Today is Ascension Thursday. “He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.”
This seems like an appropriate time to review six things Catholics need to take a lot more seriously than we generally do these days. These five are already part of explicit Catholic teaching.
- The authority of the literal sense of Scripture: While it is true that Catholics recognize allegorical, moral, and anagogical meanings can be found in Scripture, the Catechism makes clear, “all other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal.” (CCC 116)
- The reality of sin and hell: Catholic doctrine definitely includes literal teachings about sin, judgement, repentance, God’s wrath, demons, and eternal damnation in hell.
- The absolute unicity of Jesus for salvation: It is the express teaching of Jesus himself and of the Catholic Church that Jesus is the only way to God. No exceptions.
- The future Second Coming of Christ: The Catechism teaches that “since the Ascension, Christ’s coming in glory has been imminent” and “could be accomplished at any moment.” (CCC 673) Following Scripture, the Catechism also says that “before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers,” and that “God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.” (CCC, 675, 677)
- A willingness to be fools for Christ: We tend to be a lot more worried about looking stupid to the world than about being 100% faithful to God. Let us listen to St. Paul’s exhortation to the church in Corinth: “Where is the one who is wise? […] Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? […] For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. […] But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise.”(1 Corinthians 1.20-27)