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Archive for September, 2019

The Truth or a Lie

The Temptation of Christ by my favorite artist Gustave Doré

The Father of Lies tempts Truth Himself.

 

Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me (John 14:6).

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof (John 8:44).

The end for everyone is either Heaven where the Truth is or Hell where the Truth is not.

Everything boils down to the truth or a lie.

Every sin involves a lie, whether to God, ourselves, or to others. That makes every sinner a liar to one degree or another.

But God is true; and every man a liar, as it is written, That thou mayest be justified in thy words, and mayest overcome when thou art judged (Rom. 3:4).

However, not all sinners are of the same degree because not all sins are of the same degree. St. John tells us, “He that knoweth his brother to sin a sin which is not to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin unto death: for that I say not that any man ask. All iniquity is sin. And there is a sin unto death (I John 16-17).

Therefore, not all liars are mortal sinners.

The word liar is found 19 times in Holy Scripture and St. John uses the word “liar” 9 times, far more than anyone else. He points to one particular lie which is blasphemy, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (I John 1:10).”

If we say we have not sinned, we are saying God is a liar because He told us that we all are sinners in the Lord’s Prayer. He also tells us in Psalm 142:2 and Proverbs 24:16.

St. John declares, “Who is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father, and the Son (I John 2:22)”

Cornelius a Lapide’s commentary on this verse reads:

Ver. 22.—Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He here explains what kind of lie he means, the heresy of denying that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, as Simon Magus, Ebion, Cerinthus, and other Judaisers, against whom S. John wrote, both ancient and modern. For, as Bede says, “Compared with this all other lies are little or nothing.” Indeed, what more pernicious lie could be uttered or invented than this, cutting off as it does all faith and hope of salvation? He then that maintains it, is pre-eminently a liar, because he is heretical, sacrilegious, an atheist, an antichrist. The word is commonly used of those who mean one thing and say another. And this is the case with these very persons, for they knew or ought to know that Jesus was the Christ. So writes Tertullian (de Præscript. Heret. cap. xxxiii.): “John in his Epistle specially calls those persons antichrist, who said that Jesus had not come in the flesh, as Marcion and Ebion maintained.” And as Œcurnenius tells us, “Simon stated that Jesus and Christ were different persons. Jesus who was born of Mary, Christ who had come down from heaven.” S. Cyril (Catech. vi.) says that Simon Magus was the author of all these heresies, and then enlarges on them and his impostures.

Cornelius here says much of the heresies and follies of the Anabaptists, for which he quotes their history by Arnold Meshovius.

All heresy is blasphemous lies because they are lies about God and the Church.

Most Reverend Eric MacKenzie wrote on page 19 in his – “The Delict of Heresy”:

“The heinousness of apostasy and heresy is found in the fact that misbelieve or unbelief is a blasphemous imputation of error deceit to God Himself. A further blasphemy is at least implicit, in that the apostate or heretic thinks, or seems to think, that he has some means of distinguishing truth from error, which operates more certainly and more infallibly than does God’s own Infinite Intelligence. Hence, sins against faith are basically blasphemies against God Himself. As such they are considered, next to odium Dei, the most heinous that man can commit. Nor is there any essential distinction between the guilt of heresy and of apostasy, since the same blasphemy is implicit in both.”

The last time we see “liar” in Holy Writ:

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, they shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Apoc. 21:8).

The “liars” to whom St. John is referring in Apoc. 21 are the ones who die in the mortal sin of lying or else everyone would go to Hell.

One of the worst sins is blasphemy. Again, St. John points to the specific lying blasphemy that Jesus is not the Christ. There are different types of blasphemy but all are odious to God.

Blasphemy, Blasphemed, Blasphemeth, etc. are mentioned in Holy Scripture 91 times.

God destroys the blasphemers (Daniel 3:96).

Blasphemers are punished severely, sometimes by death (Lev. 24:16).

One form of blasphemy is unforgiven (Matt. 12:31).

Jesus was mocked, beaten, spit upon, and ultimately put to death because He was falsely accused of it (Matt. 26:65-68).

All heresy is lying blasphemy, therefore all heretics are liars and blasphemers.

The degree of culpability varies and those who are guilty in the eyes of God have eternal hell as their destination. All lies are deceptions that ultimately takes us away from Heaven, which is our true destination.

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Recently, my children have been watching the old TV series titled “The Tall Man” which is about Billy the Kid played by Clu Gulager. The TV series has reminded me of the true story of Sister Blandina Segale who once confronted Billy the Kid. I first learned about Sister Blandina 15 years ago from homeschooling my children. The nun’s story is told in “Christ and the Americas” by Anne W. Carroll. In looking up more about the good nun, I found the following 1967 TV episode titled “Lost Sheep in Trinidad” from the TV series “Death Valley Days.” It’s about Sister Blandina’s meeting with Billy the Kid.

 

 

Sister Blandina had another run-in with Billy the Kid not shown in the episode. Apparently, Billy the Kid was about to rob the stagecoach that Sister Blandina was riding. When they pulled out their guns, the nun commanded them to put them away. As Billy rode up to the stagecoach, he tipped his hat and bowed at Sister Blandina, then rode away. Only she knew who it was.

I’ve included another episode of Sister Blandina from “Dark Valley Days.” The episode is titled “The Fastest Nun in the West.”

 

 

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