Tagged: Pelagianism

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“My power is made perfect in weakness”

When the Church takes up someone’s cause for sainthood, one of the things they look for is heroic virtue. Drawing from Pope Benedict XIV and St. Thomas Aquinas, the Catholic Encyclopedia defines “heroic virtue” as “…a habit of good conduct that has become a second nature, a new motive power stronger than all corresponding inborn inclinations, capable of rendering easy a series of acts each of which, for the ordinary man, would be beset with...

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Colleen Carroll Campbell: Finding Perfection in God

The Heart of Perfection: How the Saints Taught Me to Trade My Dream of Perfect for God’s, Colleen Carroll Campbell’s new book, correctly diagnoses a spiritual problem afflicting millions and millions of Catholics, especially in the United States where rugged individualism is prized. In the book, she describes a crippling pathology of control, that she calls “spiritual perfectionism,” that manifests itself in common attitudes such as hurriedness, impatience, and pride. Spiritual perfectionists are perhaps best...

Holiness isn’t about trying harder

I’ve noticed that “growing in holiness” is usually presented by popular Catholic media as something like “We just gotta pray more and try harder, then the Lord will make us holier.” As if becoming holy will take a lot of work, but God makes it possible. Similarly, we often speak of grace as sort of a spiritual vitamin or, as one book I recently saw put it, “The Eucharist gives me the energy to pursue...

St Paul’s Letter Against Pelagianism

Pope Francis appears to to be pretty concerned with something called “Pelagianism.” He has made multiple references to it throughout his pontificate, including his new Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, and recently the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a document specifically addressing Pelagianism in the Church today. Pelagianism is a 4th century heresy, a false teaching taught by an Irish monk named, you guessed it, Pelagius. And Pope Francis says that this...