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Reflections: Catholic Basics Section (Cont.) (3)

Jesus Speaking From Boat

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Category
Quotation
Now is the Time for Mercy

"There is hope of mercy in time and in eternity; but there is confession in time only, and not in eternity. There is no confession of sins in any time except in this present life. By his own will each man is permitted and has throughout life the freedom to choose confession. But when we die we loose life and along with it the right to exercise our will. For then a law already set down unto rest or unto punishment sustains, in accord with its past exercise" (St. Hilary of Poitiers, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: Mercy | Now is the Time for Repentance | Sin | Repentance | Forgiveness | Jesus Christ | The Church Can Forgive All Sin (Coming Home Reflections) | Sacraments Section Reflections | Sacraments Section | A Single Unrepented Mortal Sin Is Sufficient to Condemn a Soul to Hell for All Eternity (Sacraments Section Reflections) | The State of a Soul at Death Determines Its Eternity | God's Mercy to Sinners / All Sins Can Be Forgiven (Sacraments Reflections) | Penance / Confession (Sacraments Section) | Penance / Confession (Sacraments Section Reflections)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Now is the Time for Repentance

"When once you have departed this life, there is no longer any place for repentance, no way of making satisfaction. Here life is either lost or kept. Here, by the worship of God and by the fruit of faith, provision is made for eternal salvation. Let no one be kept back either by his sins or by his years from coming to obtain salvation. To him who still remains in this world there is no repentance that is too late." (St. Cyprian of Carthage)

"Since we know these things and are well aware of that terrible day and of that fire, and have in mind those terrible torments, let us turn aside at last from the path on which we have strayed. For the hour will come when the theater of this world will be dissolved, after which there will be no more contending for the prize, no more exertions to be made after the end of this life, no more crowns to be merited after the collapse of this theater. This is the time for repentance, that the time of judgment." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"If, then, we do the will of Christ, we shall obtain rest; but if not, if we neglect His commandments, nothing will rescue us from eternal punishment.. Let us, then, so long as we are in this world, repent whatever evils we have done in the flesh, so that we may be saved by the Lord while yet we have time for repentance. For after we have departed from this world it will no longer be possible to confess, nor will there be then any opportunity to repent." (Attr. Clement of Rome, c. 150 A.D.)

Also See: Now is the Time for Mercy | Sin | Repentance | Forgiveness | Sin / Repentance / Forgiveness (Catholic Life Section) | Jesus Christ | The Church Can Forgive All Sin (Coming Home Reflections) | Sacraments Section Reflections | Sacraments Section | God's Mercy to Sinners / All Sins Can Be Forgiven (Sacraments Reflections) | Penance / Confession (Sacraments Section) | Penance / Confession (Sacraments Section Reflections)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Obedience

Note: Obedience is necessarily limited to appropriate commands of lawful authorities. Obedience is not accorded to commands which violate faith or morals.

"Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you." (Heb. 13:17)

"Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil. Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it, for it is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer. Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience." (Rom. 13:1-5)

"In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome" (1 Jn. 5:2-3)

"True obedience to the Pope is due from all who are considered Christians." (Pope Pius VI)

"[T]hat is not obedience in which a fault or sin is committed." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Obedience is not servitude of man to man, but submission to the will of God, Who governs through the medium of men." (Pope Leo XIII)

"And no one is to be obliged to obey another in anything by which a sin or a crime is committed." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"[O]bedience... is, in a sort, the mother and guardian of all the virtues in the reasonable creature" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"[T]he order of justice requires that subjects obey their superiors, else the stability of human affairs would cease." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[O]bedience to a superior is due in accordance with the divinely established order of things" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The Church...looks upon obedience as a means of leading man to God. Since obedience is motivated by a desire for union with God and since it is ultimately related to the increase of charity, the Superior does not in any way constitute an obstacle placed between God and the inferior, diverting to his own profit the homage rendered to God alone." (Pope Pius XII, 1959 A.D.)

"[T]he commandments of God contain the precept of obedience to superiors. Wherefore also disobedience to the commands of a superior is a mortal sin, as being contrary to the love of God, according to Romans 13:2, 'He that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God.' It is also contrary to the love of our neighbor, as it withdraws from the superior who is our neighbor the obedience that is his due." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"There are two kinds of good. There is that to which we are bound of necessity, for instance to love God, and so forth: and by no means may such a good be set aside on account of obedience. But there is another good to which man is not bound of necessity, and this good we ought sometimes to set aside for the sake of obedience to which we are bound of necessity, since we ought not to do good by falling into sin." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"For were one to suffer even martyrdom, or to give all one's goods to the poor, unless one directed these things to the fulfillment of the divine will, which pertains directly to obedience, they could not be meritorious: as neither would they be if they were done without charity, which cannot exist apart from obedience. For it is written (1 John 2:4,5): 'He who saith that he knoweth God, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar... but he that keepeth His word, in him in very deed the charity of God is perfected'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Among the moral virtues, the greater the thing which a man contemns that he may adhere to God, the greater the virtue. Now there are three kinds of human goods that man may contemn for God's sake. The lowest of these are external goods, the goods of the body take the middle place, and the highest are the goods of the soul; and among these the chief, in a way, is the will, in so far as, by his will, man makes use of all other goods. Therefore, properly speaking, the virtue of obedience, whereby we contemn our own will for God's sake, is more praiseworthy than the other moral virtues, which contemn other goods for the sake of God." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"It is abhorrent to the profession of Christianity that any one should feel unwilling to be subject and obedient to those who rule in the Church, and first of all to the bishops whom (without prejudice to the universal power of the Roman Pontiff) 'the Holy Spirit has placed to rule the Church of God which Christ has purchased by His Blood.' He who thinks or acts otherwise is guilty of ignoring the grave precept of the Apostle who bids us to obey our rulers and to be subject to them, for they watch as having to give an account of our souls. Let the faithful everywhere implant these principles deep in their souls, and put them in practice in their daily life, and let the ministers of the Gospel meditate them profoundly, and incessantly labor, not merely by exhortation but especially by example, to teach them to others." (Pope Leo XIII, "Graves De Communi Re", 1901 A.D.)

"It is written (Acts 5:29): 'We ought to obey God rather than men.' Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God. Therefore superiors are not to be obeyed in all things... there are two reasons, for which a subject may not be bound to obey his superior in all things. First on account of the command of a higher power. For as a gloss says on Romans 13:2, 'He that resisteth the power, resist the ordinance of God' (Saint Augustine, De Verbis Domini viii). 'If a commissioner issue an order, are you to comply, if it is contrary to the bidding of the proconsul? Again if the proconsul command one thing, and the emperor another, will you hesitate, to disregard the former and serve the latter? Therefore if the emperor commands one thing and God another, you must disregard the former and obey God.' Secondly, a subject is not bound to obey his superior if the latter command him to do something wherein he is not subject to him. For Seneca says (De Beneficiis iii): 'It is wrong to suppose that slavery falls upon the whole man: for the better part of him is excepted.' His body is subjected and assigned to his master but his soul is his own. Consequently in matters touching the internal movement of the will man is not bound to obey his fellow-man, but God alone. Nevertheless man is bound to obey his fellow-man in things that have to be done externally by means of the body: and yet, since by nature all men are equal, he is not bound to obey another man in matters touching the nature of the body, for instance in those relating to the support of his body or the begetting of his children. Wherefore servants are not bound to obey their masters, nor children their parents, in the question of contracting marriage or of remaining in the state of virginity or the like. But in matters concerning the disposal of actions and human affairs, a subject is bound to obey his superior within the sphere of his authority; for instance a soldier must obey his general in matters relating to war, a servant his master in matters touching the execution of the duties of his service, a son his father in matters relating to the conduct of his life and the care of the household; and so forth... Man is subject to God simply as regards all things, both internal and external, wherefore he is bound to obey Him in all things. On the other hand, inferiors are not subject to their superiors in all things, but only in certain things and in a particular way, in respect of which the superior stands between God and his subjects, whereas in respect of other matters the subject is immediately under God, by Whom he is taught either by the natural or by the written law... Accordingly we may distinguish a threefold obedience; one, sufficient for salvation, and consisting in obeying when one is bound to obey: secondly, perfect obedience, which obeys in all things lawful: thirdly, indiscreet obedience, which obeys even in matters unlawful." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Disobedience | Obedience / Disobedience / Assent (Vatican View Reflections) | Obedience / Disobedience (Catholic Life Reflections)

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Offerings / Support

"If we have sown spiritual seed for you, is it a great thing that we reap a material harvest from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we still more? Yet we have not used this right. On the contrary, we endure everything so as not to place an obstacle to the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who perform the temple services eat (what) belongs to the temple, and those who minister at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the gospel should live by the gospel." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 9:11-14)

"Can. 1261 §1 The Christian faithful are free to give temporal goods for the benefit of the Church." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1267 §3 Offerings given by the faithful for a specified purpose may be used only for that purpose." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1260 The Church has an innate right to require from the Christian faithful those things which are necessary for its proper objectives." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1271 By reason of the bond of unity and charity and according to the resources of their dioceses, bishops are to assist in procuring those means which the Apostolic See needs, according to the conditions of the times, so that it is able to offer service properly to the universal Church." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1263 The diocesan Bishop, after consulting the finance committee and the council of priests, has the right to levy on public juridical persons subject to his authority a tax for the needs of the diocese. This tax must be moderate and proportionate to their income. He may impose an extraordinary and moderate tax on other physical and juridical persons only in a grave necessity and under the same conditions, but without prejudice to particular laws and customs which may give him greater rights." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

Also See: Precepts of the Church | Duties of Catholics  

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Old Vs. New Law

"And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.'" (Lk. 22:20)

"When there is a change of priesthood, there is necessarily a change of law as well." (Heb. 7:12)

"When he speaks of a 'new' covenant, he declares the first one obsolete. And what has become obsolete and has grown old is close to disappearing." (Heb. 8:13)

"But now we are released from the law, dead to what held us captive, so that we may serve in the newness of the spirit and not under the obsolete letter." (Rom. 7:6)

"The Christian covenant, much more than that of the old, clearly appears as an agreement based not on slavery or on fear, but as one ratified by that friendship which ought to exist between a father and his children, as one nourished and strengthened by a more generous outpouring of divine grace and truth according to the saying of St. John the Evangelist: 'And of his fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the Law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.'" (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956 A.D.)

"It firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosiac law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to the divine worship at that time, after our Lord's coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. Yet it does not deny that after the passion of Christ up to the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been observed until they were believed to be in no way necessary for salvation; but after the promulgation of the Gospel it asserts that they cannot be observed without the loss of eternal salvation. All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors. Therefore, it commands all who glory in the name of Christian, at whatever time, before or after baptism, to cease entirely from circumcision, since, whether or not one places hope in it, it cannot be observed at all without the loss of eternal salvation." (Council of Florence, c. 1441 A.D.)

"All the differences assigned between the Old and New Laws are gathered from their relative perfection and imperfection. For the precepts of every law prescribe acts of virtue. Now the imperfect, who as yet are not possessed of a virtuous habit, are directed in one way to perform virtuous acts, while those who are perfected by the possession of virtuous habits are directed in another way. For those who as yet are not endowed with virtuous habits, are directed to the performance of virtuous acts by reason of some outward cause: for instance, by the threat of punishment, or the promise of some extrinsic rewards, such as honor, riches, or the like. Hence the Old Law, which was given to men who were imperfect, that is, who had not yet received spiritual grace, was called the law of fear, inasmuch as it induced men to observe its commandments by threatening them with penalties; and is spoken of as containing temporal promises. On the other hand, those who are possessed of virtue, are inclined to do virtuous deeds through love of virtue, not on account of some extrinsic punishment or reward. Hence the New Law which derives its pre-eminence from the spiritual grace instilled into our hearts, is called the Law of love: and it is described as containing spiritual and eternal promises, which are objects of the virtues, chiefly of charity. Accordingly such persons are inclined of themselves to those objects, not as to something foreign but as to something of their own. For this reason, too, the Old Law is described as 'restraining the hand, not the will' (Peter Lombard, Sententiarum iii,40); since when a man refrains from some sins through fear of being punished, his will does not shrink simply from sin, as does the will of a man who refrains from sin through love of righteousness: and hence the New Law, which is the Law of love, is said to restrain the will. Nevertheless there were some in the state of the Old Testament who, having charity and the grace of the Holy Ghost, looked chiefly to spiritual and eternal promises: and in this respect they belonged to the New Law. In like manner in the New Testament there are some carnal men who have not yet attained to the perfection of the New Law; and these it was necessary, even under the New Testament, to lead to virtuous action by the fear of punishment and by temporal promises. But although the Old Law contained precepts of charity, nevertheless it did not confer the Holy Ghost by Whom 'charity... is spread abroad in our hearts' (Romans 5:5)." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Old / New Testament (Scripture Reflections)

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One Must Not Do Evil That Good May Result

"It is never allowed, even for a good intention to do a thing that is bad in itself." (Baltimore Catechism)

"[A] man ought not to do evil that good may come of it" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

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Penance

Also See: Penance (Topic Page)

"Prayer and penance: these two alone fix man in his right position before God." (Liturgical Year)

"The word of God is unmistakable: unless we do penance, we shall perish (Lk. xiii. 3)" (Dom Gueranger)

"Those who weep not here [for their sins] shall weep eternally hereafter" (Abbot Pemen, as quoted by Butler)

"Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent." (1983 Code of Canon Law) [Note: Traditionally, there are various other days of penance which Catholics are encouraged to observe. For more information, try here.]

"Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Blessed are those who die in penance, for they shall be in the kingdom of heaven. Woe to those who do not die in penance, for they shall be the children of the devil whose works they do, and they shall go into the eternal fire. Beware and abstain from every evil and persevere in good till the end." (St. Francis of Assisi) 

"The word Penance has other meanings [besides the Sacrament]. It means also those punishments we inflict upon ourselves as a means of atoning for our past sins; it means likewise that disposition of the heart in which we detest and bewail our sins because they were offensive to God." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Doing penance for one's sins is a first step towards obtaining forgiveness and winning eternal salvation. That is the clear and explicit teaching of Christ, and no one can fail to see how justified and how right the Catholic Church has always been in constantly insisting on this. She is the spokesman for her divine Redeemer. No individual Christian can grow in perfection, nor can Christianity gain in vigor, except it be on the basis of penance." (Pope John XXIII, 1962 A.D.)

"Can. 1249 All Christ's faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the [Church's] canons prescribe." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Now, penance consists in contrition of the soul, and mortification of the body; these two parts are essential to it. The soul has willed sin; the body has frequently co-operated in its commission. Moreover, man is composed both of soul and body; both then, should pay homage to their Creator. They body is to share with the soul either the delights of heaven or the torments of hell; there cannot, therefore, be any thorough Christian life, or any earnest penance, where the body does not take part, in both, with the soul. But it is the soul which gives reality to penance. The Gospel teaches this by the examples it holds out to us of the prodigal son, of Magdalene, of Zaccheus, and of St. Peter. The soul, then, must be resolved to give up every sin; she must heartily grieve over those she has committed; she must hate sin; she must shun the occasions of sin." (Dom Gueranger)

"In this the supreme mercy and goodness of God deserve our grateful acknowledgement and praise, that He has granted to our frailty the privilege that one may satisfy for another. This, however, is a privilege which is confined to the satisfactory part of Penance alone. As regards contrition and confession, no one is able to be contrite for another; but those who are in the state of grace may pay for others what is due to God, and thus we may be said in some measure to bear each other's burdens... For since we are all reborn to Christ in the same cleansing waters of Baptism and are all partakers of the same Sacraments, and, above all, are nourished with the same body and blood of Christ our Lord, as our food and drink, we are all, it is manifest, members of the same body. As then the foot does not perform its functions solely for itself, but also for the sake of the eyes, and as the eyes see not only for their own sake, but for the general good of all the members, so also works of satisfaction must be considered common to us all. This however, is not true in reference to all the advantages to be derived from satisfaction. For works of satisfaction are also medicinal, and are so many remedies prescribed to the penitent to heal the depraved affections of the soul. it is clear that those who do not satisfy for themselves can have no share in this fruit of penance." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Also See: Expiation | Mortification | Fasting / Abstinence | Lent | Sin | Repentance | Good Works | Penance / Confession (Sacraments Section) | Penance / Confession (Sacraments Section Reflections)

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Persecution

"Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 5:10--12) 

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 5:43-48)

"Then they will hand you over to persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of my name." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 24:9)

"If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, 'No slave is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 15:18-20)

"What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?" (Rom. 8:35)

"Bless those who persecute (you), bless and do not curse them." (Rom. 12:14)

"In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." (2 Tm. 3:12)

"Nor has [the Church] any desire for violent persecution. She knows what persecution is, for she has suffered it in all times and in all places. Centuries passed in bloodshed give her the right to say with a holy boldness that she does not fear it, and that as often as may be necessary she will be able to meet it. But persecution is in itself an evil, for it is injustice and prevents man from worshipping God in freedom. The Church then cannot desire it, even with a view to the good which Providence in its infinite wisdom ever draws out of it. Besides, persecution is not only evil, it is also suffering, and there we have a fresh reason why the Church, who is the best of mothers, will never seek it." (Pope St. Pius X, "Une Fois Encore", 1907 A.D.)

Also See: Persecution (Catholic Life Reflections) | Persecution (Catholic News Links Reflections) | Trials / Persecutions / Sufferings of Saints (Saints Section) | Suffering | Evil / Satan | Why Evil is Allowed

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Perseverance

"But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 24:13)

"You will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mk. 13:13)

"By your perseverance you will secure your lives." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 21:19)

"They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, 'It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.'" (Acts 14:22)

"[I]f we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us." (2 Tm. 2:12)

"We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end" (Heb. 3:14)

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith." (Heb. 12:1-2)

"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (Jms. 1:2-4)

"If any one saith, that he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance unto the end, unless he have learned this by special revelation; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"We cannot merit the grace of final perseverance, or know when we possess it, because it depends entirely upon God's mercy and not upon our actions. To imagine we possess it would lead us into the sin of presumption." (Baltimore Catechism)

Also See: Perseverance (Increase Holiness Reflections) | Perseverance (Catholic Life Reflections) | Perseverance and Prayer (Prayers & Devotions Reflections) | We Must Persevere (Coming Home Reflections) | The State of a Soul at Death Determines Its Eternity | Christian Soldiers | Salvation | Heaven | Few Are Saved | All Are Tried / Those Who Are Lost Could Have Been Saved

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Predestination

"If any one saith, that a man, who is born again and justified, is bound of faith to believe that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinate; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

Error CONDEMNED by the Council of Constance: "A person foreknown to damnation is never part of the holy Church, even if he is in a state of grace according to present justice; a person predestined to salvation always remains a member of the Church, even though he may fall away for a time from adventitious grace, for he keeps the grace of predestination." (Council of Constance, Condemned articles of John Hus)

"No one, moreover, so long as he is in this mortal life, ought so far to presume as regards the secret mystery of divine predestination, as to determine for certain that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinate; as if it were true, that he that is justified, either cannot sin any more, or, if he shall have sinned, that he ought to promise himself an assured repentance; for except by special revelation, it cannot be known whom God hath chosen unto Himself." (Council of Trent)

"According to the Catholic faith we believe this also, that after grace has been received through baptism, all the baptized with the help and cooperation of Christ can and ought to fulfill what pertains to the salvation of the soul, if they will labor faithfully. We not only do not believe that some have been truly predestined to evil by divine power, but also with every execration we pronounce anathema upon those, if there are [any such], who wish to believe so great an evil. " (Council of Orange II, 529 A.D.)

"We faithfully hold that 'God foreknows and has foreknown eternally both the good deeds which good men will do, and the evil which evil men will do,' because we have that word of Scripture which says: 'Eternal God, who are the witness of all things hidden, who knew all things before they are' [Dan. 13:42]; and it seems right to hold 'that the good certainly have known that through His grace they would be good, and that through the same grace they would receive eternal rewards; that the wicked have known that through their own malice they would do evil deeds and that through His justice they would be condemned by eternal punishment'; so that according to the Psalmist: 'Because power belongs to God and mercy to the Lord, so that He will render to each man according to his works' [Ps. 61:12 f.], and as apostolic doctrine holds: 'To them indeed, who according to patience in good works, seek glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life; but to them that are contentious, and who obey not the truth, but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man doing evil' [Rom. 2:7 ff.]. In the same sense, this same one says elsewhere: 'In the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of His power, in a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who do not know God, and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction... when He shall come to be glorified in His Saints, and to be made wonderful in all them who have believed [2 Thess. 1:7 ff.]. Certainly neither (do we believe) that the foreknowledge of God has placed a necessity on any wicked man, so that he cannot be different, but what that one would be from his own will, as God, who knew all things before they are, He foreknew from His omnipotent and immutable Majesty. 'Neither do we believe that anyone is condemned by a previous judgment on the part of God but by reason of his own iniquity.' 'Nor (do we believe) that the wicked thus perish because they were not able to be good; but because they were unwilling to be good, they have remained by their own vice in the mass of damnation either by reason of original sin or even by actual sin.'" (Council of Valence III, 855 A.D.)

Also See: Perseverance | Heaven | The State of a Soul at Death Determines Its Eternity | Few Are Saved | No Salvation Outside the Church

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Pride

"I, Wisdom, dwell with experience, and judicious knowledge I attain. (The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;) Pride, arrogance, the evil way, and the perverse mouth I hate. Mine are counsel and advice; Mine is strength; I am understanding." (Prov. 8:12-14)

"Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov. 16:18)

"Man's pride causes his humiliation, but he who is humble of spirit obtains honor." (Prov. 29:23)

"The beginning of pride is man's stubbornness in withdrawing his heart from his Maker; For pride is the reservoir of sin, a source which runs over with vice; Because of it God sends unheard-of afflictions and brings men to utter ruin." (Sirach 10:12-13)

"[N]othing is so indicative of pride as to show oneself ungrateful" (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"Pride begets in our souls sinful ambition, vainglory, presumption and hypocrisy." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Pride is an excessive love of our own ability; so that we would rather sinfully disobey than humble ourselves." (Baltimore Catechism) 

"Pride is that accursed sin which drove the angels out of paradise, and hurled them into Hell." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"If we were to consider well what we are, humility would be easy to us, and the demon of pride would no longer have any room in our heart." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"The chief sources of actual sin are: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth, and these are commonly called capital sins." (Baltimore Catechism)

"We must shut our heart against pride, against sensuality, and all the other passions, as one shuts the doors and windows that nobody may be able to get in." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"For as humility by its own elasticity rises above the weight of pride, and leaping up reaches to God, so pride by its great weight easily depresses righteousness." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Bernard (De Gradibus Humilitatis et Superb. x, seqq.) also reckons twelve degrees of pride, namely 'curiosity, frivolity of mind, senseless mirth, boasting, singularity, arrogance, presumption, defense of one's sins, deceitful confession, rebelliousness, license, sinful habit.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"There are four marks by which every kind of pride of the arrogant betrays itself; either when they think that their good is from themselves, or if they believe it to be from above, yet they think that it is due to their own merits; or when they boast of having what they have not, or despise others and wish to appear the exclusive possessors of what they have." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Pride also beyond all other passions disturbs the mind of man. And hence the very frequent warnings against it. It is moreover a contempt of God; for when a man ascribes the good he does to himself and not to God, what else is this but to deny God? For the sake then of those that so trust in themselves, that they will not ascribe the whole to God, and therefore despise others, He puts forth a parable, to show that righteousness, although it may bring man up to God, yet if he is clothed with pride, casts him down to hell." (St. Theophylact)

"This inflation of pride can cast down even from heaven the man that takes not warning, but humility can raise a man up from the lowest depth of guilt. The one saved the Publican before the Pharisee, and brought the thief into Paradise before the Apostles; the other entered even into the spiritual powers. But if humility though added to sin has made such rapid advances, as to pass by pride united to righteousness, how much swifter will be its course when you add to it righteousness? It will stand by the judgment-seat of God in the midst of the angels with great boldness. Moreover if pride joined to righteousness had power to depress it, to what a hell will it thrust men when added to sin? This I say not that we should neglect righteousness, but that we should avoid pride." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"[P]ride denotes immoderate desire of one's own excellence, a desire, to wit, that is not in accord with right reason. Now it must be observed that all excellence results from a good possessed. Such a good may be considered in three ways. First, in itself. For it is evident that the greater the good that one has, the greater the excellence that one derives from it. Hence when a man ascribes to himself a good greater than what he has, it follows that his appetite tends to his own excellence in a measure exceeding his competency: and thus we have the third species of pride, namely 'boasting of having what one has not.' Secondly, it may be considered with regard to its cause, in so far as to have a thing of oneself is more excellent than to have it of another. Hence when a man esteems the good he has received of another as though he had it of himself, the result is that his appetite is borne towards his own excellence immoderately. Now one is cause of one's own good in two ways, efficiently and meritoriously: and thus we have the first two species of pride, namely 'when a man thinks he has from himself that which he has from God,' or 'when he believes that which he has received from above to be due to his own merits.' Thirdly, it may be considered with regard to the manner of having it, in so far as a man obtains greater excellence through possessing some good more excellently than other men; the result again being that his appetite is borne inordinately towards his own excellence: and thus we have the fourth species of pride, which is 'when a man despises others and wishes to be singularly conspicuous.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Pride / Vanity (Catholic Life Reflections) | Humility | Sin

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Purpose of Life

"The end for which man was created is none other than God himself." (St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church)

Q: "Why did God make you?" A: "God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next." (Baltimore Catechism)

"It is on this condition that we are made to exist: that we pay the debt of service justly owed to the God who makes us to exist, and that we recognize and follow only Him." (Lactantius, c. 304-310 A.D.)

Q: "What do we mean by the 'end of man'?" A: "By the 'end of man' we man the purpose for which he was created: namely, to know, love, and serve God." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Life on earth, however good and desirable in itself, is not the final purpose for which man is created; it is only the way and the means to that attainment of truth and that love of goodness in which the full life of the soul consists. It is the soul which is made after the image and likeness of God" (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum", 1891 A.D.)

"If you would be wise, recognize that you were created for God's glory and your own eternal salvation, that this is your end, this is the center of your soul, this the treasure of your heart. If you reach this end, you will be happy. If you fall short of it, you will be wretched." (St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church)

Also See: God | Creation / Life

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Repentance

"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (St. John the Baptist, Mt. 3:2)

"From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" (Mt. 4:17)

"This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mk. 1:15)

"...But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!" (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 13:5)

"I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 15:7)

"Peter (said) to them, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit*. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.'" (Acts 2:38-39) [* Note: This gift comes through the Sacraments of the Church.]

"Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away" (Acts 3:19)

"God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now he demands that all people everywhere repent because he has established a day on which he will 'judge the world with justice' through a man he has appointed, and he has provided confirmation for all by raising him from the dead." (Acts 17:30)

"If they repent, all who desire it will be able to obtain mercy from God." (St. Justin the Martyr, c. 155 A.D.)

"Even though I had committed but one little sin, I should have ample reason to repent of it all my life." (St. Francis of Assisi)

Also See: Now is the Time for Repentance | Now is the Time for Mercy | Sin / Repentance / Forgiveness (Catholic Life Section) | Sin | Evil / Satan | Penance | Expiation | Forgiveness | Mercy | Jesus Christ | The Church Can Forgive All Sin (Coming Home Reflections) | Sacraments Section Reflections | Sacraments Section | God's Mercy to Sinners / All Sins Can Be Forgiven (Sacraments Reflections)

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Resurrection

Also See: Resurrection (Topic Page)

"As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, 'The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.' And they were overwhelmed with grief." (Mt. 17:22-23)

"After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow. The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men. Then the angel said to the women in reply, 'Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.'" (Mt. 28:1-6)

"Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation." (Jn. 5:28-29)

"But if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep." (1 Cor. 15:12-20)

"But someone may say, 'How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?' You fool! What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind; but God gives it a body as he chooses, and to each of the seeds its own body. Not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for human beings, another kind of flesh for animals, another kind of flesh for birds, and another for fish. There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the brightness of the heavenly is one kind and that of the earthly another. The brightness of the sun is one kind, the brightness of the moon another, and the brightness of the stars another. For star differs from star in brightness. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one. So, too, it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living being,' the last Adam a life-giving spirit. But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one. This I declare, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality. And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about: 'Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." (1 Cor. 15:35-58)

"...the life of all men had its resurrection in His Resurrection" (Ancient Preface)

"The resurrection of the dead will be accomplished by the virtue of the Omnipotent God, to whom nothing is impossible." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"The resurrection of the dead shall take place at the end of the world, and shall be followed by the General Judgment." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"By 'the resurrection of the body' is meant that at the end of the world the bodies of all men will rise from the earth and be united again to their souls, nevermore to be separated." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The Resurrection is the greatest of Christ's miracles because all He taught and did is confirmed by it and depends upon it. He promised to rise from the dead and without this fulfillment of that promise we could not believe in Him." (Baltimore Catechism)

"No, the resurrection of Jesus Christ was not like the resurrection of other men who had been raised from the dead, because He rose by His own power, while the others were raised by the power of God." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"We profess that there is a true bodily resurrection for all the dead. And we do not believe that we shall rise in a body of air or in any different kind of body (as some have foolishly thought); but we shall rise in this very body in which we now live and are and move." (Eleventh Council of Toledo, 675 A.D.) 

"[J]ust as happiness is bestowed on the good as a reward, so is unhappiness awarded to the wicked. But the unhappiness of the wicked after reunion with their bodies will be greater than before, since they will be punished not only in the soul but also in the body. Therefore the happiness of the saints will be greater after the resurrection of the body than before." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Now Christ rose again of youthful age, which begins about the age of thirty years, as Augustine says (De Civitate Dei xxii). Therefore others also will rise again of a youthful age. Further, man will rise again at the most perfect stage of nature. Now human nature is at the most perfect stage in the age of youth. Therefore all will rise again of that age... Man will rise again without any defect of human nature, because as God founded human nature without a defect, even so will He restore it without defect. Now human nature has a twofold defect. First, because it has not yet attained to its ultimate perfection. Secondly, because it has already gone back from its ultimate perfection. The first defect is found in children, the second in the aged: and consequently in each of these human nature will be brought by the resurrection to the state of its ultimate perfection which is in the youthful age, at which the movement of growth terminates, and from which the movement of decrease begins." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"This body shall be raised, not remaining weak as it is now; it this same body shall be raised. By putting on incorruption it shall be altered, as iron bending with fire becomes fire - or rather, as the Lord who raises us knows. However it be, this body shall be raised, but it shall not remain such as it is; rather, it shall abide as an eternal body. It shall no longer require for its life such nourishment as now, nor shall it require a ladder for its ascent; for it shall be made a spiritual body, a marvelous thing, such as we have not the ability to describe. 'Then shall the just,' it is said, 'shine forth like the sun and the moon, and like the spender of the firmament.' And knowing beforehand the disbelief of man, God has caused little worms in the summer to emit beams of light from their bodies, so that from the things seen that which is awaited might be believed. He that gives the part is able also to give the whole; and He that made the worm radiant with light will much more be able to make radiant a righteous man. We shall be raised, then, all having eternal bodies, but not all with bodies alike. If a man is righteous, he shall receive a heavenly body, so that he may be able to converse worthily with the angels. But if a man is sinful, he shall receive an eternal body fitted to endure the penalties of sins, so that he may burn in the eternal fire without ever being consumed. And justly will God assign to those of either group their portion; for we do nothing without the body. We blaspheme with the mouth; with the mouth we pray. We fornicate with the body; with the body we are chaste. We rob with the hand; with the hand be bestow alms; and the rest in like manner. Since in all things the body has been our agent, it too shall in the future share in the fruits of what has been done." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, c. 350 A.D.)

Also See: Jesus Christ | The Passion / The Cross | Second Coming | Suffering & Death | The State of a Soul at Death Determines Its Eternity | Judgment | Heaven | Hell / Eternal Damnation

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Revelation Was Completed With the Apostles

Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius X in "Lamentabili": "Revelation, constituting the object of Catholic faith, was not completed with the apostles." (Pope St. Pius X, This proposition was condemned in "Lamentabili", 1907 A.D.)

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Rewards

"Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Mt. 5:11-12)

"Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple - amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward." (Mt. 10:40-42)

"But without faith it is impossible to please him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." (Heb. 11:6)

"[T]he ultimate reward is the enjoyment of God" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"For we shall [be]...the companions of angels." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"A reward is due to good works, if they are performed; but grace, which is not due, precedes, that they may be done." (St. Prosper/Council of Orange II, 529 A.D.)

"[T]he happiness of the world to come is to be itself the reward of righteousness" [Pseudo Chrys (as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church)]

"For what is our hiring, and the wages of that hiring? The promise of eternal life" [Pseudo Chrys (as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church)]

"A denarius was a coin anciently equal to ten sesterces, and bearing the king's image. Well therefore does the denarius represent the reward of the keeping of the decalogue. And that, Having agreed with them for a denarius a day, is well said, to show that every man labors in the field of the holy Church in hope of the future reward." [Remigius (as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church)]

Also See: Good Works | Heaven

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Sacramentals

Also See: Sacramentals (Topic Page)

"A sacramental is anything set apart or blessed by the Church to excite good thoughts and to increase devotion, and through these movements of the heart to remit venial sin." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Besides the sign of the Cross and holy water, there are many other sacramentals, such as blessed candles, ashes, palms, crucifixes, images of the Blessed Virgin and of the saints, rosaries, and scapulars." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Prayers and ceremonies of the Church are also Sacramentals because they excite good thoughts and increase devotion. Whatever the Church dedicates to a pious use or devotes the worship of God may be called a Sacramental." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The Sacramentals of themselves do not remit venial sins, but they move us to truer devotion, to greater love for God, and greater sorrow for our sins, and this devotion, love and sorrow brings us grace, and the grace remits venial sins." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The Sacramentals excite good thoughts by recalling to our minds some special reasons for doing good and avoiding evil; especially by reminding us of some holy person, event or thing through which blessings have come to us. They increase devotion by fixing our minds on particular virtues an by helping us to understand and desire them." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The difference between the Sacraments and the sacramentals is: 1st, The Sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ and the sacramentals were instituted by the Church; 2nd, The Sacraments give grace of themselves when we place no obstacle in the way; the sacramentals excite in us pious dispositions, by means of which we may obtain grace." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Sacramentals aid the ignorant in learning the truths of faith as children learn from pictures before they are able to read. Thus one who cannot read the account of Our Lord's Passion may learn it form the Stations of the Cross, and one who kneels before a crucifix and looks on the bleeding head, pierced hand and wounded side, is better able to understand Christ's suffering than one without a crucifix before him." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Holy Water and other consecrated things are not called sacraments, because they do not produce the sacramental effect, which is the receiving of grace. They are, however, a kind of disposition to the sacraments: either by removing obstacles; thus holy water is ordained against the snares of the demons, and against venial sins: or by making things suitable for the conferring of a sacrament; thus the altar and vessels are consecrated through reverence for the Eucharist." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Sacramentals (Prayers & Devotions Reflections) | Catholic Devotions, Sacramentals & Pious Practices | Sacramentals (Topical Scripture)

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