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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Heresy

Love engenders unity;
Heresy engenders diversity . . .
diversity is heresy.

 

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The Question | Rejection of Graces | Condoning Sin | Diversity

AS a part of studying Church Tradition, every person who calls himself or herself a Christian must develop an understanding of the theological concept of heresy.

 
The Question

Now, many of us in today’s world bristle at the use of the word heresy, but technically anyone who dissents from the true faith is a heretic. The word heretic comes from the Greek word hairetikos which means “able to choose.” Thus a heretic is someone who chooses some aspects of the Christian faith and rejects other aspects of it. To speak of heresy, then, is not judgmental; it’s a simple fact.

  

When a criminal stands in court and hears the judge say, “This court finds you guilty, so go to prison,” that’s judgment. Likewise, when someone says, “Go to hell,” that, too, is judgment.
 
But to tell someone that he is living in sin and is in grave danger of ending up in hell is a warning, not judgment. As for what will actually happen to this poor soul . . . well, only God can make that judgment. 

  

Anyone who wishes to enter deeply into the Catholic faith, therefore, must pose this question: When individuals reject various aspects of true Catholic teaching—and often treat it with contempt and hostility—do they also reject the salvation that Christ offers them through His Church?

Can anyone outside the Church
be saved?

 
To answer this question, we must consider two separate, but interrelated, topics: the rejection of graces, and the condoning of sin.

  
Rejection of Graces

Many persons falsely believe that the garden of baptismal grace will tend itself, but it needs constant attention through the sacraments [1] and sacramentals [2] lest it go to weeds. Through the Catholic Church all Catholics can obtain all the graces necessary to work out their salvation. These graces include not just the seven sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation [or Chrismation], the Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick [commonly called “Last Rites” when administered near death], Holy Orders, and Holy Matrimony) but also all the devotions that help us to pray constantly for our needs and for the sake of other souls, and to sustain us in our efforts to make sacrifices for others.

As part of their protest against Catholic Tradition, however, many persons reject most of the sacraments as well as Catholic devotions such as intercessory prayers to the Blessed Virgin and the saints; moreover, many persons reject the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Furthermore, many persons treat the sacraments with such carelessness and ignorance as to defile them. However much some persons might believe that they commune with Christ in their hearts directly through prayer to Him, our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit and need the physical nourishment of Christ’s Body and Blood to be sustained in the hard work of our salvation, and we also need the spiritual comfort of the community of the saints through intercessory prayer. 

Nevertheless, rejecting many of God’s graces, as long as it does not become sacrilege,[3] is not necessarily a mortal sin, for though it impairs one’s closeness to God and offends and wounds charity, it may not completely destroy charity.

Sadly, by rejecting many graces, such as the Eucharist, the Rosary, the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy, and the Liturgy of the Hours, no soul will be able to advance very far in spiritual perfection. Even if it manages to avoid mortal sin, it will die encumbered by its attachments to the world, it will have many stains to be burned out of it in Purgatory, and it will likely be only a spark of holiness in heaven compared to the stellar luminescence of the great saints who have given themselves totally to Christ without protest.

 
Condoning Sin

The rejection of graces, however, has an insidious psychological consequence. Without being able to cling tightly to the rock of true Faith, we get blown off into the open seas, with no sense of direction and no guideposts, and, in this desolate and empty place, we become susceptible to the deceptions and illusions of human desire. Even in trying to follow our conscience, we more often than not see things according to what we want to see, not according to what is truly good for us—or what serves the true good of others. So, lost in pride and blindness, we defile love and fall prey to all the temptations of sin. 

This is precisely what happens to all heretics. Cutting themselves off from the truth of Catholic doctrine, and drifting wherever the wind of popular sentiment happens to be blowing, everything becomes relative. Sin slowly loses its revulsion. Before long, even those who have been baptized and have (supposedly) renounced the ways of the devil begin to believe that sin really isn’t sin. With their baptismal promises hanging from them in tatters, they end up condoning sin. 

Read about human blindness
as seen through the eyes of Jesus

 
Consider, for example, the seven capital (or deadly) sins: lust, pride, avarice, envy, wrath, gluttony, and sloth.[4] Look at them as evidenced by contemporary life in America.

The sin of lust has become glamorized in modern culture; lust has infested all aspects of identity and entertainment, making lust the most prevalent sin today. Fornication has become a recreational sport. Immodesty has become the cultural norm. Birth control pills have become a matter of personal grooming, as commonplace as shampoo. Homosexuality, bisexuality, and heterosexuality have become choices of preference like items on a menu. Divorce has become no more significant than getting an automotive oil change. Abortion has become just a medical treatment for the unwanted “side effects” of fornication.

Pride, avarice, and envy have become standard practices in business and sports.

  

Wrath? Anger and revenge have become the daily practice of our legal system and our political system, as well as a way of life on our streets and in our homes.

Gluttony? Potbellies and obesity have become a national trademark, in the context of rampant and insatiable consumerism.

Sloth? Resting our potbellies in front of a television for several hours every day has become the national “exercise,” in the context of a growing indifference to self-discipline and personal integrity.

In all of this, life is reduced to its lowest common denominator—personal pleasure and convenience—and sin becomes just a commonplace way of life because a holy life is just too inconvenient.

Here, then, we find the real danger of heresy. When true Catholic virtues—such as chastity; humility; modesty; detachment from the world; suffering and obedience; and prayer and sacrifice as works of mercy—are pushed aside, then sin is condoned even by those who call themselves Christian. When sin is condoned, it can’t be repented. And when a soul does not repent its sins, it falls into unforgivable sin, and it cannot be saved.

  

In aviation, a pilot flying on a dark night with no lighted horizon for reference can become disoriented, putting the airplane into what is aptly called a graveyard spiral—a spiraling dive into the ground. Even as the airplane plunges to its destruction, centrifugal forces will counteract the force of gravity, and the pilot will “feel” that everything is normal, even if the plane is upside down. The flight instruments, of course, will tell the truth, but because everything feels OK, the pilot will ignore the instruments, believing that they have gone bad.

  

With this lesson from aviation, perhaps you can now understand how someone lost in heresy can be living in mortal sin and yet feel that he or she is living a Christian life. Deceived by the sentimental desire to be “accepting,” and ignoring the instruments—the Tradition of the Catholic Church—it will be only a matter of time before he or she plunges to total destruction, to hear Christ the Judge say, “You say you ate and drank with Me, but I do not know you; get away from Me and depart into the darkness.”

 
Diversity

Diversity? Well, the desire of the wicked leads to doom (Psalm 112), and Uncle Sate wants you!

 

gay pride

   

Who wrote this web page?

 

1. What exactly is a sacrament? A sacrament is a visible sign (sacramentum) of the mystery of salvation (mysterium). The sacraments, says the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church . . . . The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions” (§ 1131).

2. Tangible things such as holy water, medals, and scapulars, and intangible things such as blessings are all sacramentals. Sacramentals, says the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them, men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy” (§ 1667).
    Thus, whereas sacraments in and of themselves produce graces for those who are properly disposed to receive them, sacramentals inspire us to acts of devotion and virtue that draw divine grace to us.

3. Sacrilege, says the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “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” (§ 2120).  

4. Of all the deadly sins, only sloth (or acedia) can be confused with a medical disorder. Whereas sloth refers to a lack of desire to work or exert yourself,  fatigue refers to a lack of energy to do things that you really desire to do.
     Chronic fatigue, usually called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), used to be called neurasthenia. The syndrome is characterized by a wide variety of symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, muscle and joint pain, headache, memory and concentration difficulties, and difficulty sleeping. No one has yet found a single cause for this syndrome; in fact, current scientific research reveals that CFS is a complex medical disorder with multiple causation. In my personal clinical experience, however, I have seen that one cause of chronic fatigue can be demonic parasitism.

 


 
The text of this webpage, integrated with other material from my websites, has been conveniently organized into a paperback book of 350 pages, including a comprehensive index.

 

Though Demons Gloat: They Shall Not Prevail
by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D.

 
Though we are attacked by liberal activists from without and by apostasy from within, the true Church—that is, the body of those who remain faithful to Church tradition—weeps, and she prays, because she knows the fate of those who oppose God.
     Our enemies might fear love, and they can push love away, but they can’t kill it. And so the battle against them cannot be fought with politics; it requires a pro­found personal struggle against the immorality of popular culture. The battle must be fought in the service of God with pure and chaste lifestyles lived from the depths of our hearts in every moment.

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