Sunday, September 4, 2016

Living on the Rock

I often have to explain to colleagues that the Bible is not the only source for Christian revelation, but to it must also be added Sacred Tradition and magisterial teaching, which means that Jesus continues to teach and guide His Church through the Pope and the bishops in union with him. AS an example, recall Our Lord's inspiration of Blessed Pope Paul VI to prohibit contraception in Humanae Vitae, after the Pope initiated a commission to investigate whether or not the traditional teaching could be developed to allow for the regulation of births. Our first Pope is one of the few Apostles whose words and actions are displayed throughout the Gospel narratives, which, if one is familiar with them, reminds one that the rock on which the Church is built is a rock precisely because Peter is divinely supported, as are his successors. 

The papacy is an office established, supported, and guided by Jesus Christ Himself.  Yes, the papacy has been occupied by men who have scandalized that office. Alexander VI comes to mind.... Even St. Peter's understanding of the Messiah was wrong from the start (see Mt. 16:21-23)

Can “the rock” get stuck in worldly thinking? Indeed, the history of the papacy is scarred by men who were lascivious, penurious, fathered children, and were more concerned with power than the proclamation of the Gospel. Paul rebuked Peter, “because he clearly was wrong.” (Gal 2:14)

Now to Peter’s successor, Pope Francis. We must be open to the possibility that his Laudato si needs clarification, for no one has the authority to alter the Sacred Tradition that has been handed on to the faithful for 2000 years, to amalgamate Sacred Tradition with modern thinking contrary to the natural moral law.

As I recount in my book, our opponent the Devil prowls about the world, seeking the ruin of souls, and so we must resist him, solid in our faith in Christ’s promise that, despite the feebleness and even sinfulness of “Peter”, the gates of hell will not prevail against the Body of Christ (though they will never cease trying). We must do this even if it means we face a “Peter and Paul” minute, when the Pope needs to be respectfully confronted, critiqued. 

So much hope, grace, and power Our Lord desires to pour upon His Bride! Let us seek first His Kingdom and rely on His promises to "the Rock", because He is faithful.