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Call the priest?
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Author:  Anonymous [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 2:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Call the priest?

You know how hospitals have priests on call for when someone's going to die? What is the purpose of that? A person could just screw around their whole life, sin beyond belief, get shot or something and then right when they're about to die in a hospital, have the priest cleanse them or whatever and then they'll supposidly go up to heaven? Is that what it's for? Isn't that's pretty much telling people, don't bother being a good catholic, you'll go up to heaven anyway? Or, is that even the point of it?

-Carrie

Author:  Della [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 2:59 pm ]
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No, that is not the point of it. What the priest is there for is to anoint the sick for healing as well as minister to the dying.

Anyone who thinks they can depend on having a priest handy at their death bed is being very foolish indeed. How could anyone possibly know (except those who have been told they are dying) when that moment might be? Anyone can drop dead from heart failure or be hit by a truck and be instantly dead.

And if someone seems to get off "scott free", it is only the mercy of God that they did so. But, there is also Purgatory, in which they will have to be cleansed of all the temporal punishment for their sins, and that isn't a pretty process. There is no sure "ticket" to heaven except being faithful to one's baptismal vows by living a Christ like life of faith, hope, and charity.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:00 pm ]
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I'm moving this to the General Discussion Forum. It really doesn't belong here.

Author:  Paul [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:05 pm ]
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Some saints knew they were going to heaven, but they still bothered to be good Catholics.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:09 pm ]
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BTW, in regards to the original question . . . .

God willingly accepts anyone's repentance at any point (see the parable of the workers in the vineyard, for example, and the repentant thief at the Crucifixion).

Nevertheless, such a person does not get off "scot free". (Even laying aside the issue of temporal repayment in Purgatory, a person who has not lived a Christian life may well have a less complete participation in the Beatific Vision than that of someone who has been in the fold all along. (This is de fide from the Council of Florence, BTW, not something I'm making up). Such a person will not feel the lack because he will have all the participation he can handle. But he could have had more.

"Also, the souls of those who have incurred no stain of sin whatsoever after baptism, as well as souls who after incurring the stain of sin have been cleansed whether in their bodies or outside their bodies, as was stated above, are straightaway received into heaven and clearly behold the triune God as he is, yet one person more perfectly than another according to the difference of their merits." (Council of Basel/Florence, session 6).

Author:  Paul [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:33 pm ]
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Nevertheless, such a person does not get off "scot free". (Even laying aside the issue of temporal repayment in Purgatory, a person who has not lived a Christian life may well have a less complete participation in the Beatific Vision than that of someone who has been in the fold all along. (This is de fide from the Council of Florence, BTW, not something I'm making up). Such a person will not feel the lack because he will have all the participation he can handle. But he could have had more.


The de fide teaching is that our participation in the beatific vision will be in proportion to our merits. The teaching does not say that someone who has lived a longer Christian life will have a greater participation in the beatific vision than someone who has been a Christian only a short time. Our Lady even when she was but born had a far greater degree of merit and would have had a far greater degree of participation in the beatific vision had she died then, then would have any other saint or even all other saints and angels combined. I suspect that St Thomas might have emphasized that God is free to bestow whatever degree of sanctifying grace He chooses at whatever time (I believe he said this in relation to the question of restoration of merit after a conversion from mortal sin but I would assume it applies generally).

I don't see having a lesser share in the beatific vision than others or than you would have had otherwise as being any kind of penalty as having any share in the beatific vision is priceless and something that will completely satisfy. Our Lady has been given unfathomable grace and share in the beatific vision, but the "little flowers" have not been in any way "penalized." While it is true that "he could have had more" it is also true that "he could have had less."

Also, if someone is baptized near death, all temporal punishment would be removed for him through the baptism.

That's a good parable you referenced :D

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

Paul wrote:
The de fide teaching is that our participation in the beatific vision will be in proportion to our merits. The teaching does not say that someone who has lived a longer Christian life will have a greater participation in the beatific vision than someone who has been a Christian only a short time.


Unquestionably, and while I didn't mean to imply that there is a direct causal relationship, one could as a general rule (admitting of exceptions, the most important of course being Our Lady) suggest that there is likely a correlation between merit and time spent opening ourselves to God's graces in the Christian life.

Author:  Paul [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Call the priest?

CeeLee wrote:
Or, is that even the point of it?

-Carrie


The point of it is to be ministers of God's mercy.

God's mercy is something to be praised not begrudged! :D

Author:  Paul [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Paul wrote:
The de fide teaching is that our participation in the beatific vision will be in proportion to our merits. The teaching does not say that someone who has lived a longer Christian life will have a greater participation in the beatific vision than someone who has been a Christian only a short time.


Unquestionably, and while I didn't mean to imply that there is a direct causal relationship, one could as a general rule (admitting of exceptions, the most important of course being Our Lady) suggest that there is likely a correlation between merit and time spent opening ourselves to God's graces in the Christian life.


Yes, I agree with that :D

Good to see you back btw.

Author:  The Other Mark [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:22 pm ]
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It's probably also worth mentioning that the whole idea is straight out of scripture (James 5).

Author:  David Hopkins [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:58 pm ]
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So even canonized Catholic saints who have lived sinful lives before their conversions (Sts. Paul, Augustine, etc.) do not fully participate in the Beatific Vision ?

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:18 pm ]
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David Hopkins IV wrote:
So even canonized Catholic saints who have lived sinful lives before their conversions (Sts. Paul, Augustine, etc.) do not fully participate in the Beatific Vision ?


I don't think anyone is capable of experiencing the full Beatific Vision with the exception of Our Lady. But I also think that a repentant sinner--particularly one who has had time to work with the Spirit to make him more capable--could easily outstrip someone who was never a great sinner but never a great saint either.

Please note that the above is my speculation.

Author:  Jimbo [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:23 pm ]
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I would further point out that a question like this presumes that someone, the sinner in question "got the good stuff" while they were alive and now are going to "get the good stuff" when they are dead.

On the contrary, out Lord compared the unrepentant sinner to a man eating hog scraps.

Author:  David Hopkins [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:24 pm ]
Post subject: 

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
David Hopkins IV wrote:
So even canonized Catholic saints who have lived sinful lives before their conversions (Sts. Paul, Augustine, etc.) do not fully participate in the Beatific Vision ?


I don't think anyone is capable of experiencing the full Beatific Vision with the exception of Our Lady. But I also think that a repentant sinner--particularly one who has had time to work with the Spirit to make him more capable--could easily outstrip someone who was never a great sinner but never a great saint either.

Please note that the above is my speculation.


Agreed - the Prodigal Son comes to mind.

Author:  matteo d'basio [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:48 pm ]
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On the general issue of "calling the priest" when someone is dying or thought to be dying. The priest anoints the person, conferring the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. If the person is conscious, the priest may hear his confession. If the person desires spiritual support, the priest may encourage the person. But all this, to be effective, requires contrition. The sacraments work, but they are not magic. They require an interior disposition on the part of the recipient in order for the grace of the sacrament to be conferred. When a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat, the rabbit has nothing to say in the matter. When absolution, anointing, and Holy Communion are given, they are true sacraments, but their effect on the recipient may be stymied or nullified by the lack of interior disposition.

When priests are called to hospitals and death beds, we assume the contrition of any unconscious person, and we try to encourage and support patients who can respond. And we try to console the family.

None of this is easy. Would CeeLee prefer that we stay at home? Or inquire about whether the patient has contributed to the church lately?

Author:  TP [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:08 pm ]
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Greetings,

Apparently you have never tried to get a hold of a priest on a monday. Never get shot on a monday.

peace

Author:  sparky [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

TP wrote:
Greetings,

Apparently you have never tried to get a hold of a priest on a monday. Never get shot on a monday.

peace


Is it my imagination or are you a wisenheimer, Father? You've been layin' out some snarky one-liners lately.

This sparkster loves it. :D

--Ann

Author:  crossquad [ Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Also,the priest is for the family....

Greetings:

...seeing one in the same room,should make any Catholic feel that they
are in a castle than in a hospital.

by(e)carg

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Wed Jan 19, 2005 5:53 am ]
Post subject: 

TP wrote:
Greetings,

Apparently you have never tried to get a hold of a priest on a monday. Never get shot on a monday.

peace


This summer, our diocesan sems got a presentation from the nurse who runs hospice care for a local hospital. She said she will find you, even if it means hauling you off a golf course (which she has done).

Author:  sparky [ Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:48 am ]
Post subject: 

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
TP wrote:
Greetings,

Apparently you have never tried to get a hold of a priest on a monday. Never get shot on a monday.

peace


This summer, our diocesan sems got a presentation from the nurse who runs hospice care for a local hospital. She said she will find you, even if it means hauling you off a golf course (which she has done).


Hey, Geoff, I've been meaning to ask you - when will you be ordained? Just want to make sure I can make it. :)
--Ann

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