Friday, April 2, 2010

Donum Veitas (The Gift of Truth)

So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

Paul's Letter to the Corinthians 1:17-25
For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside. "Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith. For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
In his book: Spiritual Passages - The Psychology of Spiritual Development, Father Benedict Groeschel writes that the spiritual life is hearing God's call it can be described as hearing the "Four Voices of God." God as One, God as Good, God as Beautiful, and God as True. While I would certainly acknowledge the voice of God as the One, Supreme Unity, and God as the Beloved Affection of the human race and as Divine Beauty, Perfect in All Things. More than anything else I see God as Truth. I don't see Jesus Christ as a reason for living - I see Him as the reason for living. I believe that for people living in the 21st century the question that is so often asked, but not out loud is this: How is Jesus Christ, someone I can't see, who lived thousands of years ago, who does not bring me any pleasure, who appears to make no difference in my life, how is He relevant to me? The answer the world gives, and many times it is their parents who first echo it is: Jesus Christ is not relevant.

If God is not relevant, how does one come about seeing the Goodness of God and His Beauty? I speak with junior high students daily and honestly many of them see God as being irrelevant. I do not have all the answers, but I do believe that catechesis must involve asking the questions. Asking them questions at a very young age. Catechesis must involve the family, it must be able to penetrate all aspects of a young person's life. By the time they are teenagers it is too late. The teaching of the faith has become mechanical, in my opinion. I do not think the Church and most Catholics quite understand the crisis we are in. Many adult Catholics expend their energy on political issues; abortion, health care and fighting against the creeping secularism that is swallowing our society. This is reflected in the popular Catholic blogs that really deal with politics - that is what people want to hear about and they get them in huge numbers. It shows me that most people are not concerned with true Christianity - Jesus never railed against the injustice of the heathen Romans, His truths transcend all that non-sense. We better wake up and soon.

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