Saturday, September 7, 2013

Yes and no

The real Jesus is described in the gospels, and He lives in the Church. In the gospels, and only there, and not in any men’s books about Him, no matter how eloquent or how true they seem. No, only in the gospels.

What then of all the Christian books about Christ, written from the time of the early Church fathers right down to the present day? Have these any value?

Well, yes and no. At best they are descriptions of the real Jesus written in the spirits, minds and flesh of His real disciples, to be read for encouragement and to point the way back to the gospels. At worst, they are delusions and speculations of sick and depraved minds, that use education, or celebrity, or usurpation of authority as licenses to vex the Church and destroy souls.

The real Jesus lives in the Church. He is not merely an historical personage of some importance, nor is He only an example to be admired or even imitated, nor is He just a righteous God hidden in the heavens, waiting for the secret moment to return to earth to judge the living and the dead, nor is He the divine Captive in the sacrament, doled out in water and oil, bread and wine.

What then of the life of discipleship? What then of the doctrines, dogmas and creeds? What then of the ceremonies and rites of the Church? Have these any value?

Well, yes and no. At best they are the deliberate and conscious fulfilling of the divine commandments, leading to liberation and salvation in this life, and the sure foundation and preparation for eternal life in the world to come. At worst they are a harsh discipline designed to abort love, imprison faith, harness hope to imaginary goals, and render the life of both the Christian and the Church powerless.

Everything depends on what we say to God when we meet Him, here and now, one moment at a time. When we meet Him, it is no longer a matter of ‘yes and no’ but a matter of Yes… or No.

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