We have the Truth, but where is our zeal?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1 (my emphasis)
“Christ said, not a single iota of the truth He gave was to be changed, then by what right do we sit in judgment on Divinity and say: This much of Your truth we will accept, because it pleases us, and this much we will reject? We are not the creators of divine truth; we are only the trustees and the guardians. God’s truths are not optional any more than the right to happiness is optional; they are not debatable any more than the multiplication table is debatable. Any sect which starts with the assumption that it has rights over God’s truth proves that it is man-made, and a religion that is man-made can be man-unmade. But a Church which is God-made cannot be man-unmade.” (my emphasis)
– Archbishop Fulton Sheen
In support of Archbishop Sheen' quote, St Augustin wrote: "If you believe what you like in gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." (I refer to this quote many times as it is a bona fide representation of how many Catholics think, do or say.)
Referring to the chaotic state of Mother Church, the average Catholic wonders what the truth is. On one hand, we are to obey our church leaders. On the other, there exists blind obedience when God's Truth does not lie within the precepts of what some leaders pretend dogma is. Personally, I have been fighting this for several years and, only recently, have come to the conclusion that it is the Gospels and Holy Scripture I must obey... and those clergy that preach God's Word... His Truth.
Happy is he to whom truth manifests itself, not in signs and words that fade, but as it actually is. What good is much discussion of involved and obscure matters when our ignorance of them will not be held against us on Judgment Day? He to whom the Eternal Word speaks is free from theorizing. Without this Word no man understands or judges aright. He to whom it becomes everything, who traces all things to it and who sees all things in it, may ease his heart and remain at peace with God. (my emphasis)
O God, You Who are the truth, make me one with You in love everlasting. I am often wearied by the many things I hear and read, but in You is all that I long for.
This ought to be our purpose, then: to conquer self, to become stronger each day, to advance in virtue. (my emphasis)
Humble knowledge of self is a surer path to God than the ardent pursuit of learning. A clean conscience and virtuous life ought always to be preferred. On the day of judgment, surely, we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done; not how well we have spoken but how well we have lived. He is truly wise who looks upon all earthly things as folly that he may gain Christ. He who does God's will and renounces his own is truly very learned. (my emphasis)
Pardon the pun, but oh so true. But why? Why is the Word so difficult to believe?
I know many, and I used to be one, Catholics who do not read Holy Scripture; they rely on Sunday sermons. The problem arises when the homily doesn't accent the readings in favor of a liturgical agenda that is important to the parish priest. (Not a bad thing, by the way, as our pastor has been emphasizing the catechism during Ordinary Time.) Then there are those who fail to articulate, properly in some cases, the value of Sunday readings in our lives. The onus is on each individual to read Holy Scripture. (And we know what St. Jerome says: "To ignore scripture, is to ignore Christ.")
St. John Bosco once wrote: “Only God knows the good that can come about by reading one good Catholic book." I have a sister who doesn't like to read. I once didn't like to read, but now that I've read over 50 Catholic books, I thank my Lord that I picked up that first book.
Then there are those who want to belong to the Catholic Church, but don't feel welcomed. They don't feel welcomed, in my opinion, because they disagree with the Truth. I don't know of any secular club that would allow its members to join and not follow the bylaws. That's a rough analogy but makes sense. Consider Catholics who don't believe in doctrine, like purgatory. What they don't understand, and the truth is this, if they are mentally capable and have had the necessary education, yet reject doctrine, then they may be committing mortal sin. Sadly, those who do not believe in the True Presence of our Lord in Holy Eucharist and still receive Holy Communion, have strayed even farther from the truth.
As Archbishop Sheen said from above, "But a Church which is God-made cannot be man-unmade."
Accenting Thomas Kempis, we cannot advance in vulture if we don't, strictly, follow/obey/live God's Truth.
God Bless you