Page 2, 4th September 1942

4th September 1942
Page 2
Page 2, 4th September 1942 — ANSWERS

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People: Christ Himself, God
Locations: Mecca


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Have you any problem on your mind? 11 you have and you feel that its solution would be of assistance to other people, let us have it. If, on the other hand, your difficulty is a private one. it will be solved by private letter.


Why do vie not find more explicit

references to the !several main point, of Catholic teaching in The Old Testament? The DAS, Heil, Limbo, Purgatory, seem insufficiently mentioned to give clear proof of their being held by the Jews.

Without proving these points from

the Old Testament, or at least showing where such doctrines are indicated, we would but lay stress on one or two important principles. First, we would sm. that the Bible is by no means an oreeered exposition of God's teaching for man and His plan for him, nor is there any foundation for the once common belief of Protestants that the Bible contained explicitly in its pages all truths necessary for salvation—to give these to man God came and founded a Church. Often where those truths are found they will be but passing keferences to practices which show what the Jews believed, as the Mecca bees' collecting money for sacrifice for the dead points to Purgatory or—to take an example from the New Testament—St. Paul's exhortation to the Corinthians (Car. 11) evidently presupposes belief in the Eucharist.

Secondly, it may be admitted that on several points the Old Testament references to the beliefs of the Jews is not absolutely clear or complete on certain points ;the Jews appear to have held certain doctrines somewhat obscurely without necessarily denying them. Thus some of the Sacred writers wrote of the future life as if it were solely a matter of the resurrectiop of the body without explicit reference to, yet without denying the immortality of the soul, The salvation of their nation, the ultimate triumph of the chosen people of God was to them a more immediate reality than the immortality of the individual. And we may reasonably hold that the human race, after its fall, was not unlike the human child and had to grow in knowledge; it had to be taught gradually. Christ Himself the teacher of truth was not to come till the "fullness of time"; and even then it is only gradually that the Church explains much of His doctrine to us.


Won't Heaven be rather dull?

A genteel Heaven would be terrifying rather than attractive. Of course, we must use symbols and figures of speech to describe a state so different from anything of which we have experience: but there is no reason why we should not try to rise above such representations and understand what Heaven really is.

Heaven is the final state of those who die free from mortal sin. ' It is the. perfection of the life of grace by which we are made onc with Christ, joint heirs with Him to " the' glory that shall be revealed in Us " (Romans 8, 18). It is not just the enjoyment of a splendid tableau, but it is seeing the supremely perfect being as He is in Himself : it is a vital union with this being, the source of all life and activity. As such, it must imply activity and life in us, an intense, fully conscious life that is all but divine. For God " has granted us His preeines and exceeding great promises, that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature " (2 Peter, 1, 4). This perfect life cannot possibly be boring; for it must always he the complete satisfaction of all we can want or desire.

The soul Is limited within the body, how, then, can it be said to be free?

When we say that a man has free will we do not mean that his rational soul—the source of his freedom—can go where it bikes at what moment it likes. A man is free because he is not determined by circumstances or material forces to do this or that action but can choose one thing rather than another. Freedom does not mean that it is in the power of man to do everything ; if that were the definition of freedom then only God would be free. Man has certain limits and no creature can act outside the limits of its own nature; but within the framework of that nature, if it be a national, an intellectual one, then h has freedom and can exercise the power of choice.

Is not God a participator with Satan in the temptation of man? In the book of Job the Devil always asks God for permission to tempt him.

To do anything vAatever all creatures are dependent on God. Nond can act without Him and in this the Devil is no exception. His every action depends on God and the hook of Job shows the measure of that dependence; it shows the Devil's inability to do anything without God's concurrence with his actions. But this is not the same as saying that he participates in them and intends them in so far as they are bad ; there is nothing evil in God's actions; like Him they must be all-good, so that what is evil and defective and what is of its nature the privation of goodness in the creature's actions must come from the creature himself. In the Divine Plan God permits this evil for our good and permitted Job to be aftlicteif so that he would triumph, 4 his trust in God and hie patience under his trials.

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