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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Repentance and Forgiveness (Modernism Part 19)

Today’s readings:

Wisdom 1:1-7

Psalm 139:1-10

Luke 17:1-6

Paul gives clear instructions about dealing with sin. “If your brother sins, rebuke him” (Lk 17:3b). This is what modernists in the Church fail to do. Their brethren in Christ are into mortal sin (such as abortion and LGBT) but they just preach acceptance, tolerance and accompaniment. Thus their brethren, fellow Catholics, just continue with their sin, having been accepted and even affirmed.

Many Church pastors are complicit. Is it love and mercy that they show? No, because love is not about being nice but about not wanting anyone to be lost to sin and evil. Pastors especially will be held to account, because they are the ones to form consciences and guide the people. Jesus issues a stern warning: “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur; but woe to the person through whom they occur.” (Lk 17:1).

Modernists have infiltrated our Church. They do not speak God’s truth. Jesus tells us, “Be on your guard!” (Lk 17:3a). We cannot be complacent. We cannot just be silent. We cannot just be subservient to pastors if such pastors are leading us on the wrong path, “for perverse counsels separate people from God” (Wis 1:3a). Since they are our brethren as well, our call is the same: if your brother sins, rebuke him.

God’s way is clear. We are to love the sinner but hate the sin. Thus, “if he repents, forgive him.” (Lk 17:3c). There is no limit to forgiveness. “And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” (Lk 17:4). Now that is acceptance. That is love. That is mercy. When sinners repent and turn back to God, they will make it to heaven. When sinners are just accepted and not rebuked for their sin, they will stand condemned.

Many lay Catholics today are being deceived by the modernists. But their pastors have the greater blame. They should heed Jesus’ warning: “It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.” (Lk 17:2).

So how can we know the true path of God? It is when we turn to God’s wisdom and not to man’s wisdom. God wants us to know His truth. And God is always there, available to us, even when we are not actively seeking Him. “Where can I go from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee?” (Ps 139:7). But if we do seek God and His wisdom, then we are assured, “your hand guides me, your right hand holds me fast.” (Ps 139:10).

We must pray, we must read the Bible, we must know and look to the age-old teachings of our Church. Unlike modernists who condone sin, God is always about righteousness. Such is our path. “Love righteousness, you who judge the earth; think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in integrity of heart” (Wis 1:1). When we look to follow God’s will and ways, then He will guide us, “because he is found by those who do not test him, and manifests himself to those who do not disbelieve him.” (Wis 1:2).

How about authorities in our Church? Well, they are there to teach and guide us. They are supposed to be more learned, having studied theology and Church matters for many years. But once they go astray, once they take on the wisdom of the world and the culture of the age, then they no longer have the wisdom of God, “because into a soul that plots evil wisdom does not enter, nor does she dwell in a body under debt of sin. For the holy spirit of discipline flees deceit and withdraws from senseless counsels and is rebuked when unrighteousness occurs.” (Wis 1:4-5).

The authentic Christian is kind and loving. On the other hand, the modernist appears to be kind and loving, but considering the righteousness of God, is neither. Modernist pastors today do not just teach error, but even have become heretical. Here is the truth: “wisdom is a kindly spirit, yet she does not acquit blasphemous lips” (Wis 1:6a).

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