Lk 11, 29-38
The crowds got even bigger and he addressed them, ‘This is an evil generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of man be a sign to this generation. On Judgement Day the Queen of the South will stand up against the people of this generation and be their condemnation, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, look, there is something greater than Solomon here.
On Judgement Day the men of Nineveh will appear against this generation and be its condemnation, because when Jonah preached they repented; and, look, there is something greater than Jonah here.
If we were to try to apply this text of the Gospel to the present situation of faith, we might say: even the people of today would like to see a sign to recognize the truth, insofar as they still ask for the truth.
What would the Lord answer? Would he tell the people that a sign has already been given; the sign of his coming to the earth and the sign of his Catholic Church?
Would he tell us that we can know where the truth is?
Personally, I who writes these daily reflections, I have searched for the truth from a certain age on. By God’s grace I was allowed to meet the Lord and knew from that moment that I had found the one who can say of himself that he is the truth (cf. Joh 14,6).
That is now decades back. I asked my Lord where His true Church was. He answered the question and led me to the Catholic Church.
Now the truth is not only a subjective perception, but the full realization of the reality given by God, especially in the supernatural dimension. Although it is true that there was a merciful recognition for me – for which I cannot thank God enough my whole life – it is just as true that this truth exists and is open to every human being.
So it is a clear sign of God erected and one need not ask for more signs.
What responsibility does it give us Catholics from the fact of knowing the Lord and being members in His Church!
It is all the more painful to see the radiant splendour of truth emanating from the Church becoming increasingly obscured. Perhaps it is not entirely comprehensible to some Catholics how deep such pain can go and how great the damage that comes from it.
In the following I would like to give an excerpt from the book by Dietrich von Hildebrand, which very well describes an essential aspect of the obscurity that haunts the creep.
The excerpts from his book “The Trojan Horse in the City of God” from the chapter – “False Irinism” are taken. I ask for a little patience because of the intellectual language of the author. But his thoughts are so precious that I want to pass them on as he laid them down.
“Take, for example, the so-called false Irinism, which spreads among many Catholics. This means a false love of peace, a false understanding of unity that postpones the question of truth in favour of peace or an assumed unity … This false Irinism is not limited to those who are incapable or unwilling to see the danger that threatens the Church in secularization and apostasy, which are spreading in the ranks of progressive Catholics. Even many people who clearly recognize the danger in the Church believe that it is somehow unwelcome to expose the dangers.
Let us take St. Augustine as an example, whose struggle against Pelagianism has always been connected with love for the heretics. .. True love absolutely demands the “killing of error”!”
“False irenicism is motivated by a misconceived charity at the service of a meaningless unity. It places unity above truth. Having severed the essential link between charity and defense of the truth, irenicism is more concerned with reaching a unity with all men than with leading them to Christ and His eternal truth. It ignores the fact that real unity can be reached only in truth. Our Lord’s prayer “that they may be one” implies being one in Him and must not be separated from His words in John: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever does not enter the sheep shed through the door , but enters elsewhere, who is a thief and robber… I am the door to the sheep shed… Whoever enters through me will be saved… ‘And other sheep I have that are not of this fold. Them also I must bring and they shall hear my voice. And there shall be one fold and one shepherd.’ (Joh 10,1-16)””
I quote these passages in view of the fact that in our Church there is hardly any official rejection of the error. Obviously, one is afraid of it or has a false view of the evil of error. Instead, he can spread his poison to the highest circles of the Church. This is very tragic and weakens the souls of the faithful.
One cannot put unity above the truth, one cannot, for example, aspire to ecumenism and negate differences, one cannot serve in the interreligious dialogue and relativize that the Lord is the only saviour.
May our Holy Church be faithful in the truth entrusted so that the splendour of truth may be visible for all nations. For this we are in need of a real cleansing in the Holy Spirit so that people can read the sign that saves them.