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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sāncta Māter Ecclēsia, Tē Amō.

Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

— Matthew 13:17.

The more discussions I have about Sacred Scripture, the more I realize how much confusion exists regarding it. How often does one read a passage and wonder, "What exactly does this mean? What exactly is God trying to say to us here?"

There are certain moments in which I am granted the gift of a partial realization of how lost I would be without the guiding light of Holy Mother Church. One of these moments came in my discussions with others about the recent decision by the Supreme Court constituting an attempt to alter the unchangeable definition of marriage — a definition which, I should say, is unchangeable even by Holy Mother Church, Herself. In a conversation with someone who was defending the Court's decision, I was taken aback to realize that some are going so far as to make efforts to contort Scripture in such a way that would allow for such alterations:

... from a biblical standpoint, I have been engaged in healthy debates about whether the "homosexuality" Paul may have been railing against had more to do with casual same sex adultery and pederasty than what we see today. ... if [the homosexual act] is a sin (which is debatable), ... stopping the marriage part will not affect the thing some consider to be the sin. ... there is no compelling argument even within the faith community, that justifies the opposition of Gay Marriage.

— An Interlocutor, defending the Court's decision.

It is in moments such as these that my deep appreciation and love for the guiding magisterial light of Holy Mother Church grows deeper. How lost I would be without Her.

I encountered one particular passage in the Gospels a few days ago that caused me some confusion. It was in Luke 19, when Jesus is entering into Jerusalem, and the disciples are rejoicing and praising him, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the Lord!" The Pharisees then tell Jesus to rebuke his disciples, to which He replies,

I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.

— Luke 19:40.

What does Jesus mean by this, "the very stones would cry out"? Well, in such situations when I am confused about a particular passage of Scripture, I've found the commentary from Navarre, under the auspices of Josemaría Escrivá, to be quite helpful. Quoth the Navarre,

The Pharisees, maybe because they fear a riot, criticize Jesus for allowing the demonstration. He replies in a phrase which sounds like a proverb: so obvious is his messiahship that if men refused to recognize it, nature would proclaim it.

— from the Navarre Commentary on Luke 19:28-40.

I must say, yet again: how lost I would be without the guidance of the innumerable well-trained theologians of the Church, lead by the Holy Spirit. I have little doubt that, without them, it is quite possible that I would be among those subscribing to the untenable — to be sure, patently ludicrous — conclusions such as those of my interlocutor above, or even that I would be engaging in snake-handling based on what we read in Mark 16:18. Indeed, we should not take lightly what Jesus tells us in Matthew 13:17. Many great men — even "righteous men" — have lived and died without having heard and understood the words of Jesus. But for the grace of God, working through the teachings and sacraments of Holy Mother Church, there go I.

Quaerimus, "Father, how should we deal more with the Holy Spirit in our ordinary life?"

St. Josemaría Escrivá responds,

In your ordinary life, by seeking -- I am sure that you do so -- the presence of God who is within you. You receive Him in Holy Communion. The gastric juices in the stomach function in their natural way, the sacramental species disappear and with them the presence of Jesus Christ. But then, the Holy Spirit remains behind and continues to act. Together with Him, the Father and the Son also act, because there is only one God. But it is the Holy Spirit who acts in the souls of Christians. And you, who are a tabernacle of God, you go into yourself many times a day and say: "Lord, how can I do this in such a way that it is more pleasing in your sight?; Lord, I am feeling this tempation, and that one, these bad inclinations ... " Don't get frightened, Ok? All of us have a beast inside of us. Even older people. In this regard, we are all the same, and it is one of the marvels of God's goodness, because if we did not know we could fall into all kinds of miseries, we would be very proud. In this way, not being proud, we will tend a little towards humility. If only we could tend a lot more towards humility.

— St. Josemaría Escrivá (✝1975).

St. Josemaría Escrivá, pray for us and our nation, having long faltered.

Etiamsi oportuerit me mori tecum, non te negabo.


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