Here at Clarifying Catholicism, we like to have a little fun and get creative sometimes (even though Theology is, of course, ALWAYS fun). Nick Jones, our resident expert in memes, has creatively compiled a smorgasbord of the best that the Catholic community has offered in January 2020. It is because of his creativity and steadfast efforts that we confer upon him the title of “Meme Machine.” He hopes to one day attain the rank of Meme Lord, or perhaps even the coveted Meme Master…
by Nick Jones, Meme Machine
Credit: Catholic Memes on Facebook
Catholic social teaching obligates us to have a strong devotion to promoting the well-being of all human life, from conception until natural death. Just because we have to be more vocal in support of the unborn, it doesn’t mean that we don’t care about children who are already living. Society needs to learn that the unborn have value, so sometimes we have to be more vocal about that issue. Of course, we ought strongly follow the Corporal Works of Mercy, serving Christ in the underprivileged we meet every day.
The story of Saul and David is a great cautionary tale that should remind us just how dangerous pride and jealousy can be. Why is jealousy so bad? I once read that when we are jealous of someone else’s spiritual well-being, we are angry that there is more sanctifying grace in the world. God wants everyone to be saved, how could we be upset that someone else is working towards that?
Fact: Every attempt to radically modernize the Church has ended in disaster. G.K. Chesterton once noted that, “We do not want a Church that will move with the world. We want a church that will move the world.” The Church has perennially held that there is an objective Truth, Whose name is Jesus Christ. It is our obligation as Catholics to let the whole world know of the need to possess this Truth.
The great Angelic Doctor of the Church, Saint Thomas Aquinas, augments Aristotelian thought and teaches us that there are three types of souls in living things. The features and abilities of the lower souls are possessed by the higher souls, building upon each other sequentially. The lowest type of soul is the vegetative soul, possessed by all non animal life. It is the very principle of life itself, accounting for such activities as growth development, and the process of obtaining and using energy. Animals possess a sensible soul. This gives them the ability to move, as well as those abilities related to sensory perception. Only humans possess a rational soul, which gives us the ability to think, to choose right or wrong. This is why a human can be tried for a crime, but we cannot hold a tiger liable for killing mauling a victim. Of these three types of souls, only rational souls are immortal. Thus, what an animal or plant dies, its soul is immediately annihilated.
If only we could all adopt this strategy on a daily basis, or at least on Saturdays and Sundays. Instead of the cultural emphasis on pursuing and obtaining corporeal pleasures, we ought to instead seek an increase of sanctifying grace and virtue.
Without falling into the sin of presumption, we ought to always hopefully seek out sacramental absolution in whenever we find ourselves in a state of mortal sin. Remember the story of the Prodigal Son. God is there waiting for us to turn back to Him. He will always offer us the grace of repentance, but it is up to us to cooperate with it and to turn back to Him in the confessional. But, we must remember but there is no guarantee that we will survive to make it to the confessional. As long as we have life within us, we ought to seek out Confession in a proactive sort of way.
Fathers, please save the conversational greetings for after Mass in the vestibule. At the very least, save them for the start of the homily. For the rest of us, remember, it’s fine and good to be pleasant with one another and say hi, but Mass is not the time for this. Try to focus and be attentive at Mass, so that we can obtain the grace we need to increase in supernatural Charity so that we can more perfect we love our neighbors and the Lord.
Similar to above, we have this awesome reminder of the value of Confession. If we turn away from God 1 million times, He stands ready to forgive us 1 million and 1 times. Again, the agency and the obligation is OURS. God has done more than enough in establishing this means for us to reconcile ourselves to Him, it’s up to us to make full use of it.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” -Hebrews 12:1, RSCVE. Feel alone in your struggle to live the faith? Like there’s no one there to pray with you? Think it’s too hard or unattainable? The Saints would beg to differ. If you’re going through some kind of struggle in the spiritual life, I’ll bet there’s a saint in Heaven persevered through the same thing and is now with God in eternity. Aside from the Faith and life themselves, the intercession of the Saints, especially the Blessed Mother, is God’s greatest gift to us. Try asking for their intercession every day, finding a patron whose name or profession or vocation matches yours. These saints will pray for you when you can and when you can’t, and since they’re in heaven, there will be nothing to distract them or make their prayer imperfect.
If anyone ever tries to convince you that Jesus was just a so-called “nice guy”, refer them to the Purification of the Temple during the first Holy Week. Our Lord is clear, don’t defile His Temple. We can try to live this out in our own lives by refraining from imprudent cell phone use or gum chewing or unnecessary conversations within the church proper.