Too many chefs...thoughts on "Limbo"


#1

A thought on “limbo”

I hold that when people are drawn to the “constructs” of
theologians - and thereby drawn away from the beautiful imagery
given by the Creator in the Scriptures - a kind of distortion
takes place. Under and over- emphasis, theoretical "constructs."
Most distressing. Akin to taking a love letter and “parsing” the construction.

God gave us much imagery and told us stories to support and
comfort us in our journey back to Him. Set aside the
works of speculative “theology” and listen to the Word of God
Himself, is my thought. And, for some reason, I do get the
idea that the current Holy Father might just agree with me.
Put Aquinas back on the shelf and open the Scriptures - to
read of lambs, and a good thief, a man fallen among robbers,
the birds of the air and a little lost sheep, carried on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd.

God told us stories and Jesus urged us to become
child-like, in turning to His Father. No wonder God gave
us stories, for He knows well the hearts of human beings.
We will remember a story long after
dessicated theological “syllogisms” are gone from memory.

There is, to me, a hubris - in turning away from the word
of God to craft our own theological “inventions” and “constructs.”

But then God told Adam Stay away from the tree of
the knowledge of good and evil, yet the first man and
woman could not resist. They took and ate of that fruit.
Well neigh irresitible, the fruit of that tree.

And the recent jettisoning of the “concept” of Limbo is a
case in point, I think. No use in trying to distance ourselves
from this sad concept - by stating that it was never an
"offical" teaching. I could almost smell! the apple juice on
the hands of those - Aquinas among them - who dished up
that slice of “apple pie.” That people coud even consider! -
based on the theoretical concepts of the “need” for Baptism
as resulting in shutting out an unbaptized infant from God’s full presence -
amazed me in the 1950’s and amazed me for the next 50 plus years.

But, then, that’s what happens when human beings decide to be the “chefs” and take
what God has revealed and try to whip up apple dumplings.
We’re right back in the garden - with our first parents - reaching out for a fruit that God has told us not to eat.

And when this is done, humility is forfeit. We no longer have
both feet on the humus of God’s creation. Instead, theological
"head-trips" are the order of the day, as we try to go beyond
the beautiful and sustaining imagery given to us by the
Master of the Universe Himself.

Too many chefs spoil the broth.

reen


#2

Additionally, “Limbo” was wholly
non-scriptural and a concept that - to me -
flew in the face of the mercy of God that
Jesus so often spoke of. Indeed, if He
was the Son of God, He was and is
Mercy itself.

How generations of Catholics
stood still for this wholly unpalatable
speculation is the real mystery to me.

And those of us who were treated to the
Baltimore Catechism’s version of Limbo…
was it made clear to me, at the time, that
this was not “official” teaching?
How, pray tell, is a school child able to
"sort out" official from “non-official” Church
teaching.

A truly sorry episode, IMO.

And no use maintaining that the new
catechism backed away from such
sorry “teaching.” How many millions
were taught this unlovely concept?

“concept” = concipere - “to take in”

We were “taken in” all right.
Taken in - big time.

reen


#3

And while I’m at it - the “official” teaching
on the filioque is just such a theological
"construct."

The fact that this speculation was offered
in the “must accept” category stuns me.
And, apparently, it stunned the Eastern
Church as well. Stunned them enough
to divide Christendom - close to a thousand years
ago.

I can hear it now. But Limbo was never
official Church teaching. Oh, really?
A distinction - without a practical difference -
for millions upon millions who were taught
same for decades.

But then to respect mystery requires
humility and not hubris.

Long live the syllogistic enterprise. :coffee:

And the hubritic assertion of the *filioque *
has a whiff of apple cider about it, IMHO -
the same apple found in the Garden
by our first parents.

reen


#4

Note: for those unfamiliar with the filioque, this "teaching"
asserted that the Holy Spirit “proceeds” from both
the Father and the Son, a teaching that left the Eastern Church aghast -
that such theological speculation would be proferred as offical teaching.

One would have thought that this type of
speculation would have been left to the
realm of mystery - out of respect for the
privacy of God. But no, it could not be
left in the realm of mystery. Theologians
had to put down their piece of apple and
give it a go.

I wonder if ink can be made from apple juice? :coffeeread:

reen


#5

limbus infantium or limbus puerorum

Do take a gander at Chapter 35 from the overly-revered ?
St. Augustine.

newadvent.org/fathers/15011.htm

Isn’t that charming? :coffeeread:

From a “Doctor of the Church” no less.

[size=2][FONT=Arial]reen

[/FONT][/size]


#6

I am going to respond in depth to some your thoughts later. Let me say I disagree with you a tad.

As you are sort of bashing St Augustine(It now for so reason to be fashionable to do that again it seems) be aware the Current Pope is very much devoted to Augustine and had a great influence on him In fact he made a pilgramage to venerate and pray before his bones this weekend. I am still looking to see what remarks the Holy Father had to say.

I see what you are saying in part and agree with it. But I think you go down a path that becomes quickly un Catholic and to be honest goes against how the** Word** works in the Church.

In the infamous Speech that Pope Benedict made that got the Muslims in such a state some important things were said. That is that it was no accident that Greek Thought and Christianity came together. Christ is Logs and that means reason also. Augustine . Aquinas and father East and West understood this.


#7

reen,
Thank you for your thoughtful posts.

I read Ch. 35 and it makes me very sad. I am thankful that the words of the Saints are not infallable.

I’ve heard it said on this forum many times & even by my own Priest that heaven will be filled with Muslims, Jews & even Atheists because of that “through no fault of their own…” loophole. None of them would’ve been baptized and according to St. Aug., they would’ve been “in darkness.” No one suggests THEY will face the “mildest condemnation” which is what, according to St. Aug., the unbaptized babies face. The Muslims, Jews & Atheists are supposedly in heaven.

What I can’t for the life of me undestand is WHY are unborn babies held to a much higher standard than everyone else? Why aren’t the babies in the “through no fault of their own” catagory?


#8

Nothing has been jettisoned…you have the private opinions of some theologins, nothing officially proclaimed or defined, just unfortunately in my opinion) permission granted to let such theological meandering out in a misguided attempt to pacify a the modern world’s guilty concience…Sad indeed. But if the concept of limbo was never an official teaching, which I grant you, then the recent 40-page theological speculation is even less* official. Ah, but it seems you have set it as dogma, as well the press, and the modernists within the Church. And no doubt it will lead to less and less infant baptisms, which means more souls will die unbaptized, the only way we know they would be guaranteed entry into enternal life with Our Lord.

The need for baptism is dogma, as is the condition of Original Sin of which we are all born into…why put “need” in quotation marks as if it’s some joke?

What *is *officially proclaimed dogma of the Church? This:
**If any one denies, that infants, newly born from their mothers’ wombs, even though they be sprung from baptized parents, are to be baptized; or says that they are baptized indeed for the remission of sins, but that they derive nothing of original sin from Adam, which has need of being expiated by the laver of regeneration for the obtaining life everlasting,–whence it follows as a consequence, that in them the form of baptism, for the remission of sins, is understood to be not true, but false, --let him be anathema. For that which the apostle has said, By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men in whom all have sinned, is not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere hath always understood it. For, by reason of this rule of faith, from a tradition of the apostles, even infants, who could not as yet commit any sin of themselves, are for this cause truly baptized for the remission of sins, that in them that may be cleansed away by regeneration, which they have contracted by generation. For, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. **
Council of Trent, Session V, #4
DustinsDad


#9

quote: lsusportsfan

As you are sort of bashing St Augustine(It now for so reason to be fashionable to do that again it seems)…

It was hardly “fashionable” to be “bash[ing]” Augustine -
in the milieu in which I was raised in the fifties.
*

Let’s see. St. Augustine. Wasn’t he the one who
fathered a child and then “got religion” - abandoning
the woman who gave birth to his child? How gallant of him.

Now* there’s *! someone that I am naturally inclined to
seek “guidance” from. Marry the lady? Oh, no.
Not when one “gets religion.” And they made him a
bishop! In any other context the absurdity of *this *move
would be clearly seen.

A stance requires neither fashionability - nor “unfashionablilty” -
to be given credence - by those willing to give same 5 minutes thought.

And, again, while I’m at it, could it be? that only a gaggle of celibates - who do not bring children into this world - could have “concocted” a place like “limbo” …apparently unconcerned
about the suffering of heart mind and soul that might well be the
lot of those who accepted this odious “construct.”

One of your offspring will not be joining you in heaven?
Hey! as long as the syllogisms hold together.
Can’t make an omlet…

Perfectly charming.

How many parents suffered the pangs of hell - thinking that one of their offspriing, not yet baptized, would be deprived of the beatific vision and not be “with them” when they themselves arrrived in heaven, were that child to pass away before baptism?
And all was not hunky dory in days - earlier than ours - when
infant mortality was a much more common sorrow.

Did these childless “fathers” consider that heaven would not
be heaven - for those separated from one of their innocent
offspring by the stroke of a theologian’s pen?

It is the heartlessness in all of this that I find truly revolting.
But then, why should I be surprised by that?
Many heartless things have been done in the name of
a God of love.

reen*


#10

carol marie, thank you for your kind words.

Here’s my thought. The moment one embraces the
assertion of infallibilty, IMO one then may find oneself
having to twist oneself into pretzel shape - to "defend"
the “indefensible.” The wretched speculative activity
that eventuated in the concept of “limbo.”

Oh, it was never held to be “official teaching.”

Must I place myriad references - from earlier Church
luminaries - to make the point that theological "constructs"
are just that? “Constructs.”

The teaching on “limbo” - that held sway for
centuries - and now the attempt to make this whole
unlovely episode in Church history go away…
by rushing to state that this was never "official"
teaching. Most interesting to follow, I must say.

I’m trying to locate, online, the Catechism of the Council of Trent,
so that I may post the reference to what* that* body of
gentlemen held - with regard to limbo.

Once again, it was the heartlessness in all of this
that I find appalling.

I wonder what God thought of it all?

reen


#11

Quite simply, it’s the plague of modernism that is still attacking the Church, from within in this case. Good thing the recent “study” isn’t official.

It’s dangerous…take a grain of truth (that God is not Himself bound by the Sacraments) and twist it into a dangerous opinion that all infants de-facto go to heaven…which does extreme damage to the revealed Truth of Original Sin and the necessity of Baptism.

[quote=reen]I’m trying to locate, online, the Catechism of the Council of Trent, so that I may post the reference to what* that* body of gentlemen held - with regard to limbo.
[/quote]

Let me help you here, from the ***Roman Catachism***:
Infant Baptism: It’s Necessity
That this law extends not only to adults but also to infants and children, and that the Church has received this from Apostolic tradition, is confirmed by the unanimous teaching and authority of the Fathers.

Besides, it is not to be supposed that Christ the Lord would have withheld the Sacrament and grace of Baptism from children, of whom He said: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me; for the kingdom of heaven is for such; ? whom also He embraced, upon whom He imposed hands, to whom He gave His blessing.

Moreover, when we read that an entire family was baptised by Paul, it is sufficiently obvious that the children of the family must also have been cleansed in the saving font.

Circumcision, too, which was a figure of Baptism, affords strong argument in proof of this practice. That children were circumcised on the eighth day is universally known. If then circumcision, made by hand, in despoiling of the body of the flesh, was profitable to children, it is clear that Baptism, which is the circumcision of Christ, not made by hand, is also profitable to them.

Finally, as the Apostle teaches, if by one man’s offence death reigned through one, much more they who receive abundance of grace, and of the gift, and of justice, shall reign in life through one, Jesus Christ. If, then, through the transgression of Adam, children inherit original sin, with still stronger reason can they attain through Christ our Lord grace and justice that they may reign in life. This, however, cannot be effected otherwise than by Baptism.

Pastors, therefore, should inculcate the absolute necessity of administering Baptism to infants, and of gradually forming their tender minds to piety by education in the Christian religion. For according to these admirable words of the wise man: A young man according to his way, even when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Infants Receive The Graces Of Baptism
It may not be doubted that in Baptism infants receive the mysterious gifts of faith. Not that they believe with the assent of the mind, but they are established in the faith of their parents, if the parents profess the true faith; if not–to use the words of St. Augustine–then in that of the universal society of the saints; for they are rightly said to be presented for Baptism by all those to whom their initiation in that sacred rite is a source of joy, and by whose charity they are united to the communion of the Holy Ghost.

Baptism Of Infants Should Not Be Delayed
The faithful are earnestly to be exhorted to take care that their children be brought to the church, as soon as it can be done with safety, to receive solemn Baptism. Since infant children have no other means of salvation except Baptism, we may easily understand how grievously those persons sin who permit them to remain without the grace of the Sacrament longer than necessity may require, particularly at an age so tender as to be exposed to numberless dangers of death.
[FONT=Verdana]Peace in Christ,[/FONT]
DustinsDad


#12

Dustin’s Dad,
Unbaptized babies going to heaven don’t negate the necessity for infant baptism any more than Muslims going to heaven negate the necessity of believing in Jesus.


#13

Dear Dustin’s Dad,

I can only reply to your own thougths by quoting what
I have already stated.

quote: reen12

The wretched speculative activity
that eventuated in the concept of “limbo.”

and - making reference to the fruit of the tree from which
dined our first parents…

quote: reen12

And the recent jettisoning of the “concept” of Limbo is a
case in point, I think. No use in trying to distance ourselves
from this sad concept - by stating that it was never an
"offical" teaching. I could almost smell! the apple juice on
the hands of those - Aquinas among them - who dished up
that slice of “apple pie.” That people coud even consider! -
based on the theoretical concepts of the “need” for Baptism
as resulting in shutting out an unbaptized infant from God’s full presence - amazed me in the 1950’s and amazed me for the next 50 plus years.

All of which puts me in mind of the Jesus Who
excoriated those - who “added” to what His Father
had given.

Limbo and “God is love” seem mutually exclusive
"realites" to me. Disjoint sets, served up - not by
"moderinsts" - but by the Angelic Doctor himself.

reen12


#14

The commission never said all infants de-facto go to Heaven. Where are people getting that from? I’ve only seen it in misleading secular headlines.


#15

I thought that the idea was that Jesus said that He
would lift our burdens - not add to them. And what
was “limbo” - but adding to the sometime crushing burden
that an individual may carry.

“Come to Me” - and I will give you a peace of heart that
the world cannot give. Limbo wreaks peace of heart?

“Come to Me” - and I will give you rest from your burdens.
Not add to them - by this wretched speculation taught to
untold numbers of people. I keep forgetting: It was never
"official," right?

Like Peter - who began to sink when he took his eyes
off Jesus - do we not risk sinking, as well - when we take
our eyes off of the beautiful and comforting images and stories
provided by God and God’s Son to turn our gaze toward an
occassional mess of pottage - aka speculative "theology."
Bartering away the beautiful images of scripture for
man-made “opinions” - limbo ! - served up to millions through the “teaching” of the Baltimore Catechism.

Where is there “room” - so to speak - for the image of the
Good Shepherd, carrying the lost sheep on His shoulders,
and the image of a “merciful” God - Who would shut out unbaptized infants from His presence? Can these two images “occupy” the same space?

I don’t think so.

But then Jesus told us By their fruits you will know them.
You were right, Jesus.

reen


#16

I don’t see how it was adding a burden? It was a lessening of one for people who knew Baptism was necessary for Heaven and thought that babies burned in Hell. Limbo taught that they received eternal happiness.

No one can go to Heaven simply by being sinless. We all need to recieve the grace of God. God has revealed to us that this grace is bestowed through Baptism or a desire for it. We also know that those in original only do not enter Heaven. God never revealed anything as to what happened to those in original sin who did not have the ability to desire.


#17

Let me Start out with this Piece
wdtprs.com/blog/2007/04/the-bones-of-augustine/

I urge all to read it bout Our Blessed Saint and Doctor. The lead picture is of Course from today where the Pope is praying in the From of the remains of St Augustine.

Also while some might to think we should put Aquinas and others back on the bookshelf may I direct your attention to this wonderful Document
**INSTRUCTION
ON THE ECCLESIAL VOCATION
OF THE THEOLOGIAN **
vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19900524_theologian-vocation_en.html

The Church does not see Theologians as people that " take what God has revealed and try to whip up apple dumplings," or somehow trampling into God’s Territory by eating and exploring Forbidden truth of knowledge.

THe Church seems to have this absurd belief that this is a **VOCATION **

L

et’s see. St. Augustine. Wasn’t he the one who
fathered a child and then “got religion” - abandoning
the woman who gave birth to his child? How gallant of him.

Now there’s ! someone that I am naturally inclined to
seek “guidance” from. Marry the lady? Oh, no.
Not when one “gets religion.” And they made him a
bishop! In any other context the absurdity of this move
would be clearly seen.

A stance requires neither fashionability - nor “unfashionablilty” -
to be given credence - by those willing to give same 5 minutes thoug

:rolleyes:
I don’ think you have a clear timeline of Augustines Life here. Augustine had his son when he was 17. He didn’t get “religion” or Convert to Catholcism till he was in Milan around the year 387. Augustine was 32. Ambrose baptized Augustine, along with his son, Adeodatus, on Easter Vigil in 387 in Milan. It seems perhaps that Augustine had not abandoned them even in his pagan and Manichaean days. His Son by the way died an short time later He was around the age of 16

More on his son here and as well as cocubine.
newadvent.org/cathen/01141e.htm

I shall cont in another post


#18

The two situations are not entirely the same. For a Muslim to go to heaven he would have to be in each of these states:
[LIST=1]
*]Be invincibly ignorant of Christ while still fully seeking God in this world - that’s seems to be a pretty hard thing to be in this day and age, but Christ only knows where invincible ignorance turns into willful rejection (or willful neglect for that matter).
]Be free from mortal sin (have perfect contrition for all actual mortal sins committed), and thus be cooperating fully with the actual graces God sends his way in this world because only God can grant perfect contrition…it’s a gift.
]Have Baptism of Desire
(i.e. even if ignorant of Baptism and of Christianity, he would do it, he would say yes to God here, if in fact he new the requirement)[/LIST]Thus, a Moslem going to heaven isn’t all that easy…I would suspect it’s very very difficult and rare - but I’m not the judge…He is. I can only go by what He has revealed through His Church. Yet the newfound ecumania and subsequent religious indifference of the last 40 years or so that has swept so many in Christ’s Church has lead to a scandalous silence in the area of calling these souls to conversion to Christ, to His Church and thus in the area of calling these souls to Salvation.

Now given infants who die without baptism…it’s a great mystery to us whether or not God allows numbers 1 and 3 above to be met. Certainly we can say that in His omnipotence He could, but who are we to say that He should? No one - not even a newborn babe deserves heaven or could even exist in heaven without His Divine Life infused in it - Sanctifying Grace. The only means by which He has revealed to us this happens is though Baptism.

Now if we happen to have a great number of folks thinking unbaptized infants automatically go to heaven, what is the normal response going to be? What will actually transpire? Think about it…if the remotest possibility exists for the salvation of non-Christians has led to the almost total abandonment of seeking their conversions, what do you think will happen to infant baptism in this situation and in this day and age? How many souls will we “roll the dice” with, banking on some erroneous theological speculations that will seem to downplay 2000 years of Christian understanding.

And think about the warnings of putting God to the test, of presumption, etc.

And remember, Christ said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” He did not say they couldn’t be hindered.

Peace in Christ,

DustinsDad


#19

If not all infants de-facto go to Heaven, then some infants de-facto go to hell. And if limbo is no longer theologically plausible given our wonderful modern sensibilities (which is what everyone seems to be saying), then they go to the actual fire and brimstone torments of hell.

And limbo *wasn’t *merciful?

Puu-leeze.

DustinsDad


#20

Limbo is the fringe of Hell–where there is no actual punishments, but also no beatific vision. What the commission’s report said is that it’s not 100% certain that they go to Limbo. It doesn’t rule out limbo completely.


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