Friday, March 19, 2010

Legion-speak #2 - "God Brings Good Out of Evil"

I was originally going to respond to Anon 10:56 in the comments of the post below. But this is actually something I’ve been wanting to blog on for a while, so you guys get another post instead.


Anon 10:56 said:

"But “God draws straight with crooked lines” doesn’t mean that God turns sin into blessings.”
I don't quite understand this because God is always bringing forth good out of evil.


"God could not bring good out of Maciel’s evil, because Maciel did not repent."
Again, I'm confused. Since when does the sinner have to repent for God to bring good from the sin? And can't God do anything He wants?

NO! God does NOT bring good out of sin. Sin cuts us off from God, the Ultimate Good. The Good God brings from a bad situation does NOT come from sin, but grace.

So, Maximilian Kolbe is not an example of God bringing good (an awesome martyr) out of Evil (The Nazi camps). Rather, it is an example of God taking one mans good RESPONSE to evil (courage, self-sacrifice, faith) and turning it into an even GREATER good.

God took the loaves and fishes and multiplied them into a feast. He turned water into wine. He did not take rotting food and transform it into a feast or mud and turn it into wine. He takes the good things we give him and transforms them into better thing. But he can’t use our sin – sin, by its very nature is SEPARATION FROM GOD. We’re called to reject Satan and his works, not to turn them to good. Why? Because there can be no good apart from God.

God brought our salvation out of the crucifixion, it’s true. But our salvation is not a result of a disgusting Roman execution method. It comes from Christ’s love for us and His willingness to give himself up for us.

God does not turn evil to good – but he brings good out of our responses to evil, when we respond in a Christ like way.  He's not bringing good out of sin.  He's bringing good out of conscious decisions to be brave, or honest, or self-sacrificing.

Remember – sin and suffering weren’t part of the original plan. It was supposed to be so much better than this- for all that God can mitigate the effects of sin through grace, it would be better if we had never sinned at all.  (For a better explanation of this, check out C.S. Lewis’s Perlandria. C.S. Lewis explains everything better than I can! :) )

18 comments:

Nat said...

Deirdre,

There are of course many fine examples of Popes and others using that expression correctly, but like everything else the Legion twists it 'til it snaps.

The Legion uses that expression to hold onto Maciel's teaching. Evil is the corruption of good. Drawing out evil from good involves separation from the evil.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa.TP_Q1_A3.html

For God allows evils to happen in order to bring a greater good therefrom; hence it is written (Rom. 5:20): "Where sin abounded, grace did more abound." Hence, too, in the blessing of the Paschal candle, we say: "O happy fault, that merited such and so great a Redeemer!"

Anonymous said...

"The Good God brings from a good situation does NOT come from sin, but grace"

typo?

Deirdre Mundy said...

Yes, it was a typo! Thanks for the heads up!

The Monk said...

Deidre -
What about the woman taken in adultery in the story told in John's Gospel?

Obsessing about the Legion can be dangerous for one's Faith! Maybe you should place a warning label on some of your postings.

Pete Vere said...

Monk:

The woman caught in adultery was repentant and asked for forgiveness. She did not attempt to draw attention away from her sin by denouncing rape victims as cowards.

Given that you're from Ireland, I suspect you may have heard of the story called: "The Monk, The Troll and the 'Coward'"

http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/archives/2010/03/no-comment.html

Deirdre Mundy said...

Monk, I'm confused... are you saying that we ought to sin because it is good to be forgiven?

Christ tells her to "go and sin no more" --it seems to me he must have seen a penitent soul. So the good (mercy) comes not from her sin, but from her repenting before Christ.

Likewise, any good that can come from Maciel's mess will come from people repenting, or people who courageously stood up for the truth when it was actually dangerous for them to do so (Like the folks who've been on the case since day one), or the people who suffered, but united their suffering to Christ's. This isn't good coming from sin, it's good coming from doing God's will.

Many Legion supporters have been using the phrase 'God brings good out of evil" to explain how a man like Maciel could recieve a legitimate charism and start a good and holy order. It's THAT use of the phrase I'm arguing against.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Sorry, Pete! I cross-posted with you!

Pete Vere said...

No need to apologize, Mouse, it's your blog! I'm just surprised that Monk would find time to come here and chastise you for your charitable criticism of the Maciel movement's methodology. Especially since he has said nothing thus far concerning a poster (who he appears to have praised previously) calling one of the alleged abuse victims "a coward":

http://catholiclight.stblogs.org/archives/2010/03/no-comment.html

Ah well, I suppose you can take the Monk out of Maciel's methodology, but taking Maciel's methodology out of the Monk is another question.

Anonymous said...

Statistics tell of the world , esp. Asia ,facing a dangerous imbalance of sexes , due to the seletive abortion of baby girls !

Hoping that Legionares would find a new charism , like what benefitted the Gerasene demoniac and be set to conduct large scale centers , that liberally uses exorcism power !

Anonymous said...

"Obsessing about the Legion can be dangerous for one's Faith! Maybe you should place a warning label on some of your postings."

Monk - if some people did not "obsess" about the Legion, Maciel would have probably continued on his path to sainthood after his death and the lie would have continued.

It is people like Deidre and the victims testimonies and Giselle who have helped shine a light in some very dark places. Sometimes by your posts, it seems like you would have preferred to keep it covered in the dark as it is clear the LC hierarchy would have preferred.

One pattern I am finding with LC/RC defenders is they always try to make the accusers, bloggers, those who speak out with fair criticism of the LC/RC as the ones with the problem. Now I guess Deidre is "obsessing about the LC" so she has a problem. Aaron had a problem because he was not courageous (which was absurd). I was told I had a problem when I kept asking Directors when Fr A was going to apologize to victims.

When does the LC/RC admit that the methodology and them wanting to continue to follow it is a problem? After a gut wrenching year, they are starting to realize that Maciel was a huge problem but they still cannot look at themselves.

Anonymous said...

Father Maciel is innocent. You must all examen your conscience for the vice of envy and calumny.
Are you sincerely searching for truth?

Just as Christ was persecuted because he was becoming too popular in the eyes of the Scribes and Pharasees, so it is with any founder of an orthodox movement in the Church who is completely conformed to Christ.

Finally, it is Catholic teaching that good comes out of evil. Jesus was from the lineage of David, and David had an adulterous relationship with Uriah's wife and then had him killed.

Anonymous said...

One reason many are 'obsessing' about this news of abuse where it is not expected and how such abuse has been missed by even those who should have known better could be to help in the process of looking into themselves and those around , to raise the awareness of ause in its many forms !

The most prevalent and may be the worst abuse is abortion that also has its sequela , on all involved for years/eternity !

Yet, most have become hardened to this fact and now go on , like it is just a part of our culture !

Same for all forms of artificial contraception that also cheapens and abuses the dignity of marriage !

The Church should/would soon enough find the close connection between these evils of abuse at the root , connected to abuse at the top and vice versa - how those who were to shepherd,often kept quiet , for fear of losing popularity /funds !
What took place in L.C does not seem that diffrent in its pathology ,from the above attitudes and any non Cath. preacher, if feeling glee/sorrow for The Church , also need to start weeping for his own too !

May be this would also give enough impetus , for Holy Father , to get enough support, for the declaration of the 5th Dogma ; can see how The commission on Medjugorge can recommend same rather fast ,without even having to delve into the ardous task of studying the whole apparition , since most of the needed work on the Dogma is already done and hopefully objection from our Orthodox brethren would be limited , since they too would be blessed and should even empathise with The Church !
Yes, good can come when good people step in, to use the energy and the anguish of the moment , yes, the power of the groanings that invite in The Spirit ,through pleading in The Mother , to bring forth good ; such is what happened after the papal assassination attempt and we can also hope and see that Pope John Paul 11 is being blessed by The Mother , to help all, to bring good out of this too !

God bless !

gregorbo said...

If God brought good out of evil, there would be no need to believe in the Immaculate Conception nor the Virgin birth. Certainly there are passages in the Bible that may be misinterpreted to mean that God brings good from evil--such as the lines above "where sin abounded, grace did more abound"--but to understand this to mean that good comes out of sin is to insert a "because" into the scripture reading and change its meaning. The statement does not imply that grace abounds more because of sin; it states rather simply that grace triumphs over sin--despite sin.

SO DONE said...

Deirdre,

First time poster here (visiting from Life After RC). I just wanted to say that when people tell me that God writes straight with crooked lines, or brings good out of evil, I respond that the devil will tell a thousand truths to tell one lie.

This seems to be a more adequate description to me of my experience. I was told truth (the world needs Christ), then truth (God has called you from all eternity...), then lie (...to RC), and I just took the lies in with the truths and believed them all.

That's what makes leaving RC so hard b/c so many truths were mixed in with so many half-truths and lies, that it's hard to know which is which.

Deirdre Mundy said...

So Done-- I know it's hard. (not from RC, but I got a similar mix of truth and lies when I was hanging with the Call to Action/ Women's Ordination/Liturgical Planning Nazi crowd) I wish it wasn't -- I see people around me struggling, and all I can do is point them to the catechism, or to writings of the saints (esp. Augustine's Confessions and Therese of Liseux) and papal encyclicals.

If it was you, what help would you want from the other people at your parish-- what would you want them to say/do?

I'm glad Benedict is dealing with the Maciel scandal and its repercussions... we've all been talking around it too long....

SO DONE said...

Deirdre,

I don't know what to say to your question. I personally just went back to my parish and I read the Bible and got back to the basics. I don't have to be a super Catholic anymore, I'm letting myself just be a Catholic.

I read the blogs and that has helped me immensely to understand where I went wrong. Giselle at Life After RC and Pete Vere at Catholic Light are great at pointing out areas of malformation. Especially in the last couple of months (and I've been out years) I have realized that I was still living with misconceptions of Catholic teaching, especially in the area of obedience, and how the authority of the Church works.

I think just talking through your experience with someone you know isn't judging you helps. I have a friend I talk to that is not RC, but is very knowledgeable on such topics, and that's been the best therapy for me.

More than anything, it's just time and distance that help the most.

SO DONE said...

Deirdre,

I don't know what to say to your question. I personally just went back to my parish and I read the Bible and got back to the basics. I don't have to be a super Catholic anymore, I'm letting myself just be a Catholic.

I read the blogs and that has helped me immensely to understand where I went wrong. Giselle at Life After RC and Pete Vere at Catholic Light are great at pointing out areas of malformation. Especially in the last couple of months (and I've been out years) I have realized that I was still living with misconceptions of Catholic teaching, especially in the area of obedience, and how the authority of the Church works.

I think just talking through your experience with someone you know isn't judging you helps. I have a friend I talk to that is not RC, but is very knowledgeable on such topics, and that's been the best therapy for me.

More than anything, it's just time and distance that help the most.

The Monk said...

Deidre -

For what it's worth in my time "God writes straight on crooked lines" was a Mexican saying. Personally, I never heard it used by LC to defend the LC. But, I lost contact with them after I left. Maybe some "LC Defenders" as they are labeled here have used it. It's still part of Christian folklore.

The story about the Monk that inspired the title for my blog was NOT told to me in the context of the Legion. Rather a friend told it to me after I lost my job. It helped me in the moment - one can triumph over adversity. It's still a good story, despite Pete Vere's now somewhat pathetic efforts to rewrite it in vain attempts to emulate an Irish sense of humor.

Deidre, you say: "I'm glad Benedict is dealing with the Maciel scandal and its repercussions... we've all been talking around it too long...." and I totally agree with you. My point entirely: "Talking around it too long."

It's sort of interesting that I am being labeled an "LC Defender." I am not. However it seems to me that any statement about the LC or MM that has not the explicit objective of condemning them is found to be annoying - even though those statements in no way "defend" the LC or MM. Is it a "gang" mentality here? I left the LC gang - I'm not up for joining another!