Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sin, Ghosts, and Mary

Pretty interesting title, huh? Hehe, anyway, what follows are two short and unrelated Q&A's, followed by an update on an old tract that I wrote.
Because we cannot judge culpability and knowledge, are we guilty of omission for not saying anything to those who have committed sins that would otherwise be mortal but still receive the Eucharist?
We should take every precaution to ensure that the Eucharist is not received unworthily. Even the suspicion that someone is receiving the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin or without belief in the Real Presence is enough to warrant saying something to that individual. Of course, this responsibility to our brothers and sisters in Christ goes beyond the sin of receiving unworthily. Anytime we suspect that a person is sinning in any way, it is our responsibility to correct them with humility and charity. "Whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" (Jas 5:20).
I was talking to a friend today and she told me that she had seen her great aunt's ghost and could talk to her, saw lights flicking on and off when she asked her aunt to, and things like that. She was thinking about going to a psychic and asking what was going on, and her friend said that going to a psycic was a sin and not to go. She asked me the same thing, so bluntly I told her not to meddle in stuff like this, that Satan is most apt to attack in these situations, and that it could be a demon that she's seeing. I told her to talk to her pastor about it, and I think she is going to, to pray the Rosary and St. Michael's Chaplet. I'm also going to send her some holy water that I have on hand. Is there anything else that I should have told her? Do you think I said anything that I shouldn't have? I also warned her against trying to research this on her own.
From what I can tell, you acted correctly. It is true that Satan can deceive us by appearing as loved ones. It is true that we should avoid consulting psychics. It is true that St. Michael, the rosary, and holy water can all protect us from evil spirits. It is true that a person should consult their pastor with things like this. It is true that researching this topic without a strong faith in and knowledge of the Church can be dangerous.

Now, all appearances like this are not necessarily evil. Angels and saints do appear to human beings. They did in the Bible and they do still today, although this is extremely rare. So, the appearance could be good. But, then again, it is always important to consult a priest or bishop. Sometimes, with things like this, you can never really know for sure.
- - - - - -
As for the updated tract, I just wanted everyone to know that I extensively updated my two-part defense of Mary's sinlessness. See Part 1 and Part 2. I may even update it again, since the parallel between Mary and Eve can be a helpful argument that I did not include. I'll let you know if I make any more changes.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

6 comments:

Christina said...

In reference to the part on sins, we are also called not to judge others; to take care of the plank in our own eye before we go fiddling with the splinter in anothers. I heard a talk once where a priest explained when it was ok for you to correct someone else for their sins.

Lets say you see Joe sinning, you go to correct him and he responds negatively with, "You idiot! You can't tell me what to do!"

If your first reaction is indignation, "He has the nerve to call me an idiot when I was just trying to help him! Jerk" and you go proceed to tell everyone how horrible Joe is, you have a problem and need to work on yourself first before trying to correct the world.

If; however, you respond with, "Well that didn't work," and you go to Fr. Bob and talk with him about it, then you both approach Joe again. Whether or not it works, the point isn't to prove how much you know, but to enlighten the wayward sheep. If the sheep refuses to listen, accept that and pray for that soul.

phatcatholic said...

Oh, I definitely agree that we shouldn't judge other people and that correcting the sin in our own lives is just as much, if not more important than correcting others. But, we are able to know when someone's action is a sin and when it is isn't. I think our zeal for souls and for all that is holy and true in the Church should compel us to humbly and charitably correct each other.

Scott said...

Yes, there is indeed a fine line between judging and serving the Lord's Will by helping another. I think that with much love, respect kindness and even an attempt to first seek permission ot share one's opinion with the "offending" party, we can then begin to try to help deliver Christ's message to our stumbling brother or sister.

As a member of AA, it is not uncommon for us to take a moment to share a "loving evaluation of someone's progress" with that person when we see them behaving in a maane which might lead them back out to their addiction. I believe that helping someone not to sin and to see the err of their ways is in much the same vein. We're helping that person to stay alive in/with Christ. but, it has GOT to be done with much love and humility, recognizing our own "plank" if you will... perhaps then, both planks can be removed together with the love of one another and the Blessing Our Lord.

Great "topic"

Sister Mary Martha said...

I think you answered correctly about the ghost thing. One could think that they were talk to Great Aunt Margaret when they were actually talking to Great Aunt Bealzabub.

Anonymous said...

in regards to seeing a ghost, you will always know in your heart if it is an angel or a demon. tell your friend to follow her intuition. if she feels that it is the ghost of her great aunt, she should ask what does she want or need. if it is an evil apparation, she will know, and she needs to ignore it!
i've had lots of visions, some great, and some so bad that it takes me weeks to get over them.
i'm not sure if a spychic or priest could help, but if she gets help, let me know.
spread love & beauty
la milagrossa

Mike said...

I just found this blog and really enjoy reading your posts. You've got some great info and a passion for the faith.

Great design too. I never knew you could do that with Blogger.

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