The Catholic Church & Obedience


#1
  1. Why is it important to vote Catholic? (no gay marriage, antiabortion). What if you vote for these but you do not personally follow either? Is that a mortal sin?
  2. Is receiving communion while divorced a mortal sin?
  3. When does a lustful thought become a mortal sin?
  4. Why is missing mass a mortal sin? (I am not saying habitually, like once or twice)
  5. If God gave us free-will, why does He demand his followers live by His rules otherwise perish? It seems like there is only one correct way to live.
  6. Why aren’t there more saints if Catholics have all the tools to get to heaven?
  7. Why did God give us emotions if they sometimes get in the way of us making good choices?

#2
  1. You should avoid cooperation with evil. If your vote puts someone in office that will advance an immoral cause (abortion, same-sex “marriage”, euthanasia, etc., you are cooperating. Whether it is mortal or not depends on what other choices you have and how grave the issue is. Speak to your confessor.

  2. Not necessarily. Divorce is grave matter but often only one party is culpable of the actual divorce. Even the culpable party can repent and be absolved in Confession. As long as there is no attempt to enter an invalid second marriage, there is no bar to Communion.

  3. Usually when the thought is purposefully held on to and/or become objectification.

  4. Because intentionally violating one of the precepts of the Church is grave matter.

  5. above my pay grade

  6. There are millions (billions) of saints. Everyone in heaven is a saint.

  7. That’s an interesting question. Most emotions are dual. Joy/sorry, anger/compassion. In each case, the positive half of the pair leads us closer to God.


#3

These are not positions Catholics support - to “vote for these” as you say, would be a way of participating in them. That is different, of course, than voting for other reasons for someone that happens to support gay marriage or abortion. I would still err away from voting for these people even if it is just a passive support for those two issues or similar ones. The problem, though, is that very few major American politicians are 100% pro-life, and support of gay marriage is becoming much more widespread in the political sphere. Plus there are indeed politicians that are pro-life and anti-gay marriage, but support other questionable causes. Nowadays, the Catholic really needs to be voting for the lesser evil.

Not necessarily. The Church recognizes that there are many reasons and circumstances that could necessitate a divorce. When it comes to communion for the divorced and remarried (with no decree of nullity), though, it is not allowed.

I would say it becomes a mortal sin when it is 100% willful. Some people just have thoughts run through their heads, or they see something on a billboard or TV program that catches their eye. This isn’t willful - we must pray when this happens, and then pray some more. Maybe fast a bit if it becomes an issue. But whether or not the initial thought is willful, it can become willful if we persist in the thought purposefully and for our own gratification.

I suppose it depends on why mass was missed. If you have some duty in life that necessitates otherwise, or you’re ill, or a relative is dying, or you have to be somewhere not within a reasonable distance from a Catholic Church - it’s not really a sin if, given the opportunity, you would attend otherwise.

A couple months ago I missed Sunday Mass because my now-late father was in critical condition and I needed to be free to answer my phone if anything happened. I think this was not mortally sinful because I missed Mass to fulfill my duties to my father and to charity. Sometime after that, I was up very late knowing I had to travel the next day and so would only be able to go to either the Saturday evening Mass or the Sunday morning Mass. I ended up going to neither because I slept in. I made sure to confess this because I had plenty of opportunity to attend Mass, but didn’t due to my own poor planning and choices.

By the way, attendance at Sunday Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is a precept of the Church, and not necessarily a part of Divine Law. Divine Law is “keep holy the sabbath day.” The Church requires Mass on the Lord’s Day weekly to help people to fulfill the Divine Law, and to make sure the people are participating in the Sacred Mysteries regularly. But it is a law binding on Catholics - a Jew or Protestant who have never been Catholic do not necessarily mortally sin for not attending Catholic Mass (though the Church desires them to one day be a part of the Body of Christ contained within itself).

I posted about this recently but I’ll sum up what I said: God is Love, expressed by the Holy Trinity. To be in Heaven is to participate in the Divine Love of the Trinity. Love is not just an emotion, but an act of choice in how we behave towards others. God gave us commandments so that we could have a way to express that act of choice. If we purposefully obey the commandments in faith (which are summed up by loving God and loving neighbor, though are more specified throughout Scripture and Tradition), we have made the choice to participate in the Divine Love of the Trinity (Heaven). If we purposefully do not obey the commandments and are not faithful, we choose not to participate in the Divine Love of the Trinity (Heaven). So free will doesn’t exist so that we can fail to follow rules - it exists so that we can choose to love in imitation of God, which would be impossible without free will.

I’m not sure what you mean. There are many Saints. And there are probably also many saints in Heaven that we do not know about because the Church has not yet or will never get around to declaring them. But yes, I imagine there are also sadly many Catholics who do not get to Heaven. But this is not for lack of “all the tools” - God provides that. It’s the purposeful choice not to use them for selfish reasons.

I think the simple answer is that our emotions didn’t get in the way until mankind’s Fall after the Sin of Adam. After that, original sin marred the tendencies of our souls and bodies in many unfortunate ways. I suppose one of those ways could be negative or impeding emotions.


#4

Do we really need to ask this? Christians must certainly be prolife and oppose the murder of innocent human beings. Christians must support the Christian definition of marriage.

What if you vote for these but you do not personally follow either? Is that a mortal sin?

It is certainly sinful to knowingly support the abortion of innocent children. Mortal sin implies various conditions.

  1. Is receiving communion while divorced a mortal sin?

Simply “being divorced” is no sin. Many are divorced through no fault of their own.

  1. When does a lustful thought become a mortal sin?

Read about the conditions for mortal sin in the Catechism.

  1. Why is missing mass a mortal sin? (I am not saying habitually, like once or twice)

Because the Church requires us to attend Mass on Sundays, if possible, and this is a reasonable rule.

  1. If God gave us free-will, why does He demand his followers live by His rules otherwise perish? It seems like there is only one correct way to live.

Because Christ said so?

  1. Why aren’t there more saints if Catholics have all the tools to get to heaven?

We certainly do not know how many saints there are in Heaven.

  1. Why did God give us emotions if they sometimes get in the way of us making good choices?

Cannot we control our emotions?


#5
  1. Is receiving communion while divorced a mortal sin?

No, it is not. Divorce and civil remarriage is the sin of adultery, if the first marriage is valid. Otherwise, it is the sin of fornication. No one should receive Communion unless they are baptized and are not conscious of grave sin.

  1. If God gave us free-will, why does He demand his followers live by His rules otherwise perish? It seems like there is only one correct way to live.

A sinful life is slavery. A virtuous life is true freedom. “His rules” are not mere rules, but the path of life, love, happiness, and virtue.

  1. Why aren’t there more saints if Catholics have all the tools to get to heaven?

We are fallen sinners, living in a sinful world, and we have free will.

  1. Why did God give us emotions if they sometimes get in the way of us making good choices?

Emotions interfere with a moral life because we are in the fallen state. God expects us to do the right thing, even in the fact of difficulties, such as negative emotions. If you do not follow Christ except when everything is going your way, then you are not worthy of Christ.


#6

With regard to number 5:

The rules of God give us freedom, they do no constrain.
Every society has rules. Rules are what permit you to drive down the street with a fair amount of confidence, for example. The people who disobey the rules are the ones who cause the problems. No one has ever said “That merchant charged me a fair price, and I hate it!” No, justice happens when people live with certain limitations. imagine what it would be like of “anything goes” was the norm for any society or group of people. Or in a marriage, or at school. Chaos. God does not wish pain or chaos fro His creation.
The rules are there to protect, not to deny.
God’s rules are designed to help us to stay safe, in communion with His love, and each other.
He’s not demanding obedience, however be obedient, and see if things don’t work out just peachy for you. :wink:


#7

I very much agree in particular with your point 6 above.
paduard


#8

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