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From Catholic News Service, a good one (with no ambiguity!) from the Pope:




OPE-WORKS Feb-21-2014 (330 words) xxxi
Pope: Professing the faith without good works is just spouting hot air
(CNS/Paul Haring)
By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Understanding God's commandments and church doctrine is useless if those truths aren't put into practice, Pope Francis said.

"A faith without bearing fruit in life, a faith that doesn't bear fruit in works is not faith," the pope said in a Mass homily, focusing on the day's first reading from the Book of James (2:14-24).

Professing the faith without giving a witness makes the Gospel "words and nothing more than words," he said Feb. 21 during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

"We, too, make this mistake many times," he said. It's often the case when a person thinks, "'But I have lots of faith. I believe everything.'"

However, look at how that person lives life. It may be "a lukewarm, weak life" where "faith is like a theory" and not lived out in practice, the pope said.

Vox Wrote:As I'm fond of saying, the Faith is not a mere philosophy. Yes!

"You may know all the commandments, all the prophesies, all the truths of the faith, but if this isn't put into practice, is not translated into works, it serves nothing." As the Apostle James noted, [html] even demons know the Creed,[/html] but that doesn't mean they have faith, the pope said.

Vox Wrote:James 2:15-26 

What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food: And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith. Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: [html] the devils also believe and tremble[/html]. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou, that faith did co-operate with his works; and by works faith was made perfect?  And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God. Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only? And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving the messengers, and sending them out another way? For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead.

Christians can be this way, too, he said, seeing the faith "as a system of ideas." But in reality, such people are what James considered them to be, "the anti-Christ, ideologues of the faith," the pope said.

[html] "Having faith isn't having knowledge," [/html]the pope said. Instead, it is "receiving God's message" as brought by Christ.

There can be people who know very little or nothing about doctrine, "but have lots of faith" because rather than embracing "abstract truths," they embrace the living Christ, the pope said.

"Faith and witness are indissoluble," he said. "Faith is an encounter with Jesus Christ, with God," and always leads to witnessing.

"A faith without works, a faith that doesn't get you involved, isn't faith," he said. "It's words and nothing more than words."

This is a good starting point, and it is nice to hear something distinctly Catholic from this Pope!

Being a Jesuit and a South American, however, I wonder if the "works" he is hinting at are more about social justice, dismantling "unjust social structures", and "creating a just society". Perhaps that is just my cynicism, but it seems those things are more up his alley than, say, praying the rosary or performing corporal works of mercy (other than voting for socialist parties).
(02-24-2014, 03:38 PM)Heorot Wrote: [ -> ]This is a good starting point, and it is nice to hear something distinctly Catholic from this Pope!

Being a Jesuit and a South American, however, I wonder if the "works" he is hinting at are more about social justice, dismantling "unjust social structures", and "creating a just society". Perhaps that is just my cynicism, but it seems those things are more up his alley than, say, praying the rosary or performing corporal works of mercy (other than voting for socialist parties).

How can you say that considering the outreach he's very publicly performed with women who've considered abortion, vulnerable members of society (that man covered in benign tumours) and people in prison? Admonishing religious orders with long empty estates to open them up and admit the homeless? And that's just the stuff the media were hollering about. Praying the rosary is great. But there's more to being Catholic than telling your beads.
You are right, loggats. Perhaps I am unduly suspicious of him because of his personality. I apologize!
Francis Wrote:Having faith isn't having knowledge.

Actually, it is, at least in part (see Vatican I, Sess. III).  I understand the point Francis was making (faith must be informed by charity and lived/practiced), but it seemed as though he was putting down knowledgeable Catholics, contrasting them with those who had a simpler faith and saw God incarnate.  He could've given the lesson without repeating himself so much and without all of the negativity.  Certainly, abstract truths do have a place in a Catholic's life, because they inform us how to respond to all of the false ideas circulated by the world.
I always worry at the end of the I will find out that I wasted my life and didn't do enough. I am disabled and live in a country with no infrastructure for the disabled so I'm stuck at home all day rather that going out and doing good work\s. There has to be more I can do than just pray.
(02-25-2014, 01:06 AM)ThomasTheDoubter Wrote: [ -> ]I always worry at the end of the I will find out that I wasted my life and didn't do enough. I am disabled and live in a country with no infrastructure for the disabled so I'm stuck at home all day rather that going out and doing good work\s. There has to be more I can do than just pray.

Why, Thomas the Doubter, what's wrong with sitting home and praying? Is this an intellectual exercise or is there something specific that is making you feel this way? Look at the world, there can never be enough prayers....
Well, Jesus did say that those who don't bear fruit are condemned. Then there is the scripture passage where he judges whether you've done any corporal works of mercy or not. I rarely have the opportunity to practice them in my life, since I am stuck indoors all day.

I wish I could be more productive. Sometimes I feel that maybe I am called to religious life but my health does not permit it. God has given me extraordinary graces and I want to bear fruit. I know I can't marry either (I would make a lousy husband), and with the way my health is progressing it is likely that I might not be able to work either.

I guess it's not just a religion thing. It's a sense of feeling unproductive and useless. The country I am in needs Christian witness. I want to do so much more but I feel unable to. And I don't know what mission God has for me--sometimes I worry that I am not doing it, because he has given me many extraordinary graces and I feel like am wasting them.
(02-25-2014, 07:39 AM)ThomasTheDoubter Wrote: [ -> ]Well, Jesus did say that those who don't bear fruit are condemned. Then there is the scripture passage where he judges whether you've done any corporal works of mercy or not. I rarely have the opportunity to practice them in my life, since I am stuck indoors all day.

I wish I could be more productive. Sometimes I feel that maybe I am called to religious life but my health does not permit it. God has given me extraordinary graces and I want to bear fruit. I know I can't marry either (I would make a lousy husband), and with the way my health is progressing it is likely that I might not be able to work either.

I guess it's not just a religion thing. It's a sense of feeling unproductive and useless. The country I am in needs Christian witness. I want to do so much more but I feel unable to. And I don't know what mission God has for me--sometimes I worry that I am not doing it, because he has given me many extraordinary graces and I feel like am wasting them.

Depending on your disability, you could always try engaging in relationships with people. Visiting the imprisoned - write letters to people in prison, build a real relationship, witness to them. Just a suggestion.
That's good idea.

Unfortunately I'm not good at relationships. I am kind of introverted and am not a people person. In any case, my parents will flip out if they found out I'm writing letters to prisoners. They happen to be pagans and paranoid about things like this. It might backfire.  Any more suggestions?
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