"Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it" (Lk.11:28). Like Blessed Mary, who conceived the Word of God in her heart before she conceived Him in her womb, we must hear the word of God and believe. Jesus, exasperated by the lack of belief of His hearers, once compared them to children sitting in the market place, shouting to one another: "We have piped to you and you have not danced; we have sung dirges and you have not mourned" (Mt.11:16,17). Created by God as rational creatures, their minds were too clouded by sin and the errors of the times to recognize the Messiah when they saw Him.
It is reasonable to believe God. It is reasonable to believe what God has revealed. The Catholic Religion is the most reasonable of all religions. In fact, it is the only reasonable religion, the only religion based on the truth of God's revealed word. Hearing God's word means belonging to the Catholic Church, the Ark of Salvation. The Church expresses this doctrine in the formula, Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, "Outside the Church there is no salvation." In the Athanasian Creed we read, "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith; Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly."
Reason comes into its own only under the light of faith-true Catholic faith, and not the fuzzy, insubstantial faith of the Modernists. St. Augustine advised: "Do not understand that you may believe; believe that you may understand." Taking up the idea, St. Anselm offered: Credo ut intelligam, "I believe that I may understand," and Fides quaerens intellectum, "Faith seeking understanding." The point is, it makes sense to believe God when He speaks, and it goes against reason to deny what He has revealed, God, "Who can neither deceive nor be deceived." Those who reject God's word, revealed in Jesus Christ, and taught by His Holy Church, must give up being truly rational creatures.
Such are the less-than-rational "biblical experts" usually quoted by the media. They condemn the movie, 'The Passion of The Christ', because it is based on the Gospels which, they say, were not written by eyewitnesses. They were compiled, they claim, much later by the Church to counter its enemies and to give it credibility in the eyes of the world. If what they say were true, everything - apostolic succession, the primacy of Peter, the inspiration of the Scriptures, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist, the validity of the Sacraments, the forgiveness of sins, the promise of eternal life - would all be an elusive dream, and we would all have to walk away from the Catholic Church and become agnostics. That is, if we had a scrap of logic or honesty left in us. But they, denying that the tree has any roots, continue to cling to its branches, calling themselves Catholic.
The phony "biblical experts" are not alone in denying the Catholic faith. We are expected to believe that at Vatican II "the Holy Spirit provided an illumination enabling the Church to look at itself in a new light." This "new light" apparently allows the Church to change her mind about her previous teachings. The doctrine, Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, "Outside the Church there is no salvation," defined by popes and councils as an infallible doctrine that must be believed by all Catholics, no longer applies. Suddenly all of humanity is headed for the "common homeland" following the "different paths" which God never ceases to point out to us (Papal Message for World Mission Day, May 20, 2002). This is because Christ unites Himself to every man at the moment of his conception, a new teaching recently referred to by the Papal Household Theologian, Cardinal Cottier, commenting on the encyclical Redemptor Hominis of John Paul II: "the Pope often reminds us that… in the incarnation Christ united himself to every person…" (Zenit, March 7, 2004).
From no salvation "extra ecclesiam" to salvation for everyone! Is this reasonable? If such a change can be made, then the Catholic Church was wrong for 2,000 years, so how can we know that it teaches the truth now? And how do we know that it will not change its mind again and teach something else at a future Vatican III? The answer is that we cannot know. If what they say is true (and right reason tells us it is not), there is no Christianity that we can believe in. We must just walk away and join the millions who have already left, because there is no rational basis for our faith. Catholic Christianity is finished as a serious and reasonable religion.
The numerous incidents of prevarication by the Vatican, says a recent article, "reveal for anyone with his eyes open that the present rot extends all the way to the top. Four decades of pretending otherwise have gotten us nowhere. Truth, say the philosophers, consists of conformity of mind to reality. It is reality itself from which the neo-Catholics have consistently sheltered themselves, all the while hurling barbs at traditionalists who refuse to accept that up is down, true is false, and that yesterday's novelty could be today's orthodoxy" (Thomas E. Woods Jr., Cafeteria Bishops, seattlecatholic.com, March 8, 2004).
After Vatican II, Catholic seminaries and other educational institutions began to expunge "pre-Vatican II" materials from their libraries. At my monastery in Canada, cartloads of books were removed from the monastery library and dumped into a hole behind the barn. But one of the good monastery priests, refusing to believe that "up is down" and "true is false", slipped out of the monastery under cover of darkness with a wheelbarrow, rescued as many books as he could, and stacked them in his room.
Indeed, we are not all fooled by these "masters of deceit". Perhaps it was of them that Jesus prophesied: "Every plant that My Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides of blind men. But if a blind man guide a blind man, both fall into a pit" (Mt.15:13,14).
We still pray with believing Catholics of every time and place: "O my God, I firmly believe… all the truths that the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived" (Act of Faith).
"Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it" (Lk.11:28).