Saturday, July 25, 2015

Father Brown Mysteries - The Deadly Seal- and Mercy needs Repentance

As of Late, I've been concerned with the Jesuit teaching of the Charitable Interpretation- and how it often seems to inspire unilateral forgiveness- that is, Mercy GRANTED without repentance. This seems to me to be against the Gospel of Luke:
Luke 17:1-10Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)17 And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come.It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones.Take heed to yourselves. If thy brother sin against thee, reprove him: and if he do penance, forgive him.And if he sin against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day be converted unto thee, saying, I repent; forgive him.And the apostles said to the Lord: Increase our faith.And the Lord said: If you had faith like to a grain of mustard seed, you might say to this mulberry tree, Be thou rooted up, and be thou transplanted into the sea: and it would obey you.But which of you having a servant ploughing, or feeding cattle, will say to him, when he is come from the field: Immediately go, sit down to meat:And will not rather say to him: Make ready my supper, and gird thyself, and serve me, whilst I eat and drink, and afterwards thou shalt eat and drink?Doth he thank that servant, for doing the things which he commanded him?10 I think not. So you also, when you shall have done all these things that are commanded you, say: We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which we ought to do.

Tonight I watched a Father Brown murder mystery, _The Deadly Seal_ on PBS.  I don't remember this one from the GK Chesterton Father Brown books I've read.  It includes two confessions by a murderer, to hide a murder.  In the second confession- Father Brown says that even God's forgiveness requires repentance- and he urges the murderer in a third confession to widen the confession to the police.  The first two times repentance was claimed, it was false.  The third time, it was true.  In no way did Father Brown *refuse* the forgiveness of God to the murderer- he only told her what she needed to do to attain it.

Even at the order of the Bishop- he never breaks the seal of the confessional.

I think this is the proper way to approach sin.  Don't be wavering in being outspoken that the sin is wrong.  Keep forgiving every time the person repents.  But repentance IS necessary.  For without repentance- without true repentance- it's only an act.  Just like in this episode- where the actress did it.

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