“This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism” (Martin Luther King Jr.).
It is said that there is no gradualism of the law but that there is a law of gradualism in following the law, so that, in such a self-referential vortex, the the law itself admits of an inherent gradualism.
That vortex admits that disrespect for others is O.K., you know, kind of, like, if there is, say, coercion of circumstances to be disrespectful to others, you know, like feelings and emotions and stuff like that there.
Mind you, feelings and emotions and stuff like that there are a cross to carry, and crosses are meant to torture people to death, in this case, death to self so as to live for Christ Jesus, love for whom carries us along. We carry the cross, but follow Him.
Oh, did I use the word torture? Like “torture chamber”? Sigh…
If Jesus took us deadly seriously in being tortured to death for us (Yes. Tortured. To. Death. There. I used the word “torture”; and I feel good about it.), we are obliged by the law of love to take Him deadly seriously instead of ourselves. We follow Him, not ourselves. This is about Him. His love. His goodness. His kindness. He loves us enough to want that we die to ourselves to live for Him, and with the most tender solicitation for our welfare, will permit that we be tortured to death by the Cross of fallen feelings, fallen emotions and fallen stuff like that there, so that we will live only for Him. Living only for Jesus is not cold and sterile and cruel. No. He is life-giving.
If we look at the cross and take ourselves way too seriously, no longer looking to Him who bears the wounds of slaughter upon His risen body, but only saying, “Woe is me! Look at my feelings and emotions and stuff like that there…” well, then, in that case, we will sin.
But, here’s the deal: there is forgiveness of sin, and any presumption (a sin against the Holy Spirit) must also be confessed, all with repentance and a firm purpose of amendment. The sanctifying grace, the re-establishment of the indwelling of the Most Holy Trinity within us, making it so that there is no room for the guilt, which is forgiven, and making it that that sanctifying grace will provide us with great opportunities between one confession and the next for a humble thanksgiving which is an active friendship with the Son of the Living God… that, my friends, is mercy.
It is not mercy to say that mercy simply overlooks sin and presumption and disrespect for others as that which is negligible in the face of, you know, the coercion of feelings and emotions and stuff like that there, as if real sin could never be forgiven, so let’s just make excuses. But that is what is being done.
It is thought that sin cannot be forgiven unless it is not sin, that is, that whatever sin can be forgiven is not really sin because there are so many excuses, circumstances and what not that that is why someone can be forgiven. You see, this is about rationalization, mind-games. This is not about what is should be about, which is love. Love makes for true repentance and a firm purpose of amendment, not excuses extending into the future with no repentance no purpose of amendment.
It is thought in a neo-Pelagian way that unless and until someone becomes the perfect man with the cross of wild feelings and emotions and stuff like that there all under control, then all bets are off, as it is impossible, then, it is thought, for grace to build on a weak human nature. We are bidden to be perfect so that the grace of Jesus will be redundant. That’s simply wrong. All the saints were trained up amidst their weakness consequent to original sin and whatever other sin they had. To say that carrying the cross is actually impossible until they are perfect human beings and no longer have a cross is both stupid and anti-Christian. It is the height, or rather depth of self-referential neo-Pelagianism. Weakness is NOT sin. It is a cross which we can carry with Jesus. If we are forgiven and carrying that cross, we are holy, radiating the life of Jesus.
Oh… and the analogy picture of ISIS about to decapitate Jesus’ martyrs? Yep. It’s just that serious in the battle for souls. Your normal, run of the mill crowd, can be martyrs for Jesus, just like that. Remember the little kids getting hung and burned and decapitated and shot? They were asked if they were going to renounce Jesus and they said that they will continue to love Jesus. Just like that. Little kids. Hey! I bet they had feelings and emotions and coercion and stuff going on. But they stuck it out with Jesus, not mind games of rationalization. They are our witnesses, our martyrs.
We in the “west” live a disgusting, soft, pandering fear of that which in any way would not take on board the self-referential self-congratulating feelings and emotions and stuff like that there of those caught up in the same. But people long to be freed from such a way of going about things, and would we offer them sophistry to stay in the same trap, the same slavery, the same not being enthralled with Jesus? How very, very disgusting. There is condemnation, and it will come from underneath the altar in heaven, where we find the martyrs asking for vengeance (Rev 6:10-11).
What’s the answer? To take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism of the law? No. The answer is to help people be enthralled with the dear Son of Mary, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, who bears the wounds of slaughter upon Himself, who loves us, and does give us the grace to love Him, for He knows so very well that He will come to judge the living and the dead and world by fire. But He wants us in heaven. Amen.