|The Holy Spirit: Not to be confused with the spirit of Vatican II|
As Christians we have to walk a way that upholds and proclaims truth but that is rooted in charity.
Anger and resentment really are not about charity, but walking away from charity. That is not to say our anger cannot be righteous, but that we can easily fall into a trap of thinking our anger is righteous, when it is just plain human anger, bitterness and resentment.
The Spirit of Francis Versus the Spirit of Truth?
But I say the truth to you, it is profitable for you that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go I will send him to you. And having come, he will bring demonstration to the world, of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe on me; of righteousness, because I go away to my Father, and ye behold me no longer; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
I have yet many things to say to you, but ye cannot bear them now. But when he is come, the Spirit of truth, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but whatsoever he shall hear he shall speak; and he will announce to you what is coming. He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine and shall announce it to you.
|St Peter preaches to the Greeks|
In terms of judgment - and nothing in the Gospels suggests there is 'no judgment' - the Holy Spirit brings either condemnation or salvation depending on how we co-operate with or respond to Him. The same Spirit that gave the Apostles the power to preach Christ Crucified to Jews and Gentiles also brought about the conversion of new believers in the Risen Lord. The Holy Spirit is not a vague spirit in the new age sense of a 'spirit', but the Spirit of holiness, Who is God. The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. This is why we are not orphans, because 50 days after the Lord - Jesus Christ - ascended from the early Church, the Lord - the Holy Spirit - descended to and stayed with the early Church to this very day. That is why today is the Church's Birthday!
The Spirit that the Lord Jesus promised to His Church is not 'a spirit' like that described of the Second Vatican Council, but God Himself. Because He, the Holy Spirit, is Holy, one Person of the Thrice Holy God, the Church's teachings cannot err. We were not promised or given any old spirit, but God Himself. This is precisely why the Church's teachings cannot be altered or 'developed' (read: altered) according to the whim of some heretical German Cardinal. To alter the Church's doctrine would not be to say, 'Sorry, we got it wrong', but rather, 'Sorry, the Holy Spirit was wrong' - that God was wrong!
I wonder whether this is because His Holiness has not accepted the Spirit of Truth. That will sound terribly arrogant of me to say, but bear with me on this because there is a greater arrogance than mine, an arrogance which is attributable to anyone who presumes that Almighty God is in error or that He lies.
Truth: The Modern Heresy
We live in a particularly sad time when the Church, both within and without, faces near total rejection unless it capitulates to the 'spirit' of the age. We have to accept that for the vast majority of modern men and women, the very idea of 'absolute truth' is outrageous, even 'blasphemous' to the age's false idols. Even within the Church, the concept of 'absolute truth' is seen as something of a 'problem'. Here is Pope Francis speaking on that very matter...
“I would not speak, not even for a believer, of ‘absolute’ truth, in the sense of absolute as disconnected, lacking any relationship,” the Pope explained. "Truth, according to Christian faith, is the love of God for us in Jesus Christ. Therefore truth is a relationship. This does not mean that truth is variable and subjective – on the contrary,” he wrote. “But it means that truth is given to us always and only as a path and a life… In other words, truth being after all one in the same as love, it requires humility and openness in order to be sought, welcomed and expressed.”
The Pope would not speak - not even for a believer - of 'absolute truth' in the sense of absolute as 'disconnected, lacking any relationship'. Yet I find this astonishing, for God's Truth is not made true by my coming into relationship with Him. It only becomes true for me in the sense that what is true I now accept. It was objectively true already. It means that in believing in Christ, God's truth becomes also 'my truth' because I have yielded to Him rather than my personal opinion. Before I believed in the Resurrection, the Resurrection was true, but the truth of the Resurrection of the Lord was not made true by my believing in it. Further, the Pope asserts that Truth is the love of God for us in Jesus Christ. This is not what Catholics believe. Catholics believe that Truth is Jesus Christ. Truth is not a relationship. If I believe in the truth then it is because I have a relationship with He Who is the Truth.
Now, I ask this question not to discourage anyone, nor to cast aspersions on the Pope but merely to ascertain the truth in this matter on what His Holiness actually believes:
How can anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as the only Begotten Son of God not claim that His Church proclaims 'absolute truth' regardless of any particular age in which She inhabits and that She is free, even bound to proclaim it?
Not to proclaim the absolute truth is not to proclaim that Christ is Risen. Truth is either absolute - the Truth - or it is compromised by relativism, simply rejected and replaced with a kind of esoteric wisdom that is handed down or passed on from one person to another which can, indeed, be adapted to the particular age. Jesus Christ did not hand down 'wisdom' in the sense that Buddha handed down 'wisdom', even if the Spirit of truth given to believers is also the Spirit of wisdom - even if everything the Lord taught was holy and wise.
Truth and Marriage
Now, we get to this point in human history in which marriage is subject to redefinition by Governments with complete disinterest for truth. What these governments preach is a kind of personal wisdom that can easily be passed off for truth. The wisdom is this: 'Who are you to stop a same-sex couple from marrying? Only a person who was not nice - or a bigot - would stop that.' That's basically it! From the same populace you will hear arguments about what we used to call marriage. 'Marriage is only a piece of paper', 'My first and second marriages broke down but I found happiness in my third...', 'Marriage doesn't mean anything, its just about a loving couple coming together to make one another happy'.
Of course, if 'absolute truth' does not exist - if God does not exist (except in our personal imagination) - then all of these arguments are completely valid. Left alone, all we have is our own brand of wisdom adaptable to our own age. What once held marriages together was the sense of duty that came from Government and society that upheld it as good, informed by Christianity. Remove this and what do we have? A million different ideas of what marriage is and whether it is important or not. Is marriage important? Yes or no. Is it between a man and a woman? Yes or no. There is no in-between. Only the Church can answer. Why? Because we believe in absolute truth regardless of what the world or the age thinks and for that reason She has always been persecuted for upholding the truth of Her Lord.
Yet the mystery of this papacy deepens with certain statements from the Pope that have a certain 'dogmatic' quality. For instance, according to one homily by Pope Francis, the Devil wants to destroy the family. Is he or is he not? Does the Devil absolutely exist? What will the Devil be looking to achieve at the Synod? With such high divorce rates and now same-sex marriage, is it not even more likely that in reality the Devil has destroyed the family, but that Christians must rescue it and rebuild it? If the Devil has all but destroyed the family in the West, is it not true that he has done it with a great deal of complicity from the Catholic Church?
The Spirit Whom the World Cannot Receive
The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see him nor know him; but ye know him, for he abides with you, and shall be in you.
Is Jesus Christ the Lord? Absolutely. Has the Church been guaranteed inerrancy in Her teaching? Absolutely - but for some reason the Pope cannot say that. His Holiness can happily talk of the Church as a 'flawed Mother', but I never detect with Pope Francis that the Church is truly Holy - born from God Himself, like Eve from the side of Adam! Did the Holy Spirit come down on Our Lady and the Apostles at Pentecost? Yes! Absolutely!
|A life-changing event: The Birth of the Church|
We live in an age when it becomes more and more evident, both inside and outside the Church that the world cannot receive the Spirit of truth. Today, the Pope received, as well as a schismatic, a Muslim, and a Jew at the Vatican for dialogue and prayers for peace. Each prayed in his 'own tradition' for peace, yet peace is not guaranteed to the world through dialogue, fraternity, solidarity or even bonds of mutual respect. These things may foster understanding, but men will lay down their guns and renounce violence when they turn to the Saviour of all mankind and are granted the gift of His peace. True peace is a gift or fruit of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of God's peace sent to those who truly believe in His only Begotten Son. The question is: Has the Pope received Him?
'Truth Himself speaks truly, or there's nothing true.'
~ St Thomas Aquinas