't going to save ourselves.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

You Can't Own God

The Eucharist is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is basic stuff in Catholicism.

As such, a consecrated Host - the Eucharist - is not an article of property. You can't own the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. The very idea is absurd and contrary to every teaching on the Real Presence. No human can assert ownership over Jesus as if He were mere chattel.

An unconsecrated host, being merely a kind of bread, can and is property. But once it is consecrated it is no longer possible to be a species of property. And to claim that the Host still is property and that can be owned - that anyone can own the Body of Christ, the Divinity of Christ - is among the highest kinds of hubris that one can imagine.

Clearly, anyone who would claim that the Eucharist is property capable of being owned is either a heretic of the grossest kind or he is someone who really hasn't quite thought through the ramifications of his too-cute-by-half argument.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014