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Man’s Battle with Temptation in the Old Testament

The Old Testament chronicles the constant failings of men in the battle with temptation. In the beginning, Adam fails to protect Eve, choosing the rebellious temptations of Satan and then immediately is tempted by lust (Gen 3:7). Noah falls into a drunken stupor, allowing Ham to carry out maternal incest (Gen 9:21-22). Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed by God as punishment for men’s homosexual acts (Gen 19:12-29). Lot is tempted by alcohol and commits incest with his daughters (Gen 19:30-38). Abraham, encouraged by his barren wife Sarah, commits adultery with the maid Hagar (Gen 16:1-4) and is rebuked by God with circumcision as a daily reminder against sexual sin (Gen 17:10). While Moses is receiving the 10 Commandments from God, the people of Israel have a drunken, idolatrous orgy in front of the Golden Calf (Exod 32:6). King David commits adultery with Bathsheba and when she becomes pregnant, kills her just and chaste husband, Uriah (2 Sam 11:1-27).

Today’s Losing Battle with Temptation

The Church teaches that temptation is rooted in concupiscence, defined as “Human appetites or desires which remain disordered due to the temporal consequences of original sin, which remain even after Baptism and which produce an inclination to sin” (CCC 1264; 1426; 2515). The chief cause of temptation is Satan, “the tempter” (Matt 4:3) who is committed to man’s eternal ruin (Eph 6:11-13).

Turning away from God, today’s men are losing the battle with Temptation. Lust is an epidemic, fueled by porn, contraception and promiscuity, has suppressed marriage, increased divorce and led to the holocaust of abortion. Gluttony is widespread with additions to alcohol and food yielding an epidemic of obesity. Sloth has led to an abandonment of spiritual commitment and social engagement.

Jesus Christ and the Battle with Temptation

Born without sin (1 Pet 2:22; 2 Cor 5:21), Jesus submits to temptation for the sake of men. Jesus:

Demonstrates how to overcome Temptation in the Wilderness – In solidarity with Man (Heb 4:15), Jesus is tempted while in a weakened state after fasting for 40 days in the Wilderness (Matt 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13) and unlike Adam’s failure, Jesus defeats Satan (CCC 538):

Refuses to give Satan an inch – The ever-cunning Satan makes appeals to pride, greed and hunger, using miraculous visions, the twisting of Scripture and casting doubts about the Father to tempt Jesus. Jesus recognizes Satan and refuses to be tempted.

Refuses the temptation for sensual pleasure – Despite being famished, Jesus demonstrates the importance of not allowing Satan to tempt with sensual pleasure (i.e. to miraculously make bread).

Refuses temptations of pride and false use of power – Jesus, though able to cast Satan into Hell, refuses to respond to Satan’s temptations to a prideful use of power.

Makes the obedience to God primary – In each rebuke of Satan, Jesus uses Scripture to make clear His absolute reliance and obedience to God the Father, refusing to tempt the Father (CCC 2119).

Reliance on angels – Christ, after defeating Satan in the Wilderness, relies on angels to minister to Him (Mark 4:11). After defeating Satan in Gethsemane, He is strengthened by angels (Luke 22:43).

Instructs men as to how to deal with temptation – Jesus teaches men how to deal with temptation:

Makes it clear that Satan is the tempter who never stops – In the Lord’s Prayer, Christ instructs men to pray, “…and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One” (Matt 6:13). After failing to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, Satan patiently waits for a more opportune time (Luke 4:13), returning to tempt in the Passion (Luke 22:53; John 14:30). Jesus explicitly warns the Apostles about Satan: To Peter, Christ says “behold, Satan has claimed power over you all, so that he can sift you like wheat” (Luke 22:28) and in Gethsemane: “Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing enough, but the flesh is weak” (Matt 26:41).

Is vehement about battling sexual temptation – The perfect chastity of Mary, Joseph and Jesus underscores the need for sexual purity for all people. Christ uses strong words to men about sexual purity, anticipating modern pornography (Matt 5:27-30): “You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully [pornography] has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin [viewing pornography], pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into Hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin [masturbation], cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Emphasizes watchfulness – Being watchful and resisting temptation is critical, for if men resist temptation they do not sin (CCC 2846). Christ emphasizes the nearness of the Kingdom (Mark 1:15) to motivate men and that all men must be vigilant in keeping watch (CCC 2612; Matt 24:42-44, 25:1-13; Mark 13:33; Luke 12:35-40) and rejecting false prophets (Matt 7:15, 24:4-5; Luke 17:1-3) who would lead men into temptations.

Emphasizes prayer – Christ sets the example of the need to pray, praying in solitude (Mark 1:25; Luke 5:16), through the night (Luke 6:12), in the early morning (Matt 14:23) and especially when tempted (Matt 4:1-11; Luke 22: 39-46). Jesus teaches that prayer is an absolute necessity (Matt 7:7-11; Mark 9:23; Luke 11:5-13, 18:1-8, 18:9-14) in the battle with temptation.

Endows the Church to teach men to battle temptation – The Church offers wise counsel:

The Apostles teach that temptation is a “trial” – James says, “Blessed is he who endures under trials. When he has proved his worth, he will win that crown of life” (James 1:12). Peter says, “The Lord does not find it difficult to save his true worshippers from their trials, while the wrong-doers must await the day of judgment, marked down for torment” (2 Pet 2:9). Paul prays that men are not tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor 10:13).

Men must use the power of the Sign of the Cross – As a man awakens, he is to make the sign of the Cross, dedicating his day to the Trinity, which strengthens him against temptation (CCC 21570).

Engage in spiritual disciplines – To resist temptation, men are exhorted to examine their consciences, practice fasting, keep the 10 Commandments, cultivate the moral virtues and pray with fidelity to grow in faith (CCC 2340; 2732-33), relying on the Holy Spirit (CCC 2847) and to frequently go to Confession (CCC 1469) and receive the Eucharist (CCC 1391).

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The Collapse of the Family

The family has been at the center of God’s plan for humanity since the beginning (CCC 2203) and is “the original cell of social life” (CCC 2207). God created man and woman to form families and for conception and the raising of children (CCC 2202). “The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life” (CCC 2250). Across time and world cultures, people have recognized that marriage and family are sacred gifts from God that are critical to the well-being of humanity (CCC 1603).

Since Eden, humans have entertained evil due to sin that has led to animosity between men and women and injuries to the family (CCC 1606). In recent times, many are abandoning marriage and children: about 50% of marriages end in divorce, 40% of children are born out of wedlock, 1 in 5 children are aborted in the U.S and American fertility rates have fallen below replacement levels.

Worsening these trends, the attacks on marriage and family have accelerated. Activists and media elites promote promiscuity, single parenthood, the rejection of marriage, contraception, selfish individualism/obsessive self-actualization and the promotion of homosexual “marriage”. All these attacks continue to contribute to the collapse of the family.

The collapse of the family creates great suffering and the loss of many souls. Research shows that outside of marriage, adults and children are less happy, less prosperous, less safe and less healthy. Given the demonstrated increases in mortal sin (crime, promiscuity, substance abuse) and falling religiosity among children in non-married families, many souls are vulnerable to being lost to Hell.

Jesus Christ – Defender of the Family

Jesus Christ is a powerful advocate for the family. Jesus:

Is Incarnate to a human family – God, being God, could have offered His Gospel in many ways, but purposefully chose to be born into a human family with a mother and father, and into the 1st century Jewish culture which placed great value on family. Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary through the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, becomes the human father of Jesus. Jesus Christ reinforces the importance of family by emphasizing His human family tree through His paternal genealogy (Matt 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38). The Church teaches that the family is the “domestic church” (CCC 2204) and critical for the living and passing along of the faith (CCC 1657).

Obeys Mary and Joseph – During the first 30 years of His earthly life, Jesus reinforces the importance of the family through his obedience to Mary and Joseph, perfectly keeping the 4th Commandment (CCC 2199). Despite being infinitely superior to all other humans, Jesus Christ remains obedient to Mary and Joseph (Luke 2:51; CCC 532) anticipating His obedience of Holy Thursday (CCC 532).  As the Obedient Son, Jesus teaches men to obey their parents, for it pleases the Lord (CCC 2217).

Speaks of God as “Father” – Jesus could have called the Father by any title (e.g. Yahweh, Creator, etc.) but chooses to call God “Father” over 170 times, reinforcing family as critical to spiritual life.

Defends the Father – From a young age, Jesus has a great love of His Father and His house (Luke 2:41-52). When His Father’s House, the Holy Temple of God in Jerusalem, is defiled by money-changers, Jesus cleanses the Temple with great zeal (John 2:13-22).

Teaches that obedience and love are critical to the family – Obedient to the Father, Jesus followed strict habits of prayer, adoration of the Father and perfectly kept the Commandments.  Christ teaches about the importance of obedience and the importance of family relationships in the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) and the parable of the Two Sons (Matt 18:23-35). At Gethsemane, Jesus offers His ultimate obedience to the Father, saying, “not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36). The Son of God’s obedience to the Father “achieves our salvation” (CCC 1850) by transforming “the curse of death into a blessing” (CCC 1009).

Unequivocally defines marriage as between a man and a woman – Jesus definitively supports marriage: “He who made them from the beginning made them male and female” and “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. What therefore God has joined together let no man put asunder” (Matt 19:4-6).

Emphasizes the importance of marriage – Jesus strongly supports marriage by His symbolic acts and specific teachings. Performs His first miracle at a marriage in Cana by turning water into wine for the wedding feast (John 2). Jesus deliberately uses marriage themes in several parables (John 3:29; Matt 25:1-13; Matt 22:1-14) and marriage imagery is a core theme in Revelation (Rev 19:1-10). Jesus also defends the importance of keeping the marriage commitment and avoiding divorce (Matt 5:31-32).

Corrects misconceptions about marriage – Jesus corrects the Pharisees on marriage regarding divorce (Matt 19:3-9). He corrects the Sadducees confusion about heavenly marriage (Matt 22:23-33).

Condemns sexual sin outside the bonds of marriage – Jesus specifically teaches against fornication (Matt 15:19; Rev 17-18; Rev 21:8; Rev 22:15), adultery (Matt 5:27; Mark 7:21; Luke 18:20; John 8:3-11) and homosexual acts (Matt 10:15; Matt 11:23-24; Luke 10:17). Jesus, a Jew who perfectly kept the Law (John 8:46; CCC 578), upheld the entirety of the Law (Matt 5:18-20), which includes definitive condemnations of sexual sin (Lev 18). The Church teaches all are called to chastity (CCC 2348) and that sexual activity is confined to man and woman in the fruitfulness of marriage (CCC 2336).

Broadens the concept of family to include all His Church – Jesus teaches us to pray, saying “Our Father who art in heaven” (Matt 6:9) and offers to the Church His mother, Mary (John 19:26-27). He teaches that all Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ (Luke 8:21). The Father sent the Son so humans could become adopted children of God’s family (CCC 1; 959).

Gives His Mother to the Church – Jesus demonstrates the importance of family relationships from the Cross, giving the Blessed Mother to the Apostle John, saying, “Woman, behold your son…”, and to John, “Behold your mother” (John 19:26-27). Since the Assumption, Mary “the Holy Mother of God… continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ” (CCC 975).

Faithfully strengthens men and women in marriage – Jesus Christ dwells with each man and woman who join in the Sacrament of Matrimony, giving them the strength to endure in loving marriages, giving “them a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb” (CCC 1642).

 

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The Disfigurement of Man

At Eden, Man tried to transfigure themselves into “gods” through knowledge (Gen 3) but instead fell into Original Sin (CCC 396-412).  Sin disfigured Man, from sinless children of God into sinful outcasts of Eden.  The effects of Original Sin tragically deformed Man, leading to all sorts of sin: pride, murder, greed, envy, lust, sexual perversion, wrath, gluttony, duplicity, sloth, rebellion and death.

The Post-Modern “Make over” Culture

After Eden, Man has tried to recapture what was lost.  In early times, Man sought to gain greatness by building the Tower of Babel (Gen 11).  With the “Enlightenment”, Man deliberately turned away from God and tried to redefine the moral life based solely on reason.  Failing, Man then attempted to find answers to human depravity by putting faith in “feelings”, economics, political systems, sex, power, psychology and technology, in a progressive fantasy of a soon-to-arrive happy utopia.  All of these frail attempts failed, leaving Man in a post-modern “anything goes and nothing matters” slump.   Today, rather than face the reality of God and Original Sin, post-modern Man desperately seeks a “make over”: cosmetic makeovers, divorcing or leaving “partners”, killing inconvenient children, attempting to redefine gender and marriage, creating new identities on social media, etc.  All of these attempts at “make-overs” fail to transform in the end; Man dies, disfigured, in Sin.

The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ

In the Transfiguration (Matt 17:1–8; Mark 9:2 –8, Luke 9:28–36), Jesus Christ gives Man hope.  Jesus: (more…)

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Man’s Need for God’s Commandments

God created Man with free will to choose between good and evil (CCC 1732) and gives consequences for those choices (CCC 1008).   From the beginning, God gave “commandments” to help Man choose to enter into the “sheer goodness” of union with God and other men (CCC 1). At Eden (Gen 3:1-24), Man abused his freedom by disobeying God’s commandment and breaking harmony with God in the Fall (CCC 400, 416, 1707, 1739). After liberating Man from slavery in Egypt, God offered the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:1-17; Deut 5:6-22) to help guide Man to peace and happiness. Man continues to be accountable to keep God’s commandments (CCC 1745; 2072).

Modern Man’s Rejection of Commandments

Modern Man has increasingly rejected God and His Commandments, accepting instead the soggy cowardice of “tolerance” where there are no rights and wrongs. Like ancient Israel where “every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25), modern culture is falling into chaos and decay: the denial of God, the viral expansion of a Culture of Death which embraces contraception (literally, against life), abortion and euthanasia, the abuse of the sacredness of sexuality with the “hook up culture”, the bearing children out of wedlock and the abandonment of fatherhood, the pornography epidemic among men, the celebration of homosexual acts and “marriages”, the brainwashing of 24×7 personal media that distracts and drives obsessive materialism and the narcissism of social media, etc. Tragically, Man cannot escape the consequences of breaking God’s Commandments in this life or in the life to come. The coming Judgment of Jesus Christ is inescapable.

The Commandments of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ reasserts the importance of the Ten Commandments, but also raises the bar. Jesus:

Reasserts the Ten Commandments – Jesus reiterates the unchanging requirement of the Commandments (Matt 5:17-20). The Magisterium continues to provide clear teaching on the Commandments (CCC 2052-2557). The Ten Commandments (cf. Ex 20:1-17), which Jesus as a Person of the Trinity authored, are:

  1. I am the LORD your God: you shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
  4. Honor your father and your mother.
  5. You shall not kill.
  6. You shall not commit adultery.
  7. You shall not steal.
  8. You shall not bear false witness again your neighbor.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

Commands a more rigorous adherence to the Ten Commandments – Rather than abolish the Commandments, Jesus comes to fulfill them and to reiterate that men must keep the Commandments (Matt 5:17-19). He commands a new and more rigorous understanding of the Ten Commandments that surpasses the teachings of the scribes and the Pharisees (Matt 5:20), proclaiming that anyone who is angry with his brother is liable to the hell of fire (Matt 5:21-26) and that looking at a women with lust and divorcing one’s wife is equivalent to adultery (Matt 5:27-32). Jesus also commands Man to give with anonymity (Matt 6:1), pray and fast in private (Matt 6:5-7; 5:16).

Offers a new synthesis of the Ten Commandments – When asked about the greatest Commandment, Jesus offers a new synthesis, saying “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets” (Matt 22:36-40).

Proclaims the rigorous New Commandment of Love – Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another (John 13:34; cf. John 15:14). In other teachings, Jesus explains that this kind of love includes forgiveness (Mark 11:25-26), the love of enemies (Matt 5:38-45) and to refrain from habitually judging others (Matt 7:1-2).

Commands the performance of the acts of mercy – In the parable of The Sheep and Goats (Matt 25:31-46), Jesus makes it clear that only those who perform the acts of mercy are truly worthy to enter heaven: feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned (CCC 2447). Jesus commands men to be merciful (Luke 6:36) and offers the examples of mercy in The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-35) and His own “washing the feet” of the Apostles (John 13:14).

Commands Men to pray – Jesus directs men to pray the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9-13), urges men to gather together to pray (Matt 18:20), to pray boldly (Matt 7:7; Mark 11:22-24) and to be persistent in prayer (Luke 18:1-8).

Insists on Repentance and Confession – From His earliest public ministry, Jesus commands Man to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 4:17). He instructs Man to confess sins with contrition and turn from Sin (Luke 7:36-50; John 8:1-11). He gives the Apostles the power to forgive Sin (John 20:23; 2 Cor 5:18; CCC 1461-1467), reconciling Man and God (CCC 1485-1498).

Instructs men to partake in the Eucharist – At the Last Supper, Jesus offers the Eucharist (thanksgiving), commanding all men to consume the Eucharist (Luke 22:19-20). To have “life”, men must eat (literally, “gnawing on”) the Body and Blood of Christ, the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 48-59).

Makes keeping His Commandments an absolute requirement – Jesus makes it clear that Man must keep the Commandments: “If you would enter into life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:16-17); “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). He urges Man to perfection, saying “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48) and insists that vigilance is an urgent necessity (Luke 12:40). Despite the near impossibility of “entering through the Narrow Gate” (Matt 7:13-14), Jesus teaches that all men can be saved saying “”With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26) and the Church reaffirms that “What God commands He makes possible by His Grace” (CCC 2082).

Commands men to evangelize – Christ commands men to “let your light shine” (Matt 5:14) and to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19-20).

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Satan – The Ancient Enemy

Satan, the Evil One, and his demons, are fallen angels who freely chose to rebel against God’s reign (CCC 391-395). When Adam failed in his vocation to protect Eve and the Garden, Satan (Hebrew: adversary, one who plots against) treacherously enticed Eve to rebel against God (Gen 3:1-24; CCC 1707). Adam and Eve’s Original Sin to side with Satan led to a loss of Original Holiness and evil took root in the world, pitting men and women against each other in hostile world of pain and death (CCC 400). The Old Testament documents Satan’s action in the world (Lev 17:7; 1 Chr 21:1; 2 Chr 11:15; Tob 3:17; Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7; Wis 2:24; Isa 13:21; Bar 4:35; Zech 3:1-2).

Satan in the Modern World

Satan continues to vigorously corrupt Man to rebel against God (CCC 414) in overt ways: the barbarous murders of Christians by Islamic terrorists; the institutionalized murder of abortion; government endorsement of sinful sexual behaviors (e.g. contraception, pornography as free speech, the legalization of homosexual acts); the growing euthanasia movement; legal attacks against God and Christians; coercion to accept same-sex faux marriage; Satan worship.

Satan is also acts in subtle ways to corrupt: contraception as a “right”; mainstreaming of single parenthood; radical feminism that divides women and men; “gender theory” that proliferates “orientations”; increasing control and manipulation by governments and corporations; rampant materialism; stifling of free speech and religion; education systems that indoctrinate but fail to teach; the earth-worship of perverted environmentalism; political systems built on divisive identity politics; selective acceptance of racism and sexism; the expansion of no-fault divorce; technology-powered propaganda of perverted causes; growing totalitarianism of pluralism/relativism.

Satan has also corrupted some Catholic bishops and priests to teach lies and not Truth and to stand idly by while millions of Catholics leave the Church: the downplay of the existence of Satan, Sin and the reality of Hell; de-sacralizing the liturgy; de-emphasis of Confession; promotion of “pastoral” acceptance of divorce and homosexuality as a “gift”; the failure to vigorously rebuke predator priests; acceptance of heretical Catholic education leaders; the abject failure to evangelize men.

Jesus ChristConqueror of Satan

Jesus Christ decisively conquers Satan and unequivocally warns Man about Satan. Jesus:

Allows Satan to roam the earth…for now – While Satan can influence, his power is nothing compared to the power of God. Christ, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, allows Satan to exist in the world for His own providential and mysterious purpose (CCC 395).

Incarnates to conquer Satan – Predicted in the Protoevangelium (the first Gospel; Gen 3:15), Jesus incarnates through Mary to decisively conquer and destroy Satan and to teach the redemptive goodness of God in the face of evil (CCC 309; 385; 394).

Rebukes Satan in the Temptation – Satan attacks Jesus after a 40-day fast, twisting scripture with appeals to hunger, pride and power (Matt 4:1-11); Christ rebukes and dismisses Satan.

Dominates demons in every encounter – Scripture documents many of the times that Christ specifically casts out demons in a variety of circumstances (Matt 4:24; 9:32-34; 12:22-28; 17:14-21; Mark 1:21-28; 1:32-34; 1:39; 3:22-26; 5:1-20; 7:24-30; 9:14-29; Luke 4:31-37; 4:41; 6:17-19; 8:1-3; 8:26-39; 9:37-43; 11:14-19; 13:10-17; Acts 10:34-38). On a number of occasions, the demons recognize and fear Christ (Matt 8:29; Mark 1:21-28).

Condemns the acts of Satan – Jesus rebukes Satan’s attempts to corrupt Peter (Matt 16:21-23). He accuses the Pharisees for acting on Satan’s behalf (John 8:43-51). Christ warns Peter that Satan has demanded Peter for himself (Luke 22:31-34). He calls Satan “a murderer” and “the father of lies” (John 8:44). Christ prays to the Father to protect the apostles from the Evil One (John 17:15).

Warns men about Satan in the Lord’s Prayer – Christ specifically acknowledges Satan and man’s need for protection: “But deliver us from the Evil one” (Matt 6:13; CCC 2850-54).

Strengthens the Apostles to recognize and confront Satan and his demons – Numerous examples exist of Christ’s warnings and the Apostle’s confirmation of Satan in their teachings:

  • Gives the Apostles the power to cast out demons – Christ allows and specifically equips the Apostles and other disciples to cast out demons (Matt 10:8; Mark 6:7; 9:38-41; Luke 9:1; 9:49-50; 10:17-20; Acts 5:16; 8:7).
  • Peter – Warns that the “devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” and that men must resist Satan (1 Peter 5:8-9).
  • Paul – Confirms that he is being used to turn people from Satan to God (Acts 26:16-18), rebukes Elymas for being the “son of the Devil” (Acts 13:8-18), exorcises demons (Acts 19:11-17), instructs the faithful to reject hardened sinners to Satan’s grasp (1 Cor 5:4-5; 1 Tim 1:19-20), warns the Satan disguises himself as “an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:14) and that in latter days “some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of devils (1 Tim 4:1-2), confirms that some early disciples are corrupted by Satan (1 Tim 5:15), and acknowledges that he is being attacked by Satan (2 Cor 12:7-10; 1Thes 2:18). He instructs men to “put on the armor of God…to withstand the wiles of the Devil” (Eph 6:10-20).
  • St. James – Instructs men to be “subject to God, but resist the Devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas 4:7).
  • St. John – Confirms that Jesus came to “destroy the works of the Devil” (1 John 3:8), that men can resist the Devil in Christ (1 John 2:13) and that the whole world is currently influenced by the Evil One (1 John 5:19; Rev 2:10-11).

Decisively conquers Satan – Christ will ultimately put an end to Satan’s evil attacks (Rev 12:1-17) and counterfeit signs (Rev 16:13-14), bounding Satan and casting him into a lake of fire (Rev 20:1-10).

Strengthens the Church to teach the reality about Satan – The Church in the fullness of Truth, continues to profess the reality of Satan who acts in the world today and that God has dominion over Satan (CCC 391-395; 414; 1708).

 

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Copyright – Ann Chapin – For more of Ann’s work see http://www.faceofchrist.gallery

The Birth of the Unrepentant

At Eden (Gen 3:1-14), Adam and Eve rejected God’s commandments at the urging of Satan, sinning by eating the forbidden fruit. When confronted by God, neither Adam nor Eve repent of their sin or show contrition; instead Adam blames Eve and Eve blames Satan. For their Original Sin, the harmony of creation is broken and Adam and Eve bear the consequences for unrepented sin (Gen 3:15- 24). The firstborn of Eve, Cain, sins by killing his brother Abel, is unrepentant and bears the consequences of his sin (Gen 4:18-14). The lack of repentance becomes Man’s scourge.

The Age of Excuses

Today, Man rejects sin and excuses those acts still considered sinful. The 10 Commandments given by God (Ex 20:1-17), are routinely rejected in the darkening and decaying culture. God is rejected by secular elites and replaced by man-made laws, materialism, sports, entertainment, career, “genderism”, environmentalism and many other false idols. The Sabbath and the Lord’s name are routinely profaned. Sexual depravity is the norm, with pornography, fornication, adultery and homosexuality embraced by many. Marriage is rejected, denigrated by “divorce” and perverted. The killing of the innocent through abortion and the infirm through euthanasia is broadly accepted. Gluttony and sloth are rampant and encouraged. For those few things still considered sinful by the modern culture, sinful acts are excused, blamed on poor parenting, poverty, pressure or a period of temporary insanity. Man has rejected God’s definition of sin and excused himself from whatever politically correct forms of sin that are still recognized. Man’s excuses accuse him.

Jesus Christ – The Call to Repentance

Jesus Christ reaffirms the reality of Sin, each Man’s culpability and calls each Man to repentance. Jesus:

Calls Man to repentance in the Old Testament – The Trinitarian God instructs Man to turn from sin, giving the 10 Commandments (Ex 20:1-17) and by Moses’ exhortation to turn from death to life (Deut 30:15-20). Other examples of the call to repentance include God’s appearance to Solomon (2Chr 7:12-16), Ezekiel’s exhortation (Ezek 18:21-32) and Jonah’s call to Nin’eveh (Jon 3:7-10).

Sends John the Baptist to call for repentance – John the Baptist, recognized as a prophet (Isa 40:3; Matt 3:3), is sent as Christ’s forerunner (CCC 523) with the specific call for repentance: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3:2).

Calls Man to Repent from Sin – Jesus reinforces the truth about Sin, fulfilling the Law and the Prophets (Matt 5:17-20) and begins His public life with these words: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 4:17).

Teaches about the importance of Repentance – Jesus parables emphasize the need for repentance: the Two Sons (Matt 21:28-32), the Prodigal Son’s remorse (Luke 15:11-32), the tax collector’s confession of sin (Luke 18:9-14) and the evil souls’ rejection of the marriage feast (Matt 22:1-14). He emphasizes that the temptations of the world cause many to not repent (Mark 10:23-31).

Forgives and is patient with those who repent – Jesus forgives the repentant sinful woman (Luke 7:36-50) and Peter’s denial (John 21:1-19).   Repentance is a gradual process and God is patient with those who turn from sin and redirect their lives towards holiness (Wis 12:10; Roman 2:4; 2 Pet 3:9).

Will judge the unrepentant, who will die – The Father has given “all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22; Acts 10:42), giving Jesus the power and duty to offer “definitive judgment on the works and hearts of men”, a right “acquired” by His Cross (CCC 679). Jesus teaches that those who don’t repent will perish (Luke 13:3). “If [mortal sin] is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of Hell” (CCC 1861).

Exhorts the Church to preach repentance – Jesus sends out the 12 (Mark 6:7-13) to preach that “men should repent”. Christ teaches that “repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations” (Luke 24:47; CCC 981); Peter follows Christ’s command (Acts 2:38).

Through the Church, offers Man the practices of Repentance – Man is called to metanoia (Greek for a “change of mind”; appears 22 times in the NT), an complete repentance in which Man continually repents and gives his entire life to Christ. Following the forgiveness of Baptism, Man is to continually repent from the new sins he routinely commits, and for which, needs forgiveness (CCC 1425-1429), by:

A daily Examination of Conscience – Cultivated and formed by Christ and His Church, Man’s conscience is continually perfected by the virtue of Prudence, which allows Man to make right judgments (CCC 1777-1787, 1790). The Church emphasizes the importance of the examination of Conscience (CCC 1454), using the Ten Commandments as a sure standard of Sin and the Catechism as a powerful help (Sin: CCC 1846-1876; 10 Commandments: CCC 2052-2557).

Turning from sin in repentance – Repentance means to “regret” (Latin penitire) and Man is called to a conversion of heart through interior penance, a radical rejection of sin and an acceptance of God’s many graces that allow Man to experience a sustained conversion (CCC 1430-1433).

An Act of Perfect Contrition – Contrition (from Latin, contritus, meaning “worn out, ground to pieces) is the soul-deep sorrow and hatred for the sin committed, together with a resolution not to sin again (CCC 1451-1454). Contrition is the most important act of the penitent and is necessary for the reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (CCC 1451).

To confess one’s sins in Sacrament of Reconciliation – Christ endows Peter and his successors with the ability to forgive the repentant of their sin (Matt 16:18-19; CCC 553) through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 20:22-23). Man is specifically called to recognize and confess sin (1 John 1:9; James 5:17; Acts 19:18). Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the sins Man confesses to a priest (CCC 1456) are absolutely forgiven, reconciling Man with God and His Church (CCC 1440-1445). Man must, at minimum, confess sin in Reconciliation once a year (CCC 1457) and immediately when in a state of mortal sin; Man must not take Communion when in a state of mortal sin to avoid the guilt of “profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord” (1 Cor 11:27).

Satisfaction through Penance – Jesus preaches about the importance of the repentant practices of almsgiving, fasting and pray (Matt 6:1-18). Man must make satisfaction for sin after Confession to remedy the disorders that sin has caused, making amends for sin; this is called “penance” and is directed by the priest (CCC 1459-1460). To help Man grow in holiness, the fourth precept of the Church makes it mandatory that Man must continually repent and “observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church” (CCC 2042-3) to grow in holiness and to avoid future sin.

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“Christ-miss” in the Modern World

While the feast of “Christ’s-Mass” dates back to at least the 2nd Century, much of the modern world has lost sight of the mysterious and wonderful Advent of Christ.  For many Christians, rather than renewal in Christ, Christmas is perhaps better described as “Christ-miss”.  “Christ-miss” is celebrated with rampant consumerism, holiday gift-giving, family reunions, partying, vacations and perhaps even attending Christmas Mass, while “missing” the opportunity to renew one’s faith in Christ.

Like the slumbering world that missed Christ’s quiet birth in a Bethlehem stable 2000 years ago, many are sleeping during Advent, embracing “Christ-miss” rather than “Christ-Mass.”  They miss the great miracle of Christ’s continued rule in the modern world; they miss the opportunity to draw closer to Christ and to experience His lasting peace and joy.  Instead, in the deprived darkness of the modern secular “Christ-miss” world, people suffer in darkness, lost in the self-absorption of sinful addictions, lost in battles to promote sexual liberation, the killing of children and the control of the nation’s wealth, lost in transient relationships, broken marriages and the loneliness of going it alone.

The Advent of the Divine Child

Into this broken world, the Light of Christ continues to shine brilliantly during Advent.   Into a world that seeks to avoid the conception of children and to abort children, Jesus comes as a little child to establish a New Creation, a Creation of joyful life.  Christ comes as a lowly and humble child to save men from their sins and to offer them lasting peace and joy by becoming children of God (John 1:12; CCC 526).  Despite all the darkness and suffering in the world, there is Good News:  Unto us a Child is born who is the Savior, Christ the Lord (cf. Luke 2:11).

The Advent of the Mysterious and Glorious Divine Child

Jesus the Divine Christ Child demonstrates His mysterious Glory in His Advent.  Jesus:

Is the One who is prophesized – “The coming of God’s Son to earth is an event of such immensity that God willed to prepare for it over centuries”(CCC 522).  Through God’s beautiful Grace, prophets foretold of Christ’s coming (richly described in CCC 711-716), providing confirming proof to help mankind strengthen their faith through seeing prophecies fulfilled.

Is welcomed by the Blessed Virgin Mother – God prepares a perfect womb for His Son to be born, interceding in nature through the Immaculate Conception of Mary, who is born without the stain of Original Sin (CCC  490-493), the first soul redeemed by Christ (even before His birth!).  According to St. Augustine, Mary took a vow of virginity when she came of age.  Mary was probably a young teen when the Angel Gabriel greets her, saying “Hail, full of Grace” (the only person in the bible to be so greeted) and “you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:26-37).  God, in His greatness, does not impose His Will on Mary, allowing Mary to give her blessed fiat (e.g. “let it be done”; Luke 1:38) that she gives enthusiastically (CCC 494).  As the Virgin Mother realized 2000 years ago, “all nations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:48); today, her prophecy continues to be true around the world with each “Hail Mary”!

Is accompanied by John the Baptist – John is conceived to the barren Elizabeth and the elderly priest Zechariah, pious Jews of OT Law, after the angel Gabriel announces the birth in the Temple Holy of Holies (Luke 1:5-24).   John will be “filled with the Holy Spirit” and be a prophet in the spirit and power of Elijah foretold 400 years earlier (Mal 4:5-6).  John will be a celibate and abstaining priest (like his father) and a prophet like Elijah who prepares the way for the Messiah (Luke 1:12-17).

Is a miraculously conceived and born – Jesus is conceived, not from the dust of Adam but by the Father through the Holy Spirit who overshadows Mary (Luke 1:35), echoing the Spirit’s overshadowing the Temple in the OT (Ex 40:35), sanctifying her womb and making it fruitful (CCC 485).  Fulfilling a 700 year old prophecy (Isa 7:14) Mary, the Virgin, not only conceives as a virgin, but mysteriously delivers the Child as a virgin, remaining perpetually a virgin (CCC 487-89).  She becomes the “Mother of God” (Theotokos), Christ’s first disciple and “Mother of the Church” (CCC 495).  The birth of Jesus is an exclusive miracle, never replicated.

Is welcomed, protected and raised by Joseph – God underscores the importance of family and earthly fathers when He calls Joseph (Matt 1:18-25).  Joseph protects Jesus and the Virgin Mother (Matt 2:13-15).  Fulfilling the prophecy that the Messiah would be a descendent of King David (2 Sam 7), Joseph names the child and officially adopts Jesus at the time of His circumcision (Luke 2:21).  Joseph, a pious and just Jew, raises Christ with the Virgin and teaches Him to be a carpenter (Mark 6:3).

Overturns human assumptions about His birth – Jesus is expected to come as a King, born in an obviously royal household, with worldly power and might.  Instead, Jesus is born in a third-rate town of Bethlehem where no prophets had yet been born (John 7:52; CCC 525), born in poverty.

Angels participate in Christ’s Incarnation – Gabriel, not mentioned in the Bible since the prophesy of the Messiah to Daniel some 600 years earlier (Dan 9:24-27), returns to announce the Messiah to Zechariah (Luke 1:8-23) and Mary (Luke 1:26-38).  A host (from the Latin, hostis, meaning “army, war-like expedition”) of angels come to the shepherds abiding in the fields (Luke 2:8-20).  At Christ’s birth is an army of angels on earth rivaled only in Revelation.

Inspires awe – Even in Elizabeth’s womb, moved by the Holy Spirit, John leaps for joy when he draws near Jesus in the New Ark of the Covenant (CCC 2676) and Elizabeth cries in a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb (Luke 1:39-45).  Perhaps drawn by ancient prophecy (Num 24:17-19), the Gentile Magi travel a great distance to offer the Christ Child gifts and to adore and worship Him (Matt 2:1-12).  The shepherds, recalling the shepherd boy David, are called by an angel and rush to see the Christ and glorify and praise God (Luke 2:8-20).  Simeon, moved by the Holy Spirit proclaims that the Child Jesus is the “light of revelation” and blesses the Holy Family (Luke 2:25-35).  The prophetess Anna sees the Child and proclaims that He will be the redemption of Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-38).  King Herod, awed into fright, fails to kill Jesus when he slaughters the Innocents (Matt 2:16-18), fulfilling a prophecy by Jeremiah (Jer 31:15), 600 years earlier.

Remains fully present in the modern world – Jesus, the Savior Child born in Bethlehem (the House of Bread), ever present, offers Himself in the Eucharist of His Christ-Mass for those who choose not to miss Him.

WINDOW DEPICTS CHRIST WITH CROWN

Modern Man’s Aversion to Kings and Kingdoms

The word “monarchy” comes from the Latin, monarchia, meaning, “absolute rule, the ruling of one.”  Monarchies, a form of human government, are ruled by a king (or queen) and have been around since early human history.  Much of Western civilization has its roots in monarchies.  Today, while about 20% of countries in the world are formerly called monarchies, few actually give more then ceremonial recognition to kings or queens.

Living in a democracy in the 21st century, the idea of kings and kingdoms is a foreign concept.  The U.S. was founded based on the specific rejection of monarchy of the King of England.   Americans value independence and reject the idea of being “subjects”, fiercely supporting democracy in the political realm.

Catholic men are called to recognize that Jesus Christ is the Divine King, the Messiah and that they are His subjects.  Men are called to give total allegiance to the King, to kneel before Him in adoration and continually give themselves to Him.  Recognizing the Truth of the Divine Kingship of Jesus Christ can help men become more loyal subjects of Christ.

The Divine Kingship of Jesus Christ

Messiah, or Christ in the Greek, comes from the Hebrew, meaning “the anointed one.”  Since the time of the Prophets, a Messiah was foretold who would restore the fallen Kingdom of Israel and bring salvation to the world(CCC 763).   Angels foretold of the coming of the Messiah to the Blessed Virgin, calling Jesus “great”, “the Son of the Most High” and that “He will reign…for ever…and His kingdom will have no end.” (Luke 1:31-33).  Pagan kings found the Christ Child and “fell down and worshiped Him” (Matt 2:11) and King Herod, fearing his kingdom, slaughtered the Innocents (Matt 2:16).

Jesus, the Messiah King, is royally anointed by the Holy Spirit at His Baptism (Luke 3:21-22), and begins to preach about His Kingdom, saying, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matt 4:17).  The devil tries to unsuccessfully tempt Jesus with “all the kingdoms of the world” (Matt 4:8).  Andrew and Peter realize that they “have found the Messiah” (John 1:41).

Jesus continually teaches about the Kingdom of God throughout His ministry: in the Beatitudes (Matt 5:2-12), in numerous parables and in the Our Father (Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…).  The people attempt to forcefully make Him king (John 6:15), but Jesus instead later enters Jerusalem like a Davidic king (CCC 560).  Pilate mistakenly concludes the Jesus is simply the King of the Jews and has Jesus crucified when the people say, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15).  After the resurrection, Jesus teaches for forty days about the Kingdom of Heaven (CCC 659).

The Catholic Church has always recognized the Divine Kingship of Jesus Christ and reserves the last Sunday of the liturgical year for the Feast of Christ the King.

What Jesus Teaches through His Divine Kingship

Jesus Christ, and His Church, teaches the great importance of the Divine Kingship of Jesus Christ:

The Kingdom is an urgent reality – Jesus greatly emphasizes the Kingdom of God/Heaven and that men must urgently turn towards Christ, for the Kingdom is ‘at hand’ (cf. Luke 9:609:62).

Jesus Christ is the Divine King – Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Son of King David, the King of Kings, a Divine King anointed by the Holy Spirit (CCC 436).   He “accompanies His words with many “mighty works and wonders and signs”, which manifest that the kingdom is present in Him and attests that he was the promised Messiah” (CCC 547).  He performs many signs to make known the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God (CCC 1151).  He is the Perfect King (CCC 578), a Merciful King (CCC 545), a Heroic King who comes to free the slaves and the poor (CCC 544) through His own sacrificing death.

Jesus Christ has complete dominion as Divine King – Jesus, as Divine King, sits at the right hand of the Father and has an everlasting dominion (i.e. authority, rule and power) over all men (CCC 664; Matt 28:18).  Jesus warns that “all judgment is given to the Son” (John 5:22) and that those who do not do the will of the Father will not enter the Kingdom (Matt 7:21).

All men are called to be His devoted subjects – Jesus calls all men to conversion, to repent and work for the Kingdom (CCC 2608).  Men ultimately must choose who they will serve, either Jesus Christ or Satan “who act(s) in the world out of hatred for God and his Kingdom in Christ Jesus” (CCC 395).   Men must give their complete devotion to Jesus Christ as the martyrs have done, with “matchless devotion towards [our] king and master” (CCC 957).

As subjects, men are called to serve the Divine King – Men are called to pick up their crosses and follow Jesus.  He warns that lukewarm commitments or attachment to riches keep men from the Kingdom of Heaven (Luke 18:25).  “One must give everything…Words are not enough, deeds are required” (CCC 546).  Though subjects, men are part of a royal office of Jesus Christ (CCC 786).  Men are called to be the King’s co-workers (CCC 307) to hasten the fulfillment of the Kingdom (CCC 2046).

Men must give obedience to the Church – Jesus, the Divine King, gives Peter the keys to the Kingdom (CCC 553) and supreme earthly authority has passed to each successive Pope and the college of bishops (CCC 869).  Catholics are called to obedience to the teachings of the Church (CCC 891).

Men are called to adore Jesus Christ the Eucharist – The real presence of Jesus Christ, the Divine King, is in His Church and in the Eucharist (CCC 1088, 1373).  In the Mass, men are given a foretaste of the Kingdom of Heaven (CCC 2770).  “Adoration is the first attitude of man…[and] homage of the spirit to the “King of Glory” is a necessity… (CCC 2628).  Men are called to worship the Divine King through adoration of the Eucharist: “The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it…” (CCC 1378).  Like many who were awed by Christ in the Gospels, all men are called to kneel and worship their King.

Men are called to evangelize – Jesus commands the Apostles to spread the Good News of the Kingdom to all the world (Matt 28:16-20).  As subjects of the King, “the laity are made to share in the priestly, prophetical, and kingly office of Christ” (CCC 873),  “to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth” (CCC 863).

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The Descent into Dirt

The Church teaches that Satan was full of Pride and rebelled against God, causing God to cast Satan and his angels out of Heaven and into Hell (CCC 391-92).  Still full of rebellious Pride, Satan slithered into Eden and seduced Eve (and Adam) to join in rebellion against God (Gen 3:5).  God’s response to the Sin of Pride was definitive: Satan was cursed and deemed the enemy of Man; Adam and Eve were to live with pain, toil and death.  Rather than immortality, Man was to “return to dust” (Gen 3:19); turning to dust is the ultimate lesson in humility (from the Latin, humus, meaning, “of the soil”).  Pride remains the first of the Capital Sins/Vices (CCC 1866) leading Man to envy and resent God (CCC 2094, 2540).

Modern Man’s Empty Chest-thumping

Modern culture is infected with the insanity of the “Enlightenment”: the prideful rejection of God and the embrace of radical individualism/selfishness.  The prideful rejection of God infects Man with all kinds of schemes to attempt to find happiness: the false political “progressivism” that promises an earthly Utopia (literally, “no place”), insatiable capitalism, the reliance on technology and science to solve all the ills of society, the rejection of sexual morality (e.g. rejection of marriage, contraception, abortion, the acceptance of homosexuality/same sex “marriage”, transgenderism, etc.) and the totalitarian use of government to enforce pluralism/relativism to the point where nothing is sacred.  Man’s pride threatens the very peace of the world (CCC 2317).

Like gorillas in the wild, Modern Man thumps on empty chests in prideful display that cries out “Look at me!”: conspicuous consumption (clothing, cars, McMansions), body adornment (tattoos, strange hair and cosmetics), exhibitionism (Facebook, Twitter), the scandalous antics and self-promotion of politicians, celebrities, “comedians” and athletes.  In the modern mind, Humility is not a virtue.

The Humility of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ demonstrates the perfection and power of humility in the Incarnation.

Descends to become the Son of Man – As the Divine Son of God from the beginning (John 1:1), Jesus demonstrates the ultimate humility by becoming Man, emptying Himself (Phil 2:7), taking the form of a slave (Phil 2:6-7) and willingly accepting the constraints of human learning (CCC 472).  As the “Perfect Man”, Christ’s whole life is the model for Man to follow in holiness (CCC 520).

Chooses to be Incarnate to humble parents – Rather than the pride of Eve (Gen 3), Virgin Mary becomes the “New Eve” (CCC 411) in the humility of “the handmaiden of the Lord” (Luke 1:38).   God chooses Joseph, a carpenter, who humbly accepts and defends the pregnant Mary (Matt 1:18-25), accepts celibacy in marriage (CCC 499) and raises Jesus as his own son.

Embraces humble circumstances – Jesus is born in a humble manger (Luke 2:1-7), has no earthly pedigree (money, political, scholarly credentials), lives in poverty (Luke 9:58) and associates with the lowliest of sinners (Matt 9:10-13) and outcasts (Matt 8:2-4).

Submits to the Baptism – Despite being without Sin (CCC 536), Jesus humbly accepts Baptism in solidarity with Man (Matt 3:13-17); each Christian is called “to enter into this mystery of humble self-abasement and repentance” (CCC 537).

Allows Satan to attempt temptation – With the humility of perfect love and in solidarity with Man, Jesus allows Satan to tempt Him, refraining from destroying Satan: in the desert (Luke 4:1-12) and perhaps in Gethsemane (Matt 26:36-46; CCC 612).

Rejects earthly accolades – The Jews expected the Messiah to be a royal king to eradicate Roman oppression.  Instead, Jesus refuses earthly kingship (John 6:15) and human glory (John 5:41).

Embraces humility in the Passion – Jesus enters Jerusalem on a lowly donkey (Matt 21:1-10).  He washes the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17).  He bows to the Father’s Will in Gethsemane (Matt 26:36-46) and willingly (CCC 272) allows the Jews and Romans to insult (mocking an spitting), torture and kill Him by scandalous Crucifixion (Matt 26-27) while asking the Father to forgive His persecutors from the Cross (Luke 23:34).

Jesus Christ explicitly directs Man to embrace humility and to reject pride.

Condemns the sin of pride – Jesus opposes the proud (Jas 4:6) including the Pharisees (Matt 9:10-13), Pilate (John 19:10-11), Herod (Luke 23:9), and admonishes the proud ambitions of the Apostles (Matt 20:20-28Luke 22:24-27Mark 9:35).

Directs Man to be humble – Humility is at the core of the Beatitudes (Matt 5:3-12); “poor in spirit”, “the meek” and “the merciful.”  He teaches that “all who exalt themselves will be humbled, all who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matt 23:12), to take the lowest seat at the table (Luke 14:7-11) and to be a servant to all (Luke 22:26), even a slave (Mark 10:42-45).  Jesus instructs the leaders of the Church and all Christians to be humble (Matt 18:1-4) and in self-denial to take up the Cross (Matt 16:24-26Rom 8:17).

Demonstrates that humble dependence on God can defeat temptation – Even though weakened by a 40-day fast, Jesus rejects Satan’s temptations by calling on the Father (Luke 4:1-12).  He again defeats Satan’s temptation in Gethsemane (Luke 22:53; CCC 612).

Clarifies that humility is mandatory for Salvation – Jesus teaches that a humble repentant heart is necessary for justification (Luke 18:9-14; CCC 1446; see Reconciliation: CCC 1442-1498) that the humility of a child is a pre-requisite for Heaven (Matt 18:4).

Promises the fruits of humility – Jesus teaches that the humble will inherit the earth (Matt 5:5; CCC 1716), will enjoy eternal salvation (Matt 18:1-3) and enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:6; CCC 1746, 2546).

Teaches Man to pray with humility – Jesus teaches Man to pray the humble “Our Father” (Matt 6:9-13), each section requiring humility: submitting to God as “Father”, “hallowing” His name, accepting God’s will, begging for “daily bread” and forgiveness (a sign of humility – CCC 2631) and protection from temptation and the Evil One.  Man must embrace humility to draw closer to the Trinity in prayer (CCC 2713, CCC 2728).

Endows the Church with humility – The Apostles embrace humility: Peter: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5); James: “Humble yourself before the Lord and He will exalt you” (James 4:10); St. Paul “Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves” (Phil 2:3).  All the martyrs and saints have embraced humility.