A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Not a locked-up secret

Every human discipline has levels that are too difficult for the non-specialist to master, whether it is plastic surgery or theology.

Some specialists, however, go much further. They like making their specialty seem unfathomable and making themselves the gatekeepers of its powerful secrets.

Sad to say, this tendency has been very much present among people of faith throughout human history. From time to time there have been whole groups (such as pagan mystery cults or pseudo-Christian Gnostics)

In today’s Gospel (Luke 17:20-25) our Lord gives warnings about messianic and eschatological cults that profess to have secret knowledge about the Kingdom of God, the second coming of Christ, and even particular secret locations.

The kingdom of God is not coming
with signs to be observed;
nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!' or `There!'
for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you."

And he said to the disciples,
The days are coming
when you will desire

to see one of the days of the Son of man,
and you will not see it.

And they will say to you, `Lo, there!' or `Lo, here!'
Do not go, do not follow them.
For as the lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of man be in his day.

God is not a locked-away secret.

When our Lord returns, it will not be a secret, but will be like lightning lighting up the sky “from one side to the other.”

Today’s first reading (Wisdom 7:22-8:1) likewise says that God’s wisdom “reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other.”

This ubiquity, however, does not mean that God is fully understandable by finite beings or that everyone is on the same level of theological discernment or that everyone can just sit wherever and however they are. The Kingdom of God may be in the midst of us, but we must open ourselves to that Kingdom at every level of intellect and action.

Nor does it prevent God from choosing particular people to be special instruments of his grace and truth or from choosing to make his presence real in a very special way in particular places. Indeed, we need to take advantage of these special gifts of God: most especially the Magisterium and the Sacraments: not that the action and the presence of God is limited to these things in an absolute way – they are simply yet powerfully special gifts of the Omnipresent God.

May we open ourselves more fully to the Kingdom of God and to his gift of Wisdom.

For in (Wisdom) there is a spirit
that is intelligent, holy,
unique, manifold, subtle,
mobile, clear, unpolluted,
distinct, invulnerable, loving the good,
beneficent, humane, steadfast,
sure, free from anxiety,
all-powerful, overseeing all,
and penetrating through all spirits
that are intelligent and pure and most subtle.

For wisdom is more mobile than any motion;
because of her pureness
she pervades and penetrates all things.

For she is a breath of the power of God,
and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.

For she is a reflection of eternal light,
a spotless mirror of the working of God,
and an image of his goodness.

Though she is but one, she can do all things,
and while remaining in herself, she renews all things;
in every generation she passes into holy souls
and makes them friends of God, and prophets;
for God loves nothing so much
as the man who lives with wisdom.

For she is more beautiful than the sun,
and excels every constellation of the stars.

Compared with the light she is found to be superior,
for it is succeeded by the night,
but against wisdom evil does not prevail.

She reaches mightily
from one end of the earth to the other,
and she orders all things well.