Posts Tagged ‘fasting and abstinence’
- With all judgment of our own put aside, we ought to keep our minds disposed and ready to be obedient in everything to the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church.
- We should praise confession to a priest, reception of the most Sacred Sacrament once a year, and much more once a month, and still more every week, always with the required and proper conditions. [even more daily reception of the Blessed Sacrament if it be appropriate].
- We should praise frequent attendance at Mass; also, chants, psalmody, and long prayers inside and outside the church; and further, the schedules setting the times for the Divine Office as a whole, for prayers of every kind, and for all the canonical hours.
- We should strongly praise religious institutes, virginity and continence, and marriage too, but not as highly as any of the former.
- We should praise the vows of religion, obedience, poverty, chastity, and vows to perform other works of supererogation which conduce to perfection. We should remember, too, that just as a vow is made in regard to matters which lead toward evangelical perfection, so vows ought not to be made with respect to matters that withdraw one from it, such as to enter business, to get married, and the like.
- We should praise relics of saints, by venerating the relics and praying to the saints. We should extol visits to stational churches, pilgrimages, indulgences for jubilees and crusades, and the lighting of candles in churches.
- We should praise precepts of fast and abstinence, for example, in Lent, on ember days, vigils, Fridays and Saturdays; also penances, not only interior but also exterior.
- We ought to praise the ornamentations and structures of churches; also images, and their veneration according to what they represent.
- Lastly, we should praise all the precepts of the Church, while keeping our mind ready to look for reasons for defending them and not for attacking them in any way.
- We ought to be more inclined to approve and praise the decrees, recommendations, and conduct of our superiors than to speak against them. For although some of these acts are not or were not praiseworthy, to speak against them either by preaching in public or by conversing among the ordinary people would cause more murmuring and scandal than profit. And through this the people would become angry at their officials, whether civil or spiritual. However, just as it does harm to speak evil about officials among the ordinary people while they are absent, so it can be profitable to speak of their bad conduct to persons who can bring about a remedy.
- We ought to praise both positive theology and scholastic theology. For just as it is more characteristic of the positive doctors, such as St. Jerome, St. Augustine, St. Gregory, and the rest to stir up our affections toward loving and serving God our Lord in all things, so it is more characteristic of the scholastic teachers, such as St. Thomas, St. Bonaventure, the Master of the Sentences, and so on to define and explain for our times the matters necessary for salvation, and also to refute and explain all the errors and fallacies. For the scholastic teachers, being more modern, can avail themselves of an authentic understanding of Sacred Scripture and the holy positive doctors. Further still they, being enlightened and clarified by divine influence, make profitable use of the councils, cannons, and decrees of our Holy Mother Church.
- We ought to be on our guard against comparing those of us who are still living with the blessed of the past. For no small error is made when one says, for example, “He knows more than St. Augustine,” or “He is another St. Francis, or even more,” or “He is another St. Paul in goodness, holiness, and the like.”
- To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What I see as white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, his Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls. For it is by the same Spirit and Lord of ours who gave the ten commandments that our holy Mother Church is guided and governed.
- It is granted that there is much truth in the statement that no one can be saved without being predestined and without having faith and grace. Nevertheless great caution is necessary in our manner of speaking and teaching about these matters.
- We ought not to fall into a habit of speaking much about predestination. But if somehow the topic is brought up on occasions, it should be treated in such a way that the ordinary people do not fall into error, as sometimes happens when they say: “It is already determined whether I shall be saved or damned, and this cannot now be changed by my doing good or evil.” Through this they grow listless and neglect the works which lead to good and to the spiritual advancement of their souls.
- In the same way we should notice with caution that by speaking much and emphatically about faith, without any distinction and explanation, we may give the people an occasion to grow listless and lazy in their works, wither before or after these persons have a faith which in informed by charity.
- Similarly, we ought not to speak so lengthily and emphatically about grace that we generate a poison harmful to freedom of the will. Hence one may speak about faith and grace as much as possible, with God’s help, for the greater praise of his Divine Majesty; but not in such ways or manners, especially in times as dangerous as our own, that works and free will are impaired or though worthless.
- It is granted that we should value above everything else the great service which is given to God because of pure love. Nevertheless we should also strongly praise fear of his Divine Majesty. For not only is filial fear something pious and very holy, but so also is servile fear. Even if it brings a person nothing better or more useful, it greatly aids him or her to rise from mortal sin; and once such a one has risen, one easily attains to filial fear, which is wholly acceptable and pleasing to God our Lord, since it is inseparably united with love of him.
Source: Catholic Rules of Orthodoxy
Reply to Iglesia ni Cristo: Prohibiting priests to marry and abstinence from meats are doctrines of demons?
Marlex C. Cantor wrote an article in INC-Pasugo, “The Church After the Time of the Apostles, the fourth of six parts”. In this article, Cantor said that there are two doctrines of the devil which is embraced by the Catholic Church, proving that the Catholic Church apostasized after the time of the Apostles:
- Forbidding priests to marry
- Abstinence from meats
Cantor did not give the reason why, but a fellow INC member who commented on my blog post, “Is Iglesia ni Cristo the Church of Christ?” said that the proof is in the First Book of Timothy:
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences. They forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. (1 Tim 4:1-3)
REPLY: Marriage and Priestly Celibacy
1. The Catholic Church does not forbid marriage, because one of its Sacraments is Marriage or Matrimony. Celibacy is not a doctrine but a disciplinary rule for priests in the Latin-Rite (Roman) Catholic Church; in Byzantine-Rite Catholic Church, married priests are the norm, but bishops are normally unmarried. St. Paul himself encourages celibacy:
“To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion” (1 Cor 7:8-9).
The Roman Catholic Church wishes its priests not to marry so that they can follow Christ more closely by renouncing marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven:
[His] disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
He answered, “Not all can accept [this] word, 8 but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.” (Mt 19:11-12)
What Paul refers to in the teaching of demons which forbid marriage are those of the gnostic sects like Manichaeans who thinks that matter is evil and spirit is good:
Manichaeans Laity (Hearers or Listeners) were allowed to marry but were encouraged to practice birth control. The Elect (Monks & Nuns) were forbidden to enter into worldly forms of householder marriage. (The Order of Nazorean Essenes)
REPLY: Fasting and Abstinence
2. The phrase “abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” refer to the issue of abstinence from meat offered to idols in the time of Paul. Concerning this issue, Paul said:
“Eat anything sold in the market, without raising questions on grounds of conscience, for “the earth and its fullness are the Lord’s.” If an unbeliever invites you and you want to go, eat whatever is placed before you, without raising questions on grounds of conscience. But if someone says to you, “This was offered in sacrifice,” do not eat it on account of the one who called attention to it and on account of conscience; I mean not your own conscience, but the other’s. For why should my freedom be determined by someone else’s conscience? If I partake thankfully, why am I reviled for that over which I give thanks? So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Avoid giving offense, whether to Jews or Greeks or the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in every way, not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that they may be saved. (1 Cor 10:25-33)
But during Lent, the Church commemorates the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Before his death, Christ told his disciples:
“So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. 26 The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt 26:40-41)
To overcome the tests or temptations of the devil, Christ fasted for forty days and forty nights (Mt 4:2) But the disciples were not able to, not even just to pray with Jesus for one hour. So when the trial came and Jesus was arrested, all them fled and Peter even denied Jesus three times. Fasting (not eating a meal) has a function: it strengthens our spirit against temptations. If we could not fast, the second best thing to do is to refrain from eating what we love to eat, and that is meat (you can still eat fish). The Catholic Church is prudent that it prescribes abstinence from meat all Fridays of the year and fasting only during certain days of Lent (only one full meal for the whole day). The money saved by the person from his fasting and abstinence he then gives as alms to beggars or to charitable institutions.
As an aside, even modern culture have realized the value of fasting and abstinence, not for spiritual reasons, but for keeping ourselves healthy: fasting and abstinence from meat removes excess body fat.