Doubting the Sacraments

That lovable Saint Therese of Lisieux…says, for example, ‘I am assailed by the worst temptation of atheism’. Her mind is beset by every possible argument against the faith; the sense of believing seems to have vanished; she feels that it is now ‘in sinners’ shoes.’ In other words, in what is apparently a flawlessly interlocking world someone here suddenly catches a glimpse of the abyss lurking–even for her–under the firm structure of supporting conventions. In a situation like this, what is in question is not the sort of thing that one perhaps quarrels about otherwise–the dogma of the Assumption, the proper use of confession–all this becomes absolutely secondary. What is at stake is the whole structure; it is a question of all or nothing. That is the only remaining alternative; nowhere does there seem anything to cling in this sudden fall. Wherever one looks, only the bottomless abyss of nothingness can be seen.

Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, 42-43.


About newenglandsun

A student. Male. Passionate. Easily offended. Child-like wonderer. Growing in faith, messing up daily.
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13 Responses to Doubting the Sacraments

  1. St Bosco says:

    Say, why do the catholics always dress Mary up as a nun? Ive always wonderd that. That is false advertising. Mary didn’t dress like that. False religions have to stoop to that because if they told the truth ll the time, no one would join it.

    • Bosco, have you read anything at all on iconography? Jesus became a man so he could have a relationship to us. But there can be no relationship with us if he can’t even relate to us!

      “He [God the Father] reveals Himself in the Son, the hypostatic Word, the Word of all things and the Image of all images. In Him is revealed the content of God’s life; in Him are shown all the possibilities of all things in God, and then in creation, in the universe, of which He contains the ideal thought-image. Thus, about Him it is said: “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3)” (Bulgakov, Icons and the Name of God, 51)

      Do you not get it? Icon veneration is only made possible because of the incarnation. Without the incarnation, we’re apart from God! All of us! Highly recommended you read and soak in every single word of Fr. Sergius Bulgakov. Is it false advertising to depict Jesus as a white guy? NO! That’s how he relates to white people! How about Mary as a Moreno? NO! That’s how she relates to people of mixed Spanish-Aztec descent! What about John the Baptist as an Asian? NO! That’s how John the Baptist relates to Asians!

      Get the BIGGER picture on icons! Read Bulgakov’s book and you will begin to see the bigger picture on icons as well. It’s not just “statue worship”. It’s relating to God and his people.

    • jrj1701 says:

      Well Bosco, I see you are still playing the same song. I have some advice for ya, similar to newenglandson’s good advice, start learning about the things of the Church that you wrongly insist is wrong. Learn enough about it to be able to present a case that can not be logically refuted, although I have noticed that there are folks that have done just that and they have come away not wanting to argue about it anymore. I will tell you again and again that most that venerate Icons do not worship them, worship is reserved for God alone, and that in the past iconoclasts stepped outside of the teachings of Christ and persecuted and killed those that insisted that iconography was proper and not idolatry.

      • I had him blocked but then unblocked him with the hopes that he would eventually come back and actually humble himself a little asking the questions. Hopefully, he’ll do some reading.

      • jrj1701 says:

        He might, yet he tends to do his research online (which can be unreliable if you don’t know who to look for) and he refuses to open his mind to anything contrary his sola scriptura eisegesis. I have seen worse examples though.

      • That ain’t sola scriptura let me tell you. Sola scriptura is more like what the liberals do as opposed to what the fundies do. It’s not–“Believe it if it’s in it!” It is–“Don’t believe it if it ain’t explicitly mapped out in it!”

      • jrj1701 says:

        I should have phrased it his personal sola scriptura eisegesis. I see what you are saying and you most likely have learned the proper scholastic definition of sola scriptura. I tend to use terms using what I have got here and there and so sometimes it doesn’t always come across clearly.

      • Yeah, his definition would be mocked by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Huldrych Zwingli. And so would just about every single other Anabaptist’s definition of it as well, unfortunately. Evangelical’s just don’t seem to get the entire history behind sola scriptura and how it had nothing to do with the Bible and yet they recycle it ad nauseam!

      • jrj1701 says:

        Most Christians are confused on their beliefs, even some of the Orthodox laity, especially those in Russia and eastern Europe, I had read somewhere, yet I can’t seem to find right now, where they did a survey of theological beliefs in a Serbian Orthodox Church and the laity were all across the spectrum, including some that believed in a form of Arianism.

      • Really? Arianism and not Sabellianism?

      • jrj1701 says:

        I believe it said Arianism, though Sabellianism would make more sense.

      • To be perfectly honest, I don’t really get what the purpose of the sacraments are seeing as all the people I know who actually receive them are mostly talking heads or doubt themselves so they don’t really give you “faith” nor do they actually make you a better person–so what the hell is the point?

      • jrj1701 says:

        Very hard question to answer, and to even try could be misleading. I do know that for me participation in Liturgy, and partaking of the Eucharist helps me. When I don’t take communion life seems more of a struggle to me.

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