Written by Nick Jones (University of Rhode Island) | Edited by Christopher Centrella
Editor’s Note: All memes directed at other religious traditions are meant in good fun. We love and respect people from all faith backgrounds. Furthermore, some of the theological opinions expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of Clarifying Catholicism as a whole.
Man oh man! This year sure has been a doozy. Who knows what else we’ve got waiting for us? I definitely don’t. But, I have God, His Church, and the Faith He entrusted to her. If you don’t, I’d super recommend you rectify that. In any case, enjoy some memes!
Inasmuch as each sin still merits temporal punishment even after absolution, to be fulfilled here on Earth or in Purgatory, forgiveness is literally as simple as depicted here. Are we sorry? Do we firmly desire to never commit these sins again? If so, forgiveness must simply be requested and then we’re golden! What good reason is there for us to reject it? God IS love Itself. His mercy is always in reach. Don’t let fear keep you from His mercy.
The Christian faith was first preached solely by oral Tradition. Thousands upon thousands came to know Christ by the tradition carried on by his apostles, before the earliest writings of the New Testament. It took more than 300 years for the Canon of the Bible to be established. Throughout all this time, we know the same essential Faith was passed on both verbally and scripturally. If Our Lord Himself never wrote a single document, it is ludicrous to suggest that He expects us to rely solely on that which was written about Him.
Saint Thomas Aquinas reminds us that Grace perfects nature. Except by Divine Grace, no man can come to be his fullest and most perfect self. Consider the Apostles before and after Pentecost, or Saint Augustine before and after his conversion. Perhaps God has brought about some radical change in your life. We must never forget that sin will never make us happy. For all of the sufferings that might come to us because of the spiritual life, the joy of Heaven will be all the more complete.
Venial sin can never accrue into mortal sin, thanks be to God. However, each and every venial sin weakens our will, the faculty of our soul with which we love. If we venially sin with enough abandon, we might find ourselves on the cusp of a mortal sin before we even know it. What’s the solution? Pious prayer, fasting/mortification, and almsgiving. Use Confession proactively. It’s so much easier to simply avoid sin in the first place than to break the vicious habits it creates.
The Fathers and the subsequent theologians agree, Purgatory is not a pleasant place. We do not call them the Poor Souls for nothing. Yet, in some way, the Faithful Departed are more blessed than us because they are sure of their salvation. Don’t ever neglect your loved ones who have died, your prayers will not be wasted if they’ve already reached Heaven. Pray for them that they might come before God, and do the same for you.
Saint Thomas Aquinas is the single smartest man to ever live who was not aided by divine revelation when he wrote. I dare you to try and change my mind. Building upon what had come before him, he managed to produce Five Ways for knowing that God must exist. He also produced a bunch more evidence to argue that God must exist as the Church understands Him. To date, no one has ever been able to refute this. Is he infallible? No, of course not. Did he get more right than any other theologian? Probably. Let’s all try to get to Heaven so we can find out firsthand how much Saint Thomas got right.
Saint Thomas More is probably not too well known, but he ought to be! He died because he refused to accept the King of England as the head of the Church in England. He died refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of the king’s adulterous attempts at remarriage. If, please God never, the government ever tries to impose a rule over the Church and asks us to go along with it, we have a wonderful example in Saint Thomas More of how to virtuously resist.
Saint John, the Beloved Apostle and Evangelist remained with Our Lord throughout the entirety of the Passion. After the persecution of the early Church began, they tried to behead Saint John and to boil him alive. When he inexplicably survived both attempts on his life, he was simply exiled, during which time he wrote The Apocalypse (Revelation). He was able to be spared the gruesome death of a martyr because he stuck with Our Lord at the lowest point of His life. Remain faithful to God, and only good things will happen in the end.
Baptism and the rest of the Sacraments bestow upon us all of the gifts and capabilities we need to run the race of the Christian life. From the moment in which we are reborn as an adopted Child of God, there is nothing more that we need that has not already been given to us. Don’t sleep on the power of Grace!
Worshipping the Devil is something almost no one wants to do. But worshipping the sky or an idol of some sort? That’s a lot more common. The Fathers of the Church tell us that the pantheons of the Greeks and Romans and any other deities of the pagans are masquerading demons. Israel could never help themselves back in the day, even though God never let them down. We have an even more personal relationship than them, with greater spiritual helps. Let’s use them wisely, and avoid adoring anything as a god that isn’t God Himself.
Demons can grant supernatural powers just as readily as God or an angel, even to those who don’t know who the source of it is. This is bad enough, to say nothing of intentional divination. The theologians are clear on this issue: any time we try to acquire a gift or grace by force, it is surely not the Lord Who gives it. Don’t be a pagan, whether ironically or otherwise.
This is a settled issue because Our Lord said so. JPII and others are merely confirming what Christ Himself decided. Since Holy Orders is one sacrament, if someone cannot receive one degree of it, then that individual cannot receive any degree of it. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just a little confused. We do well to recall St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 12. Each of us has our own role to fulfill. Just because we can’t all become priests, it is not the case that we have a less important job to do. The best thing any of us can do is exactly what God wants from us, even if it’s not the objectively highest call.
Our Lord reminds us that some people will not make it to Heaven (cf. Matthew 22:14, 25:1-13). The greatest tragedy of human life is to die without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. What a waste and mockery of God’s grace that would be! If some will be saved, let’s all do our best to ensure that some is as many as we can possibly manage.
Solomon chose the best part. In the beginning, he knew that only God would enable him to be the leader he was born to be. Thus, when given a choice, he preferred wisdom to everything else. This early part of his reign led to the magnificent temple in Jerusalem and to the greatest flourishing of the sole Kingdom Israel. Imagine if he had chosen the wrong thing.
JK, you don’t have to imagine it, because Scripture tells us how bad it went. Solomon allowed the favors given him by the Almighty to go right to his head. He fell into idolatry, and the kingdom was divided after he died. The northern Kingdom of Israel was totally destroyed, and ten tribes of Israelites were lost to intermarriage among the pagans. The two tribes of the Southern Kingdom got exiled to Babylon for 70 years, and the magnificent temple was eventually destroyed. Don’t let good fortune lead you to vice, only bad things will happen.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us…” (Hebrews 12:11) We have so many friends in Heaven. Consider the Blessed Mother, your Guardian Angel, any family members who made it, personal patrons, and all the unknown souls your prayers helped while they were in Purgatory. Countless people have triumphed through the ages and reached their final reward. With their example and God’s grace, you can do it too!
Unblessed food might not kill you, but it does leave us less mindful of God’s goodness. Does God Himself need to be thanked, or does it profit Him? Of course not, we do it to better ourselves and thus to glorify Him. Simple gratitude goes a long way in helping us to trust in Him and render Him the proper praise more fully. The Devil likes it when we don’t say grace; that ought to be enough to make us mindful of the need to say it.
Every single one of should read the Book of Job this year, in order to grasp what is happening. Our personal sin causes societal ills and leads to the brokenness of the world. But through it all, God’s most provident will enables us to have certain, supernatural Hope that everything will work out for the betterment of mankind in the end. If we believe this, then nothing should keep us from embracing all manner of hardships for the love of God.
We all have one common vocation, perfect unity with God in the Beatific Vision. The manner in which we get there will vary person to person. Think about how the lowly potato has to be skinned or fried or baked or cut in order to make the final, delicious product. We too must be willing to undergo trials to become who God wants us to be.
Virginity is based. Sex is designed to bond two people in marriage. We are more than our passions. Of course, there is always time for repentance, but this is not a license to ill. All you Holy Virgins, pray for us!