San Damiano Cross

Caritas Newsletter

November 25, 1995
by Fr. Lucian Pulvermacher, OFM Cap.

Caritas translated means charity, and charity is understood as (1) sanctifying grace and (2) the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. 
  1. Sanctifying grace is the supernatural life of man (of his soul) which makes him to be an adopted child of God and an heir of heaven. All men who are in either original sin or in mortal sin do not have sanctifying grace, and hence they cannot go into heaven when they die in that condition. Hence, our first and most important task in life is to always live in the state of sanctifying grace.

    Except for Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and His Blessed Mother, Mary, all of us are conceived in original sin. That sin is removed and sanctifying grace obtained by the sacrament of baptism. Adults in the state of mortal sin can recover sanctifying grace through and only through the sacrament of penance, received actually or at least in desire. The act of perfect contrition is not the act of perfect contrition unless it contains the desire to receive the sacrament of penance (at least in the general determination to do all that is required for forgiveness). 

  2. Next we do the works of charity. These must be performed in the state of sanctifying grace to be worthy of a reward in heaven. I shall turn to the Scriptures to bring this doctrine to you in glowing terms. 
We go to the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians (xiii, 1-8,13). 
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 

And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

In the above verses charity is understood as sanctifying grace. 
  • Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up. 
  • Is not ambitious, seeketh not, is not provoke; thinketh no evil.
  • Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; 
  • Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things.
  • Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed....
  • And now there remain faith, hope and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.
In the gospel of St. John we read: 
God is charity; and he that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him... 

Fear is not charity: but perfect charity casteth our fear, because fear hath pain. And he that feareth, is not perfected in charity.

For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments.
Today, while men ignore God and the rewards of heaven we have a strange type of charity. We call it the social gospel - do goodism. Please note how people speak, and you will see that they are Godless wretches. They ask you to contribute to a worthy cause. If you contribute you will feel good about it. On Thanksgiving Day they say it is a day on which to be thankful. To whom do they turn when they are thankful? We thank God above all, and we thank all those who have helped us in any way. 

Necessary Observations on the Papal Election

I must respond to two pieces of mail that came to me in recent weeks. One is an article entitled: "The True Church." The other is a personal letter based on the article. Unfortunately, the author of the sixty-four page article entitled "The True Church" is not listed. He did not stand behind what he has written for public consumption. It is fortunate that we know the author from his warped theology. In the interest of truth I shall bring forth what is wrong with the publication. The hidden author is publishing for the confusion of the public his teaching that in these times we are not to work on electing the Pope. All we are to do is to stay home and pray. 

If all the Catholics did that we would be forcing God to step out of the order he established for the Church. God made the Church a perfect society -- meaning that within the Church there are all the means to do its work of saving souls. Hence, there is within the Church the power to elect the Pope to the very end of the world. If one should deny that, he would be a heretic, denying the very nature of the Church. 

We can permit people the right to judge an election operation. If the men working on the election of the Pope are totally unqualified to guide the faithful in a valid election, then one can say he will have nothing to do with this or that operation. Without Cardinals, made so by Pope Pius XII, in the world today nobody really is appointed as chairman of this organizing group. De facto (as a matter of fact) we now have an organization working on the valid election of the Pope. 

Let us meet reality. If anyone that I serve denies that the Church can elect the Pope, one to whom God will give the primacy of jurisdiction and infallibility, I can no longer give him or her the sacraments. If they come to me with good arguments that our electoral process is totally wrong we will go on from there. To frivolously deny that the present process is no good is not human, and it will not hold water. 

Art as a Communist Weapon

By the providence of God I still have an old article from the Mindszenty Report, P.O. Box 321, Clayton Beach, St. Louis 5, Missouri, dated February 15, 1963. 

In it, they explain how ugliness is used by the Godless communists to destroy a civilization: its culture, government religion and the like. Being seventy-eight years old I am a personal witness of this reality. The younger generation has no idea of what a high class society is made up. They never saw a beautiful Church filled with worshipers who were well dressed, that is, dresses in their Sunday suit and dress. Recently I had Mass in a home where all the boys were in well washed (worn) denim pants. I told the parents that in future for Mass I wanted to see the boys in dress pants. Then I was informed that they have no dress pants. Are they any different from the children in Communist countries? Drab! drab! drab! When I joined the Capuchin Order at the age of nineteen my family had a family picture taken. All of us were in our Sunday clothing - first class. About thirty-five years later we happened to be together, and we had another family picture taken. Three of the four priests were in full clerical suits. My parents were well dressed, but the girls, for the most part, were dressed as bums. Ugliness is now beauty. 

Let me confirm this from a few quotes from the above mentioned Mindszenty article. I quote: 

"In modern art natural objects are seldom painted realistically unless for propaganda purposes. The UNESCO brown man -- faceless, raceless, nameless, sexless, wholly lacking in muscles or features, is the typical robot man of modern art. Modern art decrees that there be no standards of judging. This edict, which is a byproduct of the atheistic and Communistic tenets that there is no God and there is no right or wrong, has destroyed artistic values and brought chaos to the art world."
Please, give this matter your attention. Buy appropriate clothing for yourselves and your children. Where I live, the men with the dirtiest job in town, namely, the gas company workers, wear a neat uniform made of much better material than denim. Daily, they work down in the mud to install and repair the gas lines. 

I remember in a home where I served the son was graduating from college, and he had to make his appearance before a prospective employer. That young man with a college education did not have a Sunday suit, so he had to wear one of his father�s suits. This is terrible. The Communists have put us into their drab clothing, and we think it is cool. They also put us into their Godless mentality, if we let them. Parents, please take this to heart. Deal with you children like a fellow dealt with his dog. He told a friend that his dog did not eat any meat. The neighbor asked how that was possible, and he replied that he never gave him any - ha,ha! 


We have fine books on the Sacrament of Confirmation. One is Michael Mueller�s book entitled Grace and the Sacraments from his series of books called God the Teacher of Mankind. The book was published in 1890, and fully covered with an Imprimatur. 

We have all wise Catholics who say that Confirmation is not necessary for salvation, without adding the word absolutely. Michael Mueller writes as follows: 

"Confirmation is not absolutely necessary to salvation; yet it would be a great sin to neglect to receive it, or to despise it."
The sacrament of Confirmation is not, like baptism, absolutely necessary for salvation; it is not an essential means of salvation. It is however, so necessary to be received, that it cannot be willfully neglected without a grievous sin. This opinion, says St. Alphonsus, must be followed as having been decided by Pope Benedict XIV, in a bull concerning the Greeks, wherein he says: 
"They (who are not confirmed) are to be admonished by the bishops that they make themselves guilty of grievous sin if they refuse and neglect to receive confirmation when they have an opportunity." (Hom. Apost., Tract. xiv, de Conf., 17)
It would follow that the Bishop or priest who is to confirm would fall into the same sin by neglecting to give the Sacrament of Confirmation. Space does not permit me to write more from Michael Mueller�s book, but I shall say in a few words the purpose of Confirmation. The only way a Christian can become an adult Christian is through Confirmation. There is no other way for child or adult. God wants every person to be in heaven as an adult Christian. The Church in turn does all it can to accomplish that. 

I have critics who say I should not be confirming. With the above teaching, do you agree? Then there are those who say that Pope Pius XII gave priests (pastors and other priests too) the mandate to confirm the non-confirmed infants and adults who are in danger of death. The danger need not be illness as is the case with Extreme Unction. 

The Church here has two obligations in mind. One, the most important one, is to get all souls to heaven as adults, and the second obligation is to have the candidates prepare for Confirmation by a good study of the faith. This last intention is secondary. Hence, anyone not confirmed who is in danger of dying without Confirmation must be confirmed even without that instruction. 

Dearly beloved, I lived with this sacrament under Pius XII for twelve years. On the Mission when I or any missionary visited way-out islands we confirmed every Christian because there was no assurance that those people could call a priest at the time they would die years and years later. Since 1976 I figured I was just as such a missionary. I served people in England, Australia etc, plus the U.S.A. I never go outside of the U.S.A. anymore. Even here I serve from coast to coast and I cannot run to the bedside of every person who is in danger of death. The traditional (Catholic) priests who just sit at home need not confirm until the danger of death is present before them. I cannot do that, so I must in conscience confirm every person that I baptize, child or adult. The adulthood of the individual and the strength Confirmation gives is necessary here and now and the luxury of waiting until the person is twelve or thereabouts cannot be enjoyed until we have more priests. You can be sure that what I am doing, as was done during the life of Pope Pius XII, will continue even under any new Pope. 


The booklet, Indulgenced Prayers, gives a very fine explanation of indulgences. In it, the Church says of indulgences: 
"All men are to value indulgences highly: that is to say, the remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sin even after its guilt has been forgiven, which ecclesiastical authority grants from the treasury of the Church in behalf of the living after the manner of an absolution, and in behalf of the dead as an intercession." (Canon Law 911).
St. Francis de Sales said: 
"Mark well that the great art of devotion consists in the practice of spiritual elevation of the heart and ejaculatory prayers. Their value is so great that by them the deficiency of every other kind of prayer may be supplied. The omission of these prayers of affection, however, can scarcely be replaced by anything else. A person unaccustomed to these aspirations is unsuited to the duties of the contemplative life, and moreover, he will but imperfectly perform the duties of the active life. Without these flame-like effusions of the heart , quietness will be merely idleness, and activity nothing but confusion and distraction."

May the Lord bless thee and keep thee; May He show His face to thee and have mercy on thee. May the Lord bless + thee. Amen. 

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