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Need to buy a hookah link Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2021-09-24 16:03:41
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True,” he replied; but this shows you do not know another capital maxim of our fathers, ‘that the laws of the Church lose their authority when they have gone into desuetude — cum jam desuetudine abierunt — as Filiutius says. We know the present exigencies of the Church much better than the ancients could do. Were we to be so strict in excluding priests from the altar, you can understand there would not be such a great number of masses. Now a multitude of masses brings such a revenue of glory to God and of good to souls that I may venture to say, with Father Cellot, that there would not be too many priests, ‘though not only all men and women, were that possible, but even inanimate bodies, and even brute beasts — bruta animalia — were transformed into priests to celebrate mass.’”

I presume, then, that were the question to be asked: Wherein consists the heresy of those called Jansenists? the immediate reply would be, These people hold that the commandments of God are impracticable to men, that grace is irresistible, that we have not free will to do either good or evil, that Jesus Christ did not die for all men, but only for the elect; in short, they maintain the five propositions condemned by the Pope.” Do you not give it out to all that this is the ground on which you persecute your opponents? Have you not said as much in your books, in your conversations, in your catechisms? A specimen of this you gave at the late Christmas festival at St. Louis. One of your little shepherdesses was questioned thus:

What you have now said,” rejoined the father, would require to be modified a little. Pay attention now, while I explain our method, and you will observe the progress of a new opinion, from its birth to its maturity. First, the grave doctor who invented it exhibits it to the world, casting it abroad like seed, that it may take root. In this state it is very feeble; it requires time gradually to ripen. This accounts for Diana, who has introduced a great many of these opinions, saying: ‘I advance this opinion; but as it is new, I give it time to come to maturity — relinquo tempori maturandum.’ Thus in a few years it becomes insensibly consolidated; and, after a considerable time, it is sanctioned by the tacit approbation of the Church, according to the grand maxim of Father Bauny, ‘that if an opinion has been advanced by some casuist, and has not been impugned by the Church, it is a sign that she approves of it.’ And, in fact, on this principle he authenticates one of his own principles in his sixth treatise, p. 312.”

We leave the fathers,” resumed the monk, to those who deal with positive divinity. As for us, who are the directors of conscience, we read very little of them and quote only the modern casuists. There is Diana, for instance, a most voluminous writer; he has prefixed to his works a list of his authorities, which amount to two hundred and ninety-six, and the most ancient of them is only about eighty years old.”

It is certain, then, father, that efficacious grace has not been condemned. Indeed, it is so powerfully supported by St. Augustine, by St. Thomas, and all his school, by a great many popes and councils, and by all tradition, that to tax it with heresy would be an act of impiety. Now, all those whom you condemn as heretics declare that they find nothing in Jansenius, but this doctrine of efficacious grace. And this was the only point which they maintained at Rome. You have acknowledged this yourself when you declare that when pleading before the pope, they did not say a single word about the propositions, but occupied the whole time in talking about efficacious grace.” So that, whether they be right or wrong in this supposition, it is undeniable, at least, that what they suppose to be the sense is not heretical sense; and that, consequently, they are no heretics; for, to state the matter in two words, either Jansenius has merely taught the doctrine of efficacious grace, and in this case he has no errors; or he has taught some other thing, and in this case he has no defenders. The whole question turns on ascertaining whether Jansenius has actually maintained something different from efficacious grace; and, should it be found that he has, you will have the honour of having better understood him, but they will not have the misfortune of having erred from the faith.

Here the worthy father interrupted me. What!” he cried, you read our authors then, it seems? That is all very well; but it would be still better were you never to read them without the precaution of having one of us beside you. Do you not see, now, that, from having read them alone, you have concluded, in your simplicity, that these passages bear hard on those who have more lately supported our doctrine of attrition? Whereas it might be shown that nothing could set them off to greater advantage. Only think what a triumph it is for our fathers of the present day to have succeeded in disseminating their opinion in such short time, and to such an extent that, with the exception of theologians, nobody almost would ever suppose but that our modern views on this subject had been the uniform belief of the faithful in all ages! So that, in fact, when you have shown, from our fathers themselves, that, a few years ago, ‘this opinion was not certain,’ you have only succeeded in giving our modern authors the whole merit of its establishment!


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