Last night, I went to the Louisville Young Catholics gathering. It's normally on the second Tuesday of the month at Saints Pizza and Pub in St. Matthews. This month featured a talk by Fr. Joseph Mary of the Community of St. John on the theological virtues of faith and hope.
In his talk, Fr. Joseph Mary noted that the Protestants exalt the virtue of faith above hope and charity, even though St. Paul explains that charity is the greatest of these. That's precisely what God is, according to the first epistle of John. Faith and hope are for our earthly pilgrimage but love is for eternity. Faith is believing in the unseen God. Hope is the desire towards something and the expectation of obtaining it. Faith and hope in God has no purpose once we have received the beatific vision; that makes God visible to us (however that works, prior to the resurrection of the body) and we can't obtain something once we have it.
At Bible study, Fr. Leger pointed out that for all their talk about sola fidei, the Protestants-primarily evangelicals- rely on a works theology, that is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as one's personal Lord and Savior. Baptism is only a symbol of what one has already done. In contrast, Catholics understand truly that Baptism is an outward sign of grace, given to us by Christ so that we might become holy. That grace is freely given, and it perfects nature. Evidently Protestants quote St. Paul more than Our Lord, and Romans 11:6 is often said to be referring to the Catholic Church. Actually, it's directed towards the Pharisees and their adherence to the Law, particularly since it has now been fulfilled by Christ.
Fr. Joseph Mary explained that faith in the Gospels is coupled with adoration and physical gestures. One man comes up to Jesus, proclaims his faith, and kneels before Him in worship. Father then relayed the vision of Hell experienced by a Desert Father, where Satan had no knees. It demonstrates his inability, but also (probably more importantly) his complete unwillingness to kneel before God. "Isn't it interesting," Father began, that after Vatican II kneeling was so discouraged to the point of being forbidden? Evidently during his time in France there would be people who never knelt once in church. This was quickly followed up by a reference to The Spirit of the Liturgy by Ratzinger.
Yeah, guess which form of the Mass he celebrates? Yup, that's right, the traditional form.
Father Leger said that he "marvels in the most negative sense possible" at people's lack of desire to be faithful Catholics and go to heaven. Once someone told him that if his cat couldn't go to Heaven, then he didn't either. Say what?
He also mentioned the comments of an Oregon official saying that opponents of same-sex 'marriage' need rehabilitation. Father said that he'd be shot, we'd be sent off to work camps. Hence, he's so angry with liberal priests.
This is the state of the Church and the world. We turn to literally everything, up to and including killing ourselves, because we have forgotten or don't care that we need to get over ourselves. Man was not made for Man, he was made for God. We recognize this through knowing, loving, and serving God.
PS: This Bible study is Wednesday nights at 7, in the Pitt Academy buildings in the back. Park on the left side of the church in front of the ball field.