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  #1  
Old Jul 4, '12, 4:56 pm
sdegutis sdegutis is offline
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Default Triumph completely in an instant?

All my Catholic spiritual reading suggests that I should not try and run before I can walk, and that I need to take my spiritual life slowly, otherwise I might get an inflated confidence and fall hard.

But isn't it true that if we have complete enough faith, we can overcome all temptations in a single instant? Isn't it true that if we trust and love God enough, then in a single day we can be transformed into saintly character?

If you say no, then why not? First of all, with God nothing is impossible. Secondly, God wants us to stop sinning! This doesn't just mean eventually, but immediately too! So isn't it completely feasible, with God's help, to overcome all sins and temptations forever, in a single heartbeat? Isn't that actually what God wants of us?
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  #2  
Old Jul 4, '12, 5:18 pm
snarflemike snarflemike is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

I am not aware of any evidence from all of Christian history of such a transformation as you describe.
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  #3  
Old Jul 4, '12, 5:53 pm
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Katholish Katholish is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

While it is true that God provides us with infused virtues through reception of the sacraments, it is also true that we require the natural and aquired virtues of temperance, prudence, justice and fortitude to actually sustain holiness. These virtues are only acquired through repeated good actions.

So practically speaking, the answer is no. Becoming holy takes time and effort. On the otherhand, I would never want to say it is actually impossible. I suppose God could make the infused virtues so powerful as to make us free from the strong inclination to sin. I am not really aware of cases in the lives of the saints that would suggest this happens, except for St. Thomas Aquinas being freed from temptations to impurity.
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Old Jul 4, '12, 5:54 pm
Ignatius Ignatius is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdegutis View Post
All my Catholic spiritual reading suggests that I should not try and run before I can walk, and that I need to take my spiritual life slowly, otherwise I might get an inflated confidence and fall hard.
By all means, run if you are able.
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  #5  
Old Jul 4, '12, 6:06 pm
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdegutis View Post
All my Catholic spiritual reading suggests that I should not try and run before I can walk, and that I need to take my spiritual life slowly, otherwise I might get an inflated confidence and fall hard.

But isn't it true that if we have complete enough faith, we can overcome all temptations in a single instant? Isn't it true that if we trust and love God enough, then in a single day we can be transformed into saintly character?

If you say no, then why not? First of all, with God nothing is impossible. Secondly, God wants us to stop sinning! This doesn't just mean eventually, but immediately too! So isn't it completely feasible, with God's help, to overcome all sins and temptations forever, in a single heartbeat? Isn't that actually what God wants of us?
Impossible?? I guess not. However, I have never heard of anyone in history that happened to, not even the saints.
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  #6  
Old Jul 4, '12, 6:13 pm
Dorothy Dorothy is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

The doctors of the Church on prayer, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, write about the journey to be one with Christ, or "Spiritual Marriage".

It takes patience, perseverence and practice to grow in the virtues. We need to cooperate with the grace of God day in and day out in order to become spiritually mature.

The saints I mentioned above write about that spiritual journey. We give glory to God as we cooperate with him, and we need to have patience with ourselves.
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  #7  
Old Jul 4, '12, 6:33 pm
Edmundus1581 Edmundus1581 is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

I think that you are suggesting that there is some contradiction between God being offended by every sin, and yet he appears to not immediately answer our prayer "Stop me from sinning, Lord". (or, if He does, he does it very rarely).

Yes, I will grant that there is some apparent contradiction there.

One of my favourite takes on this is a quote I heard from Fulton Sheen...

Question: Why does God allow us to sin?
Answer: So that we can forgive others

(I heard him say it in a recording of a radio show. I've never been able to track it down in print)

I personally find that the more I go to confession with the same sins, the more I find it in my heart to forgive any and every offence against me.

The only case I know of where such a prayer has been answered comprehensively is Sr Faustina being granted complete freedom from temptations to impurity. Edit - and Thomas Aquinas too, from the post by Katholish
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  #8  
Old Jul 4, '12, 6:48 pm
TimothyH TimothyH is online now
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdegutis View Post
But isn't it true that if we have complete enough faith, we can overcome all temptations in a single instant? Isn't it true that if we trust and love God enough, then in a single day we can be transformed into saintly character?
This is martyrdom. The gift of complete and instantaneous sainthood has been given to the martyrs. Be careful what you ask for.

Instead, when you fall, get up and dust yourself off, and cling all the more to God, confident that he knows what's good for you.


-Tim-
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  #9  
Old Jul 4, '12, 6:49 pm
Mintaka Mintaka is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

A lot of things can happen. Should you presume that God is going to give you an extraordinary gift? No. If it happens, should you be thankful? Of course!

A lot of times, people think they've had an amazing moment of conversion. Looking back, though, they often see how God prepared them for that in subtle ways.

But then again, God could hit us with a clue-by-four whenever He chooses. He usually doesn't choose to, because He usually has other ways to do things.
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  #10  
Old Jul 4, '12, 7:13 pm
Edmundus1581 Edmundus1581 is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
...
I like the post, but I particularly like you "photo"! Too clever!
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  #11  
Old Jul 4, '12, 7:50 pm
Peanut7949 Peanut7949 is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdegutis View Post
All my Catholic spiritual reading suggests that I should not try and run before I can walk, and that I need to take my spiritual life slowly, otherwise I might get an inflated confidence and fall hard.
Good job. This is true!! And even after a while of walking or running you need to slow down and catch your breath.

Who told you God would want you to be perfect?
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  #12  
Old Jul 4, '12, 7:53 pm
Nita Nita is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanut7949 View Post
...
Who told you God would want you to be perfect?
God/Jesus.
Mt. 5:48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
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  #13  
Old Jul 5, '12, 8:22 am
Peanut7949 Peanut7949 is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

Nita, so that it is not taken out of context... this passage is not about EVERYTHING. It is true that we must strive for perfection in Christ Jesus... however you know there is a part of the bible that says no one is perfect as the Father and that we are imperfect... State of being! Even if we, as IN CONTEXT the passage you gave me states, love our enemies as well as our friends, it is only by Grace from Jesus that we can begin to love our enemies... therefore it is more be surrounded and accept perfection which is God. Be a carrier of the Holy Spirit... and if being perfect is accepting Jesus, then okay... but as humans we can only take it as we accept Grace and no faster... or that would be man making a mess! So, original poster... pray that you are in God's will and will accept the Grace He is offering you right now.
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  #14  
Old Jul 5, '12, 9:12 am
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nuntym nuntym is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

+JMJ+
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdegutis View Post
All my Catholic spiritual reading suggests that I should not try and run before I can walk, and that I need to take my spiritual life slowly, otherwise I might get an inflated confidence and fall hard.

But isn't it true that if we have complete enough faith, we can overcome all temptations in a single instant? Isn't it true that if we trust and love God enough, then in a single day we can be transformed into saintly character?

If you say no, then why not? First of all, with God nothing is impossible. Secondly, God wants us to stop sinning! This doesn't just mean eventually, but immediately too! So isn't it completely feasible, with God's help, to overcome all sins and temptations forever, in a single heartbeat? Isn't that actually what God wants of us?
Read "Joy" by Peter Kreeft.
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  #15  
Old Jul 5, '12, 10:24 am
Nita Nita is offline
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Default Re: Triumph completely in an instant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanut7949 View Post
Nita, so that it is not taken out of context... this passage is not about EVERYTHING. It is true that we must strive for perfection in Christ Jesus... however you know there is a part of the bible that says no one is perfect as the Father and that we are imperfect... State of being! Even if we, as IN CONTEXT the passage you gave me states, love our enemies as well as our friends, it is only by Grace from Jesus that we can begin to love our enemies... therefore it is more be surrounded and accept perfection which is God. Be a carrier of the Holy Spirit... and if being perfect is accepting Jesus, then okay... but as humans we can only take it as we accept Grace and no faster... or that would be man making a mess! So, original poster... pray that you are in God's will and will accept the Grace He is offering you right now.
I consider "perfect" in the Mt. 5:48 passage to mean "sinless". God is sinless/perfect; we too must become sinless/perfect. Sin is not allowed in heaven. We are not conceived perfect, but if we wish to enter heaven, we must be perfected -- become clean of all sin. (cf. Rev. 21:27). Jesus does not say this must take place instantly. Most of us don't accomplish it here on earth and so the cleansing continues in Purgatory.

I'm not sure what you mean by "EVERYTHING". Naturally we do not have any of the virtues to the same degree as God. We don't even have them to an identical degree as other humans.

As regards grace, we can do nothing good without God's grace; we can't even exist except for it!
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