Author Topic: On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"  (Read 6337 times)

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Offline Dawn

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On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
« on: August 02, 2010, 05:08:23 AM »
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  • In order to get home to Heaven, therefore, we must surround ourselves with people who are not worldlings. No, this does not mean that we are any better than other people. We are sinners. Unlike worldlings and those steeped in lives of unrepentant sin, however, and solely because of God's gratuitous graces won for us by the shedding of every single drop His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, we are sorry for our sins and want to amend our lives as we do reparation for our sins and those of the whole world as the consecrated slaves of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. We must avoid bad company, Saint Alphonsus de Liguori explained in his sermon for the Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost: On Avoiding Bad Company   (15 Minutes):

    "A friend of fools:, says the Holy Ghost, "shall become like them"--Prov., xiii. 20. Christians who live in enmity with God, are, Father M. Avila used to say, all fools, who deserve to be shut up in a madhouse. For, what greater madness can be conceived than to believe in Hell, and to live in sin? But the man who contracts an intimacy with these fools, shall soon become like them. Although he should hear all the sermons of the sacred orators, he will continue in vice, according to the celebrated maxim: "Examples make greater impressions than words". Hence the Royal Prophet has said: "With the elect though wilt be elect, and with the perverse thou wilt be perverted"--Ps., xvii. 27. St. Augustine says, that familiarity with sinners is as it were a hook, which draws us to communicate in their vices. Let us, said the saint, avoid wicked friends, "lest by their company we may be drawn to a communion of vice". St. Thomas teaches, that to know whom we should avoid, is a great means of saving our souls. "Firma tutela salutis est, scire quem fugiamus".

    "Let their way become dark and slipper, and let the angel of the Lord pursue them"--Ps., xxxiv. 6. All men in this life walk in the midst of darkness, and in a slippery way. If, then, a bad angel--that is, a wicked companion, who is worse than any devil--pursue them, and endeavour to drive them into an abyss, who shall be able to escape death? "Talis eris", says Plato, "qualis conversatio quam sequeris?" And St. John Chrysostom said, that if we wish to know a man's moral habits, we have only to observe the character of the friends with whom he associates: because friendship finds or makes him like his friends. "Vis nosse hominem, attende quorum familiartate assuescat: amicitia aut pares invenit, aut pares facit:. First, because, to please his friends, a man will endeavour to imitate them; secondly, because, as Seneca says, nature inclines men to do what they see others do. And the Scripture says: "They were mingled among the heathens, and learned their works"--Ps., cv. 35. According to St. Basil, as air which comes from pestilential places causes infection, so, by conversation with bad companions, we almost imperceptibly contract their vices. "Quemadmodum in pestilentibus locis sensim attractus aer latentem corporibus morbum injuicit sic itidem in prava conversatione maxima a nobis mala haurinutur, etiamsi statim incommodum non sentiatur"--S. Bas., hom. ix. ex. var. Quod Deus, etc. And St. Bernard says, that St. Peter, in consequence of associating with the enemies of Jesus Christ, denied his Master. "Existens cum passionis dominicae ministris, Dominum negavit".

    But how, asks St. Ambrose, can bad companions give you the odour of chastity, when they exhale the stench of impurity? How can they infuse into you sentiments of devotion, when they themselves fly from it? How can they impart to you a shame of offending God, when they cast it away? "Quid tibi demonstrant castiatem quem non habent? Devotionem quam non sequuuntur? Verecundiam quam projiciunt?" St. Augustine writes of himself, that when he associated with bad companions, who boasted of their wickedness, he felt himself impelled to sin without shame; and to appear like them, he gloried in his evil actions. "Pudebat", he says, "me esse pudentum"-lib. 2, de Conf., c. ix. Hence Isaias admonishes you to "touch no unclean thing:--Isa., lii. 11. Touch not what is unclean: if you don, you too shall be polluted. he that handles pitch, says Ecclesiasticus, shall certainly be defiled with it; and they who keep company with the proud, shall be clothed with pride. The same holds for other vices: "He that toucheth pitch, shall be defiled with it; and he hath fellowship with the proud, shall put on pride"--Eccl., xiii. 1.

    What then must we do? The Wise Man tells us, that we ought not only to avoid the vices of the wicked, but also to beware of treading in the ways in which they walk. "Restrain they foot from their paths"--Prov., i. 15. That is, we should avoid their conversations, their discourses, their feasts, and all the allurements and presents with which they will seek to entice us into their net. "My son," says Solomon, "if sinners shall entice thee, consent not them"--Prov., i. 10. Without the decoy, the birds are not enticed into the fowler's net. "Will the bird fall into the snare upon the earth, if there be no fowler?"--Amos, iii. 5. The Devil employs vicious friends as decoys, to draw so many souls into the snare of sin. "My enemies", says Jeremias, "have chased me, and have caught me like a bird without cause"--Lamen., iii. 52. He says, without cause. Ask the wicked whey they have made a certain innocent young man fall into sin; and they will answer: We have done it without cause; we only wish to see him to do what we ourselves do. This, says St. Ephrem, is one of the artifices of the Devil: when he has caught a soul in his net, he makes him a snare, or a decoy, to deceive others. "Cum primum capta fuerit anima, ad alias decipiendas fit quasi laqueus".

    Hence it is necessary to avoid, as you would a plague, all familiarity with these scorpions of Hell. I have said that you must avoid familiarity with them--that is, all fellowship in their banquets or conversation; for, never to meet them is, as the Apostle says, impossible. "Otherwise you must needs go out of this world"--I. Cor., v. 10. But, it is in our power to abstain from familiar intercourse with them. "But now I have written to you, not to keep company, etc........with such a one, not so much as to eat"--ibid., v. 11. I have called them scorpions: so they have been called by the Prophet Ezechiel: "Thou art among unbelievers and destroyers, and thou dwellest among scorpions"--Ezech., ii. 6. Would you live in the midst of scorpions? You must then fly from scandalous friends, who, by their bad examples and words, poison your soul. "A man's enemies shall be they of his own household"--Matt., x. 36. Wicked friends that are very familiar and intimate to us, become the most pernicious enemies of our souls. "Who", says Ecclesiasticus, "will pit an enchanter struck by a serpent, or any that come near wild beasts? So it is with him that keepeth company with a wicked man"--Eccl., xii. 13. If the man that makes free with serpents, or with ferocious wild beasts, be bitten or devoured by them, who will take pity on him? And so it is with him who associates with scandalous companions; if, by their bad example, he be contaminated and lost, neither God nor man will have compassion on him; because he was cautioned to fly from their society.

    One scandalous companion is enough to corrupt all who treat him as a friend. "Know you not", says St. Paul, "That a little leaven corrupts the whole lump?"--I. Cor., v. 6. One of these scandalous sinners is able, by a perverse maxim, to infect all his companions. They are the false prophets whom Jesus Christ warns us to avoid. "Beware of false prophets",--Matt., vii. 15. False prophets deceive, not only by false predictions, but also by false maxims or doctrines, which are productive of the greatest mischief. For, as Seneca says, they leave in the soul certain seeds of iniquity which lead to evil. "Semina in animo relinquunt, quae inducunt ad malum". It is too true that scandalous language, as experience proves, corrupts the morals of those who hear it. "Evil communications", says the Apostle, "corrupt good manner"--I. cor., xv. 33. A young man refuses, through the fear of God, to commit a certain sin; an incarnate David, a bad companion, comes, and says to him what the serpent said to Eve--"No; you shall not die the death"--Gen., iii. 4. What are you afraid of? How many others commit this sin? You are young; God will have pity on your youth. They will, as is written in the book of Wisdom, say: "Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present,...let us spend our time in amusements and in joy. "O nimis iniqua amicitia", says St. Augustine, "cum dicitur, eaumus, faciamus: pudet non esse impudentum". O cruel friendship of those who say: Let us go and do, etc.; it is a shame not e shameless. He who hears such language is shamed not to yield to it, and not to be as shameless as they who utter it.

    When any passion is kindled within us, we must be particularly careful in selecting the persons whom we will consult. For, then the passion itself will incline us to seek counsel from those who will probably give the advice which is most agreeable to the passion. But from such evil counsellors, who do not speak according to God, we should fly with greater horror than from an enemy; for their evil counsel, along with the passion which is excited, may precipitate us into horrible excesses. As soon as the passion shall subside, we shall see the error committed, and the delusion into which we have been led by false friends. But the good advice of a friend, who speaks according to Christian truth and meekness, preservers us from every disorder, and restores calm to the soul.

    "Depart from the unjust", says the Lord, "and evils shall depart from thee"--Eccl., vii. 2. Fly, separate from wicked companions, and you shall cease to commit sin. "Neither let the way of evil please thee. Flee from it, pass not by it; go aside and forsake it"--Prov., iv., 14, 15. Avoid the ways in which these vicious friends walk, that you may not even meet them. "Forsake not an old friend; for the new will not be like to him"--Eccl., ix.. 14. Do not leave your first friend, who loved you before you came into the world. "I have love thee with an everlasting love"--Jer., xxxi. 3. Your new friends do not love you; they hate you more than your greatest enemy; they seek not your welfare, as God does, but their own pleasures, and the satisfaction of having companions of their wickedness and perdition. You will, perhaps, say: I feel a repugnance to separate from such a friend, who has been solicitous for my welfare; to break off from him would appear to be an act of ingratitude. What welfare? what ingratitude? god alone wishes your welfare; to break off from him would appear to be an act of ingratitude. Your friend wishes your eternal ruin; he wishes you to follow him, but cares not if you be damned. It is not ingratitude to abandon a friend who leads you to Hell; but it is ingratitude to forsake God, who has created you, who has died for you on the cross, and who desires your salvation.

    Fly then from the conversation of the these wicked friends. "Hedge in thy ears with thorns, hear not a wicked tongue"--Eccl., xxviiii. 28. Beware of listening to the language of such friends; their words may bring you to perdition. And when you hear them speak improperly, arm yourself with thorns, and reprove them, not only for the purpose of rebuking, but also of converting them. "Ut non solum", says St. Augustine, "repellantur sed etiam compunganatur". Listen to a frightful example, and learn the evil which a wicked friend does. Father Sabatino relates in his Evangelical Light, that two friends of that kind were one day together. One of them, to please the other, committed a sin; but, after they separated, he died suddenly. The other, who knew nothing of his death, saw, in his sleep, his friend, and according to his custom, ran to embrace him. But the deceased appeared to be surrounded with fire, and began to blaspheme the other, and to upbraid him for being the cause of his damnation. The other awoke, and changed his life. But his unhappy friend was damned; and for his damnation there is not, and shall not be, any remedy for all eternity. (Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost: On Avoiding Bad Company.)

     

    Those of us who are parents have a particular obligation to make sure that our children do not have bad companions, and that we do not give them scandal by associating with those who are unrepentant sinners who are hostile to the truths of the Holy Faith. It is better for there to be a little estrangement, yes, even from parents and brothers and sisters and other relatives, in this passing, mortal vale of tears than an unhappy reunion with them in Hell for all eternity.


    Offline Belloc

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #1 on: August 02, 2010, 07:36:11 AM »
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  • Thanks Dawn, good to "see" you back here!!

    a good primer, no doubt for a cultic americanist heretic friends here.....and the neocons likely lurking...
    Proud "European American" and prouder, still, Catholic


    Offline Dawn

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #2 on: August 02, 2010, 11:35:51 AM »
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  • You know it is true. As we go further into our Faith we have fewer and fewer persons in our life. I do find myself whittling away persons in my life that are not of the faith and further more have never shown any interest in it. I do not need them and I do not need their baggage that surrounds them. Heck I have enough of my own baggage to deal with.
    Furthermore, a friend lent me the Liturgical Year. To read the writings in there the explanantions of our Faith is so awsome, so grand. I can not find the adjective that does justice to the love these Saints had for our Lord. If I could just have a scintilla of their faith and love I could move mountains.

    Offline Alexandria

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #3 on: August 02, 2010, 11:38:49 AM »
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  • Quote from: Dawn
    You know it is true. As we go further into our Faith we have fewer and fewer persons in our life. I do find myself whittling away persons in my life that are not of the faith and further more have never shown any interest in it. I do not need them and I do not need their baggage that surrounds them. Heck I have enough of my own baggage to deal with.
    Furthermore, a friend lent me the Liturgical Year. To read the writings in there the explanantions of our Faith is so awsome, so grand. I can not find the adjective that does justice to the love these Saints had for our Lord. If I could just have a scintilla of their faith and love I could move mountains.


    Quite right, Dawn.  


    Offline Cheryl

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #4 on: August 02, 2010, 01:05:14 PM »
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  • Quote from: Dawn

    Furthermore, a friend lent me the Liturgical Year. To read the writings in there the explanations of our Faith is so awesome, so grand. I can not find the adjective that does justice to the love these Saints had for our Lord. If I could just have a scintilla of their faith and love I could move mountains.


    Dawn,

    Can I get an author on the book you're :reading:?


    Offline Dawn

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #5 on: August 02, 2010, 01:24:52 PM »
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  • Dom Prosper Gueranger, you know the set, I was wrong to say "a book"

    Offline JoanScholastica

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #6 on: August 02, 2010, 06:49:38 PM »
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  • Such a wonderful post, Dawn!

    Offline Telesphorus

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #7 on: August 21, 2013, 11:01:09 AM »
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  • Quote from: Belloc
    Thanks Dawn, good to "see" you back here!!

    a good primer, no doubt for a cultic americanist heretic friends here.....and the neocons likely lurking...


    aye.  And for the kind of people who give seminars on how to "win friends and influence people."


    Offline Capt McQuigg

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #8 on: August 21, 2013, 11:38:47 AM »
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  • Quote from: Telesphorus
    Quote from: Belloc
    Thanks Dawn, good to "see" you back here!!

    a good primer, no doubt for a cultic americanist heretic friends here.....and the neocons likely lurking...


    aye.  And for the kind of people who give seminars on how to "win friends and influence people."


    Belloc was so subtle.   :rolleyes:

    Offline ggreg

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #9 on: August 21, 2013, 12:02:17 PM »
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  • How does one handle the flip-side of this Dawn?

    Over 35 years I've seen Traditionalist parents that separated themselves and their children from the world to such an extent that they produced adults not capable, willing or comfortable with going to work and earning a living alongside secular people.  Not all, but it is an unmistakeable trend.

    Telesphorus above, for example, is a 35 year old man who is highly intelligent, good with maths to a University degree level, joint first in his class exams, but he cannot secure a job and therefore is incapable of supporting a family, much though he would like to have one.

    In a posting in March 2011 he laid some of the blame for his predicament on his parents who did not prepare him well as a child.  In the same mammoth thread (240 pages) he said that while he was quite capable of teaching Maths, no school would offer him a job where he would not have to compromise his principled stand for the faith.

    That is a REAL problem and he is one of MANY examples, albeit a particularly extreme example.

    I'm not the first Traditionalist to point this out about the more zealous and scrupulous Trads.  High ideals yes, but statistically poor results when it comes to their children keeping the faith and continuing to go to mass or even having many children.  Little House on the Prairie living is not sustainable past one or two generations given the nature of the economy today.

    The Amish have million dollar farms, and stable supportive communities, but Trads rarely do.  Within a generation they have usually eaten their seed corn.

    Typically, what happens is that the children either rebel/lapse and go out and grab the world with both hands and suck it as deep into their lungs as possible, since they are hungry for the fruits forbidden to them, or, scared of the bogeyman they follow their parent's philosophy but are then long term unemployed or struggle economically in low wage jobs because of a fear, dislike, disdain and despair for the world around them.  The world which practically speaking they must be in, but try not to be of.

    So where is the balance to be struck?  Even if you sit in your mother's basement in Cincinnati, you still have to interact with the world, charm middle-aged Puerto Ricans fathers, etc, if you want to progress through life and attain your stated goals.  That takes a certain degree of street smarts, socialisation, common-sense and emotional intelligence, skills that people exposed to the world tend to have far more often than those brought up hidden away from the evils of the world.

    Yes of course one can meet worldlings in the business world who are addicted to money and possessions as ends in themselves.  I meet them all the time as well as some very nice and unworldly people in powerful jobs.  You can also come across a great deal of worldliness, smutty talk, lust, scandal working on a British Construction site or at the welfare office or local 7-Eleven.

    God grants people the graces to reject the stupid and destructive aspects of materialism and worldliness while still being able to enjoy a fillet steak and live in a decent house in a safe neighbourhood.  Otherwise well off Trads would simply lapse and become worldlings and hedonists and I have not personally seen that as a noticeable trend.

    Offline Cantarella

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #10 on: August 21, 2013, 12:08:39 PM »
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  • Quote from: Dawn


    Those of us who are parents have a particular obligation to make sure that our children do not have bad companions, and that we do not give them scandal by associating with those who are unrepentant sinners who are hostile to the truths of the Holy Faith. It is better for there to be a little estrangement, yes, even from parents and brothers and sisters and other relatives, in this passing, mortal vale of tears than an unhappy reunion with them in Hell for all eternity.



    Totally true. Thank you for an excellent post and a wise reminder.
    If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary for baptism and thus twists into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit" (Jn 3:5) let him be anathema.


    Offline Telesphorus

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #11 on: August 21, 2013, 12:09:19 PM »
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  • First of all, my parents sent me to school.  A very bad environment.  One that cost me a lot of time, energy, and was a very bad moral and spiritual influence.

    Full of the sort of people who have contempt and scorn for religiosity, who have anti-Catholic values.

    I believe firmly in homeschooling because I believe it's far superior to sending one's children into a hostile environment.  

    Secondly, I never said I couldn't take a teaching job because it would compromise my principles.

    I get rejected as a teacher because of fakes like ggreg who don't like people who have superior knowledge to them and prefer to send children to public schools, and who believe and spread false accusations and statements about people they don't like.

    Now the simple fact is Catholics need to follow the guidance of saints, not of "cold calling" seminar phonies who are publicly admit to planning to apostasize.

    If BALANCE on this forum means balancing a virtual apostates's pretending to conduct some sort of financial self-help seminar with the advice of saints, balancing someone who mocks the resistance and pretends there are no serious theological issues, then the person who wants the BALANCE is showing signs of IMBALANCE.

    Offline ggreg

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #12 on: August 21, 2013, 12:23:32 PM »
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  • Quote from: Telesphorus
    First of all, my parents sent me to school.  A very bad environment.  One that cost me a lot of time, energy, and was a very bad moral and spiritual influence.


    Many Catholics go to school and still keep their faith and function in the world.  Hardly any turn out in your predicament.


    Quote from: Telesphorus

    I believe firmly in homeschooling because I believe it's far superior to sending one's children into a hostile environment.  


    Academic in your case.  You have no children.


    Offline LaramieHirsch

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #13 on: August 21, 2013, 12:27:39 PM »
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  • Good post!  What, then, are we to do when godless people find their way into our lives?  Cast them out?

    I imagine that first generation of Christians to be in many predicaments.  You would have slaves in households, merchants, farmers, of course--basically all different kinds of people.  And I imagine them to be surrounded by non-believers.  I can picture them trying to covertly maintain their faith when they could (to avoid detection), but I can also imagine a moment where one house slave's Christian faith is discovered by another pagan house slave--an associate of the first slave for years.

    Then, of course, when it came down to it, the Christian would offer testimony and talk about Christ, leading to either persecution or conversion.
    .........................

    Before some audiences not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction. For argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people whom one cannot instruct.  - Aristotle

    Offline Telesphorus

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    On seperating ourselves from "Worldlings"
    « Reply #14 on: August 21, 2013, 12:28:15 PM »
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  • Quote from: ggreg
    Many Catholics go to school and still keep their faith and function in the world.  Hardly any turn out in your predicament.


    Many people lose their souls in school, which is the point of St. Alphonsus commentary, that bad companions and associations are deadly for spiritual life.

    Now, seeing as you directly violate the traditional advice of the Church in sending children to secular state schools, it appears to me that your opinions on these matters have nothing to do with Catholicism and it is bad faith for you to discuss this topic.


    Quote from: Telesphorus
    Academic in your case.  You have no children.



    I would never willingly expose children to a public school environment - especially in the world today, and no serious traditional Catholic with any choice at all would do so.

    Homeschooling is definitely superior.  You don't have to be in a situation to know what is best in a situation.  I have no doubt that if the money my parents had spent on school had been spent in other ways on my education that I would have had a far superior education.

    Certainly having older siblings helping to teach is also a huge advantage.  I certainly helped my brother a great deal in developing his intellect.

     

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