Thursday, December 16, 2004

Norms of Catholic Orthodoxy - Rule 13

Previously I had comented on Rule 10 from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. This evening, I would propose another for discussion. It is one which requires both faith and humility. If one does not have complete faith in Jesus Christ and His promise to be with His Church guided by the Holy Spirit until the end of time, one may find it difficult to accept this rule:
To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black, if the Hierarchical Church so decides it, believing that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Bride, there is the same Spirit which governs and directs us for the salvation of our souls. Because by the same Spirit and our Lord Who gave the ten Commandments, our holy Mother the Church is directed and governed.
Even if my reason is not in agreement with something that the Church states is true and must be believed, I cannot err if I submit to the Church and assent to what she proposes. One does err and sin when one exalts oneself to that level of superiority where one's own opinions are of greater importance that the truth as proposed by the Church. We have witnessed this in our own time over and over again - by bishops, priests and the laity. We can see it nearly everyday. If we look back through history, we will see it there as well. One great example of this is the protestant rebellion in the 16th century.

I cannot fail to mention how peaceful and joyful one's life can be when one accepts what the Church proposes for our belief and assents to it without questions or complaints. It seems that one who is continually complaining and dissenting from the Church's teachings is really quite unhappy - there is a lack of true joy in his life. Are they who dissent from the Church's teachings on chastity, for instance, truly happy? Are they who openly defy the Holy See in other doctrinal and disciplinary matters truly following our Lord?

There is much joy to be gained when one takes up his cross to follow Jesus. He gives us extraordinary graces when we are obedient to Him and obedient to His Church.

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