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Defection of Human Wills

Defection of Human Wills

St. Vincent de Paul asked: “And what are we doing if we are not doing God’s will?

From Conscience to Stream of Feelings

Modernism is all about breaking with the past. It rejects continuity because it seek changes and unique forms for new technologies and arts.

It is a rebellious attitude to reality that wants to distract the mind with visual, auditory, physical, associative, and subliminal impressions—which encroach on the consciousness of an individual and shape his awareness and thoughts. Modernism is about rendering a flow of innumerable impressions to pass through our minds.

Modernism is the sythesis of all heresies — Pope St. Pius X

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

Modernism Cast Off Conscience

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As FRANCIS X. MAIER puts it : I think the most urgent problem laypeople like my own family and many others face today is the routine, practical atheism that pours into our heads from the noise all around us; the rejection of the supernatural, the sacred, and the virtuous that results from a world of nonstop scientific and technological propaganda and mumbo-jumbo. Our news and entertainment media are very powerful forms of catechesis. They teach us a way of looking at the world. And a lot of their message boils down to depressing lies about our nature and our purpose as human beings.

The political impact of these technologies is obvious. They dumb down and heat up our public discourse. They accelerate hostility and fuel confusion. We can’t think clearly, or reason together to some kind of common ground, because we’re too busy shouting at each other. Our political turmoil then results in a subtle transfer of power from bickering individual citizens — people like you and me — to experts who claim they can manage public life better and more serenely than the rest of us. Which eventually produces leaders who think that the state knows better than parents what’s best for their own children.

Digital reality undermines the supernatural imagination. It eliminates the human appetite for the miraculous and mysterious. And it substitutes microchip artifice for the natural beauty of the world that lifts the human heart toward God and the transcendent. We need more than artifice. We need more than lies. We yearn for things that are higher than that, better than that: beauty and meaning and truth. Somebody needs to remind us of those things, and lead us to them. And that somebody needs to be you and me, encouraging and reinforcing each other.

Conscience acts in a strictly supernatural order

The natural conscience of the Christian is known by him to act not alone, but under the enlightenment and the impulse derived from Revelation and Grace

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The Voice of God

Conscience is the most powerful force in nature, indeed the only force in nature, for all energy is here only because the power-filled Word is being spoken.

Moral Order

Conscience gives knowledge of the moral order that lies behind the real world in which we live. If one rejects God, “then one’s conscience becomes deadened and hardened, because you deny that there is even a voice to listen to.

Supernatural Knowledge

It is the Spirit Who groans in man (Romans 8:26), the Spirit who alone knows what is in man (1 Corinthians 2:11)

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking. Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed” (1777, 1778).

It is important for every person to be sufficiently present to himself in order to hear and follow the voice of his conscience” (CCC 1779).

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decline of Church membership

Irreligion of the Age

The prevalent irreligion of the age exercises a continual unconscious pressure upon the pulpit; it makes preachers hesitate to affirm doctrines whose affirmation would be unpopular. And a doctrine which has ceased to be affirmed is doomed, like a disused organ, to atrophy.

Within the last hundred years, the force of religion, as a factor in public life, has steadily and visibly declined. The main causes of this decline, so far as causes need to be adduced for the defection of human wills, are manifest enough. Popular education and the spread of media culture must be credited, in part, with the result: the effect of reiterated catchwords upon minds trained to read but not trained to think.

Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. (Ephesians 4-17)

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A rush age cannot be a reflective age

The economy has added its influence, partly by focusing men’s thoughts upon their material interests, partly by setting up a reaction against faith and loyalty. Further, the modern facilities for pleasurable enjoyment have killed, in great part, the relish for eternity.  Mass production has made luxury, travel, and cars, cheap. Medicine have mitigated the penalties which attach to it. And the same causes which have multiplied pleasure have multiplied preoccupation.

A right use of Intellect and Will

All creation emanated from the voice of God uttering: “Let there be light.”

According to St. Aquinas, his wisdom was obtained through human reason guided by grace and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Grace, with its several categories, is a free gift from God that perfects nature. Aquinas held that his writings were the product of grace working on his own intellect.


The Church  disappoints the secular-minded

We have inherited from the 19th century the dogma of human progress. No age can live without an inspiration; when religious inspiration disappears, as it has very largely disappeared from the modern world, man’s capacity for self-sacrificing devotion to a Cause must find its outlet in other channels. Here and there, if political grievances or other accidents of history have sharpened the edge of nationality, a people can find its inspiration in purely patriotic movements. Elsewhere, no enthusiasm is left to us except an enthusiasm for humanity at large; and this is not easily kindled by a contemplation of the human species as it now is. Those restless spirits, therefore, which cannot be happy unless they are working for an ideal, must pin their faith to a regenerate world of to-morrow.

To the moderns, the notion of a continual improvement in the human race is both an axiom of thought and a dogma of faith. A dogma of faith, for it is what they live by; the glaring tragedy of life would be too much for them, if they had no outlook beyond the present, and its indefinite continuance. It is a moral which they deduce, with some hesitations of method, from the developments of history. It is a corollary which they infer, with no very good title, from the scientific hypothesis of Evolution. Economic history, even, is subpoenaed to prove the case; Capitalism itself is treated as a stage in the development towards higher things. The expression of such confidence in the future is out of date, Victorian; but the confidence itself is none the less deep in men’s hearts, because unuttered. 

Meanwhile, the ethos of Catholics is not futuristic; they live, not on dreams, but on convictions. They witness without surprise the depopulation of religion around them; we have been told beforehand that the days will come when charity shall wax cold. Yet they do not (like some Protestant enthusiasts) look round them eagerly for the signs of an approaching world-dissolution; they have heard the cry of “Wolf!” too often.

They devote themselves, rather, to the business of their own souls, and to influencing, in whatever modest way may be practicable, the lives of those around them, secure of inviolable principles and of a hope which cannot fade. He that believeth, let him not make haste–it is commonly, among Catholics themselves, where faith is weakest that clamour is loudest, for a policy and a world-attitude. “But you, beloved, building yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto life everlasting.”

Source: Ronald Knox


johneudeswithhearts 2 1There is nothing more dangerous than to direct one’s own conscience.
– St. Philip Neri

In remitting every ethical criterion to the individual conscience, jealously walled up within itself and made absolute arbiter of its own determination … the “New Morality” will turn itself away from Christ.
– Ven. Pope Pius XII

That it is right for each individual to follow with tranquil soul what is acceptable to his own religious creed makes the Divine establishment of the Church of no consequence. The true Church of Jesus Christ was established by Divine authority and is known by a four-fold mark which must be believed. No other Church is Catholic except the one founded on Peter and his successors in the Chair of Rome. Especially fatal to the salvation of souls is that erroneous opinion that liberty of conscience and liberty of worship is the proper right of every man. By Our Apostolic authority, We reject, proscribe, and condemn this evil opinion.– Bl. Pope Pius IX

God desires from you the least degree of purity of conscience more than all the works you can perform.
– St. John of the Cross

It is most shameful to think of yourself as justified before the Lord. Such a man remains unjustified, no matter who he is.
– St. John Chrysostom

No one can promise himself with absolute certainty that he is in the state of grace, or that he will persevere in it.
– St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

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