Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Truth Shall Make You Free

This statement, which has become proverbial, is part of the Gospel (Jn. 8:31-42) of today's Mass (Wednesday of 5th Week of Lent). But most people are perhaps unaware of it's context: who said it, to whom and the necessary condition on which it is based?

Christ is the one who said it and He was speaking "to the Jews who had come to believe in Him." It is a conditional statement: "If you abide in my word, you shall truly be my disciples, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."

In order for you to have freedom, therefore, you need to 1) know the truth. The truth can make you free only if you know it. And 2) you will know the truth if you are a true disciple of Jesus Christ (He being the Way, the Truth and the Life: noone comes to the Father except through Him). And 3) you are a true disciple of Christ if you abide in His word

This is the proper context of "the truth shall set you free." Get with Jesus and you can live, move, breathe, be for real, deeply, thoroughly and meaningfully.

There is an essentially ecclesial dimension also to this abiding. The place of the Lord's abiding is with the Father and with the body of believers: the Catholic and Apostolic Church. Just two chapters earlier in the same Gospel of John (6:57) we read "He who eats my flesh, and drink my blood abides in me and I in him." Holy Communion! Catholic Mass! That is the way to Christian abiding communion with the eternal Father in the eternal Word made Flesh.

So the question of freedom comes down to the fundamental problem of abiding with God in Christ. No Christ, no freedom. No Church (no Mass), no Christ. The foundation for the source of freedom is the truth which Christ teaches each man through the sacramental ministry of His Church.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Belloc's Antisemitism

Hilaire Belloc's writings are anti-Semitic: he consistently mocks the Arab and Islam, deriding them in several of his works. (E.g. the last three chapters of The Battle Ground and the entire The Mercy of Allah which is a caricature of one of the world's great civilizations, surprising in such a versatile thinker. His position, sad to say, is typical of the American conservative Catholic.)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Christ's Final Word: Silence!

The Holy Father eloquently and insightfully continues his theme on the depth of silence for supernatural understanding and direction in life with yesterday's Wednesday audience on the prayer of Christ on the Christ. You've heard of "the seven last words" of Christ from the Cross. Well, Pope Benedict sheds light on the most eloquent and deepest message of Christ from the Cross and the deepest source for the deepening of faith and divine confidence: silence: that of Christ on the Cross, that of man before the mystery of God, and that of the Father in the face of the greatest human tragedy.

Verbo crescente, verba deficient! (Saint Augstine).

When the Word of God increases the words of men fail.
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