There is an extremely important point about the spiritual war raging all about us right now, and it is this: It occurs in the material world. What happens on earth matters, or, as St. Thomas Aquinas puts it, matter matters.
The problem with so many people in this spiritual war is that they play it out as if it is only spiritual and just say, “Whatever happens, happens. I’ll just pray.” Catholics of such mind retreat into piety, fooling themselves that faith without corresponding works is a perfectly fine, holy approach.
Nothing could be less Catholic. That rationale is for cowards. But over in the Protestant world, a similar mentality occurs: It’s called “quietism,” and it’s the notion that the material world doesn’t really matter — all you have to do is just pray and remain quiet.
In fact, this entire thought process actually began and flows out of a flawed understanding of Scripture and theology, going back centuries in Protestantism. Catholic sacramental theology embraces both matter and spirit; it does not reject one in favor of the other.
And because the seven sacraments have very tangible, material aspects to them, Protestantism, with its core anti-material mentality, rejects some or even all of them, dismissing God’s saving actions through matter in time and space. Think about this: Loads of Protestants think the only thing you have to do to achieve salvation is simply make some spiritual act of faith and, from there on out, everything is cool.
You’re saved regardless of your actions. Well, to drive home our point, those actions always occur in the material world, whether it’s adultery, lying, robbing a bank, refusing to vote or rationalizing going and voting for a child killer, it’s always expressed in the material reality.
We use our bodies, the same bodies that will be resurrected on the last day and reunited to our souls. Because of that resurrection of the material body, it is insufficient to think that somehow your soul can be pure even though it used your body to commit sins. And regardless of all that, you and your sinful body just get to waltz into Heaven because at some moment 40 years earlier, you blurted out at some random altar call “The Lord Jesus is my Savior,” and then went about sinning with that body of yours in the material world, thinking all your sins are somehow “covered”?
Well, what about your adding to the blotting out of the goodness of the material world with your body? Doesn’t that matter? What kind of a crazy, disordered theology is that?
Jesse Romero is our guest this week on Church Militant’s Mic’d Up, where we get into a deep discussion about the consequences in the political and moral order of disregarding the material reality we live in.
It’s a fascinating discussion about how all this plays out in our day-to-day lives, how just one little incorrect (and perhaps innocent) misunderstanding of theology can have a massive impact in the material order, which means politics, laws and how you are allowed to live your daily life.
So please join us and watch this week’s Mic’d Up, and share it with your friends. It’s a Church Militant Premium show, which means you have to have a Premium account, but that’s only $10 a month.
However, that same Premium account that allows you to view Mic’d Up also allows you to view thousands of other episodes of multiple Premium programs touching on a vast array of theological topics for your enrichment — which is especially helpful in this time of spiritual war.
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