In his Epistle to the Hebrews, St. Paul calls Our Lord the “high Priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle” (9:11). Greater than the Israelite priests — those who “serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things” —Christ Our Lord has “obtained a better ministry, by how much also he is a mediator of a better testament which is established on better promises” (8:5-6). To St. Paul — and to all other Catholics — the Old Law was both finished and surpassed by the New Law of the Gospel. Continue reading
There is a doctrine so diabolical, so sinister and wicked that it deserves, in this author’s opinion, a unique claim to the name “The Devil’s Doctrine.” This teaching is sheer poison to the soul which embraces it. Like a spiritual AIDS, it kills the soul’s built-in immune system, the conscience, and it convicts the sinner in his sins and errors almost without hope of conversion. It either throws the sinner into a bottomless despair for his sins, or (more often today) it forces him into another sin against the virtue of hope: the deadly sin of presumption. The doctrine is none other than the familiar Calvinist one of “perseverance of the saints,” commonly expressed by that snidely presented query: “Are you saved, brother”? Continue reading
Rationalists, for whom the supernatural order is a mere fantasy, contend that the Catholic concept of grace alienates man from his nature. The opposite error was advanced by certain modern Catholic theologians who broke with tradition and made grace virtually implicit in nature. Continue reading
This paper answers the following question: Given what Catholics believe about grace, merit and justification, why is it much more logical for Catholics to have treatises on progress in the practice of the presence of God and growth in mystical prayer than Protestants?
To answer this question, we must first contrast the two positions on grace, merit, and justification. We begin by asking the question, “Does grace involve a true change in our inner nature?” Continue reading
Father asks: “Can an ‘implicit faith in Christ’ be sufficient for salvation?” He answers “No.” And he does so in over thirty pages of serious scholarship, with copious references to Fathers, Doctors, approved theologians, and magisterial pronouncements.
Father Brian Harrison, O.S., M.A., S.T.D., is Professor Emeritus of Theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce, P.R. In 1997 he gained his doctorate in Systematic Theology, summa cum laude, from the Pontifical Athenæum of the Holy Cross in Rome. Father is a priest in good standing of the Diocese of Ponce. (Read more about him here.)
Father Harrison’s 33-page paper is online here as a PDF file: http://www.catholicism.org/downloads/FrHarrison_Implicit-Faith.pdf
After the Original Sin, man was left in a condition of alienation from God. Whereas before the sin, he enjoyed infused knowledge in his intellect, loving obedience in his will, spontaneous virtue in his emotions, and no sickness or death in the body; after the fall, he is punished with ignorance in the intellect, malice in the will, concupiscence in the emotions, and suffering and death in the body. God himself has to grant the remedies. These are principally two: The Divine Law and grace. Continue reading
St. Maximus, the monastic mystic and eminent controversialist of orthodoxy against the Monothelites, earned his title “the Confessor” because he died in exile for his heroic confession. In his defense of the orthodox faith against an heretical emperor and supine ecclesiastics, he continued the work of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, St. Sophronius (whom he considered his master), and did much to lay the foundations of the Third Council of Constantinople. Continue reading