Ask Father Hardon
Catholic Faith - Vol. 2 - #4, Jul / Aug 1996
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Q. My question is whether sufficient grace for salvation is given to everyone? M.P., Maine
A. Yes, it is the Church's universal teaching that everyone receives sufficient grace forsalvation. The key word is "sufficient," as distinct from efficacious grace. God wants everyone to reach heaven. In sheer justice, therefore, He provides adequate grace for everyone, as light for the mind and strength for the will, to reach their heavenly destiny. Why, then, can we not say that everyone will actually be saved? It cannot be because God is wanting in His generosity to provide sufficient grace for salvation. It can only be becausesome people do not cooperate with graces they receive. Grace is a gift of God, offered to our minds to accept and to our wills to cooperate with. Those who cooperate with the grace of God will be saved.
Q. Why are Catholics sometimes permitted to receive Holy Communion under both species and sometimes only permitted to receive the consecrated Host? G.M.E., Massachusetts
A. According to the Code of Canon Law, "Holy Communion is to be given under the form of
bread and wine or under both kinds in accord with the norm of the liturgical laws or even under the form of wine, alone in case of necessity" (Canon 925). The Second Vatican Council has encouraged the reception of Holy Communion under both forms. Yet since the Vatican Council, there have been various qualifications which limit the administration of the Eucharist under the form of both bread and wine. The reason for this restriction is the liability to abuse of the Blessed Sacrament where the whole congregation, at every Mass, would receive from the chalice. Not the least of these abuses is consecration of such an abundance of wine that a large quantity of the Precious Blood is left over after Mass. Sacrilegious disposition of the consecrated chalice is not uncommon in some places. As a result, the normal procedure is to restrict the reception of communion under both species only to special occasions, such as weddings or certain solemn feasts. Moreover, the priests may administer Holy Communion by intinction. Here they dip the consecrated Host into the chalice and say to the communicant, "The Body and Blood of Christ."
Q. Is it morally licit to invest in the stock market? Short term or long term? R.K.M., California
A. It is morally licit to invest in the stock market, whether short term or long term. The basic reason is that the stock market is a form of legitimate business in our capitalistic society. Some qualifications, however, should be made. There is such a thing as investing in a stock market which is risky, either to the investor or to the one receiving the investment. We may not use the stock market to exploit other people nor capitalize on what may be their ignorance of the danger of a certain investment and we taking advantage of their ignorance by making money unjustly. Moreover, there are stocks which involve the marketing of materials or facilities that are contrary to the moral law, like pornography or the multibillion contraceptive trade. Still again there are those involved in stock market trading who are promoting harmful drugs or supporting sterilization. Here, too, it is morally forbidden to engage in the stock market if it is known or even strongly suspected that the stock market dealers are engaged in business which is contrary to the laws of God.
All of these exceptions simply highlight the prudence and care that a believing Christian should use in trading in the stock market. But stock market trading as such is consistent with basic moral principles.
Vol. 2 - #4, Jul / Aug 1996
Copyright © 1996 by Inter Mirifica
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