From Karen Glen, Ministry Coordinator
“The same power that the gnostics attributed to the intellect, others now began to attribute to the human will, to personal effort. This was the case with the pelagians and semi-pelagians. Now it was not intelligence that took the place of mystery and grace, but our human will. It was forgotten that everything “depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy” (Rom 9:16) and that “he first loved us” (cf. 1 Jn 4:19).”
Those who yield to this pelagian or semi-pelagian mindset, even though they speak warmly of God’s grace, “ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style”. When some of them tell the weak that all things can be accomplished with God’s grace, deep down they tend to give the idea that all things are possible by the human will, as if it were something pure, perfect, all-powerful, to which grace is then added. They fail to realize that “not everyone can do everything”, and that in this life human weaknesses are not healed completely and once for all by grace.
In every case, as Saint Augustine taught, God commands you to do what you can and to ask for what you cannot, and indeed to pray to him humbly: “Grant what you command, and command what you will”.
I find that it is very difficult to balance our knowledge of the gift of grace and our human need to take charge of situations or think that there are ways that we can increase the gift of grace. For this we need extreme humility … yes, we show up … yes, we answer the call to prayer … yes, we do the works as we are called … because in this we are open and ready to receive the gift God’s grace ….
“Saint Paul says that what truly counts is “faith working through love” (Gal 5:6). We are called to make every effort to preserve charity: “The one who loves another has fulfilled the law… for love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom 13:8.10). “For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself'” (Gal 5:14).
In other words, amid the thicket of precepts and prescriptions, Jesus clears a way to seeing two faces, that of the Father and that of our brother. He does not give us two more formulas or two more commands. He gives us two faces, or better yet, one alone: the face of God reflected in so many other faces. For in every one of our brothers and sisters, especially the least, the most vulnerable, the defenseless and those in need, God’s very image is found.
Indeed, with the scraps of this frail humanity, the Lord will shape his final work of art. For “what endures, what has value in life, what riches do not disappear? Surely these two: the Lord and our neighbour. These two riches do not disappear!”
Pope Francis closes this chapter with a direction for us all….”May the Lord set the Church free from these new forms of gnosticism and pelagianism that weigh her down and block her progress along the path to holiness! These aberrations take various shapes, according to the temperament and character of each person. So I encourage everyone to reflect and discern before God whether they may be present in their lives.”
To access the document to read in its entirety please follow the link to: Gaudete Et Exsultate: The Call to Holiness in Today’s World
Please visit our Social Justice page to read our weekly column, Joy of the Gospel: Social Justice Corner. For more information about any of our projects and ministries, please contact Karen @ (510) 653-8631 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Ministry Volunteer Dinner will be on Thursday, May 31st. We will begin with a prayer service at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. All volunteers are encouraged to attend. Mark your calendars now, there will be more information to come.
RCIA: Inquiry classes for RCIA Are you interested in learning more about becoming a Catholic? Have you received the Sacraments of Baptism and First Holy Communion and desire Confirmation? The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Inquiry begins on July 19th. Please contact Karen email@example.com or Jay Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Family Faith Formation on Sundays This is currently on summer break. We will resume classes in September. The program is available for Kindergarten – 4th Grade. If your child is starting 1st grade they should begin classes this year to be ready for sacramental preparation when they are in 2nd grade. Faith Formation classes are held from 9:10 a.m. to 10:10 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Families can attend the 8 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. mass together, as classes are between the two morning masses. The Faith Formation registration forms are available in the vestibule of the church. The calendar for the year is also available on this form, as well as on our DOWNLOADABLE FORMS page of this website. For more information please contact Karen @ (510) 653-8631 or email@example.com