Society Magazine

"... the Most Persistent and Pernicious Heresy Within Catholicism"

Posted on the 05 June 2013 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni

Fr. Longenecker is stirring the proverbial pot... and is suggesting we should not be good:

When we put being good first instead of being holy first we are replacing sanctification–the process by which God makes us holy from the inside out–with mere human virtue. The problem with mere human NoGoodvirtue is that it is—well, merely human virtue. It doesn’t change us on the inside. “Jes ’cause ya wear a ten gallon hat  don’t mean you’re a Texan…” Just because you do good doesn’t mean you’re being transformed into the image of Christ Jesus.

The next problem with being good (and only being good) is that you are proving the atheists’ point. They like to observe that you don’t need to be a Christian and go to church in order to be good. They’re right of course. People are dumb. When we as Catholics stress good works  and brag about all we’re doing to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, they conclude that the main thing about Christianity is helping poor people. But are they dumb? We’ve told them that this is the main thing. We’ve skewed the priorities. In fact they’re not dumb. They’re smart. They’ve drawn the conclusion from what we’ve told them. They think the main thing about being a Christian is to feed poor people, and they then conclude that you don’t need to go to church to do that.

Then we wonder why no one goes to Mass anymore.

The idea that being good is enough is the most persistent and pernicious heresy within Catholicism. The ghost of Pelagius still haunts our hallowed halls, and we need to hear again and again that we shouldn’t just be good, we should be better, and not just better, but best.

This is what the church calls the “universal call to holiness”–that each one of us are called first and foremost to be holy. To be holy is not to be extra pious and prudish and prayerful, but to become who God truly intended us to be. Through prayer and sacrifice and devotion we draw nearer to God, and as we draw nearer we become more like the One we worship. This is the primary work of the Christian, and as that work is done we are driven out to do the good works that are the mark of our calling.

I've got not being good down.  I'm pretty damned good at not being good.

It's one of numerous reasons why I've committed to go to Mass each week.  Not just because I'm not good, but because I need to be better, but because I know God expects the best of and from me.

So if you're one of those who's noticed I'm not being good, rest assured I'm aware.

But also be aware that I'm attempting to do something about it.

Through Him, in Him and with Him.

Lord, let it be so. 


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