How strict do we have to be?

If we are to truly hope to have eternal life, how strict do we have to be? What is allowed? What is not allowed? What I’m asking is about those unwritten rules, those things which we don’t know if they will be counted against us in our personal judgement. What is the modernism heresy? Is okay to be a liberal as long as you are following all the teachings of the church? Do we have to be strict traditionalists to be able to get to hope for eternal life? What advancements and/or changes in our society is acceptable in the eyes of the Church that Christ gave us? Things like, modesty, evangelization, what we watch on tv, things we say about salvation? What is the truth that does not have any opinions of either side injected into it, whether it be the left or the right side?

The rules exist for a reason. We know how strict we need to be yet at the same time to be so sometimes seems impossible. A chance at eternal life is the only reason we’re here on earth. If we’re not trying to obtain it then what are we even doing? I don’t see how one could be Liberal and a Catholic at the same time. That doesn’t necessarily make us Conservative either. The teachings of the Church stand alone and are the only ones on earth worth following.

I’d be willing to bet that if you don’t know it’s a sin, you’re not culpable for it. At least, that’s what I learned when a priest talked to our class in 7th grade.

A: I have no idea.
B: Yes, of course. Many have argued that Pope Francis is “too” liberal. You have to remember that definitions of liberal and conservative constantly change over time. There is no “liberal” and “conservative” outside of the current political/social context. Their meanings are are entirely fabricated by people.
C: No.
D: There are far too many to count, far too many for anyone to figure out. You won’t be held to account for it.
E: The Truth is in the Living Word. Aside from that, philosophers, psychologists, scientists, sociologists, etc. have all determined that we carry our biases everywhere we go. It’s part of who we are and how we were created. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it. As a matter of fact, basing your ‘truth’ on educated opinions is a good thing.

God has given us the moral law which we must follow and he has established his Church to help us. The most important thing we must do is first establish a relationship with Jesus Christ. We must be believers. His greatest commandment is to love him with all your strength and to love your neighbor as you love yourself. All of the Ten Commandments and the moral law are bound up in the Great Commandment.

God has given us the Magesterium of the Church to teach and guide us. These teachings are in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible. By reading your Bible, and studying your Catechism you will be able to form your conscience to guide you in right and wrong. Always keep in mind that God is a merciful and just God, and he is always willing to forgive us. He is not some ogre in the sky waiting to see if we make a mistake or miss a word in a prayer, or inadvertently commit a sin because of our true ignorance. But we are responsible to form our consciences.

Salvation is a free gift. We are saved by grace, not by our works, lest any of us should boast. But we must have faith in God and accept His offer of Salvation and repent of our sins, and allow Jesus to transform our lives. As Catholics, we also believe that we must be Baptized with water (with a few exceptions). God has given us the Sacraments to help us and strengthen us in our faith journey, esp. the Eucharist and Reconciliation.

You ask a lot of questions and they can’t all be addressed here. However, I want to address this business of “liberalism”. Get rid of that term. That is not the language of the Church, and it has become a derogatory and judgmental and divisive term. We should rather say that a person has either “orthodox” or “unorthodox” beliefs. When the Church permits something, whether it is rather new or old, or if you like it or not, it is perfectly permissible and orthodox.
A person who believes and teaches as the Church does is orthodox. One who holds beliefs that are not in line with Church teaching is heterodox or holds unorthodox beliefs. The most important thing is charity toward your brothers and sisters.

You absolutely do not have to be a strict Traditionalist to be saved. Many so-called “Traditionalists” have actually separated themselves from the Church and become schismatics and heretics. Others who label themselves as such do not always accept the changes in the past 50 years and speak against them but still remain in good standing. Then there are those who like the traditional practices and the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and are loyal to the Pope and Magesterium. They may not like some changes, but accept them because they are permitted by the Church and they do not generally speak badly of their brothers and sisters who do not prefer their form of worship.

Always remember that God actually WANTS to save you and does not put stumbling blocks in your way. He went out of his way to save you, he loves you beyond comprehension. Do not be scrupulous about things and question every triviality. God is not interested in that, that will hinder your relationship with him.

This post is long enough. I don’t know how many of your questions can be answered without a dissertation. Perhaps you should speak to a priest about your doubts. One in union with Rome.

God knows that we are sinners. He forgives a repentant sinner.

Have faith. Love your neighbor. Forgive. Give. Spread the Word. Be a peacemaker. Be poor in spirit. Be meek. Be merciful. Be pure in heart. Be a disciple.

Pray. Read the scriptures. Attend Mass. Take communion. Receive Reconciliation. Pray.

The Jews in the OT followed the “rules”. They had the chief priests and the Pharisees to constantly remind them of the Law. In fact, they were so very scrupulous about the Law that they became the object of much of Christ’s anger.

Denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees. (Matthew 23)
1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. 3 Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens [hard to carry] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. 5 All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.

Denunciation of the Pharisees and Scholars of the Law. (Luke 11)
42 Woe to you Pharisees!** You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others.** 46 And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.

The Law was sufficient for the OT Jews. They demonstrated their faith by their adherence to the Law. But Christ came to establish a new way.

Galatians 3
Scripture, which saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, “Through you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 Consequently, those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham who had faith. 10 For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law.” 11 And that** no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for “the one who is righteous by faith will live**.” 12 But the law does not depend on faith; rather, “the one who does these things will live by them.” 13 ** Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law **by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree,” 14 that the blessing of Abraham might be extended to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

No matter how well or how scrupulously we follow the Law it cannot save us because we are never going to be “good enough” to merit heaven on our own. We must have FAITH. The way our faith will be judged is by how well we love one another. God will forgive every lapse in the Law. He wants us to be gathered to Him.

This doesn’t mean that the “rules” don’t matter, but rather that we are called to something even higher. If we have true faith we will live a righteous life. We will not be perfect, but we will be mindful of being what Jesus asks us to be. Through living this faithful life we can then trust in the mercy of our loving God.


And for me, the most beautiful part of the whole enchilada, the whole 9 yards, everything that’s important for the Church comes from John’s Gospel, Chapter 21. I believe that we need to keep this in mind above all else, and measure ourselves accordingly:

"When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”

He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”

[Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep." from the USCCB website.

Everything else pales in comparison. So when you’re asking yourself all the questions that trouble you, keep an eye on what Jesus told the Rock of the Church.

If public forums on the internet are any indication, we simply should be a LOT more strict in our judgment of others than we are to ourselves.:wink:

There seems to be a prevailing perception of God here on CAF as a being who is just itching to send all of us to hell.

Beautiful post. :slight_smile:

You start with the ten commandments and then you work on your heart were we all fall way short to live Jesus commandment of love and mercy and of course the church. Its a daily battle to fight agaist ourselves - some days there is victory most days are failures.Who here has victory everday. The good thing is that every day is a new day in the battle.
Sound easy but what a stuggle for us.

LOL! That is an understatement!

You know in your “heart” if you are living a life that is good and moral. I feel bad that when newcomers read these threads for the first time they freak out and begin to believe that they are not scrupulous enough and head in a direction that is not healthy. It is funny to me that some of the “super trad Catholics” on CAF refuse to use the word “gay”, instead insisting on using same sex attraction. I guess Papa Francis is not Catholic enough since he uses the socially appropriate term “gay”! Sorry, I digress…:rolleyes:

Thread closing in T minus 10…9…8…7…:smiley:

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