Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Jesus Christ was authentic in every thing He did or said. I have always been fascinated by the consistency in His actions and words throughout the Gospel. I am reading a book by Father Thomas Dubay, S.M. titled "Authenticity: A Biblical Theology of Discernment" In it he makes this point regarding discernment: How do we know that we are really hearing the Holy Spirit? How do we know that God's revelation is in fact true? Father Dubay answers those questions by examining authenticity, for as he writes "The genuine article shares in the stability of its Author: Yesterday, today,yes and forever." The Catechism of the Catholic Church states "Man tends by nature towards truth" (CCC 2467) Father Dubay continues "But more is required. The human person must be whole to be completely authentic. In the present economy of salvation, wholeness means divinization." "There is consequently no fully authentic natural man." The genuine man or woman measures up to the test. "Authenticity coincides with sanctity" Father Dubay goes on to describe what is the classical theological way of thinking about authenticity known as heroic virtue - goodness to a superlative degree. He writes "Heroic goodness is a specific human quality (humility, patience, purity, love)that shows itself in actions that are (1) promptly, easily, joyfully done, (2) even in difficult situations, (3) habitually, not just occasionally, (4) present actually, not just potentially; (5) found mingled in all virtues." Humility will manifest itself in the way we think and act in matters concerning modesty, or avoiding the need to be dominating in conversation or to impress people for instance. In matters of faith the longing for truth and knowledge and standing by what is right and true no matter what others think. Our authenticity will be revealed in our purity, revering the divine gift of sexuality, in obedience, our trust and love for others, in our patience, how we deal with criticism or when things don't go our way. In examining the way we behave in comparison to Christ we can see what is truly authentic. In a side note here; when I am asked about my Faith, for instance someone is inquiring about the joining the Church, in an indirect manner or quasi inquisitive fashion or someone is interested in discernment, what I want to know is this: Are you interested in the truth, what is right and just, what is good, or do you want your faith to fit your lifestyle as logical complement to your secular values? Those values are not congruent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and so you will not be in a position of readiness to discern the Holy Spirit. This is very important to acknowledge this, because (a) you will be wasting your time and (b) it will not aid in conversion. We must deny ourselves and pick up our crosses to be enganed with the Holy Spirit.
Posted by Paul Bernacchio at 8:27 AM