"That we, who are justly punished for our offences..."
#1
"... may, for the glory of Thy name, be mercifully delivered by Thy goodness".

The Collect for Septuagesima has me wondering about something -- especially in light of this coming Eastertide.

We all have Job's Syndrome from time to time. We wonder if our afflictions are caused by the Lord due to sin. The Apostles did this when they encountered the man born blind, in John 9. We do it constantly. It seems to be the most prevalent spiritual illness.

I want to get this straight. Do you think God punishes sin with temporal calamity, disease, or difficulty? I don't believe it is so, anymore. When sin is punished, it is to be punished when all things are said and done: at the end of time. There is no reason to believe that God continuously pours scorn/wrath on us here and now.

When we grasp this truth (?) about God, the whole world seems to change. Chastisement comes to us only in the form of the neighbour whom we do not love. Love & mercy is the remedy.

The Flood is over and done, since Jesus crossed the river. God does not punish the Earth or rain fire & brimstone. Or is the Westboro Baptist crowd right? What does our Catholic Faith say about this?

May the Lord bless you on this silent & solemn Holy Saturday.
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#2
I don't think it is an illness necessarily. It's good to think some bad events are justly deserved because of our sins, because it keeps us from complaining about God's will, and it can make us more humble.

Of course, there is a morbid distortion of this spiritual practice in the mentally ill, and they shouldn't be encouraged.
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#3
All pain, suffering and death are a result of sin. I adhere to a soundly both/and approach with regards to this topic. Tribulations in this life can certainly be a just punishment for sin, as well as a means of purification and testing. It is also quite possible and I believe common for one to endure afflictions as suffrage. That is to say, our Lord allows one to suffer the pains that ought to be borne by another.
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#4
(04-04-2015, 02:00 PM)Peasantking Wrote: All pain, suffering and death are a result of sin. I adhere to a soundly both/and approach with regards to this topic. Tribulations in this life can certainly be a just punishment for sin, as well as a means of purification and testing. It is also quite possible and I believe common for one to endure afflictions as suffrage. That is to say, our Lord allows one to suffer the pains that ought to be borne by another.

And, as it's been said by others better than I, "everything is grace".  I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one--it may just be nigh unto impossible to do so, though.
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#5
(04-04-2015, 12:23 PM)Heorot Wrote: "... may, for the glory of Thy name, be mercifully delivered by Thy goodness".

The Collect for Septuagesima has me wondering about something -- especially in light of this coming Eastertide.

We all have Job's Syndrome from time to time. We wonder if our afflictions are caused by the Lord due to sin. The Apostles did this when they encountered the man born blind, in John 9. We do it constantly. It seems to be the most prevalent spiritual illness.

I want to get this straight. Do you think God punishes sin with temporal calamity, disease, or difficulty? I don't believe it is so, anymore. When sin is punished, it is to be punished when all things are said and done: at the end of time. There is no reason to believe that God continuously pours scorn/wrath on us here and now.

When we grasp this truth (?) about God, the whole world seems to change. Chastisement comes to us only in the form of the neighbour whom we do not love. Love & mercy is the remedy.

The Flood is over and done, since Jesus crossed the river. God does not punish the Earth or rain fire & brimstone. Or is the Westboro Baptist crowd right? What does our Catholic Faith say about this?

May the Lord bless you on this silent & solemn Holy Saturday.

Yes; it is a truth of the Faith.

Quote:"When we take into consideration the fact of original sin, we understand physical evils more easily; we understand that:
1)  They are a sequel to sin, and so are to be ascribed to our first parents, not to God;
2)  They are a justly imposed punishment for actual sins;
3)  They offer an opportunity to satisfy for sin, to gain merit, and to cultivate virtue.  Thus, physical evils are beneficial to the good of a higher order" (Very Rev. Tanquerey, Brevior Synopsis of Dogmatic Theology, vol. I, sec. 513 b, p. 297).

This truth is likewise taught in the Revised Baltimore Catechism, No. 3 (Less. 4, q. 35 f, p. 25) and in Dr. Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (2nd English ed., p. 45f).
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#6
The key to understanding this idea that God punishes us for our sins through physical evil is to understand that every such punishment is simultaneously an opportunity for deeper conversion on the express condition that the person receiving the punishment recognize it as such and cooperate with the grace offered through the evil at hand. If that condition is not met, if that person does not rise to such spiritual awareness, which faith teaches us, and then furthermore cooperate, then the grace of the moment is lost. Punishment is still rendered, which is just, but it loses its medicinal potential for the soul. We have to cooperate with every grace that God plants hidden as a seed in every thing.

I think God's justice is one of the hardest attributes to grasp because it's nearly impossible for anyone who isn't holy to understand that this justice is not arbitrary, is not abusive, is not fickle, as our parents and those around us always are. God's justice is through and through expressed simultaneously with all of His other attributes, above all, His mercy. Justice is harsh, unforgiving, in our estimation. But this is not God's justice. And the abstract definition of justice as rendering what is due is too difficult for us to properly appropriate. Why? Because, contra Descartes, we are not thinking things, nor are we rational animals (contra Porphyry) with an overemphasis on rational. We are animals who may from time to time exercise rational capacities, but this always in tandem with our diverse passions and affective influences, further compounded by unconscious desires and frustrations.

Thus justice, as concretely experienced by you and by me, is not simply realizing with rational clarity, "Oh, this is fair. Great." Justice, concretely experienced, for most of us who are not-yet-holy is, "I hate this. I hate God. I hate everyone. And God and everyone hates me too." Of course, to various degrees. ;)

The Cross is paradoxical in many, many ways. One of those ways is this: it is simultaneously absolute desolation (My God, why have you forsaken me?) and infinite consolation, the source of all grace, mercy, forgiveness. By His Holy Cross, the world is redeemed. In the Cross, the words of Psalm 85 are fulfilled: "Mercy and truth have met each other: justice and peace have kissed."
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#7
God does punish us for our sin. 

If anything, the Apocalypse should back me up on this. 

But more specifically, God tends to punish lazy collective groups of people with bad leaders.  He also allows us to languish in our sins, and He retracts the usual helps and graces that we once took for granted. 

I read a great quotation lately.  It was in defense of using Latin as a universal language.  "A variety of human languages is a punishment."  This beckons to Babel, of course.  Not only is a variety of languages a punishment--but so is diversity itself.  And that's why I find it strangely sick when I see modernists trying to celebrate diversity, when in the end they are celebrating the divisions and confusion that stands between different peoples. 
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#8
The New Testament, for example, says God still chastises his sons for their sins, and those not punished are not sons, but "bastards." (see Hebrews 12:4-11).

This is why St. Thomas More could say that "tribulation is a gift from God, one He gives to his special friends." We can't be saved, unless we take up our Cross and follow Jesus--and you need a Cross to do that.

That being said, not all suffering by a person is a direct punishment for some sin committed--it's not always a straight retribution. You can't look at a person's ailments and pass judgment on them for it.  For example, in one of St. Robert Bellarmine's books he explains how sometimes the just are punished for their few sins in this life, since they will be rewarded for their good for eternity, while the reprobate are rewarded in this life for the little good they do, since they will be punished for their sins for eternity.

This punishment is not like the Old Law where God commanded a specific punishment for every sin. In general, now is the time of mercy.  We are not put to death immediately for our moral sins, but are patiently given time to repent and amend our ways.  Such suffering is a result of original sin in general and if born well can be expiatory of actual sins (since all have sinned), can be a means to draw closer to God through virtue, be a kind of sacrifice to God for the good of others, etc. 
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#9


We're fallen due to Adam's sin. We're punished for our particular sins at some time insofar as we will pay the temporal consequences of them (but not, necesarilly, the eternal ones), but not necessarily in life; it might be done in Purgatory, or if grace is refused, then in Hell.

It is wrong to think that because So-and-So is ill, then he's a sinner, or that because that guy is rich, then he's a saintly person. It is wrong to embrace the ridiculous "prosperity gospel.". None of that is true in any way whatsoever.


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#10
Vox,
You make a good point; from the next section after the aforementioned passage:

[quote='Very Rev. Tanquerey']515  3.  The unequal distribution of goods in itself does not obstruct divine Providence, because for the perfection of the universe it is required that some creatures be more perfect than others.  But the objection is offered that very often holy people are afflicted with calamities while the unholy flourish in the midst of honors and of riches.  In answer, we state that good things do not always fall to the impious, nor do misfortunes always befall the good, but very often good and bad things indiscriminately happen to good and evil people (cf. St. Matthew V, 45).

Let us admit, however, that the just are much more afflicted than are the unjust.  God's reason for so acting we explain in this way: on the one hand, there is no bad person who has not done something good, and it is fitting that God grant them a temporal reward because they are to be excluded from eternal blessedness; on the other hand, there is scarcely any just person who has not sinned, and it is proper that these suffer for a time in order that they may the more quickly attain eternal happiness.

Furthermore, it should be noted that temperature poral goods are not man's supreme good, and that it is not necessary or befitting that, in this world, virtue always be rewarded and that vice be punished lest perhaps we be enticed to virtue solely in the hope of some remuneration.
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