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...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Truth for our time (and for all)

In these days of debate, crisis and uncertainty, the words of today’s first reading (Ephesians 4:7-16) offer strength and comfort, especially as so famously and wonderfully discussed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger at that Votive Mass before the conclave that would elect him Pope Benedict XVI.

“In (this) reading, the letter to the Ephesians, we see basically three aspects:

“First, the ministries and charisms in the Church, as gifts of the Lord risen and ascended into heaven.

“Then there is the maturing of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, as a condition and essence of unity in the body of Christ.

“Finally, there is the common participation in the growth of the body of Christ - of the transformation of the world into communion with the Lord.

“Let us dwell on only two points.

“The first is the journey towards ‘the maturity of Christ’ as it is said in the Italian text, simplifying it a bit. More precisely, according to the Greek text, we should speak of the ‘measure of the fullness of Christ’, to which we are called to reach in order to be true adults in the faith.

"We should not remain infants in faith, in a state of minority.

“And what does it mean to be an infant in faith? Saint Paul answers: it means ‘tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery’ (
Ephesians 4:14).

“This description is very relevant today!

“How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking… The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves – thrown from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, and so forth.

“Every day new sects are created and what Saint Paul says about human trickery comes true, with cunning which tries to draw those into error (cf Ephesians 4:14).

“Having a clear faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism.

“Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and ‘swept along by every wind of teaching’, looks like the only attitude (acceptable) to today’s standards.

“We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.

“However, we have a different goal: the Son of God, true man.

“He is the measure of true humanism.

“Being an ‘Adult’ means having a faith which does not follow the waves of today’s fashions or the latest novelties. A faith which is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ is adult and mature.

“It is this friendship which opens us up to all that is good and gives us the knowledge to judge true from false, and deceit from truth.

“We must become mature in this adult faith; we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith.

“And it is this faith – only faith – which creates unity and takes form in love.

“On this theme, Saint Paul offers us some beautiful words - in contrast to the continual ups and downs of those were are like infants, tossed about by the waves: (he says) make ‘truth in love’, as the basic formula of Christian existence.

“In Christ, truth and love coincide.”