We know we should be ranting but...we just have to get this out there: some people really do know what's going on. That's a good thing. When it comes to a world where Christian philosophers are found in the HISTORY section of the bookstore while Modernists are found in the PHILOSOPHY section, it is rare to find fellow true Christians. we have been blessed at school, where we have grown with like-minded individuals. But since being home, it has been tough because very few people outside of the famed "Bubble" see the truth and try to live it. Few people see that the Christian life is difficult. Few people see that "Emotionalism" in religion is driven by false intentions and is ultimately bribery. Few people see that certain truths of Christianity can be known by natural reason ALONE, truths both theological and moral. Few people see that hell exists and that damnation of souls actually does happen. Few admit that the use of reason is good and that faith is a rational assent of the intellect to truth presented to it from an exterior source (God).
Since coming home we have encountered very few who share these beliefs, and those who do scare us (SSPX, say no more say no more).
But this afternoon we were blessed to have a conversation with a former high school teacher of ours who really does know what's going on. It was she who said that when it comes to matters of morality, people know that there is a line you don't cross, either by revelation through Scripture or through the natural law alone. There may be some "wiggle room" for ignorance, but at some point it becomes manifestly wrong. Good stuff, that.
Gratias agimus tibi, magistra.
Now, to ranting. Something else she and we discussed: predestination gone wrong. Now we are currently studying the concept of predestination, foreknowledge, all that jazz. It's pretty complicated stuff and we don't pretend to know what we're talking about in detail, compared to Papa Sanctus Pius X of the blog. However, Trent does state definitively that "No one, moreover, so long as he is in this mortal life, ought so far to presume as regards the secret mystery of divine predestination as to determine for certain that he is assuredly among the number of the predestined; as if it were true that he who is justified either cannot sin any more, or, if he do sin, that he ought to promise himself an assured repentance. For except by special revelation it cannot be known whom God hath chosen unto Himself." (Denz. 805)
Now, its clear that those who are among the elect, however they come to be elected (see Pius X for a discussion on that, of the blog), DO NOT KNOW THAT THEY ARE ELECTED EXCEPT BY RARE AND SPECIAL REVELATION. This is what makes us most angry. Presumption is a sin against hope, as is despair. Check your Baltimore Catechisms, kiddies. When people (read: proddies (read: Protestants)) PRESUME salvation because they "know" they are among the Elect and run around mortally sinning etc...WE CANNOT tolerate it. Why can't we tolerate it? Because they are (1) proudly presuming what is in the mind of God, (2) lording their election over others, (3) using their election to justify the SIN FROM WHICH CHRIST FREES US, and finally (4) THEYRE WRONG.
If you are among the elect, you are unable to commit mortal sin. Period. If you are committing mortal sin, you are still a slave to the flesh (in one form or another) and the ELECT - however you believe they became elected - are marked by transformation of the flesh and ordered desires. People who think they are among the elect and think that they can go around sinning anyways will be gravely (!) surprised when they meet our Lord.
And the bottom line is, if you think that you can indulge in sin and still get to heaven, you have another thing coming. If you become addicted to sin, will you be able to live in a sinless eternity? Of course not. People who go to hell, on some level, want to be there. On some level they hate God and don't want to live with Him forever. God is loving, and if you dont want Him, He loves you enough to grant you your wish. God LOVINGLY AND MERCIFULLY DAMNS PEOPLE TO HELL.
Christianity is hard. Virtue is hard. HEAVEN is HARD.
But it is worth it, in time and in eternity.