What Is The Essential Purpose Of Prayer?

Just as reverence becomes instinctual to man, we find that man also has the instinct to draw near to the Source of his being, to transcend himself. We perceive that God is closer to us than we are to ourselves, communicating being to us; thus, man acknowledges that whatever fear he may have of God, he cannot escape from himself, and his self is sustained at its root by God. We cannot escape; therefore, the only question is one of rightly relating to Him.

What is prayer?


As usual, I speak in terms of my Tradition, which I uphold as True; but others will be able to see how they apply to themselves; and certain of the more philosophical principles that shall be discussed in connection with the Theological Virtues, deal with truths of reason that apply universally.

There are levels of prayer. Today we will start with the general idea of prayer, and explore some of the simplest forms of prayer. I will follow, in large part, the discussion of the great Dominican priest, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange. He defines prayer:

Prayer is an elevation of the soul to God, by which we temporally will that, which God eternally wills for us to seek from Him – namely, the various means of salvation, and chiefly progress in charity.

There is a lot to unpack, here. First, nothing in the above definition requires us to pray in words; prayer is an elevation of the soul that seeks conformity with God’s will. The Curé of Ars gave the example of a French peasant, whom he often observed gazing intently at the Eucharist, without moving or mouthing any words, for long periods of time. The Curé asked him what prayers or thoughts he composed to God at this time. “Oh, I don’t say anything; I just look at Him, and He looks at me.” The chief end of man is the Beatific Vision—the gaze into the Infinite God, penetrating ever deeper into layers of beauty and perfection that can never cease to build one upon another. Thus, the simple gaze of the soul upon God is already a temporal conformity of the will with the eternal end God wills for us.


Lagrange comments:

This is that interior prayer which was so often the prayer of the Christians of the catacombs and of all the Saints, long before modern treatises on meditation.

He goes on to explain that, for beginners, sometimes formulated prayers are helpful and even necessary—indeed, our Lord gave the Paternoster (the Lord’s Prayer)—because they help to focus a mind that may otherwise wander without words, and because they form the soul in the proper attitude and content of prayer. But if we allow formal and rote prayers to become long-winded, complex, etc., the simplicity of good prayer can often be lost. The Latin rite of the Church, especially, has tried to keep prayer simple, concise, and penetrating; it had a proverb: brevis oratio caelum penetrat – “a short prayer pierces heaven.”

Holy Tradition encourages the custom of meditating on these concise prayers, such as the Lord’s Prayer; this way, whenever one prays them, all the fruits of our rumination upon the prayer can be recalled in the brief time it takes to say them. For example, saying the Lord’s Prayer will evoke a rich panoply of sublime truths, if one says it after internalizing the fruits of such a meditation as this one.


Second, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange’s definition upholds the sovereignty of God. Many people wonder what the point of prayer is. Are we really going to change God’s mind? Does He alter His perfect will and grant us what we want, instead, if we ask this of Him? Of course not. Two things are clear, here: first, the point of prayer is not to ask for any old thing we want (Lord, let the Cardinals win the Superbowl!). God has willed, that many of the things He wills shall come about through secondary causes such as our prayers. In our prayers, we strive to conform to His will. We will for “the means of salvation.”

Some material means of salvation may be granted at varying times and amounts – food, shelter, clothing, good health, etc. The most important of the means of salvation, however, is grace, which heals the soul and leads to an increase of virtues, especially that of charity. “Charity” is used nowadays in a weak sense; but really it is from Latin caritas, a translation of the Greek ἀγάπη (agape), which is perfect, self-sacrificing love. Because grace, charity, final perseverance, etc., are indispensable means of salvation, we know that if we pray for these things, they are infallibly granted. But, we must actually pray for them, and not merely wish for them. What is the difference?

Prayer and the theological virtues


A wish is a natural desire, but prayer is a supernaturally inspired and completed act.

“In order that it be an uplifting of the whole soul to God, prayer must be preceded by an act of humility, and must proceed from the three, Theological Virtues.”

The Theological Virtues are so called, because they are given by God and have God for their object (“theos” = God, in Greek). I will discuss them briefly, but for one to really understand them, he will have to do more reading. I will recommend Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange’s teaching, here.

The Theological virtues are Faith, Hope and Charity. The three of them really operate together, and there is a kind of unity between them. Indeed, where St. Paul speaks of faith, he mentions the unity of spiritual activity derived from it in a manner that includes all three Theological Virtues. “Without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God, must believe that He is [Faith], and is a rewarder [Hope] to them that seek Him [Charity]” (Hebrews 6:11). They that seek, find; and this is why “these three abide: Faith, Hope and Charity; but the greatest of these is Charity” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Faith shall yield to sight, and Hope shall yield to fulfilment, but Charity increases forever.


In the more perfect, the fundamental acts of religion involved in prayer, seem to happen more or less simultaneously. Lagrange discusses them separately for the sake of beginners, so that we may understand more clearly what is happening in prayer.

Humility chips away at pride, which is the obstacle to God’s grace. “When we begin to converse with God, we should remember what we are. Of ourselves we can do nothing, and even less than nothing, for sin is a disorder inferior even to nothingness itself.” Bearing within ourselves something worse than nothingness, let us not presume; let us approach God with humility.

That done, we approach God in an act of faith, which can be a reflection on God Himself, His perfections and qualities, revealed truths and even our vocations and duties in life relative to God. “It is not necessary to spend much time in discursive thought, for the simple act of theological faith is superior to this. It becomes more and more a simple gaze,” as we saw with the peasant, earlier. “This ‘I believe’ seems at times to become an ‘I see;’ we see the fountain of life from afar.”

From this, arises hope; we see the fountain of water, now we long to drink of it. “As the hart panteth after the fountains of living water, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God.” What we see, we desire; we hope to attain unto it.

From this, we reflect that the Desired is good in Itself, not merely because of the benefit to us. We love the Good for its own sake, beyond thought of reward. “If in this act of love our feelings offer us their inferior assistance, we should accept it; it may be useful, if it remains subordinated, but it is not necessary since it vanishes in times of spiritual aridity. We are rather speaking of a calm but profound affection, which is surer and richer than superficial emotions. It expresses itself somewhat in this manner: ‘My God, I no longer wish to lie, saying that I love Thee; grant rather that I may love Thee and please Thee in all things.” Thus, this charity moves beyond the merely affective, and into the effective: a charity that is willing to strive to please its Object.

objectum fidei

For many, especially beginners, this may still seem abstract. Next week, we will go over some formal prayers in the Christian Tradition, something a bit more tangible. But the point of all this is twofold:

1. To show what the heart of prayer is; the pure act of raising the soul to God and conforming our will with Him, humbly gazing on Him with the eyes of faith, desiring and hoping to attain the good we behold in Him, and moving beyond even the thought of reward, to love Him for the Good that He is, in and of Himself, with a love that is willing to endure what it must to be pleasing to Him.

2. To prepare us to see what should transpire in the soul, beyond the mere recitation of words, when we pray with formal prayers. With practice, prayer with words can prepare us for the simple, absolute form of prayer, if it seems too abstract at first.

Read More: Why Is Modern Christianity So Wimpy?

167 thoughts on “What Is The Essential Purpose Of Prayer?”

    1. Just had a late lunch and some wine. Gotta walk my dog and hurry to Saturday evening Eastern Orthodox mass. Thanks for the reminder.

  1. Good stuff.
    For more on a really good description of prayer, pick up Les Miserables (the unabridged version, preferably the grey one with the girl on the cover published by Signet based on the C.E. Wilbour translation) and read the chapter called “A Parenthesis.”

  2. You guys are weird with this prayer shit lately. Send my regards to Zeus or Shiva or whoever.

    1. John, don’t scorn God. This is a space for Red pill men to discuss God. If its not your thing, just walk.

  3. Sometimes it’s as simple as, pick a church, particularly when it’s empty, and sit down and take a deep breath. And it doesn’t have to be a Christian temple.

    1. Very true; my most fervent prayers have always been wordless. One is simply in the presence of God, sees, hopes and loves Him, is moved to strive for Him. That, is prayer.

    2. I actually enjoy being in an empty church, there I can really pray.
      When I go to mass I have a really hard time praying, actually I’m not really able to. I wonder if I’m the only one.

  4. The guys who talk shit about articles like these are probably the same ones who actually come on this site for”game ” advice . Once you stop worshipping Pussy and want to move on to more meaningful things , let us know .

    1. As my brother and I concluded during one of our “philosophical” chats, the one aspect all women are alike are that all have boobs, ass and a vagina. Everything else is relative. Mind you, some women are better equipped than others, but that’s like buying a Hummer H3 just to drive it to buy a gallon of milk when a Fiat can do the same job. Big deal.

      1. And in all reality there are only two types of game that consistently work . Good looks or money /power , the rest is you masquerading as what you think the woman wants you to be for a chance to get with her once , maybe twice . Alcohol and other mind altering substances are also used , meaning that ones personality must be so bad they have to lie about who they are and feed the person drugs just to get laid …..but they claim religion is pathetic

        1. So many young women are so picky and choosy about any potential man because they have such an over inflated opinion about their own appearance. The truth, is painfully often the opposite, they’re corpulent, loud and cheap. There’s a TV program in Britain called “Take me out” which is trashy dating show that I’ve happen to see largely by accident once or twice where 15 “women” get to choose a man they want. In the majority of cases, they turn the man/boys lights off, as he has to perform for their delectation after each round. Afterwards, the smarmy host asks the females in question why they did so (turn off their lights) and mostly the responses are completely banal and relate back to the notion that no man will ever be good enough for me syndrome, which is laughable considering the caliber of these women.
          The point about my digression is that many younger guys can only function in the gaming world these days by masquerading and strutting to these slags tune. It’s what these women want and expect as the bare minimum from them. In other words, men again are reduced to the subservient role of being the joker, player and entertainer for these women as that’s the only way they’ll get some pussy. For anything more permanent, of course status+power+money is the checklist many of them want to see and yet again we always oblige them. What suckers we are! I don’t blame the younger lads these days who have to take alcohol and even drugs in function in this circus, in a way I never did, but, the difference was that I’d never date any old slag even if it meant passing up some pussy on occasions and this is where one’s religious values can play a powerful role in developing a man’s frame.

        2. I’m glad you stated this.
          In my opinion, if a man has to get a woman drunk or doped-up just so she will have sex with him, he doesn’t deserve to get laid.
          Any man who has to do that has NO game at all.

        3. I don’t think he doesn’t deserve it , it takes two to tango . I just think drugs and alcohol are substitutes for developing any actual real skills .

        4. If they drink heavily they can kick rocks , if they can limit to just a buzz I’m fine . But that’s rare in a woman and it’s usually after they’ve binge drank through their twenties

        5. Have you ever considered the perspective that perhaps women are choosey because we are painfully aware that most men are just looking for sex?
          It’s better to be with a rich man, than a peniless, pussy hungry faggot who THINKS he’s so smooth and deceptive with his “game”.
          Smart women think: If you use me, I’ll use you.
          Smarter women think: Let me secure my own future so I can do the pumping and dumping.

        6. “choosey because we are painfully aware that most men are just looking for sex?” This is a simplistic reduction that leads to your natural self justification ” Smarter women think: Let me secure my own future so I can do the pumping and dumping” You prove you’re own point succinctly.

        7. You call it a simplistic reduction, but nothing on this website says otherwise. I don’t see any articles on understanding women on an emotional level, but I see a lot on finding a great pair of breasts and legs.
          It’s very unfair to suggest I’m painting men in a false exaggerated way if no one saying anything to the contrary.

    2. Well said. I also see a lot of guys in other articles insulting and mocking Christianity and I wonder what it is that they believe in if they think they have all the answers. Religion used to be important, and the Western world used to be strong. Maybe there’s a connection there.

      1. They mock Christianity at their own eternal peril. One wonders if they would mock Mohammedens in Dearborn,or some of the worst suburbs of Paris?

      2. We live good and safe. Any whiff of a threat, 911’s there and we’re safe.
        But who’ll save us from the consequences of our own actions, or in the day when we’re plain out of our depths, or finally, when death comes calling?
        Society (read Politicians, money, women, red pill, cars) can only do so much for us, in the end, we all must stand before God.
        May we stand, washed in the blood of the Lamb, Amen.

        1. Memento mori. One of my favourite chants is the responsory, Libera Me.
          “Deliver me, O Lord, from everlasting death on that day of quaking fear, when the heavens and the earth are to be shaken, when Thou shalt come to judge the world through fire.
          “I tremble and fear for when the reckoning shall have arrived, and the coming wrath, yea, even that day when the heavens and earth shall be shaken.
          “O, that day, that day of wrath, the day of calamity and of woe, the great day, and far too bitter, when Thou shalt have come to judge the world through fire. Lord, Christ, Lord, have mercy.”

        2. The things that scares the shit out of me is that the Bible’s prophecies have been 100% true. The creation of Israel being an example.
          That is, if Revelation, is true, that is a serious matter for our destinies. And thing is, if one really comes down to it, there’s no reason to doubt the stuff in there at all.
          So I fall on my knees daily, and pray, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner”
          I’ll be adding the Libera Me to my Morning supplications to the Lord.
          Thanks Monk. You can check out this one here http://www.KjvBible.org
          The consistency of the Bible is stunning

        3. You may enjoy singing it, then. Here is the music for the Responsory (sung in Latin, of course):

      3. Obviously it is not religion that made the western world strong, but industry and science. And there cant be industry without science and engineering. So try again.

        1. Read the comment again -I didn’t say that it was only religion that made the west strong. It was just a general observation about the shift from traditional values to degeneracy. Obviously industry and science were very important contributors too.

    3. Oh the irony. I’ve been thinking about that fact lately. I’m 30, and if seeks all the younger and some of the older guys around me only care about when their next lay is (and I or 2 seem to constantly ask me every minute about if I got laid last weekend – I don’t and wouldn’t share my private life with them anyway – I trust no one, I dont pass out ammo). At this point I’m more concerned about learning more truth about life, human behavior, travelling, and securing my future for the next 50 years, than spend all my finances on securing pu$$y. It seems these guys really are enthralled by the Devil Varina Magic. Once you see past the “I’m horny, had sex, now what” cycle, you realize there is so much more to life. These same people lack virtues like compassion, generosity, understanding, etc. But it’s always interesting when people knock Christianity. The writings hold great lessons, and prayer helps reduce stress, reinforces self discipline, and hones your being (spirit, whatever you wish to call it).

      1. We all start at a big disadvantage, these days. But often great sinners become great saints. A man who is looking for wisdom, who is getting red-pilled, who is hungering for something real, but has not yet broken with hedonism, is on the path to being a much greater saint than any narrow, self-satisfied Catholic, mumbling rosaries and frowning on all the sinners. That’s not a slam on being a pious Catholic – but one should be a pious Catholic with a thirst for truth, a real practice of piety, of authentic reverence, real humility, etc. To simply be a religious scold, is already spiritual death; and truly, the man learning the way of disillusionment in PUA activities and game, who is open to be red-pilled on sex, race, creed, etc., is nearer to rushing heaven’s gates than the other.

        1. Thank you for your reply. I’m not really disgusted by the people, just by what they believe life is about. I almost had a meltdown a few weeks ago after realizing again how dark the world was, and seemed that to survive, you have to be dark and selfish as well. I’m glad I don’t feel I must be this way, but it seemed like the was almost no good let in the world. I needed someone to convince me otherwise. Lucky I was reminded of all the grace given to the denizens of this land, and then I remembered the story of Lot. Maybe, just maybe we have not all been destroyed because there is some good left. Also observing some children interacting gave me hope. Such little people exercise more virtues than adults.

        2. Sure, and I’m sorry if it seemed I was directing my comments about pious scolds at you; that wasn’t my intent. I was just observing that many of the men who seem to be so lost, are not so lost as are many pious hypocrites. I think young men who have been red-pilled, even if they are still in hedonism, are ripe for being the next wave of virtuous, good men, whom God may choose to survive the purge and rebuild civilization.
          But, there must come a purge. There are very few good people, left. The Kingdom of God has been taken from those who thought they had it, and will now be given, possibly, to the “refuse” of the alt-right and manosphere… if they find humility, penance and virtue to go along with the rest of the reality they’re embracing. If they do this, they will be unstoppable, and the first force for good the world has seen in a century.
          And, in addition: “And I will leave me seven thousand men in Israel, whose knees have not been bowed before Baal, and every mouth that hath not worshipped him kissing the hands.” I imagine God has reserved for Himself a remnant.

    4. I must agree. The red pill atheists whatever can be just as annoying as the blue pill atheists.
      Obsessing over something they claim not to believe in and spend all their time trying bang women they claim not to even like.
      I don’t get it. The far left, self-loathing, (so called) intellectual, diversity obsessed, effeminate, filth ruining Western Civilization aren’t religious in the slightest. You’d think they wouldn’t feel the need to read here.
      But whatever, there’s plenty of room for all varieties of red pill men here. And we can respect each others space.
      In my younger pre red pill days, I was all about females. Throughout my 20’s I had around 80 relationships and one ended marriage. Maybe that’s not a lot compared to some of the conveyor belt serial poon conquerors around here, but it was enough for me to get my fill.
      I’m 35 now and have found higher masculinity living more like a quiet Christian Monk combined with the diet, exercise, martial arts, of a shaolin disciple. I have my own business now. Back when poon was more of a priority. I was a common labor force slave.
      I can’t imagine life without God in my life. I do date once in awhile, which reminds me of the blue pill youth I left behind. But i can’t imagine going back to “game” all the time.

      1. “I can’t imagine life without God in my life.”
        Beyond Red Pill, beyond Pussy, beyond money, power and looks, which we here have to some degree, is Wisdom which says,
        The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.
        All that shit will pass away, hell, even the Earth will pass away, but God, will never pass away.
        May we live as wise, Amen.
        Thanks Moner, this space while much less commented on, contains more value than all the red pill combined.

      1. I wouldn’t say just atheist alone , I know alot of people who claim a god but put money , power , and sex , before them .

  5. I have seen the sun break through
    to illuminate a small field
    for a while, and gone my way
    and forgotten it. But that was the
    pearl of great price, the one field that had
    treasure in it. I realise now
    that I must give all that I have
    to possess it.
    Life is not hurrying
    on to a receding future, nor hankering after
    an imagined past. It is the turning
    aside like Moses to the miracle
    of the lit bush, to a brightness
    that seemed as transitory as your youth
    once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
    Nid ydyw Duw mor greulon
    Ag y dywaid hen ddynion.
    Ni chyll Duw enaid gŵr mwyn,
    Er caru gwraig na morwyn.
    Tripheth a gerir drwy’r byd:
    Gwraig a hinon ac iechyd.
    Merch sydd decaf blodeuyn
    Yn y nef ond Duw ei hun

      1. The Vicar of the fields. A Vicar with “honest doubt” who had his face firmly and resolutely turned against the modernity and urbanity of a world which he seemed to grimly resist with a certain degree of pleasure. He was notoriously taciturn and unsociable so I suspect he was a finer Poet than Priest.

        1. I dunno. St. Jerome was the master of that, and he’s a sainted Father, one of the Four Great Latin Doctors.

  6. Some material means of salvation may be granted at varying times and amounts – food, shelter, clothing, good health, etc.

    I think you have “prayer” confused with something like “cargo cult.”

    1. You’ve never seen a prayer heal someone. And if you did, I’m sure you’d piss all over it anyways.

  7. Remote Retroactive Intercessory Prayer
    This happens when a group of people project a powerful feeling of positive thinking and other related emotions from love, prayer, encouragement or whatever else floats your boat are all directed at one person
    The concept of collective prayer involves four highly controversial topics. Which are Religion, Parapsychology, Epistemology and Transpersonal Psychology . I’m not a Paraphysics. Therefore this blog is my opinion after researching the collective power of prayer.
    The term/concept of channeling of psychic energy does not work for me. A good example is that President Obama is alive and well.
    There have been many randomized, blind clinical trials showing statistically significant positive effects of prayer. One of the largest was a remote retroactive intercessory prayer study conducted in Israel by Leibovici.. However, there have been other studies that produce mix results. The problem with these type of projects is that people and prayer can’t be control. Therefore these studies lack control and will produce a questionable result.
    I don’t have the words to explain/prove that there is something to the power of collective prayers. The best way that I can explain it is by comparing the concept with the Fermi Paradox. The postulation is – Through out the ages man kind has been practicing, teaching and improving the art of collective prayer with many positive results. Common since tells me that it must be working.
    Many accept that prayer can aid in recovery, not due to divine influence but due to psychological and physical benefits. It has also been suggested that if a person knows that he or she is being prayed for it can be uplifting and increase morale, thus aiding recovery.
    My thinking is that prayer is a weak force that can be amplified by collect prayer. Furthermore, this force controls a much larger force that could be describe as a subconscious force. The good analogy would be how a transistor works.

  8. La prière du para / The paratrooper’s Prayer
    I’m asking You God, to give me what You have left.
    Give me those things which others never ask of You.
    I don’t ask You for rest, or tranquility.
    Not that of the spirit, the body, or the mind.
    I don’t ask You for wealth, or success, or even health.
    All those things are asked of You so much Lord,
    that you can’t have any left to give.
    Give me instead Lord what You have left.
    Give me what others don’t want.
    I want uncertainty and doubt.
    I want torment and battle.
    And I ask that You give them to me now and forever Lord,
    so I can be sure to always have them,
    because I won’t always have the strength to ask again.
    But give me also the courage, the energy,
    and the spirit to face them.
    I ask You these things Lord,
    because I can’t ask them of myself.
    French original version :
    Je m’adresse à vous, mon Dieu, car vous donnez
    Ce qu’on ne peut obtenir que de soi
    Donnez-moi, mon Dieu, ce qui vous reste
    Donnez-moi ce qu’on ne vous demande jamais.
    Je ne vous demande pas le repos
    Ni la tranquillité
    Ni celle de l’âme, ni celle du corps.
    Je ne vous demande pas la richesse
    Ni le succès, ni même la santé.
    Tout ça, mon Dieu, on vous le demande tellement
    Que vous ne devez plus en avoir.
    Donnez-moi, mon Dieu, ce qui vous reste
    Donnez-moi ce que l’on vous refuse.
    Je veux l’insécurité et l’inquiétude.
    Je veux la tourmente et la bagarre
    Et que vous me les donniez, mon Dieu, définitivement.
    Que je sois sûr de les avoir toujours
    Car je n’aurai pas toujours le courage
    De vous les demander.
    Donnez-moi, mon Dieu, ce qui vous reste.
    Donnez-moi ce dont les autres ne veulent pas.
    Mais donnez-moi aussi le courage
    Et la force et la foi.
    Car vous seul donnez, mon Dieu,
    Ce que l’on ne peut attendre que de soi.

  9. “Atheism, true ‘existential’ atheism burning with hatred of a seemingly unjust or unmerciful God, is a spiritual state; it is a real attempt to grapple with the true God.… Nietzsche, in calling himself Antichrist, proved thereby his intense hunger for Christ.”
    ― Seraphim Rose, Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age

    1. Fr. Seraphim Rose was instrumental in directing me to ancient Christianity; my spiritual father for my whole tenure in the Orthodox Church was a priest trained by Fr. Seraphim Rose. I was given a great gift.

        1. I was a monk for ten years; I was cantor at all the daily services for that whole time, worked as the monastery cook, and spent all my spare time reading the Fathers or praying. I became Catholic after six months of constant reading of the Fathers, in Greek.
          It was not an easy decision. For what it’s worth, I freely admit that most Orthodox Christians are more Catholic than those who call themselves “catholics,” today. It won’t surprise me if more of today’s Orthodox Christians than “catholics” are reckoned by God as members of the Church.

        2. As I’ve been telling you: what you see of Catholicism is not the Catholic Church; the Catholic Faith is not easier than Orthodoxy, though the conciliar and modernist “Catholicism” certainly would be.
          I keep all the same fasts as I kept in the Orthodox Church, plus four others; I found, actually, a greater emphasis on penance and asceticism than in the Orthodox Church, and much stricter standards of behavior. Again, this is in authentic Catholicism, not the apostate mockery of it.
          This nun’s struggle, and mind, is very much like my own:

        3. Aurelius, instead of being a Catholic, why not just be a Christian? Do you understand that much of what the Catholic Church teaches is man-made tradition, and has no basis in the writings of Jesus and Inspired writings of Paul, John, Peter, James & Jude? Go back to the basics and discard all that has been added over the centuries. That is the true church instituted by Jesus Christ.

        4. Buddy, I was a Southern Baptist (and then a non-denominational Evangelical) once upon a time. I was a very committed and devout Protestant, very anti-Catholic (I thought the Catholic Church was “the whore of Babylon,” the whole nine yards). My conversion was the result of much study, prayer and fear. I was worried I was becoming a Catholic heretic!
          The fact is, that the idea that everything should be “Bible-based,” is itself the tradition of men. The Church existed before the Bible, and even told us what belongs in the Bible. The Bible itself calls the Church “the pillar and bulwark of the Truth.” St. Paul commands Christians to keep the traditions he taught them, both by epistle and privately, by word of mouth. There is not a single verse in the Bible, that teaches we should follow the “Bible only.”

        5. Aurelius
          I am not advocating for the Baptists or Evangelicals either – they are all denominations (i.e. perversions of the Gospel).
          Paul has told us not to deviate from the Gospel he has preached (Gal 1:8-9); from the ‘pattern’ or ‘standard’ (2 Tim 1:13); and we are told not to add or subtract from the word. During the era of the early church, there was no ‘Bible’ as you have correctly pointed out. All they had was the letters from Paul, Peter, John, James, Jude and the Gospel books – as individual documents. In general, certain letters consistently traveled together between the churches as a bundle. I can’t remember exactly how the combinations went, but for example, often Romans, 1 Cor, 2 Cor traveled together. Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians often went around together, and in that order. This was part of the basis upon which the Bible as a single book was set up in later years (both in terms of contents and order of books). But there is nothing controversial about what books were chosen: that which was considered ‘inspired scripture’ was already agreed upon at the time.
          If you are going to tell me we should not follow “Bible only”, but also follow teachings passed on by word of mouth, you must surely accept this reduces our ability to assess the veracity of the verbal teaching: what proof is there that the verbal teaching:
          1) is from an inspired teacher; and
          2) that it has not been corrupted across the ages?
          Furthermore, Catholics find themselves in a bit of a pickle when ‘verbal’ teachings contradict Paul’s (inspired!) writings. What is all this nonsense about priests in robes, confessionals, great big cathedrals, incense burners, statues of Mary, a pope, the sign of the cross?: When did Jesus or Paul or any of the Christian writers ever talk about these things? WHERE IS THE SCRIPTURAL BASIS?
          So that my cards are on the table, I will point out that I am a member of the Church of Christ (sometimes with the words non-denominational or perhaps even pre-denominational added afterward). I do not enjoy even having to define my church by this name: I would rather I could just define myself as a ‘Christian’ and a member of ‘The Church’. But nowadays with the preponderance of denominations, a little more information is usually must be provided. My church uses solely the Bible as its basis of teaching, accepting all books as inspired writings. I guess you could say we seek to emulate/replicate the church as it was when it was first incepted.

        6. They are role playing. “here- you be a minister. ok. and you can be a minister too”
          everyone can open a church and twist words as they see fit. Also women as ministers ? No fucking way. Lesbians? Marrying homosexuals? wtf…

        7. there is nothing so cunniving and organized that can be compared to popes organization. so many fucked up things being done by them, and everyone sees them as holy. unbelievable.

        8. Well, this is what I am saying. Christ (and the Apostles) established a Church, and that Church is indefectible. I.e., it cannot fall away from the Truth (“the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”), because it is itself “the pillar and bulwark of Truth.” The Church is the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ; the Church speaks with Christ’s voice; the Church is as incapable of lying or sinning (in her authentic teaching and practice) as is Christ.
          You ask, “Where is the Scriptural basis?” But there is nothing that says the doctrine and practice of the Church must have a Scriptural basis. Indeed, it is exactly the opposite way around: Scripture must have an Ecclesiastical basis. The Church wrote, collected, preserved and, finally, canonized it. Scripture is based on the Church, because it is the Word of God, and the Church is the mouth of the Word.
          Certainly, the Church cannot teach anything that contradicts Scripture, because the Church can never contradict Herself and Her Sacred, Apostolic Tradition – of which Scripture is the first and pre-eminent record. None of the things you mention contradict Scripture; many of the things you mentioned are present in Scripture, even encouraged or commanded. Rather, what happens with most Protestants, is that, because they accept the non-Scriptural premise that only Scripture is the basis of Faith, and because some things are not explicitly or exhaustively explained in Scripture, they assume that these things must be “unscriptural.” But you will find as much in the Bible about “Sola Scriptura,” as you will about Marian statuary.
          You say: “you must surely accept this reduces our ability to assess the veracity of the verbal teaching.” To this I would say, that the unwritten teaching of the Apostles is far more certain than the text of the New Testament itself.
          In the first place, we do not have the original documents of the New Testament; we merely have a collection of many copies spanning the centuries – a few from the very early centuries, and progressively more as time goes on. How do we know that they have the same text as the original documents? We don’t, for sure, but we have Faith that God did not give us the Scriptures in vain, and we have reasonable grounds to assume that the many, early, concordant copies of Scripture represent a text that is very close to the original documents.
          Now, the unwritten Tradition is far more certain, on two grounds. First, just as we have faith that God did not give us the Scriptures in vain, only so they could be corrupted and lost, we have even greater faith that God did not establish the Church in vain; far more than in the textual transmission of the New Testament, we have Faith in the Church, which Christ came to establish. How? Well, while Christ nowhere promised to preserve the text of Scripture, He did promise to preserve the Church, which He established upon Himself and upon Peter, saying that the gates of Hell would never overcome Her.
          You may point out, astutely, that we only know this because it is recorded in Scripture. To which I would answer: upon what is our faith in Scripture based? Our personal conviction that this text is probably accurate and probably represents what the Apostles wrote? No, you will say it is based on Faith in God Who revealed it, and Who testifies to us, in our hearts, that it is His Word. I would commend you for saying that we trust Scripture on the authority of God Who revealed it. But how do we know He revealed it? The Mormons say a similar thing about their books.
          Ultimately, Faith does come down to a supra-rational conviction in God, given by God; but if we are to give reasonable grounds for claiming that the Scriptures are true, the Scriptures themselves tell us that the Church is the Pillar and Bulwark of the Truth, and I find that this is what the first centuries of Christians believed. So, rather than rooting my acceptance of Scripture on my personal belief that it is true, I revere the Body instituted by Christ, recognizable for her truth and sanctity through the ages, and understand that the Scriptures themselves wish to emphasize the truth of the Church as preeminent. And this should not surprise us, since it was the Jews who were restricted only to a book of written truth, whereas God promised that the Messiah would come to found a people, for whom the Law of God was to be more truly written upon their persons, their hearts, than upon any page. I.e., the Church is the living community of God’s truth and authority in the New Covenant, and is itself a custodian – nay, a pillar and bulwark of truth – far greater than any written testament of the truth. The Scriptures are inspired by God, but the Church is joined to God, is the Bride of God, the Son of God, the voice of God. She is above Scripture by an infinite degree.
          So, far more than my own personal opinion that it is reasonable to suspect that the New Testament text is accurate, I trust the Church’s judgment that this is Scripture, and it is accurate, because the Church is divine, and guarantees Scripture to me with guarantees far stronger than any of my personal convictions. This is why St. Augustine observed, “I myself would not believe the Gospel, but for the authority of the Catholic Church.”
          As a conclusion to that thought, I would also point out: the Scriptures record Christ’s promise that the Church would not defect, and we see throughout history that, while heresies and sects pop up here and there, only one Church abides continuously. So, the first Protestants stand condemned, for when they looked around and saw no Church but one, abiding continuously throughout history, they should have known from that alone, that they themselves were the ones preaching a new Gospel. What other church existed, when Luther nailed his theses to the door? What other gospel? The Orthodox alone, who agreed with Catholics on essentially every point of doctrine but two.
          Finally, even if we wanted to stick to the merely human level, arguing for the probability of the authenticity of the Scriptures from the multiplicity of early manuscripts, we find that the same argument works in favor of the Apostolic Tradition. We have many records from the very early days of the Church, that already attest to all the key doctrines of the Apostolic Church – sacramental life, an hierarchy of bishops and priests, a Roman primacy, a veneration of the martyrs as saints, and of their holy relics, the belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, etc., etc. This is all clearly established, already in the second century. And, as I hinted above, anybody who knows Church history, will easily see the organic continuity of the Church, and the consistency of her doctrine, with as much clarity and certainty as he sees the preservation of the Scriptural texts through history – so that our approval of the text of Scripture and our approval of the Apostolic Tradition would stand on equally certain grounds, even without all that I have mentioned heretofore.
          From a former “non-denominational” Christian, I urge you to set aside your private opinions and preconceptions of what Christianity is, of what is “Scriptural,” etc., and to actually study the history and writings of the earliest Christians. From there, study the history of the Church. I did so, and you see where I am now. I have always found that the most learned and studied converts, always go from “Bible-based” Christianity to Church-based, Catholic and Apostolic Christianity; the converts who leave the Catholic Faith for “Bible-based” groups usually do so because they have only done a bit of Bible reading, and have no idea how the Church got from there, to here. And I will admit, that after five centuries of Protestantism, folk usually have a lot of studying to do, if they hope to really learn that story.
          God bless.

        9. Aurelius
          Although I will not label myself as a Protestant, the crux of our disagreement resides in the traditional disagreements between Catholics and Protestants:
          (i) you accept that oral traditions have authority in addition to the inspired writings, whereas I would say that only the inspired writings found in the Bible have authority; and
          (ii) you believe the church gives authority to Scripture, rather than Scripture having innate authority.
          My response as follows:
          1. I assume that you accept that the entire divine revelation was known and completed in the first century and there is nothing to be added after the end of the apostolic age, in accordance with the following verses:
          – 2 Peter 1:3: “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness”
          – Jude 3: “…contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints”
          – Col 1:23: “…not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.”
          I also assume that you make allowance that not 100% of the divine revelation was written down in the letters that we have in the Bible. Hence, we also must consider oral tradition, that is, information
          conveyed from the inspired prophets of the time, but not written down.
          2. It is true that nowhere do the Scriptures explicitly state that 100% of the truth was written down in them. So how do we know whether we can rely on Sola Scriptura or not? The foremost way we can see that oral tradition has no authority is that it has no support in
          the written Scriptures. Jesus and the inspired writers, the original founts of divine revelation, did not speak of any oral traditions yet to come. By your arguments, if I cannot argue Sola Scriptura because it is not expressly authorised in the Scriptures, then be the same logic I can say that oral tradition has no authority because is not authorised in any of the Scriptures. Yes – oral teaching/tradition is mentioned in the Bible, but never in the context that supports the way Catholics teach it. 2 Tim 3:16 states that all Scripture is inspired by God: nowhere is it said that oral traditions are inspired. It also makes sense that the Scriptures do not state that they contain 100% of the divine message. Since each letter/book was written as an individual document, each letter/book would not contain the whole truth in and of itself and it would not state as such.
          Finally, we are able to infer from the Scriptures that we do indeed have 100% of the truth written down in the original inspired writings:
          a) 2 Peter 3:14-16: “Therefore, beloved…just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction…”
          Here, Paul’s letters are given equal footing with the Scriptures (of the Old Testament).
          b) 1 Tim 5:18: “For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” Compare with Luke 10:7: “Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages…”
          Here, Jesus’ words and Old Testament Scripture are given equal standing.
          c) 1 Cor 4:6: “…so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written…”
          Scripture is here given primacy.
          d) 2 Tim 3:14-17: “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
          Here, the verse 17 tells us that Scripture on its own is adequate: therefore there is no need for oral traditions. And although one can argue that Paul was only referring to Old Testament Scripture, in light of (a), (b) and (c) above we can see that New Testament writings were already being referred to as “Scripture” in this era.
          There is nothing inherently wrong with saying that God wanted his entire diving revelation written down. It was certainly the case with the OT – everything was scrupulously written down. And furthermore, we see numerous examples of Jesus and the Apostles making reference to Scripture (e.g. Jesus’ appeals to Scripture during his temptation).
          I also find it ironic that the Catholic Church holds its own traditions in such high regard, never questioning the risk they face in doing so:
          – Matt 15:3-6: “And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition…And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.”
          3. You have stated: “that Church is indefectible. I.e., it cannot fall away from the Truth”.
          So long as the Church adheres to the Truth, then it is indeed a perfect institution, indestructible. But the Church can fall away from the Truth through false teaching, and thus become something that
          is no longer ‘the Church’:
          – Titus 1:10-11: “For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.”
          – Revelation 3:15-16: [Addressed to the church in Laodicea] “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”
          Of course the Catholic Church is susceptible to false teaching! We else would the Scriptures warn against it so many times?
          – Galatians 1:8-9: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”
          – Revelation 2:2: “…and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false.”
          – 2 Tim 1:13: “Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me…”
          4. You have stated: “the unwritten teaching of the Apostles is far more certain than the text of the New Testament itself.”
          Do you honestly believe this? that oral tradition is more certain than historical letters? Please: you cannot be serious. You must accept that written documents from inspired authors take precedence over oral tradition – this is simply a matter of logic. No doubt the early Christians would have had the enviable benefit of one-on-one discussions with the inspired Apostles, and oral teachings would have been passed around on this basis. As the apostolic age drew to a close, the teachings had to be written down. Oral tradition is inherently more corruptible than the written
          word, and so when oral contradicts written, we must turn to the written for the final answer.
          5. You have stated: “So, far more than my own personal opinion that it is reasonable to suspect that the New Testament text is accurate, I trust the Church’s judgment that this is Scripture, and it is accurate, because the Church is divine, and guarantees Scripture to me with guarantees far stronger than any of my personal convictions.”
          This is an unwise position to take, putting your soul’s fate into the hands of fallible men. The Church, as an institution, can drift from the Truth by false teaching. You will be personally held to account for your decisions:
          – Philippians 2:12: “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling”.
          – Matthew 7:21-23: “…Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
          will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that
          day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
          – 1 Thes 5:21: “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good”
          6. You have stated: “…the Church is …a custodian …of truth – far greater than any written testament of the truth.”
          The Church is not a custodian of the truth. Rather, the Church is a doer of the truth, truth which is handed down to it via the Holy Spirit. The truth is the truth, whether or not a ‘church’ recognises it as such. The Church is the body, of which Christ is the head (1 Cor 11:3). Does the body dictate to the head, or is it the other way around?
          7. You have stated: “…for when they looked around and saw no Church but one, abiding continuously throughout history” and that “…we see throughout history that, while heresies and sects pop up here and there, only one Church abides continuously.”
          Who is to say that no other church existed at the time? The very nature of the true church requires no formalised institutions, no clergy, no cathedral, no worldly leader. People worshipped in their homes, autonomously, as they would have done in the first century. Thus, it is not surprising that there is no great historical record of the true church.
          Furthermore, you cannot really argue that the Catholic Church has abided throughout history. Roman Catholicism originated as a man-made institution some 200-300 years after Christ under Constantine. Even if you do not accept this, who were Paul’s letters addressed to? They were addressed to individual, regional, autonomous churches: they were not part of some overarching manmade institution. The papacy didn’t even exist then; the dating
          of the papacy back to St Peter was an ex post facto arrangement.
          8. The age of inspired revelation ended with the end of the apostolic age. Why then has the Catholic Church changed its position on various doctrinal matters over the centuries? Why was the organ first introduced in the Catholic Church (arguably around the 7th century) when prior to that it was only vocal singing? What with all the doctrinal changes that have taken place over the centuries, who is to say what constitutes the ‘Catholic Church’ anymore? Probably a Roman Catholic from the 3rd Century would look at today’s Roman Catholic church and would find it unrecognizable. So was the earlier Catholics wrong initially? Or has the nature of Truth changed? These problems are all thanks to oral tradition muddying the waters.
          9. In conclusion, you will see from my response that I have used Scripture to back up most of my points. You on the other hand, made very little use of Scripture. I suppose that is to be expected when the basis of your argument is in oral tradition. The core of my argument is that written records of Jesus’ words and the writings of the Apostles provide no authority for oral tradition. Without divine authority for oral tradition, the entire Catholic Church’s set of
          traditions falls over.
          I mentioned at the beginning that I am no Protestant, although I
          suppose to an outside observer I would most likely appear to be one. Although the Protestant movement did have some things going for it, it was ultimately a reactionary movement. The denominations which originated from the movement have all now more or less fallen into manmade doctrinal errors just as the Catholic Church has done. Many of these charismatic/evangelical churches have substituted true substance and Godly knowledge with short-lived excitement and shallow emotional appeals. The
          Catholic Church has substituted Godly knowledge with ancient, mysterious traditions and fine trappings. The true church, as depicted in the NT, is neither of these things.

        10. I write plenty of long comments; some ideas require more thorough explication, and I don’t mind length in such cases.

        11. CR,
          I’ll begin by saying, that nobody interprets the Bible in a vacuum, and this is where Protestantism fails to account for itself; we all bring some kind of interpretative tradition or method to the Bible – the difference, is that Catholic believe their Tradition to be divine and rooted in the Apostles’ doctrine, tradition and authority, whereas Protestants make no claim for their interpretative tradition – which is a “tradition of men,” therefore. We may both be wrong, as the world reckons it, but it should be clear that the Protestant view does not even have a chance of being right, given this fatal flaw.
          The Church condemns those who would wander off into complete subjectivity and deconstructionism, so I don’t want to push thngs that far. But when one is dealing with the Bible, it is plain that it does not offer an exhaustive discussion of every possible, right and wrong idea that may occur with regards to Christianity. And people differ in their capabilities. That is why so many people, reading it under their own lights, come away from it with so many things.
          In my experience with Protestants, and now with you, I find that most people cannot even get out from under their own premises and presuppositions, which they bring to the text. We’ll look more at this as we go on. But for now, I’ll just say that an infallible text is only as profitable to us, as our powers of interpretation. Moreover, there are many texts in the world; which ones are inspired? Only an infallible authority can tell us. I undertand that this authority must itself have some basis for its claim, and we’ll get to that, too. But for starters, it is obvious that everyone brings something to the Bible, from outside the Bible, to understand the Bible. What we bring, is the main thing.
          I’ll illuminate this by way of reply to the things you say. In regards to the (i) and (ii) of your second paragraph, I would say that you don’t understand me on either point.
          As regards (i): I do not believe that the oral traditions themselves have authority, so much as they are witnesses of what authority has enjoined and established; the Church, with, through and from God, has authority. It is the same with Scripture; it is an authoritative record but, not being a living, thinking entity capable of issuing a decree or judgment on its ambiguities, it is not itself the authority. It is an authoritative record of what Authority (God, through His chosen Apostles and Evangelists) has said and done.
          As regards (ii): Scripture has innate authoritativeness, because it is from God; what role could the Church have in “giving authority” to God’s words? They are the ipsissima verba of God and are fully authoritative on their own. But again, understanding them is another matter. The recorded words of God, are the property of the Church, entrusted to Her by God. The Church wrote them, collected them, canonized them by the standard of Her Tradition, and alone understands their real meaning, and proposes it with authority.
          You say: “I assume that you accept that the entire divine revelation was known and completed in the first century and there is nothing to be added after the end of the apostolic age.”
          I believe that the initial transmission to the Church of the Apostolic Deposit of Faith was completed by the death of the last Apostle. Thus, I affirm that there will not be any newly-revealed truths or Scriptures (or, at least, none that are “of the Faith”). But I affirm everything said by St. Vincent of Lerins in chapters 22-24 of his Commonitorium Against Heresies, summarized well in these lines:
          “Let what was once believed in an obscure way, by thine exposition [“thee” is St. Timothy, who is addressed here by way of comment on 1 Tim. 6:20] be understood more clearly. Through thee, let posterity be glad to understand that which antiquity venerated without understanding. Yet nevertheless, teach the same things thou hast learned, so that when thou speakest in a novel fashion, thou speakest no novelties. But perhaps someone will say, ‘Is there no progression of religion, then, in Christ’s Church?’ But of course, there is the greatest progression. Indeed, who is such a niggard amongst men, who is so hateful to God, that he would attempt to prohibit this? Yet nevertheless, it is such as to be a true progression of the Faith, and not a change of faith.”
          You say: “Jesus and the inspired writers, the original founts of divine revelation, did not speak of any oral traditions yet to come.”
          But, they emphatically did.
          “Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.” – 2 Thess 2:14
          “But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you.” John 16:13
          So, the Scriptures do mention authoritative Apostolic teaching by word of mouth rather than epistle, and our Lord indicated that there was to be a further elucidation of Truth in the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (and this should also make you hesitate, to assert that the oral Tradition of the Apostles was not also inspired and authoritative). But even if what you said were true, it would not be relevant. Here we come upon one of those places, where you seem oblivious of first premises, including your own.
          Your next sentence: “By your arguments, if I cannot argue Sola Scriptura because it is not expressly authorised in the Scriptures, then be the same logic I can say that oral tradition has no authority because is not authorised in any of the Scriptures.” In the first place, we’ve already seen that there is clearer authorisation of a developing, oral Tradition in the Scriptures, than there is of Sola Scriptura. In the second place, I insist that you find “Sola Scriptura” in the Scriptures, because you believe in Sola Scriptura. Therefore, you are bound to support all your doctrines from Scripture. If Sola Scriptura is true, where else should it be found, but in Scripture?
          I, however, do not believe in Sola Scriptura, and I don’t see that many Christians ever did belive it until modern times. It is plain to me that Sola Scriptura was invented by Protestants because they needed it for their purposes. And indeed, the very idea is absurdly ahistorical; “Sola Scriptura” is a notion that only makes sense after the invention of the printing press and the advent of widespread literacy. You have bound yourself by the “Bible alone” notion, and I simply hold you to it; I am not so bound. This is a basic matter of understanding your first premises.
          Speaking of first premises, you yourself indicate that we can “infer” that we have all of the truth written down, on the basis of some verses. If that were true, we wouldn’t need to infer it. Do you see what I mean, about needing to be clear on first premises?
          Moreover, none of the verses you cite as leading to this inference, seem to me to have anything at all to do with the matter. I don’t believe even you think they are particularly compelling texts. The only verse that could seem relevant – even assuming a Protestant’s prejudicial reading – would be 1 Cor 4:6. I’m sure it’s just coincidence that you cited such a small portion of this notoriously ambiguous verse! The Greek is very unclear, literally meaning something like: “…that in us ye may learn ‘the not beyond what are written,’ so ye not be puffed up one over the other.” The ambiguity comes by preceding the phrase “not beyond what is written,” with the article τό, causing it to all act as a unit. There is no verb in that integral phrase, “the not beyond what are written,” in the “better” texts which inform the critical editions most used by Protestants, and so those who follow the popular, critical texts have to supply a verb, if they want to break up that phrase into something intelligible.
          This is obviously an act of interpretation and not merely of translation, and hence some esteemed Protestant commentators admit the unclear nature of the verse. The Pulpit Commentary says “the phrase, ‘which have been written,’ is of very uncertain meaning.” One eminent Protestant translator proclaimed the verse too difficult to understand definitively, and so refused to translate it. The Pulpit Commentary and John Gill’s commentary offer multiple possibilities, including the one which emerges most naturally from the Church’s Byzantine texts (i.e., that “the written things” are the things St. Paul just wrote to them, touching upon humility and the important personalities of the early Church). The Church’s texts have φρονεῖν, “have/be of a mind, strive,” completing the τό and making it a clear, articular infinitive. This gives the reading: “that in us you may learn not to be of a mind beyond the things written” (i.e., the things he has just said to them in preceding verses).
          In any case, the only verse that could perhaps be read as relevant, is itself a notoriously unclear verse in need of an authoritative interpretation, if we are to be certain of its meaning; indeed, we are not even certain of its orginal, Greek text. And your proposed interpretation of the verse conflicts with other verses in Scripture (especially the one cited above, where St. Paul commands them to go “beyond what is written” and to obey also his oral traditions), to say nothing of reason, since the Scriptures were still being composed at this time, and thus many things “beyond what is (already) written” would be added.
          FYI, ὠφέλιμος always means “useful, profitable;” 2 Timothy 3:17 is not at all saying that Scripture is “all you need,” it is saying that Scripture is beneficial for man’s perfection. And besides, the Scriptures here mentioned are those of the Old Testament. Do you believe a Christian has all he needs, is “adequate,” with just the Old Testament?
          You say: “There is nothing inherently wrong with saying that God wanted his entire diving revelation written down. It was certainly the case with the OT – everything was scrupulously written down.”
          This is the whole point. The Old Testament itself speaks of a coming new covenant, where the Law of God shall no longer be written down in dead letters on a page:
          “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
          If Protestants could get out from under their fixation on the written Word, and read the Bible for the first time, so to speak, they would see that the whole New Testament is very little concerned with ideas recorded on a page, and views the New Covenant as one of belonging to a Church. There is constant emphasis on being members of Christ; physical rites put Christians in contact with the Body of Christ; baptism incorporates one into Christ; in the Eucharist one discerns the Body and Blood of the Lord, and is one Body with those who share in this “spiritual food and drink,” fulfilling the type in Exodus, whereby the Israelites were one by sharing of the Manna, and the water from the rock; Eucharistic imagery is used to describe the Church – Christ is the Vine, we the branches, “the disciples knew the Lord in the breaking of the bread;” St. Paul says that we are now members of Christ, filling up whatever was lacking to Him in His Passion, so as to be joined with Him more perfectly in His Resurrection, etc. The New Testament speaks of “the Church, the Pillar and Bulwark of the Truth,” commands that “if they will not hear the Church, let him be to you as the heathens and tax collectors,” orders the faithful to “obey your prelates and be subject to them, for they watch as being to render an account of your souls,” and to “be mindful of your prelates…and follow their faith.”
          Before ascending to Heaven, our Lord promises the Holy Spirit, Who will lead them into all Truth, and vests the Apostles with His own authority. This is the meaning of ἐντέλλομαι, in Acts 1:2 – “to invest with legal powers, to authorize to act,” and “to enjoin, command,” as Liddell’s authoritative lexicon defines it, and as Strong’s points out, with an emphasis on the end-goal for which the command and investment of authority has been given. So endowed, those Apostles shall soon receive within themselves, as being His proper temple, the Holy Spirit that inspired the Scriptures; they shall govern and work in His might, and when the Church is in doubt about a matter, they will assemble a counsel and declare “it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…”
          This is the whole point: in the Church, a new order is finally established; in the Old Covenant, the word of God was written in a book; in the New Covenant, the Word of God is an Incarnate Man, and the Church is His Body, His Bride, His Voice. He endows it with His own Spirit, life, merits, authority, indefectibility and mission. That is the whole point of the Incarnation, and of this New Covenant in which men live and minister in the power of the Most High, with the Word of God written on their hearts through baptism and confirmation, rather than being recorded only on the dead letters of a page. Christ is the Word. The Church is Christ’s Body. The Church is therefore the Body of the Living Word, and this is why the Church now eclipses Scripture as “the Pillar and Bulwark of the Truth.” Scripture is inspired and inerrant, but is a mere record; the Church is inspired and inerrant, as the very Body of the Word, Christ, Who is the Truth. However great the authority of Holy Writ may be, the Church is constituted by the same Authority, is suffused with the same authority, is indeed hypostatically joined, in a sacred wedlock, to the Source of that Authority and thus is, according to Her created mode of participation in what is Uncreated, Herself part of the Authority that breathed forth the Scriptures, and teaches infallibly. The Church receives, writes, recognizes, canonizes, proposes and interprets Holy Writ, as the Mother and Custodian of the same. This is why the Nicene Creed confesses that Christians have faith IN four things – the Father, Son, Holy Ghost and the Church – whereas the other articles of faith are simply “confessed.” And to me, this is clearly the thrust of Scripture itself, to say nothing of the Holy Tradition.
          You say: “But the Church can fall away from the Truth through false teaching, and thus become something that is no longer ‘the Church’” But it should be clear that this is nonsense. The Church is the Pillar and Bulwark of the Truth, and the gates of hell will never overcome Her. Members of the Church can fall away, but the Church Herself, by definition, cannot cease to be the Church. The same can be said to your assertion that “Of course the Catholic Church is susceptible to false teaching!” No. Members are; the Church, and Her definitive doctrines and Tradition, cannot be.
          You expressed shock that I believe the unwritten teaching of the Apostles is far more certain than the text of the New Testament itself. I think you misunderstood what I was saying – though, for the record, I will say that I think the Scriptures and the Tradition are both equally true and authoritative. What I was saying, was that we do not know for certain what the exact, original text of the New Testament is. Whereas Christ promised that the Church would never fail, He never promised that there would never be a mistake in the textual transmission of the Scriptures. Determining the most likely text of the New Testament is a matter of opinion and the (non-infallible) science of textual criticism. The evidence we have for the Apostolic Tradition, is exactly the same kind of evidence, as we have for the text of Scripture – i.e., many early manuscripts containing the one or the other. And in the case of the Tradition, we also see that the Body which inherited and cultivated that Tradition, still exists, and that both Scripture and Tradition regard Her as indefectible, and that in fact she has always maintained the same doctrine. So, truly, the Tradition is more certainly known to us, than the exact, precise text of the New Testament.
          You say: “This is an unwise position to take, putting your soul’s fate into the hands of fallible men. The Church, as an institution, can drift from the Truth by false teaching.”
          As we see from Scripture, no, the Church Herself, as an institution instituted by Christ, cannot drift from the Truth, because She is the Pillar and Bulwark of the Truth, and is led by the Spirit into all Truth, and is the Body of Christ, Who is the Truth. Etc. And now, I will point out that your statement is actually far more damning of your own opinion. You yourself are a fallible man, and you trust in your own interpretation of Scripture while admitting (I presume) that you may have erred. At least my Faith claims to cleave to an infallible interpreter of Scripture. Protestants warn about trusting in “fallible men,” yet their doctrine does not allow a man to do anything but!
          Again, we are back to the Protestant inability to get their premises straight: on the one hand, they act as though interpretation were not an issue when they extol the authority and infallibility of Scripture; on the other, they warn about trusting “fallible men,” when it comes to the Church’s interpretation of Scripture. But Protestants must interpret what they read, as well, and every one of them is fallible in all circumstances, by their own admission. So, your position is really quite desperate, since it forces you at all times to rely on fallible men; you desperately warn others to avoid doing the very thing, which, by your own premises, no man can avoid doing. This is a fool’s errand, to be sure.
          You and I both believe the Bible. And there’s the rub.
          You say: “Who is to say that no other church existed at the time? The very nature of the true church requires no formalised institutions, no clergy, no cathedral, no worldly leader. People worshipped in their homes, autonomously, as they would have done in the first century. Thus, it is not surprising that there is no great historical record of the true church.”
          If you cannot see how much you are to be pitied for this, then I pity you twice over. This is all mere opinion and, moreover, is an opinion so clearly contradicted by the history of the Church – even the earliest, most primitive, writings, such as those of Clement, Polycarp, Ignatios of Antioch, Justin Martyr, the Shepherd of Hermas, etc.
          If my choice is between your opinion that the “true Church” must not have any institutions, clergy, leader, etc., and another man’s opinion that it must, how should I choose? Easy: the Scriptures themselves are replete with references to such institutions, clergy and leaders (this is another place, where Protestants ignore their own “traditions of men,” oblivious to the fact that their interpretative tradition has blunted the many clear references to authoritative clerics in the Apostolic Church); all the earliest Christian writings, and the ubiquitous custom of all Christians, before and after both the Edict of Toleration and the Council of Nicaea, both in and out of the Imperial territories (how I loathe the fatuous accuastion that “Constantine” started the Catholic Church!), all concur. How do you, fallible man, appeal to me not to trust fallible men, while you advance a very eccentric opinion that appears falllible, and thrice-fallible, by every fact of history and Scripture? It is rather incredible to call the men ordained by the Apostles heretics, who are all of one mind on these matters, and to put your own view forward in preference to theirs, and to the facts of history. If Ss. Clement, Polycarp and Ignatios all agree about the basic facts of the Apostolic Tradition, and offer a less convoluted interpretation of Scripture, why on earth would I trust your opinion over theirs? Who are you? What Apostle came to your home, and lived with you, and ordained you, and taught you the Faith?
          You say: “who were Paul’s letters addressed to? They were addressed to individual, regional, autonomous churches: they were not part of some overarching manmade institution. The papacy didn’t even exist then…”
          Certainly St. Paul’s letters were addressed to local Churches. The idea that they were autonomous is something you assume, not anything stated in the text. I concede that the full-fledged papal curia had not developed. But, the primacy of Peter is everywhere evident in the New Testament, and is clearly functioning in his successors in the earliest years of the Church. It is already seen in the letters of pope St. Clement and St. Ignatios, and is clearer still in Ss. Irenaeus and Cyprian. We see the bishop of Rome exercising jurisdiction over even the Eastern Churches in the first centuries (before Constantine), with a universal understanding that this is because Peter bequeathed his primacy to his own see at the time of his death in Rome; by the time of the Council of Ephesus, the papal primacy is on full display. In the Nicene and immediately post-Nicene period, it is already developed essentially to its full degree, and is spectacularly vindicated by the events surrounding the robber synod of Ephesus, and the Council of Chalcedon. I did not convert to the Catholic Faith without making a serious and complete enquiry into these matters. As an ex-Protestant, and as a fomer monk of the Orthodox church, I was very opposed to the papacy; my conversion to Catholicism did not come without resolving this after years of close study.
          You ask: “Why was the organ first introduced in the Catholic Church (arguably around the 7th century) when prior to that it was only vocal singing?”
          Come on. The organ did not exist in the first centuries; it was judged an acceptable instrument because of its near imitation of the human voice. And, believe it or not, the Catholic Faith does not hinge on changeable customs like the use or omission of organs.
          In conclusion, I do not at all see that you have backed up your points with Scripture; in my opinion you have quoted nothing much to the point. Our dispute is over authority, anyway, and the interpretation of Scripture, and you correctly surmise that this is why much of my argumentation looks to history and reason (though this post should make it clear that I am not a stranger to Holy Writ). There is little point in quoting verses back and forth, when there is no agreement over what they mean, or who has the authority to say what they mean. In exactly the same way, it does little good to quote the Bible at pagans or atheists who don’t particularly care what it says.
          My argument, rests on the idea that the Church is now hypostatically joined to the Word of God; that the Word of God in the New Testament is manifest chiefly in the man Jesus Christ, Whose Body the Church is, rather than in a book, though I do not mean to diminish the written Word of God thereby. I believe Scripture supports this idea, and that there are more and clearer passages in Scripture, that look to the Church’s authority, and the authority of Her prelates, than there are passages that teach “Sola Scriptura.” Indeed, there is not a single verse in the Bible that so much as hints at it.
          Faith is the gift of God; it is given to the sincere seeker. A man has everything to lose, and nothing to gain, by not making the sincere search for the Truth his highest priority in life. I believe God looks out for those who do so, especially in these confusing times. If I am being dishonest and deceiving myself, God may not look after me. I can only leave the question of the sincerity of your search, up to you and the grace of God. For my part, the fact that the early (even pre-Constantinian) Christian writings clearly evince Catholic beliefs, with striking harmony, provoked important questions that I thought it was important to answer honestly, especially in light of the factiousness of all non-Catholic groups, and the logical incoherence in the premises of “Sola Scriptura.” If you really think there is no compelling reason to question so perilous a view, God go with you; but if you are simply avoiding the issue out of half-conscious pride and prejudice (as I once was), I suggest that you may want to learn the fear of God before the day of death overtakes you unawares. God grant us both the light to leave whatever errors we may entertain, behind.

    1. I was a monk of the Orthodox Church. My reading in the Fathers of the Church convinced me to become a Catholic – though, as a Sedevacantist. It is quite clear that Francis is not a Catholic, does not hold the Apostolic Faith. I found that even the Eastern Fathers – Ss. Theodore the Studite, Maximos the Confessor, Nikephoros of Constantinople, Cyril and Sophronios of Jerusalem, Cyril of Alexandria, Theodoret of Cyr, and others, upheld the papal primacy of jurisdiction (not only of honor), as did great Latin Fathers revered also by the Eastern Orthodox – Popes Ss. Gregory the Dialogist, Leo the Great, Agatho, Martin the Confessor and Zosimus, and also Ss. John Cassian, Jerome, Ambrose, Cyprian of Carthage, Augustine of Hippo, and others. Most importantly, I found that the authority of the popes was admitted in the Ecumenical Councils, and in the correspondence between the pope and patriarchs, and the emperor, by the facts that his legates annulled the Robber Synod of Ephesus with a mere word (despite it being attended by the Patriarchs and hundreds of bishops), and the fact that the pope routinely appointed and deposed bishops throughout the whole world (even in the East), without objection. Indeed, this was why Theodora schemed with the emperor to have Vigilius installed as pope of Rome: she wanted him to restore monophysite bishops to the metropolitan sees of the East, and to depose the orthodox bishops. They would not have bothered, if it had not been generally recognized that the pope had this authority.
      The breakdown occurred as a result of the ambitions of the city of Constantinople after the seat of Empire was relocated there. The major controversies were all introduced by Constantinople as a way of establishing an independence from Rome, including the Filioque, which was first raised by the monophysite heretic, Patriarch Paul IV, as a justification for disobeying Pope St. Martin’s order of deposition. You may remember that Pope St. Martin – a Saint in the Orthodox Church, as well, suffered martyrdom with St. Maximos the Confessor, who also defended the Roman Church’s authority, and the Filioque itself, from Paul IV’s heretical accusations.
      The real reason for the separation was political, especially after the growing power of the West caused many Greeks to foment a spirit of resentment, exacerbated by the fact that their own culture was collapsing in the face of the Moslem powers. A strong, anti-Latin sentiment, also exacerbated by the Crusades, the Latin Kingdom, the commercial dominance of the Venetians, etc., became the dominant feeling in the East, and it undermined the union of Florence, despite the fact that all agreed it was an Ecumenical Council, it met with all the Patriarchs and with the Emperor present, etc. The anti-Latin sentiment caused the East never to really learn Latin, never to read the Latin Fathers, and never to understand the theological development of the Latin Church on its own terms – whereas the West learned Greek, read the Greek Fathers and to this day affirms the correctness of (Greek) Patristic teaching.
      My study of the history of the schism led me to believe that every man of the East who took the time to learn Latin and study the issue, wound up becoming Catholic, often acknowledging how Greek chauvinism was preventing an accurate assessment of the matter. Thus Demetrios and Prochoros Kydones; thus Bessarion; thus Isidore of Kiev; thus Soloviev, and others. I would recommend you read Joseph Gill’s books: “The Council of Florence,” “Church Union: Rome and Byzantium,” and “Byzantium and the Papacy.” Soloviev’s good work can be found here:
      A well-educated convert of modern days is James Likoudis, who is interviewed on “The Journey Home” (you can find the video on youtube), and who wrote a good book on the papacy and other doctrinal debates between East and West. http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Primacy-Bishop-Eastern-Orthodoxy/dp/B0006S51H8/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454289384&sr=1-4&keywords=james+likoudis
      Finally, I always recommend this channel for Orthodox-Catholic relations. https://www.youtube.com/user/SetonsH4ll/videos
      One must remember, that none of this implies that one must be subject to Francis, or other apostates in the hierarchy, none of whom are Catholics. The Catholic teaching on the papacy, while it clearly affirms the primacy of the pope as teacher and ruler of the Church par excellence, is also very clear that a man who espouses heresy cannot be/remain a member of the Church, and thus cannot be or remain the head of the Church. I just wanted to be clear that I am a Catholic, and I reject Francis; I know any Orthodox Christian would be horrified at the idea that he must accept Francis as pope and head of the Church; he is not.

      1. This is exactly the same length of the letter that my first love wrote to me when she wanted to part ways :)) a lot of explanations but but they were just words.. nothing more. You guys separated in order to create this monster today that is called the Vatican. I cannot give you absolution for this but hopefully you will see what you have done. You do not exist. What protestants are in your eyes, you are in ours. No amount of words can change that. Instead , repent and come back. End of discussion.
        talk is cheap.

        1. The liturgy you have compared here, is not the Catholic liturgy. It is the liturgy of the Great Apostasy, the liturgy of Protestantism, in fact.
          Everything anybody says, is “just words.” The question is whether anything true and meaningful is signified by them. If you have not taken the time to read thoroughly in the Fathers and Councils to discover the Apostolic doctrines and customs which they upheld, it is vain to claim that one preserves the Apostolic Faith in the purity of holy orthodoxy. My words were intended to share what I learned, when I read their teaching. Naturally, therefore, merely calling me a crypto-Protestant is unlikely to convert me.

        2. If you want to see the Catholic Liturgy, here is a short video showing some moments of the Mass in the Dominican Rite. It is a traditional form of the Roman Rite, and is something an Orthodox Christian would readily recognize as a liturgical expression of the Apostolic Tradition:

          The Orthodox church in my town rarely uses Byzantine chant, shortens the services dramatically, communes people who have not confessed, gives communion to cross-dressing lesbians, etc., etc.. There’s good and bad everywhere in the world, today.

        3. I am not going to “try” to convert you. I will die and you will die. In the end, the final judgement will give us all the answers. I do not have to read Apostolic doctrines written by your people, your heresy is unimportant for people of true faith. St.Mark of Ephesus said it well enough. Apostasy is omni-present today. And it all started with you.

          And your cardinals BLESSED slaughtering of 700 000 people during ww2 . 7 were from my own family so do not test my resolve..
          and this one is going to be beatificated. Although he is responsible for mass murders and being an open nazi collaborator.
          You people need to look yourselves in the mirror.

        4. Which orthodox church ? Under who? Rocor? Russian ? Serbian? Stop accusing true faith people with things that only fit the glove of pedophiles (guess who leads in that field ha ?). We are constantly fighting to annihilate ecumenism that has started spreading in todays world. We cannot have communions with you. Shortening of lithurgies is guess whos idea? The same people that want to unite us with catholics. Heresy thru and thru. Francis is trying to win back young people by making catholicism “hip” again. Everything is so far from Christianism that I do not even consider you anything else than a political-economical organization. Come to your senses please.

        5. This is what I am trying to explain to you: you must know as well as I do, that we are living in the Great Apostasy. I am a Catholic, so I reject those who teach Ecumenism, I reject those who shorten the Liturgies. I follow the tradition of the Fathers and the Councils in all things. I am not in communion with Ecumenists and desacrators of the holy traditions of the Church. Those who do such things may call themselves “catholics,” but they are not.
          I’ll put this in terms you can understand. At Florence, all bishops in the world, except for Mark of Ephesus, agreed to unite with the Catholic Church. Do you believe that was a true, official act of the Orthodox church? Or do you think those bishops betrayed and apostatized from the faith?
          It is nearly the same with Vatican II and the great apostasy which has followed: they call themselves catholics, and are not; Catholics do not follow them. Some Catholics are very confused, and remain in communion with them, and try to obey them when they can, but with much bitterness and protestation (as the monks of Athos obey the Ecumenical Patriarch, follow the new calendar, commemorate his name in the dyptichs, but protest his errors); some Catholics see the situation for what it is, and break with them as the Church’s tradition requires. If you actually care to understand what the Catholics believe about the past century, I can help you to understand. If you think that Catholics consent to the changing of the liturgies, or Ecumenism, or any such thing, you do not understand. We protest such things; we break communion with such people. We continue to observe the ancient teachings and customs of the Church.
          We live in times when even Patriarchs of the Orthodox churches teach heresy, approve of abortion, join the Ecumenical movement, etc. Such men may say they hold the Orthodox and Apostolic Faith, but we know that they do not. Similarly, Francis and John Paul II and others may say that they hold the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, but we both know that they do not. They have chosen to create a new, political-economical organization (as you say), and have quit the Church in order to join it.
          Here in my town, I can go to the parish of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, where women are in positions of authority, a lesbian regularly dresses as a man and receives Communion, the pastor allows his parishioners to marry Protestants (and Catholics), the people commune without confessing their sins, the services are translated into English and are purged of offensive language, the service for the purification of women after childbirth is rewritten because the women found it offensive and demanded it be changed at the Archdiocesan conference a few years ago, Matins is shortened almost to the point of non-existence, traditional chant is not often used, and the post-Communion prayers are regularly omitted. When I was getting my degrees at Ohio State, I tried to attend the Greek Orthodox Cathedral, but quit doing so because it had similar problems. Three months after I graduated and moved away, a friend informed me that its pastor was arrested for pedophilia.
          The times are evil; comparing the very best people and customs of the Orthodox churches to the very worst apostates and heretics from the Catholic Faith, is an unfair tactic. I may as well compare the finest parishes of the SSPX to the very bad parishes and priests I have known in the Orthodox churches.

        6. There are atrocities on all sides. Obviously any beatification done by Francis, Benedict, JPII, etc., is not an act of the Catholic Church, so I would have to investigate each man individually to know what to think of him.
          “Apostolic doctrines written by ‘my’ people.” What could that even mean? I have pointed you to the Fathers and Saints from a time when the East and West were in the same Church. Even Mark of Ephesus admitted that the doctrine of the Latin Fathers must be true… which is why, when he was presented with the teaching of the Fathers, he refused to believe that they had not been forged. This disgusted Bessarion, who had been convinced by the obvious correctness of the Latins’ arguments and found this last-ditch effort by Mark of Ephesus to be despicable… which it was.
          Let me ask: if you do not believe that an Ecumenical Council, convoked under the Emperor, approved by the pope and all patriarchs, signed by all bishops but one, teaches with Infallible Authority (but can be “nullified” later by popular disapproval), then how do you know when the Church has spoken at all?

        7. You must realize how absurd it is to say “it all started with you”. The Catholic Church is the one and only Church founded by Jesus Christ and thus can not be inherently heretical. Can certain individuals commit heresy? Sure. For you to claim that the Catholic Church is inherently heretical doesn’t follow sound logic – especially considering the Catholic and Orthodox Church were one and the same before the Schism. What Br. Moner has tried to say in the last few posts is: if SOME or even MOST of the people in the Church are apostates, that doesn’t render the entirety of the Church heretical. The validity of one religion or sect over another should not be held in how pious its adherents are (or people who call themselves adherents). If that was the case, then surely we should all convert to Wahhabi Islam. After all, the average citizen of Saudi Arabia adheres more closely to Islam than the average Russian (or whatever EE untermensch country you are from) adheres to Christianity. Does that mean Islam is the “correct religion”? No, it just means Christianity is in the midst of a crises. Use your God Given faculties of reason, please.
          “This is exactly the same length of the letter that my first love wrote to me when she wanted to part ways :)) a lot of explanations but but they were just words..”
          The Monk took great care to write a genuine response, and this was your rebuttal? It seems the Orthodox Church is short on providing its adherents with any sort of mature approach to discourse. That reads like the retort of an embarrassed teenage boy.

        8. Antiochians are pushing ecumenic agenda so heresy. Anyone who pushes that agenda is heretic.
          And I actually need blessing from my yeromonach to even talk to you. There was not reason to split the church in the first place but catholics did it anyway.

        9. The moment anyone in my church “decides that we should change ways” is the moment that person gets thrown out and sent on his way. There is no Sinod that will have the upper hand over saint fathers and their teachings. Ever.

        10. Who are you calling an untermensch ? I would make you eat your words with the dirt you’re made of. Embarrassed..pff. I am afraid of the God and do not care about what people think. Never was never will.
          We were one and then you decided to leave. End of story. Changing holy sermon is heretic enough. Changing anything from day 1 is heretic.
          Saying now “well this,, well that” . Rhetorics cannot repair the damage.
          It is about the truth. This is not a contest of “who talks better” wake up.

        11. Well, we should understand each other at least on this point, then: just as you say the Antiochians are heretics and do not represent the Orthodox Faith, I tell you that Francis and many others are heretics and do not represent the Catholic Faith. I agree with you that anyone who pushes false Ecumenism and syncretism, is an heretic. I am not in communion with such persons.
          As to the rest of it, my opinion is that the split is the result of Constantinople trying to claim a status that was not compatible with orthodox doctrine, and this came to occlude the role of Elder Rome in the mind of Easterners. Eventually, this resulted in Schism, and the spirit of rivalry confirmed Easterners in their disdain of the West, which alienated them from fully half of the sources of Patristic teaching, and made it difficult to understand the theological developments in Western lands. After reading the Greek Fathers, I found that even they taught the Filioque, Immaculate Conception, Papal Primacy, etc., which is why I became a Catholic, and came to believe that the Eastern Orthodox were the real schismatics.

        12. But the Saints and Fathers teach us that Ecumenical Councils are the way we know the Truth; it is how the Church speaks infallibly. How, then, can an Ecumenical Council be wrong?
          Nobody at Florence wanted to change ways. Rather, the Orthodox bishops who attended, after hearing the Latins explain their doctrines and defend them from misconceptions, realized they had misunderstood the Latins, and returned to communion with them. But nobody changed anything.

        13. There is a lot of danger in this approach of considering everyone a heretic who doesn’t agree with you. The antiochians are in communion with the Russians, Greeks, Bulgarians, and the other Orthodox churches, yet you call them heretics because they are too nice to Catholics. I would be careful with that approach.
          I would advise you to read a little history and read the fathers. It is the foundation of Christian (particularly Catholic and Orthodx) theology.

        14. History is written by the winners and that is one thing i believe in the least. 700 000 of my people were erased by catholics in concentration camps in ww2 and now they claim that it didnt happen. So history ? – not exact by a long shot

        15. Soon other words, the act actual words and actions of the saints in meaningless to you because you hate Catholics.

        16. Not the hate. It is more like.. incorrect math. There is nothing to hate. As a Christian I have to forgive. But we are on the opposite sides of a very deep and fast river and there are no boats or bridges available. It’s like that.

        17. And I agree with that. I don’t think there is any way that we can ever make the Catholic and Orthodox churches one again. But there is no reason we can’t understand eachother and atleast be civil.

        18. this is civil. If I was muslim fundamentalist I would probably blow up your temple or something. In history, there never was any attacks of Orthodox people to anyone (or attacks blessed by our church). Can you confirm the same on your side ?

        19. The Catholic Church never blessed any attacks against any other church either. There are cases on both sides though where civil authorities or individual Catholics or Orthodox attacked the others churches. There is plenty of blame to go around.

        20. He can’t; he’s not in the Church; he’s not the Papa. The Tradition teaches us two things about the Pope: 1) a valid Pope is successor to St. Peter, with primacy of universal jurisdiction, whose faith and doctrine cannot fail when he teaches with the full authority of his office; 2) even the Pope is subject to the Divine Law, by which public heretics are automatically severed from the Church.
          We are as obliged to be in communion with the Pope, as we are obliged not to be in communion with an anti-pope.

        21. Well, it saddens me, both because I wish to see all men united in the Truth, and also because I know the zeal of the Orthodox, and wish only that they would actually study the matter… for if they did, they themselves would immediately be better Catholics than those who call themselves “catholics” during this Great Apostasy.

        22. listen to me-condescending tone (wish only that they would actually study the matter) is as bad as cursing so stop it. You are a monk. I am yelin (mirian) – man of the world. I follow the rules of my church, i fast, i pray, i avoid sin, i do everything according to my rules. Would you like to talk to my yeromonach? Actually he would not talk to you since there is nothing to be gained. Problem is you want to do the same thing that your church wants to do- and that is push your agenda and make everyone join you or agree with you. I could waste countless hours sifting thru books and history records, look for st. fathers zhitiya and show you that you are wrong. And what would happen ? Nothing . So go in peace please. As i said you will die and i will die. And we will see who was right . This world is doomed and few will be saved so i need time to make things right before i go. Instead i talk to someone whose church history is beyond redemption.

        23. If you showed me the Fathers condemning the Papacy and the Filioque, I would be much obliged to you, and would come back. I am a fair man, and I try always to follow the truth. I left Atheism, because I listened to better Christian thinkers. I became Orthodox, because I saw that they were more correct than my Protestant church. I became Catholic, because the more I studied the first millennium, the more I saw that the East agreed with the West. If, now, you provided me with real evidence, I would come back to the Orthodox Church. The truth, is that it would be much easier to be Orthodox again.
          My tone was not intended to be condescending. I shared with you the fact, that I found even the Greek Fathers upheld the papacy, the Filioque, the Immaculate Conception, etc. I gave you some references, told you about the history of the Council of Florence, of Chalcedon and Pope St. Leo the Great. What was your response? “These are mere words.” To me, that means you don’t want to study the matter, and you simply assume that what you’ve been told about the Fathers and Councils is accurate.
          Finally, I’ll point out that you began the exchange by trying to convert me, so why all the talk about my “agenda” to convert you? I would not be speaking with you, if you had not first tried to do the same.
          May the Bogoroditsya help us both with her prayers, and purify our hearts and minds. Only with a pure heart, can we see God or believe Him aright.

        24. 1. i did not try anything, i was pointing out that you were and are wrong. to convert you ? orthodoxy does not convert people (unlike catholicism) people come back to it (cause its the only real christs church)
          2. Whoever told you that Greek fathers were upholding papacy lied to you. Whichever book says that-burn it. LIES. Words that devil uses to stray you from your path. There is nothing to study. I do not study Eugenics, i do not study scientology and similar idiocies. Why?== LIES. That is why I dont enter rhetorical fighting. There is nothing to be gained. I could talk all day to the scientologist and he would give me thousands and thousands of “proofs” and he said that, it was written there type of stories. And filioque is the first (and enough of the reason) to not discuss anything, any further. But I gave you the satisfaction.
          3. ” I’m a fair man” – Let me be the judge of that. Oops. God judges. I observe. And from what i have seen, you would fair better if you go off the internet and become otshelnik eremit. Purification is in there. Not here with us fallen ones. I fought in wars. What can I tell you that is going to be beneficial to your soul? Or any of these people here? But i think that the reason why you do all this is cause you think more people will join you. Cause you believe you re right. Well so do I, but my clothes are not black and I have no vows.
          And the light is very bright in my horizon and the path is straight. Maybe i will go blind looking at it, but hey to each of his own.
          4. “The truth, is that it would be much easier to be Orthodox again”
          Sure it would.. That shows what you know about orthodox and being orthodox. Also that lie you said about being Orthodox and converting to Catholic did not fool anyone. I just don’t get it why would someone lie like that. People do not convert from this to that. It does not work that way. Except when Fra Satan M.Filipovic in 41 took children whose parents were slaughtered and converted them (there are names of those children even to this day. STUDY a little my converted brother why dont ya?)

        25. Nobody “told” me what the Fathers say. I read their writings, in the original Greek and Latin. I do not consider the Fathers’ writings to be lies. Even Mark of Ephesus knew that the Fathers’ writings supported the Catholic Faith, which is why he had to persuade himself that all the passages cited at Florence had been forged.
          Many have left the Eastern schism to return to the Catholic Faith and Church, including such men as George Brianchaninov, (the nephew of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov), Demetrios Kydones (who was prime minister to the Emperors John VI Kantakouzenos, John V Palaiologos and Manuel II Palaiologos), Prochoros Kydones (Demetrios’ brother, and a monk of the Great Lavra on Mt. Athos), Patriarch Bessarion, Isidore of Kiev, Emperor John VIII Palaeologus, Vladimir Solovoyev, and more.
          It is true that the Lord will judge us both, and then we will walk by sight, rather than faith. I hope He will be merciful to us both, my friend.

        26. faith > sight. Sight is deceptive.
          “Even Mark of Ephesus knew that the Fathers’ writings supported the Catholic Faith, which is why he had to persuade himself that all the passages cited at Florence had been forged. ”
          had to persuade himself?
          there is nothing to persuade. That man is a lighthouse in the storm.
          citation: In 1367 Joasaph was appointed the representative of the Eastern Orthodox Church to negotiate with the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople Paul to attempt a reconciliation of the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. They agreed to call a grand ecumenical council to be attended by the Pope and all the Patriarchs and bishops and archbishops of both the eastern and western churches.[5] This plan was subsequently refused by Pope Urban V and so nothing came of it. Kantakuzenos was an ecumen bastard (and you state he was Catholic?). Do not write names of those who are doomed so you can justify your views. All of the above mentioned are doomed. Patriarchs,rulers or regular men. The law is simple. Dabble in sides, choosing, = prelest. There is only one side (Gods) other is devils. What is your opinion of nazi collaborators? That’s what I think about the people above mentioned.
          “I hope He will be merciful to us both, my friend.”—- Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I think the latter.

        27. Well, this is one of the things I mean. My time amongst the Orthodox showed me that they have a lot of mumbo-jumbo which sounds wise and “mystical,” but often it rushes straight past the authoritative truths of our Faith. “Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not” (Hebrews 11:1), and that is why St. Paul longed to die and go to be with the Lord, for in our present separation from Him “we walk by faith, and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), but when we go to be with the Lord, we walk by sight again; in another place, he said: “We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Faith, hope and charity; faith is the substance of hope, and both shall yield to sight when we see their Object, God; and that is why charity is greatest, for it abides unchanged.
          Obviously I was not speaking of merely human empiricism, but of the direct encounter with God, of which Faith is now the first-fruits.
          Anybody who knows anything of the circumstances of Blessed Urban V’s papacy, will know why it was impossible for him to agree to an Ecumenical Council at that time. The Byzantine Emperor, by the way, came to Rome and abjured the Eastern schism on the steps of (old) St. Peter’s Basilica when the holy pope received him. I am aware that you must think such persons are traitors and “doomed,” but that’s what I’ve been saying all along. If that view is simply based on an unexamined loyalty to the Eastern schism, it isn’t worth having. If you don’t read the Fathers, from whom we have received the Apostolic doctrine, how can you know which Faith is true? Orthodoxy is not true because your Yeromonach says it is, or because you were born there and like the people in it; if it is true, you should be able to prove that from the Fathers. If you can’t, you have no reason for your opinion.
          Certainly our Lord came to initiate the bitter conflict between the City of God and the City of Man. But when it comes to the salvation of souls, we should not wish damnation upon anybody, but earnestly pray for mercy upon all men. St. Ephrem said:
          “According to thy mercy, pour out upon me, who am miserable, at least one small drop of grace to make me understand and be converted, that I might make at least some small effort to correct myself. For if thy grace does not illumine my soul, I will not be able to see the carelessness and negligence that the passions have produced in me through my apathy and recklessness.”
          You may not wish to pray that such mercy be upon me; but I pray that it be upon both of us.

        28. wow this is western media all over again. I say one thing and it gets buried under a ton of sentences to promote yourself and your views.
          You probably see it as a proper way to talk to people but it is nothing more than giving excuses to why you are what you are. I am not proving anything to you , you are not worth it. Lying will take you straight to hell as you know. And you continue with that story- my time with the orthodox. You had no time with the orthodox- orthodox people do not switch sides. Stop with this nonsense please for your souls sake. “Anybody who knows anything” -you know that this is biased way of talking? dismissed point immediately.

  10. I would really like to have a personal relationship by God.
    Nevertheless it is to late for me as I committed sins against the will of Him.
    I am from a catholic, not practicant so to speak, background. But I am afraid I will be rejected by any church. Even in this place people like me are not tolerated.
    Hope someday He will forgive me. Please have mercy of me.
    Aurelius Moner, Is there “really” any hope for people like us?

    1. Absolutely. Our Lord commanded that we forgive seventy times seventy times in a single day, if our brother came that often and sincerely repented, asking forgiveness. Shall He not do even better? He also said, “If one of your sons asked you for bread, would you give him a stone? …If you then, being evil, know how to give what is good to your sons, how much more shall your Father in heaven bestow good gifts upon you?” If we ask God for bread, in repentance, He will not give us stones.
      The relationship with God is fundamentally one of penance; we will never cease acknowledging our faults, recalling that of ourselves we go amiss routinely. God justifies the sincere penitent immediately and gladly, rather than the self-satisfied man who thinks he is worthy and deserving. We must remember that sincere contrition and the resolve to repent are gifts of God; many times we fail to change our lives for the better because we are trying to repent under our own power. We have to ask the gift of God, respond to graces given, and not cut ourselves too much slack. But if we ask God to grant us contrition, space for true repentance, a firm resolve for amendment of life, and the grace of conversion itself, surely He will assist us.
      I recommend to you the works of Dom Columba Marmion (especially “Christ: Life of the Soul”), “The Spiritual Combat” (by Lorenzo Scupoli), “Why Must I Suffer?”, by Fr. F.J. Remler, the Spiritual Psalter of St. Ephrem the Syrian, the Holy Rosary and the Litany of the Saints – especially including the petitionary prayers at the end. God bless you and help you.

      1. But dear Aurelius Moner the sin I committed is as a offensive as murder to God.
        Won´t say the exact word, but lets say I committed the sin of Lot more than once. That´s how shameful to the eyes of God my sins were.
        How can I make penitence in order to gain his forgiveness? (I mean is there a “particular” way in the catholic faith) will hurt myself physically, like the monks of the middle ages, will count as penintence? Will that help in the eyes of God?
        The last time I went to a chuch was when I was around 8 years old (I am 29 now). I live in latin america so don´t know how welcomed people like me will be.
        I will read the books recommended. Thanks for taking your time to reply to someone so derailed from the path of Jesuschrist. The only thing I hope is that someday He will forgive me.
        Thanks again and God bless you
        Martin (my real name)

        1. Yes, repentance can, with God’s grace, find forgiveness for any and all sins. The only unforgiveable sin is the sin of impenitence, of denying God’s work and resisting the Holy Ghost, Who convicts us of sin.
          I would go to the nearest chapel of the SSPX or CMRI. If you want to tell me generally where you are, I will look and see which chapel/priest may be best to go. If you go to a good priest, and if I’m understanding your sin correctly, he will probably give you a serious penance; he will probably give absolution immediately, but he may make you wait for a period of time. Of course, the soul moved by perfect charity and contrition, which asks forgiveness of God with the intention of confessing his sins to God’s minister, is forgiven immediately and directly by God. But God wills that we go to the priest and receive absolution, in any case, for everything in His house is done decently and in good order; this is also beneficial for us, and serves to maintain the health and vigor of the Church.
          In addition to whatever he gives you for a penance, you may wish to add further penances. Self-flagellation, hair shirts, chains, etc., are not out of the question, but they must be done with wisdom, humility and, preferably, good guidance from an holy priest. There are not many of those, nowadays; this doesn’t mean harsh penance is impossible, just that we must have all the greater fear, hesitation and humility, lest we do anything imprudent.
          One can embrace voluntary fasts from meat, dairy, eggs, etc. (i.e., a vegan diet, eating just enough to stay healthy, but not to satiety), without much danger, if one remains humble and contrite. I would recommend doing this at all times, save for the week after Easter and Christmas, when fasting is forbidden. I also recommend the practice of repeating prayers of great brevity and compunction; St. John Cassian says that all of the ancient monks of the desert repeated the prayer “God, attend to mine aid; Lord, hasten to help me!” All the hours of prayer in the Church contain this prayer (and all but Compline start with it – the Latin is “Deus, in adiutorium meum intende; Domine ad adiuvandum me festina”). Read Cardinal Desireé Mercier’s treatise on the spirit of Christian penance: http://catholicpamphlets.net/pamphlets/The%20Purpose%20of%20Christian%20Mortification.pdf
          Our Lady requested that Christians in this age increase their voluntary penance, as it is desperately necessary for the crisis of our times. Learn about the message of Our Lady at Fatima, and strive to fulfill it. This article can be a first introduction; you can join your personal penance to this broader penance, which the Virgin requested.
          I do not doubt that if you bring forth worthy fruits of repentance, and walk with God’s help in the path of contrition and amendment of life, that God may be propitious towards you. “There is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents, than over 99 just who had no need.”

        2. Dear Aurelius Moner.
          I live in Santiago, Chile. Southamerica. Yes the type of unspeakable sin is the one you are suspecting. I am one of the people that wont inherit the Kingdom of Heavens as mentioned in “1 Corinthians 6:9”. So yes that´s how shameful is my sin.
          I mentioned Lot´s sin but I made a mistake as I don´t have daughters what I meant was “destruction of sodom and gomorrah” that particular unnatural behavior also mentioned in Corinthians 6:9 (my mistake).
          I understand I have no future in this lifestyle. Only doom and selfdestruction awaits, even in this terrenal world.
          Is it possible for people like me, if repented, to eventually start a family, to go back to the natural way just like God himself intended in the first place?
          Are there cases of positive conversion therapies for people like me?
          Long time ago I heard not sure if a catholic priest or other priest of another christian denomination that said that “this” (refering to my condition) is a cross that the people like me should carry for the rest of our lives by living without submitting to sin anymore and living in chastity and praying.
          Is that a valid way to see it? As a sort of “test”, burden or cross I will have to carry the rest of my life?
          I wanna apologize beforehand to you as I am aware how nasty and uncomfortable I am to you, specially to you as a holy man.I don´t how many people like me you have encountered in your ministery. I now I am a corrupted man and unworthy man. Neither God bothers to destroy me or kill me for what I´ve done…
          I thought sometimes about killing myseft as a way to redeem myselft.
          Does God see suicide, in my particular case and sin, as a way to redeem myself? Does He see that with good eyes?

        3. Thanks, I was hesitant about posting this here on ROK as I thought I would be automatically bashed for my conditon/behavior.
          Who knows maybe someday I will write a guest post about how REALLY is this type of lifestyle, as warning.
          This life is not like the media portrays it. There´s nothing “happy” about being this way.
          Thanks again for you tolerance.
          God bless you

        4. First, I am a sinful man myself; some of the saints would become nauseous, it is true, hearing confessions. I am no saint. The only people that deeply offend me, are self-satisfied people, or manipulative people. I’m not uncomfortable talking to you.
          Second, suicide is a mortal sin; there is nothing redeeming in it. In the Church, we pray regularly against many things, and especially we pray that we be delivered “ab improvisa morte” (“a death, for which we have not fully prepared”), we ask for “spatium verae penitentiae” (“time for true repentance”) and “emendationem vitae” (“amendment of life,” changing our life for the better). Suicide throws away all of these necessary gifts, by rushing to death before taking the time to repent, to change one’s life, and to prepare well. And, of course, it is just as bad as the sin of murder, it is simply the murder of one’s own self; our lives are not ours, we aren’t free to take them up or lie them down at our pleasure. And, of course, in suicide we die in the act of committing a mortal sin, so that we have no time to repent; it is certain that all suicides find themselves in hell, unless they are insane, or some other serious, extenuating circumstance exists.
          Here is an SSPX chapel in Santiago:
          There is also a Sedevacantist, Catholic chapel in Cordoba, Argentina, but that may be a long drive:
          Capilla Dulce Nombre de Maria
          Lima 1273
          Cordoba 5000 Pca. de Cordoba
          You’ll find more about them on Google, if you like. Beware! Many homosexualist infiltrators have entered the Church in the past century, as part of the Socialist and Gramschi-ite mission to infiltrate and destroy Western institutions from the inside. If the priest doesn’t seem like a solid man to you, keep away. And, for what it’s worth: I’m glad you have such deep compunction for your sins; the thing that kills compunction is a numb conscience. The more common and in-your-face sexual deviance becomes, the less people feel compunction – the less you will feel compunction. It will be necessary for you to keep away from people, organizations, events, television shows, etc., that treat the matter lightly. Otherwise your compunction will be lost, and it may be you will hand yourself over to the sin entirely. If the priest seems not to think it is a big deal, avoid him, except when absolutely necessary.
          Related to that: the nature of the homosexual inclination is complex. People are not born that way, and I reject the popular view amongst many modern folk (including “catholics”), that one should accept a “gay” identity (i.e., think of one’s self as permanently, genetically “gay”), and then spend one’s life “bearing the cross” as a chaste, “gay” man. All the evidence shows that homosexuality is a psychological coping mechanism that arises in response to certain difficulties in childhood. There may be some factors that are influenced by genetics (such as the temperament likely to yield an homosexual response), but it is incorrect to simply say that one “is” gay. One develops an homosexual pathology as the result of a complex interaction of natural predispositions and difficult, exterior events and circumstances.
          Therefore, there have also been many cases of men who successfully disentangled themselves from this coping mechanism, with more or less success,, by developing better habits of thought and action. In essence, homosexuality is what happens when a man fails to connect with his own masculinity, and seeks to satiate his frustrated desire for integration with his own manhood, by seeking connection with the manhood of other men. This is why gay men are not particularly attracted to other gays, but tend to obsess over straight men. Many have said that they began to change, when they realized that what they were looking for in other men, they already had in themselves. Affirming that you already have masculinity in yourself, and that you must tear down the fear and anxiety which prevents you from owning your own masculinity, will be the battle.
          So, in short: it is possible to change, but you should not expect that it will be easy. It will involve a firm resolve to change your behaviours, and even your thought patterns, in many ways. It involves the choice to become a man, and to acknowledge that you are a man, and be comfortable being a man… and this will include a ruthless persecution of the parts of your psyche that are passive, timid, adolescent, immature, etc. You may want to go to narth.com, a site that is dedicated to researching and treating homosexual pathology.
          I’ll also say that there is a particular demon responsible for stirring up this sin, whose name I will not mention. But, the Saints have acknowledged that the spiritual power most opposed to him, is the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the aspect of her Immaculate Heart. Learn more about the history and nature of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart, prepare yourself for total consecration to the Immaculate (using either St. Marie Louis de Montfort’s method, or St. Maximilian Kolbe’s), and, by becoming a son and knight of the Virgin’s all-pure heart, purity and the right order of nature can prevail within you.
          It is my hope that the priests at one or the other chapel there, will be able to help you. In any case, God helps those who are willing. God bless.

        5. Nacho,
          Those who are contrite and are striving for the better, should rightly receive the encouragement of other men.
          But there is no “tolerance” for the sin itself, nor for those who impenitently advocate for it. It is actually cruel to tolerate in this way, because, as you point out, there is nothing pleasant about a life of dysfunction. We cruelly abandon men and women to a pathetic state, when we “tolerate” or even encourage this sin. But, since you are breaking free from it, I think of it less as “tolerance,” and more as encouragement of a man striving for the better path.

        6. I know where he stands.
          I struggled with an addiction to prostitutes, pornography and sluts before. The hardest to overcome were by far pornography and sluts, as modern society actually encourage you to indulge in these.

        7. Thank you! Thank you very much Aurelius Moner!
          You have no idea how lost and depressed I felt all this time.
          I am the younger of two sons raised by my mother only so I guess that had some influence in my conditon. Never had a solid father figure in those critical years of my childhood.
          Didn´t know there were demons also involved in this particular sin, I will research more on that. Here in latin american we do have a strong devotion to the Virgin Mary. From “La Virgen de Guadalupe” in Mexico to Chile and Argentina. I will learn more about the proper devotion to the Inmmaculate Heart.
          Maybe this in an opportunity to rejoin to the church. In the last decades there has been a strong “secularization” of chilean society and the rest of latin america. Many Chileans declare themselves to be Catholic (over 70%) but they are not active church members as they dont have a stronger religious formation other than what they were taught as children (me included).
          Thanks for the sites and resources I will check them immediately! Thank you for taking you time to aid an impure man like me.

        8. I will. Though I don´t know how well received will be here on ROK. It is a “sensitive” issue in the manosphere after all. By the way this is not my main facebook account as I am aware of being a potential target I may become from SJWs to others.
          It will be a long article from my childhood where I am now.
          Maybe that will be more useful to the readers.
          Thanks for sharing you own personal struggles with pornography and others.

        9. No problem.
          I’ve read about an ex-homosexual icon who became Christian, publicly disapproved sodomy and started a family a few years ago. He received death threats for it. Can’t remember his name. You’re right to be cautious.
          I think you should absolutely write this article and as long as you’re honest and show a desire of repanting yourself you’ll be well received.
          You should email Roosh and discuss about it with him.

        10. Have you read of David? A murderer, an adulterer, a man whose lust led him to murder a faithful man in his own army, a self righteous and conceited man?
          But who God, after all was said and done, called him a “man after His own heart”?
          Forgive yourself buddy, others have done far worse things than you. The forgiveness of God is open to you
          “…all who come to me, I shall in no wise cast away” John 6.37

        11. I prefer self help buddy. Pick up the Bible and start reading it for yourself.
          Then rejoining the church will have more meaning

        12. I will. Tomorrow I will buy one for my own personal study along with the cathecism of the Catholic Church.
          Yes, I have a long path to go before rejoining the chuch.

        13. Dear Nacho
          I encourage you to start reading and studying the bible. It is a wonderful thing that you have chosen to renounce a life of sin and follow Christ. But only one path leads to Christ.
          Matthew 7:13-23:
          “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not
          everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
          So there will be those in the last day, who honestly believed they were following Christ, but they will be turned away. Who are these people who will be turned away? Those who corrupt the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul talks about those who pervert the Gospel in Galatians:
          “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”
          And so, my warning to you: consider carefully everything you are taught about the Gospel. Test (in humility) everything you hear and check it against the authority of the pure Scriptures, and know that much of what you hear from men’s mouths will be error. Be like the church in Ephesus mentioned by John in Revelation 2:2:
          ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false.”
          Man prefers to follow after his own will, not God’s. Traditions take precedence over Scripture, and churches drift further and further from the Truth. We are warned time and time again in the Scripture of adding to and taking from the Word. Don’t fall into this trap! Study the Word, understand it fully, and whenever a man tells you “do this or that”, ask (in humility and not with bad attitude): “What is the Scriptural basis for this requirement?”

        14. Thanks for the kind words. If you want to repay me, may I ask that you would remember me in your prayers from time to time, as it occurs to you?

        15. Yes, the whole world is twisted in this way, now. I was raised in an atheist household, and when I turned 13 my father brought me a stack of playboys, hustlers, etc. He said “I figured you’re at the age where you may be interested in these things, but never tell your mom I gave them to you.” I remember, at the time, being disgusted with him, for this seemed like the exact opposite of what a father should do for his son. But, of course, I was eager to look at them, and that began a long habit of pornography for me, as well.
          That’s the world we live in: even fathers try to raise their sons in enslavement to vice, so why would there be any calls for restraint in society?

        16. I will Aurelius Moner. I will ask God to protect you. Althought yesterday when I first prayed in over 24 years I felt somehow odd as I am not used to it, yet. Maybe with time and propper intention this will change.

        17. Forgiveness comes with the heartfelt and true belief and devotion that Yehusua is the lord and savior. That alone will be enough to enter the kingdom of Yahweh. No man may get to the father but through him. Speak his love through your mouth and heart, and ye shall be saved. This will not make you perfect, and I still sin quite frequently. But those who are renewed in the blood of Yehusua, will have a aversion to sin.

    2. Nacho- the fact that you are seeking Him means that He is seeking you. Find yourself a quiet place- and say the Lord’s Prayer (Padre Nuestro) every time that you feel tempted. Praying with intention will start to change you in unknown and powerful ways. It’s the key to the prison of our petty egos.

      1. Thanks Aben,
        To all the good people here (Aurelius Moner, Monsieur, Kay and the rest) I wanna say thank you from my heart!
        This is not a good life for anyone, no matter how “happy” they seem outside in those parades, deep inside I know they are suffering and have deep wounds in their minds and hearts. Lets have mercy for them and lets not attack them, as It won´t solve anything.
        In my personal life. I removed my personal facebook account. I made another one blocking beforehand everyone who shared the same lifestyle that only brought misery to me. Same with the cellphone I bought a new sim card and I removed whatsapp.
        Thank god I never downloaded those gay apps, though I was tempted, if I had I wouldn´t come back from the sin as I would be completely dominated by it.
        I spoke with an old friend, and relgious man, about where should I start studying the bible. He also recommend me to start from the New Testament adn then the old one.
        About the article dunno if make it about my life only or should I include also an expose of the “gender ideology” and how sick it is. I am familiarized with some authors I have first hand experience of it.
        Thank you all for helping in this moment of my life.
        God bless you all!

  11. “To show what the heart of prayer is; the pure act of raising the soul to God and conforming our will with Him, humbly gazing on Him with the eyes of faith, desiring and hoping to attain the good we behold in Him, and moving beyond even the thought of reward, to love Him for the Good that He is, in and of Himself, with a love that is willing to endure what it must to be pleasing to Him.”
    A thought: this ‘raising the soul to God’ strikes me as one of the meanings present when, at the climax of the Mass, the priest raises the Host above the altar at or after the moment of transubstantiation.
    The primary significance of that moment in the Mass is, of course, Jesus’s sacrifice, the memorial act of the Mass, and the salvation that event creates — but given Jesus was fully God and fully Man, when you raise the Host, it could be said you are symbolically raising man to be one with God. It is a very literal prayer all in itself — especially given that the priest generally is looking at the Host when that moment comes.
    In connection with that, and with humbly gazing on God, consider also the practice in some Catholic churches of presenting the Host in a monstrance before or after Mass for the faithful to contemplate.

    1. Indeed. “But if I am lifted up, I shall draw all men unto Myself.” Christ assumed an human body, animated by a rational soul – i.e., the totality of human nature. In the place of man, and repairing the disobedience of Adam, He offered Himself up unto God as a Propitiation. In this moment, His sacred humanity, body and soul, felt God turn His back on Him, in a sense, as He “became a curse for us;” Christ rather asked, “my God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” This is not to say that Christ lost faith in God, which would be absurd (being God Himself, and never being separated from the beatific vision even in His humanity).
      This should let us know that prayer is not about the reward we get from it, the comfort, the consolation, the encouragement, etc., but truly is the uplifting of the soul to God in Faith, Hope and Charity, even when we are experiencing the depths of desolation and seeming alienation from God. Indeed, that is the meaning of Christ’s Passion – He suffered everything of the human condition (everything natural, that is), and experienced the most complete “kenosis” (self-emptying, self-abasement) of all men. “A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” But even here, prayer exists.

  12. I just want to point out that it’s perfectly acceptable to ask God for things like a beggar would do. God is infinite, eternal and all powerful, we are not, therefore we can only be beggars in front of him.
    At first when I was praying, I didn’t “dare” to ask God for things (success in my business, a more loving heart, protection for my closest ones and I), I was only thanking God for everything that happened in my life. I was thinking “who am I to ask God for things”?
    But the a priest told me it’s acceptable to ask for things, just like a beggar. Of course you have to ask for the right things, intuitively we all know what are those (hint: it’s not asking to win the lottery).
    On a personal note, I started praying quite recently (still don’t do as regularly as I should), and it does make a difference in your life. I actually wonder how I didn’t do it before (well, maybe because I used to be an hardcore atheist).

    1. Congrats on coming out of Atheism; I was also in that boat, once.
      Absolutely, we should ask God for every good gift that may be beneficial to our salvation, including those things the improve the circumstances of our lives in ways that allow us better to serve Him. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Each day, each moment, we ask for the goods He is ready to give.

  13. So RoK seriously expect people to believe that the Christian concept there’s a all-powerful entity called God is a literal fact?

    1. Hey Gil? I don’t think there’s any “serious expectation” regarding what you do with your spiritual condition. You get a choice. And that’s the thing I often see from those who denigrate Christianity; the assumption that because someone tells you of their belief and practices you simply think that nobody recognizes your right to choose. The one thing that seems to set a lot of people off, though, is the reminder that with choices comes consequences. From the small time I’ve been reading blog posts here at RoK, I have seen a pretty eclectic bunch of topics. I don’t know if presenting spiritual topics are any different than discussion of education, immigration, homosexuality, feminism, “game” and such (or the results attained from any and all of the above).

      1. If there were an all-powerful being who would reward or punish for their actions then people would most certainly want to take notice. In that sense there would be no choice. On the other hand, if there isn’t really a God per se but He is the personification for the ideal moral world then that seems somewhat intellectually disingenuous.

        1. Yes, isn’t it interesting? The person who plays the short term game wants to see right now in this particular sphere of existence. If I pray for something, I get it on my timetable. That’s much closer to the scientific method.
          And here’s the rub: we die and nobody we personally know comes back to tell us how that works. Of course, there are those who have died and been revived in operating suites. I had an uncle with a bad heart that passed three separate times on the table. We spoke at length and depth of it. But, we still have this itch to know if there is something beyond this life once death is permanent. That’s the long game.
          Anyone saying that they know, without an aspect of faith or belief I would call disingenuous. And that includes those who say “nothing exists beyond death”. Isn’t that a belief that is not scientifically measured also?

        2. The choice is between submission or rebellion. There are consequences for the choice, but it is still allowed to us to make it.

        3. “Because punishment for an evil work is delayed, the hearts of the sons of men is set in them to do evil”

        4. We’re all agnostic in the sense we don’t want death to mean extinction of the consciousness. But what if, say, God does exist and is exactly the way Muslims believe? There’s a bit of good news and bad news in that.

    2. Belief in an omnipotent God is not a “Christian” concept, but a truth of natural reason, which is embraced by many systems of thought, including many religions.
      Last I checked, the only thing RoK asks of its commenters, is that they be men.

  14. For those of us who are interested, here’s a fantastic passage from Leaves of Grass that I always felt was a beautiful description of (what I consider to be) a very high object of prayer, aka communication with the Divine:
    If anyone comments on this, I will be happy to talk about it, but for now I just hope you can appreciate how powerful it is.

  15. Interesting you mentioned Truth at the start. It reminds me of a philosophy seminar I had at university. One lass was waxing lyrical about there is no such thing as truth. I looked her straight in the eye, calmly and clearly stated, “Then, how true is your sentence?” Cue shocked, wide eyed look from her, much spluttering and back pedalling as her mind was doing mental somersaults to try and maintain her world view. True hamster moment.
    What are your thoughts on the military, monastic orders? Knights Templar, Knights Hospitaller, Teutonic Knights and others. How can a modern secular warrior, soldier, sailor, airman, police officer etc learn and grow from their examples?

    1. Yes, this contradiction is the central contradiction, upon which modernity is built. People who assert as true, that there is no truth, and who invent human “rights,” while denying what is Right. Because it is incoherent, all of modernity proceeds from these irrational premises in a necessarily incoherent way, tearing at the fabric of well-ordered existence, and rendering peace, stability and virtue impossible.
      The militant orders were great glories of the Church. We have certainly reached the point where we are more than justified to destroy the enemies of decency and reason in a most bloody manner. But, there is the matter of prudence; one must not begin a campaign that has little chance of succeeding, and which would only exacerbate the situation by its failure. Still, if there were a revival large enough and widespread enough, of men ready to consecrate their arms to God, and to destroy all traitors, thieves, perverts and heretics from our midst, I would wish them Godspeed. I have a feeling that this is not how God wishes to end the current calamity, however. The first thing is first: penance, penance, penance.
      Modern warriors can learn from their example by consecrating their persons and arms to God, and swearing only to uphold justice. This would mean resigning or resisting when ordered to do what is evil, or to enforce laws/orders that are evil. They should also follow their example by practicing the traditional forms of penance in the Church. Penance is not for ages past, but is a constant need of every age.

      1. So I should commit to penance and saving enough resources to survive a year outside of work, should I be forced to stand down. I’ve started by offering each work day to God, asking that he take it from me and make it his. That’s really helped me so far this year.

        1. I do the same. Work is prayer only as much as it is offered and accomplished for the glory of God. It also helps me to get thorugh crappy days if I accept that everything happens from the Will of God.

        2. Yes, that sounds like the right path.
          Penance doesn’t mean not having any pleasure in life, though, in my opinion, it does mean that we limit mindless and vain entertainments. We have human pleasures – peace and quiet, an evening stroll, a pipe and a bit of whisky with friends; celebration of the Church’s feasts and customs at home, with family and friends, etc.
          It also means positive acts of penance: the routine spirit of penance, as illuminated in most Christian writings on prayer and asceticism, admirably condensed in recent times by Cardinal Mercier’s “On Christian Mortification,” and explained by Fr. Remler’s “Why Must I suffer?”
          I think establishing independence, the ability to survive off-grid for a good, long while, even stocking up on arms and ammunition, getting combat training, etc., is good. But yes, the primary focus should be on doing penance for our own sins (and ceasing from them), and doing penance on behalf of the whole society.

        3. Loving your profile picture by the way… epic film. So much growth in the character.

        4. Read Cardinal Mercier’s work “On Christian Mortification” for a guide to the constant habit and spirit of penance. Try to live in harmony with it. Following the traditional fasting guidelines goes without saying. You’ll find those here (use the Traditional, not the 1983, guidelines):
          But I actually try to go above and beyond, and stick to the more Medieval fasting guidelines of the West, described here:
          This link gives great information, and includes some fasts that were kept at various times in the West (Dormition, Apostles’, Rogation, etc.), but are no longer obligatory; I still keep them, but this is as a voluntary penance. The link was adapted for the use of some Orthodox Christians who wanted to follow old English (Catholic) customs, but they altered these when it conflicted with an Orthodox custom. So, to use it as a Catholic one must consider a few points: 1) fasts are reckoned from midnight to midnight, not sundown to sundown; 2) the actual, Western practice is to fast (not merely abstain) on Ember Saturdays; 3) the fasted vigils and ranking of Double Feasts changes over time and from place to place; because this list was prepared by Orthodox Christians, they rejected later, Catholic Feasts from after the Schism (like Corpus Christi, the Visitation, Christ the King, Our Lady of Victory, etc.). As this is a voluntary penance on your part, feel free to add vigils and change ranks of feasts as you like.
          Past that, for beginners, I think some excellent penances are:
          1) Pray (privately) with arms straight out, so that you are in the shape of a cross. Your arms will get tired, but try to keep them up as much as possible while praying psalms or other prayers.
          2) While praying Psalm 50, or while repeating a brief prayer ad libitum (such as the Jesus Prayer, the “Deus, in adiutorium,” the Fatima Sacrifice prayer, etc.), make continuous prostrations. Aim to do at least 50 prostrations a day, if you are youngish and able-bodied. To make a prostration, one makes the sign of the cross; while doing so, go down on your knees and then touch your forehead to the ground; (at this point, some may rise up a bit, trace the cross on the ground and kiss it – or, some do this only when they are done making all the prostrations they care to make at that time); rise up again to a standing position; repeat if desired.
          3) Resolve to get out of bed as soon as you realize you are awake in the morning; lift your mind to God and make the sign of the Cross; make one or a few prostrations, and say your brief morning prayers. Some resolve to rise and do a few prostrations with brief prayer whenever they awake in the middle of the night.
          4) From time to time, force one’s self to do something unpleasant, or to endure a bit of pain or discomfort (i.e., stand in cold water for long enough to say a brief prayer, when getting in/out of the shower); a good prayer whenever one meets with pain or discomfort, or endures a great irritation, is to say something like the Fatima Sacrifice Prayer (“Good Jesu, (I offer this) for the love of Thee, to repair for sins against the unstained heart of Mary, and for the conversion of sinners”).
          5) Some people will wear hair shirts, heavy chains and/or cilices, or at least something uncomfortable (an Orthodox priest, Fr. Seraphim Rose, would wear a very rough, itchy scarf, saying that anything more severely ascetical would only cause pride and delusion for haughty, modern men).

      2. I have a feeling that this is not how God wishes to end the current calamity, however. The first thing is first: penance, penance, penance.
        I agree. From what I understand, God rather needs an army of spiritual warriors who will become victim souls and do penance for their countires, their priests, and the world. Yesterday, we celebrated the feast of Our Lady of the Candles and also the less known feast of Our Lady of Good Success, both on February 2nd. If you are not familiar with the latter, I encourage you to reasearch the story of Mariana de Jesus Torres from Quito, Ecuador. A nun from the 1500s who received prophetic visions specifically about the complete moral breakdown of the 20th century and accepted to become a victim soul for the people of those times (us). God told her that he will punish the heresy, blasphemy and impurity of this age. Those who would remain faithful will suffer terrible persecution and will need great strength of will, constancy, valor and confidence in God. And when everything will seem lost, only then will begin the complete restoration of the Church.

  16. On prayer, by supreme poet Rumi:
    “During prayer I am accustomed to turn to God like this:
    that’s the meaning of the words of the Tradition,
    “the delight I feel in the ritual prayer.”
    The window of my soul opens,
    and from the purity of the Unseen World,
    the Book of God comes to me straight.
    The Book, the rain of Divine Grace, and the Light
    are falling through my window into my house
    from my real and original source.
    The house without a window is Hell:
    to make a window, O servant of God
    is the foundation of the true Religion.
    Don’t thrust your axe upon every thicket:
    come, use your axe to cut open a window.”

  17. Aurelius, could you comment on the Sermon on the Mount?
    When Jesus says that we should not resist evil, He seems to be advocating a passive, feeble attitude that is characteristic of what many nowadays call “churchianity”.
    I can´t bring myself to agree with this, but perhaps I am misinterpreting it.
    Would you be so kind as to shed some light on this passage?

    1. I would say a few things.
      First, Jesus uses a rabbinical tactic, by which one uses a very extreme example, not quite meant to be taken literally, to illustrate the point. For example, when He says “if your right hand cause you to sin, cut it off,” the Church has always taught that, of course, it is a sin to mutilate one’s self in this way. But the point is that we should be ready to bear great sacrifices in order to avoid sin. Likewise, there is a way in which it is true that a man is guilty of a sin simply by delighting in it; but obviously a real case of adultery is far more serious than lusting after another woman… even though real adultery also begins with lusting after the woman. So, too, His point here is that bearing with people in their own effrontery is more wholesome than answering insult for insult. We should be detached from insult, and even embarrass the insulter by failing to respond in kind.
      Second, the Church has always maintained the distinction, present in the New Testament itself, between the “Evangelical Counsels” (of “Counsels of Perfection”) and the commandments. Again, hyperbolically, Jesus says that a man need not worry for the morrow, and store up food and provisions. Now, a celibate man could perhaps do this, since he only affects himself. But an husband or father would be sinning greatly if he did not make provision for his wife and children. And so, we see that in some places our Lord commends celibacy as a perfect ideal; and to the rich man who had already observed the Law, the Lord said ‘if Thou wouldst be perfect, sell all thou hast and give it to the poor.” Again, this would be a sin for a man with responsibilities to others. But, the ideal is set up: the man who wishes to pursue perfection is free to take upon himself a supererogatory endeavor of detachment; but the man who does not wish to go “above and beyond” in this way, or who cannot because he has responsibilities to others, is still bound to heed the point of our Lord’s message – namely, be as detached as possible from greed and worry, use money and possessions as tools, and don’t be a slave to them. Or, as St. Paul would later say: “let them that have wives be as though they had none, and them that use the goods of this world be as though they used them not, for the fashion of this world passeth away.”
      So, too, a monk or celibate man can bear blows with insults, and can expose himself to further injury, but a married man, or a soldier, or a king or other official, is bound to protect the families and societies subject to them. The point, however, is that often evil is more effectively resisted by not stooping to its level. Hence, St. John Chrysostom’s commentary on the passage affirms that, certainly we are to resist evil, but we often resist it better by shaming it or bearing with it, than we do by completing the circle of violence and insult.
      And, that brings me to the last thing I’ll say. We live in a very evil age. One of the things that stands out in reading the Scriptures and the Fathers, is that they were assuming one was dealing with a better class of person. The Scriptures say that when we answer violence with kindness, we “heap coals on the head” of the aggressor, who was hoping, after all, to get a rise out of us, or to find a pretext to fight with us more earnestly. The Fathers’ commentaries on the passage often assume that, by not returning a blow for a blow, we actually shame and humiliate the aggressor, and cause him to reproach himself, sparing us the trouble.
      In the past, I’m sure that was often true. Now, we deal with people whose consciences are entirely seared, and whose charity and humanity is completely frozen, as St. Paul predicted would be the case in the latter days. These people are not shamed, do not reproach themselves, and can even continue to take an heightened and perverse pleasure in seeing their victims acquiesce to their victimhood. I think of SJWs and other leftist revolutionaries. I do not think that it is wise to take this approach, therefore, when dealing with such persons.

      1. Thank you very much, brother Aurelius!
        I have always had trouble with the literal interpretation of this passage, and just couldn´t bring myself to accept complete inaction in the face of evil, as I find it extremely ungodly and unmanly.
        I am very interested in learning traditional Catholic doctrine. Would you please indicate a brief study course?
        I live in Brazil, in the state of Minas Gerais. Would it be possible for you to direct me to a church or a priest of your trust?
        Again, my most sincere thanks!

  18. As a traditional Catholic I find it quite odd that this is found on a site that promotes a view of women that goes against respecting the Church as according to the Catechism “Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. “Being man” or “being woman” is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.240 Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity “in the image of God”. In their “being-man” and “being-woman”, they reflect the Creator’s wisdom and goodness.” I am truly baffled as this site certainly does not respect this view. Also the fact that this website promotes manipulating women to have as much sex as possible also totally contradicts everything the church teaches about sex as a sacred act that is to be done within marriage. The fact that this article is found on this website is truly insulting to the Catholic church.

    1. “And it came to pass as he was sitting at meat in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came, and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. And the Pharisees seeing it, said to his disciples: Why doth your master eat with publicans and sinners? But Jesus hearing it, said: They that are in health need not a physician, but they that are ill. Go then and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but sinners.”
      If I were compromising the Truth to accommodate it to others, that would indeed be blasphemy and an insult to the Catholic Faith. But I have found that many men, set adrift by the lies of modernity, are ready to respond to something more real. And, frankly, from whom shall they hear the Gospel? From Francis? From the average, local priest or bishop? It is to laugh.
      I do not deny that men and women have equal dignity and human value. Neither should any Catholic deny that women are subject to men and, since the Fall, the yearning of woman is towards the man, and she is doubly subject to him. The lies of modernity are tightly packed together with feminism; many men, when they wake up to the fact that there are different dynamics to the sexes, that men tend to be a bit smarter, a bit stronger, a bit more reasonable, a bit more dominant, and a bit more influential over the female psyche, start to wake up to Reality. Some men will abuse this state of affairs, and debase themselves with promiscuity. But I’ll tell you the truth: once many men learn how easy it is to manipulate a woman, after learning some of the bitter truths of the real world, they also begin to lose interest in it. They grow bored. But, now their eyes are opened. Now they know they’ve been lied to. Now, they’re no longer living in the dream world of egalitarianism and its relativistic incoherence. And then, many men are ready to reject it, and embrace Reality in a yet more integral way. They reject the whole pack of lies of Modernism.
      Such men are closer to the truth and salvation, than any pious scold. And our Lord’s treatment of sinners, contrasted with His treatment of Pharisees, makes this abundantly clear. The real insult to the Catholic Faith, then, would be to write such men and their abodes off as “sinners,” and to restrict one’s presence only to the houses and tables of the pure.

    2. This site also respects the idea that men and women’s role is complementary in nature. Interestingly you skipped over that aspect of Catholic Catechism, not to mention the Catholic Church’s stance that — because of that God-ordained complementarity — feminism is not compatible with Christianity in general or Catholicism in particular.

      1. I am not defending feminism, and I agree that men and women complement each other. My question is what determined these “roles” and is this sites definition of those roles congruent with nature or the teachings of the church? I would argue that it seeks to remove the “dignity of the human person” from the equation with many of its male supremacist views.

        1. Tradition, Scripture, Reason and Nature all teach us that man bears dominion and lordship over the woman.
          This site is not a monolith; furthermore, I am not sure that this site has “sought” to remove the dignity of the human person, so much as it has been consequent to that or, often, merely highlighted how others and the culture have already accomplished that task. Recognizing that, and finding a way forward, is increasingly its focus.

  19. Sure, just keep on wasting time talking to yourself. Thats up to yourself. But dont go raping any little kids now. We know that that is what religious people do. Religion creates immorality. It creates deviant frustrated perverts that are taught not to masturbate. So they release their sexual frustration on defenceless children. I would never trust a religious person with anything. So please, sure, if you must talk to yourself. But dont go spread your disease around.

    1. You know the abuse rate amongst conciliar, catholic clergy, even in spite of the Leftist infiltration, still only 1/5 the abuse rate of other organizations like the public schools, BSA, etc.?
      In my experience, indulging sexual sin increases the appetite for sexual sin; self-control diminishes desire, especially when one also controls his stomach.

      1. I don`t believe in sin. I only believe in what is moral and amoral. But okay let`s call the amoral “sin”. I do believe some self-control makes your apetite for sex smaller. Though, total self-control is probably not a good idea. I am not a leftist by the way. I just believe religion to be unmodern. And that it has no place in today`s society. Other than that I am not left politically at all. But did you ever read the bible? If you believe everything from the bible to be moral, you are just as bad as a muslim. And a very immoral person. I mean geez, they still stone to death people in the old testament. That`s why jews are never to be trusted.

        1. Well, St. Paul is explicit that the Old Testament was a “pedagogue unto Christ.” A pedagogue is literally a “leader of children.” He was the “bus driver” of the ancient world; not the teacher, but the guy who brought the kids to the teacher. Christians believe that the Old Testament reflects a gradual uplifting of man from barbarism and slavery to sin, slowly refining his moral and spiritual life until he was ready to receive the Christ and the fullness of doctrine. The Church believes the same thing about the better pagan philosophers.
          There is, incidentally, no meaningful context to the term “moral,” unless one believes in a Deity Who is Himself constitutive of the Good. And yes, that makes immorality tantamount to sin.

  20. Control.
    Control is the essential purpose of prayer.
    People who pray are seeking control over something they have, or feel they have, no control over.
    Superstition, obsessive compulsive disorder and religion are all solutions to overcome a lack of control in your life. They allow someone to do something small they do have control over like knocking on wood, turning lights on and off multiple times or praying that will then translate into control of something bigger and more important.

    1. This simply doesn’t ring true; in authentic prayer, one is usually communing with God in acknowledgment of one’s lack of control.
      Also, historically, the greatest men of prayer, the saints, have had immense control over themselves, and immense influence on historical events. They were men of action, not men suffering from “a lack of control.”

      1. Praying is indeed admitting you don’t have control. Why else would you be doing it? Believers are wise on this point. Believing in authentic prayer is believing that somebody that will do something on your behalf if you request it. That’s just control by proxy.

        1. No, prayer believes that what must be done by God, should be asked of Him. What must be done by ourselves, cannot and must not be delegated to a proxy.

        2. We’re saying the same thing. If you have control, no god needed. If you don’t have control, ask god to control it for you.

        3. Ah, I see. I think we can at least agree that beyond most of your very local life, one has little real control of anything.

  21. To activately believe in the Bible , and to claim to be the more rational of the sexes is funny. Use your superior male brain to figure out just why the fuck the Bible has no merit.

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