As usual, antipope Bergoglio makes a comment that, on its face, seems a defensible and sincere attempt to reach out to a troubled generation. It seems carefree and grandfatherly, and can sound like good advice coming from the right person, right?
Wrong. Very wrong.
While doubts inevitably arise during our earthly purgation, the fact that they are inevitable does not mean we should not fear them. We should, and we should go to war against them – because, no matter the tragedy causing them, doubts and crises of faith are our own fault.
Watchyoutalkinbout Michael? I’m talking about Catholicism, concupiscence, virtue, will, and habitual virtue.
But nothing is worth discussing unless we understand what we are discussing. It just so happens that great men have defined what we believe “faith” to be. Nobody is more precise than the angelic doctor, Thomas Aquinas. The Summa has an entire section on faith, because it is important to know what faith is, and what it is not. Otherwise, what’s the reason for all of this?
As an aside – don’t be afraid of the Summa. Treasure it in these tumultuous times. It may be difficult to slog through. That’s ok. Just a read a little at a time, and digest it – and use it for a resource. You can take a peak at this section on Faith here: https://www.newadvent.org/summa/3.htm.
In other words, faith is a decision to believe (act of the will) which guides our reasoning (intellect), as assisted by the grace of God. The will is the driving factor. It guides the intellect, with the assistance of grace (which is also its source).
That’s what makes faith a virtue – it must be an act of will. A routine one. A habit. A daily routine of thought and practice. The more faithful we are to that habit (exerting our will to direct thought, prayer, and deed), the more we are assisted by grace to strengthen the virtue of faith.
This is why I say that when we doubt our faith, it’s our own damned fault. If you break it down, you can begin to see why. It’s always a failure or tepidness in one of the areas.
Are we exerting our will to direct our intellect toward divinely revealed truths habitually, and daily? If not, we’re weakening our will, and dimming our intellect – or at least not continuously strengthening it.
Are we praying habitually? If not, we’re depriving ourselves of opportunities for God to direct divine graces to heal the imperfections in our will and intellect.
Are we sinning? If so, we’re not being assisted by grace, are weakening our will, and are dimming our intellect. This is why you can see so many seemingly intelligent and apparently “holy” Catholics be so very, very wrong these days.
In any event, aside from addressing problems in the areas above to alleviate a crisis of faith, there is a remedy for one experiencing doubt, or one living a “lifeless faith”: that is works. “Faith without works is dead” James 2:20. If we want our faith to continue living, we must live it.
Doubting your faith? Do some spiritual and physical works of mercy. Do them all the time. It’s what we’re supposed to do, anyway.
Bergoglio never speaks of remedies, he simply encourages the illness.
And he LIES.
Consider this quote from the article: “I want to say to you and to everyone here: don’t be afraid of doubts, because they are not a sign of the lack of faith.
Now compare it to this quote from the Catechism of St. Pius X (pg. 105): “Q. By what sin is the Faith lost? A. Faith is lost by denying or voluntarily doubting even a single article proposed for our belief.”
In other words, not only is doubting a “sign of a lack of faith,” entertaining doubt is evidence of it. Indeed, according to the Catechism, it is a sin that causes one to lose his faith.
Not only is it not ok to doubt, it’s not even ok to doubt a single article of our Faith.
Aquinas drives this point home in II-II, Q. ii, a. 2 when he said that even people who claim to believe in God don’t have faith, if they don’t believe in him under the conditions that faith determines: “Unbelievers cannot be said “to believe in a God” as we understand it in relation to the act of faith. For they do not believe that God exists under the conditions that faith determines; hence they do not truly believe in a God, since, as the Philosopher observes (Metaph. ix, text. 22) “to know simple things defectively is not to know them at all.“”
That leads me to this final point, which is quite frightening. That is this:
Considering that 1) faith is lost by the sin of voluntarily doubting a single aspect of our Faith, and
2) having a defective faith is to have no faith at all, and
3) “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6) …
it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that Bergoglio is teaching people how to lose their faith, and render it impossible for them to please God.
Prove me wrong.