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CASE STUDIES: THE ATHEIST AUTHOR-TO-BE

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The Polish Prince

A Polish Prince, who, for some political reason, had been exiled from his native country, bought a beautiful castle and property in France.

Unfortunately he had lost the faith of his childhood and was at the time of the events engaged in writing a book against God and the existence of a future life.

Strolling one evening in his garden he came across a poor woman weeping bitterly. He questioned her as to the cause of her grief.

All savings spent on medical treatment

“Ah! Prince,” she replied, “I am the wife of Jean Marie, your former steward, who died two days ago. He was a good husband to me and a faithful servant to your Highness. His sickness was long and I spent all our savings on the doctors and now I have nothing left to get Masses said for his soul.”

He said he no longer believed in God

The Prince, touched by her grief, said a few kind words and, though professing to no longer believe in a future life, gave her some gold coins to have Masses said for her husband’s soul.

Some time after, it was again evening, and the Prince was in his study working feverishly on his book.

The door of his study slowly opened 

He heard a loud rap at the door and, without looking up, called out to the visitor to come in. The door slowly opened and a man entered and stood facing the Prince’s writing table.

A man entered and stood facing his desk

On glancing up what was not the Prince’s amazement to see Jean Marie, his dead steward, looking at him with a sweet smile.

“Prince,” he said, “I come to thank you for the Masses you enabled my wife to have said for my soul. Thanks to the saving Blood of Christ, which was offered for me, I am now going to Heaven, but God has allowed me to come and thank you for your generous alms.”

He then added impressively: “Prince, there is a God, a future life, a Heaven and a Hell.”

Having said these words, he disappeared.

The Prince fell on his knees and poured forth a fervent: “Credo“.

(to be continued)

– From: Read Me or Rue It, by E.D.M., approved of His Eminence the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon 4/6/1936, printed by Kerryman, Co Kerry, Ireland

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HE FORGAVE HIS ATHEIST TORMENTOR: BLESSED ISIDORE BAKANJA

15th AUGUST: BLESSED ISIDORE BAKANJA

HE FORGAVE HIS ATHEIST TORMENTOR

“Isidore Bakanja was born some time between 1880 and 1890 [in the former Belgian Congo]. He worked in a plantation run by a Belgian, an atheist who despised Christianity. Baptised in 1906 he took every opportunity to spread his Faith despite the prohibition orders of the plantation owner. He prayed the rosary daily and was devoted to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whose scapular he wore with pride. On 22 April 1909, the superintendent tore off his scapular and had him severely beaten and then hidden in the jungle so that he would not be spotted by the colony inspector.

However, Isidore crawled from his hiding place and was seen by the inspector who reprimanded the persecutor and personally treated Isidore’s wounds. However, these had become infected and he suffered greatly in the remaining four months of his life. He died on 15 August 1909 while forgiving his aggressor. He was beatified by St John Paul II in 1994.”

– From The Sisters of St Peter Claver calendar 2015. For donations to the Sisters of St Peter Claver and/or to enroll in Holy Masses please contact claversisters@catholic.org or bellshillsspc@btinternet.com .

 

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HOW GOD’S EXISTENCE CAN BE PROVEN FROM POSSIBILITY AND NECESSITY

“We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to be corrupted, and consequently, it is impossible for them to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which can not-be at some time is not. Therefore, if anything can not-be, then at one time there was nothing in existence.

If anything can not-be, then at one time there was nothing in existence

Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist begins to exist only through something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence – which is absurd.

Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something in the existence of which is necessary.

But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but admit the existence of some being having of its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God.”

– St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, in The Path from Science to God, Faith Pamphlets

 

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in Words of Wisdom

 

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HOW GOD’S EXISTENCE CAN BE PROVEN BY THE NATURE OF EFFICIENT CAUSE

“In the world of sensible things we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible.

Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or one only. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect.

Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate, cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.”

– St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, from: The Path from Science to God, a pamphlet by Roger Nesbitt (faith pamphlets)

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2015 in Words of Wisdom

 

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“I HAVE WOVEN MY BED WITH CORDS” (Prov 7:16)

THE SOUL IS PARALYSED BY THE BONDAGE OF SINFUL HABIT IN THE NIGHT OF IGNORANCE, FEARING NOTHING MORE THAN THE DAYLIGHT OF UNDERSTANDING

(Jesus asked people if they want to be healed. The piece by St Anthony of Padua below can also be seen to give us an insight as to why many modern day “atheists” hate to hear or see anything Christian – because of the “threat” of the dawn of understanding Christians bring regarding the misery of the human condition without God; and with it the realisation of the need for humility and change through Jesus’ love and mercy. If we men don’t strive to imitate Jesus, we automatically worship sin instead; rather than being “free of belief” and having “control of our lives”, we have absolutely no control whatsoever whilst being ever more tightly bound and shackled by elusive “pleasure” and “happiness”, mortality, moral disease, sin – ending in permanent death (rather than eternal life) as well as suffering for the soul, because every soul excruciatingly longs for God once its state is fixed for eternity after the physical death, and it’s too late for repentance (e.g. Lk 16:26). God is just and in His love wants everyone to have eternal life, we bring this upon ourselves by our free will. God has given all of us free will and never takes it away from us. Let’s pray daily for the conversion of poor sinners, and for mercy for our weak selves. Without God, men are nothing and can do nothing.)
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BY ST ANTHONY

“‘I HAVE WOVEN MY BED WITH CORDS’

Of this bed, the harlot says in the Proverbs of Solomon:

‘I have woven my bed with cords; I have covered it with tapestry, brought from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us be inebriated with the breasts, and let us enjoy the desired embraces, till the day appear’ [Prov 7:16-18].

The bed of carnal pleasure is woven with the cords of sin. It is covered with tapestries from the Egypt of a darkened conscience. Because mirth is mixed with sorrow, and pleasure with bitterness, there is added: ‘I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.’ Myrrh and aloes, which are bitter plants, represent the bitterness of punishment; the sweet-smelling cinnamon represents the pleasure of the flesh. So the harlot (the flesh) says to the young man (the soul): ‘Come’ (by the consent of the mind), ‘let us be inebriated with the breasts’ (assenting to works of greed and lust), ‘and let us enjoy the desired embraces’ (in the bondage of habit), ’till the day appear.’ This is appropriate, since the flesh cannot get round anyone except in the night of ignorance; so it fears nothing more greatly than the daylight of understanding. See, then, how the palsied man lies helpless on his bed.

Similarly, it says in Judith that Holofernes lay on his bed, fast asleep, being exceedingly drunk [Jdth 13:4]. Holofernes is the ‘weakening of the sacrificial calf’, meaning the spirit of the sinner which, weakened by the consent of the mind, weakens the sacrificial calf of the flesh with the fatness of temporal abundance, in the pleasure of which it lies asleep, being exceedingly drunk.

It says, too, in Proverbs:

‘Thou shalt be as one sleeping in the midst of the sea,
and as a pilot fast asleep, when the stern is lost.
And thou shalt say:
They have beaten me, but I was not sensible of pain;
they drew me, and I felt not’ [Prov 23:34-35].

Someone sleeps in the midst of the sea when he lies torpid amid his tossing thoughts and bitter sins, and he resembles a drowsy steersman who let’s go of the rudder, the control of reason, and drives the ship of his life into the Charybdis of eternal death. He is not sensible of the beating of the demons, nor does he feel when they draw him by various vices, ‘as an ox led to be a victim’ [Prov 7:22].

So the paralysed man lies on his bed, and of him Solomon says in Proverbs:

‘The slothful man says:
There is a lion in the way and a lioness in the roads.
He turneth as a door upon its hinges’ [Prov 26:13-14].

The lion is the devil, the lioness is carnal desire. He is slothful, his feet held fast, because greed and lust have weakened the feet of his good desires and will. He lies paralysed upon the bed of wretched pleasure, a sick man. He cannot find the energy to withstand the devil’s temptation, he is afraid to restrain the desires of the flesh. He does not want to go out, to works of penance; so he turns about in carnal pleasure, like a door on its hinge.”

 

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WHO ARE THEY WHO MAKE FUN OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH? AND WOULD YOU FEAR THEIR JUDGMENT?

“Who are they who discredit your faith?
They are those who do not know it; weak and cowardly souls who ironically like to call themselves strong; impure people who don’t see the truth because their god is their belly, because they love pleasure and orgies of their passions. And you would fear the judgment of these poor unfortunates?

The wisdom of God, on the contrary, like a brilliant star, rises ever alive and immortal in the midst of men and you must fear only the judgment of God.

Don’t worry about men; they can’t do you any harm because God alone is the master of all. Fear God and trust in him with firm confidence. The form of this world soon passes, illusions fall, sham human power comes tumbling down… blessed are you if you can present yourself in the sight of God clothed in his glory, cloaked in his justice and in his charity!

Rather than fear human judgment, seek to bring back to the faith with great charity those who despise it.”
– Don Dolindo Ruotolo

 

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HOW TO EXPLAIN GOD AND SPIRITUALITY TO ATHEISTS IN TERMS THEY CAN COMPREHEND

You can’t see unconditional love, can you, and yet you have heard of it and believe in it.

Right. Another term for “unconditional love” is God. God is Spirit, the Spirit of unconditional love.

If Unconditional Love rules on earth, we have the Kingdom of God. This exists already in the hearts of the people worldwide who aim to move beyond the prison of self for the greater good of world society. Of course many fall back into the prison of self, turning away from Unconditional Love, regularly. This is commonly termed “sin”: acting for self as opposed to acting for the Greater Good of all.

Spirituality does not come automatically; because the snag is this: one has to decide to give up “self” for the indescribable freedom of spirituality, merge into the large picture. One has to admit to oneself that one is weak, humans are nothing but mud and dust, at the end of the day. This is not saying that unbelievers cannot do good things, of course they can. But our human nature is an obstacle to true, untarnished, reliable generosity and freedom of spirit; material and spiritual are diametrically opposed.

Without the decision to become spiritual instead of material (conversion) one is still trapped and in fetters by – for example – what people think, which is a tremendous obstacle to both freedom and Unconditional Love. “Lose your life (self) and you will gain life (merge into the larger picture of Unconditional Love) and your eyes will be opened,” says the Gospel.

 

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