Sunday, September 16, 2012

Faith vs. Works, St. Paul vs. St. James, The Bishops vs. Pelosi

We have some priests, some sisters, and some politicians who call themselves Catholic who tell everyone "I'm doing the works of God" but who turn around and reject this Church teaching or that Church teaching or don't like the Pope or don't like the Bishops. Listening to some of these priests/sisters/politicians, it is clear they believe that, in fact, one CAN simply work one's way into Heaven, and not only CAN work one's way into Heaven, but that in fact one's resume of spiritual work is ALL that matters. This, however, is the same works-based righteousness that St. Paul condemns, and it is the same works-based righteousness that Martin Luther was reacting to.


  1. I believe that what people need to realize about the books of the bible is the fact that it was written for the people of that time that were going through certain situations. What I am trying to say, but probably not articulating it very well is that when someone reads the bible they need to consider the historical background of when the books were written and not just interpret what THEY think the message is.

  2. I just love this ~ Sara :)

  3. Hi Father, what exactly is meant by "doing the work of God"? Is it more than helping the needy and being good to others? My thought is yes, it's about helping others to know, love and have a relationship with Christ and that can mean "talking" about things and not just actions. What do you think?

    Can you please share what you consider to be ways in which we (lay people) can "do the works of God"?

    Why I ask is b/c I'm having a discussion right now with with a friend who thinks just being a good example and helping others is enough, and that our children will "get it" by watching our example. I don't agree that that is enough. What brought this up is the fact that after having my children in some local protestant-based, sports leagues this summer and how DELIGHTED I was that it wasn't just all about sports, but they prayed, did devotionals and memory verses... and now experiencing CYO sports for the first time this football season and how it seems to be focused solely on the sport and winning, I mentioned this to my friend and she said she thought incorporating faith into everything is too much (that too much of a good thing isn't always good), and we should just let them have fun. Am I nuts for thinking we should incorporate faith into everything? Thank you Father.

    1. The Church offers us the corporal and spiritual works of mercy to guide us in looking for works that are considered "works of God". If you search on the internet, I'm sure they'll turn up. They're also in the Catechism. Hope this helps!