Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Vampiric Christians?

I am most amused to note that recent visits to this humble blog have been increased by references from a site to me hitherto unknown, yclept vampirestat.com (I hope it's legit, I haven't actually looked at it); doubtless my tangential reference to a penny dreadful in my last post somehow drew the attention thereof.

This has reminded me, moreover, of comments a friend made about the views of a mutual acquaintance from my days in Western Australia: he commented on the struggles some have in living in obedience to the commandments, who through their frailty and temptations fall oft into sin – these, said he, are as it were vampiric Christians! – who need frequent lavings in Christ's Blood, as it were, through the administration to them of the Sacrament of Penance, in addition to frequent suppings of that real Blood when receiving the Most Blessed Eucharist.

I am not at all sure I like the sound of this. Such a strange way of describing affairs may well be offensive to pious ears. As to what it appears meant to signify, speaking only of myself, I find frequent confession and frequent Communion to be the two pillars of the Christian life; I hope that is not too vampiric.

Some indeed lapse and relapse into sin, and must struggle to keep their head above water, as it were, by "spitting the poison out" (as the Imitation of Christ advises) and hieing themselves to the confessional, ere they may partake of the saving Banquet. For while the Eucharist burns away venial sin, and fortifies the soul against sinning, only priestly absolution sacramentally remits mortal sin (though of course an act of perfect contrition, with the resolve to confess in due time, achieves the same, yet it has not the same certainty as sacerdotal absolution, so to speak).

However, backsliders, those chained to sinful habits, and those "bound in sin's own blindness", too unwary of the dangers posed by proximate occasions of sin – for "death cometh up through the windows" and "he who loves the danger will perish in it" are surely not to be considered "vampires",  irreversibly damned through no fault of their own by the attack of another, who thereafter can only maintain the semblance of life by the further commission of murder! That sort of nonsense is clearly opposed to the true doctrines of Christianity. We all of us have free will, and if we sin we can always repent and seek forgiveness, "seventy times seven", for even "the just man falls seven times a day", yet with every temptation the Lord always provides the grace necessary to escape it.

I suspect that the person who described matters in this way was being tempted to despair. It also sounds like he was deluded by the supposed glamour of evil: how falsely "comforting" to fondly regard oneself as a tragic antihero, rather than as a sinner just like anyone else. Please pray for him, and for all in like difficulties, that, even if they feel a heavy burden on their conscience, and feel trapped by their circumstances, they may find the remedy for every distress in humble confession and grateful reception of the Blessed Sacrament, knowing that "In His will is our peace".

1 comment:

Antonia Romanesca said...

Thanks Joshua - have copied and shall think upon this. Blessed are you! AR