"Put on the new man," says St. Paul, "which has been created in justice and holiness of truth" (Eph.4:24). The "new man" is the spiritual man, clothed in the garment of grace, as Jesus explains in His parable of the Marriage Feast. Those who do not wear the garment of grace will be cast out into the exterior darkness, "For many are called, but few are chosen" (Mt.22:14).
The natural, or sensual man, knows nothing of the things of the Spirit, as St. Paul explains: "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit that is from God, that we may know the things that have been given us by Godů But the sensual man does not perceive the things that are of the Spirit of God, for it is foolishness to him and he cannot understand, because it is examined spiritually. But the spiritual man judges all things, and he himself is judged by no man. For 'who has known the mind of the Lord, that he might instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor.2:12,14-16).
In the world as it is, there is little justice, since everything tends to be under the control of the wealthy and the powerful, most of whom care nothing for the things of the Spirit, setting themselves up as adversaries of the Kingdom of God, as it says in the psalm: "The kings of the earth rise up, and the princes conspire together against the Lord and against his anointedů" (Ps.22).
If the country and the world around us are falling into chaos and ruin, perhaps they should. Perhaps this is God's way of tearing down what is sinful and unjust so that the Kingdom of God may reign. This must happen! Sometimes unsound structures, such as buildings and bridges that have been damaged by earthquakes, must be torn down and rebuilt. Everything built on the shifting sands of this unbelieving world will be swept away; everything built on the rock of Christ will stand.
Our Lord decrees: "Everyone therefore who hears these My words and acts upon them, shall be likened to a wise man who built his house on rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, but it did not fall, because it was founded on rock. And everyone who hears these my words and does not act upon them, shall be likened to a foolish man who built his house on sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and was utterly ruined" (Mt.7:24-27).
The same judgment must be rendered against the present illegitimate structures built upon a worldly foundation by the Conciliar Church. Before the Church can be restored to its former soundness, the heretical teachings about salvation, the false ecumenical programs, and the corrupt hierarchical structures must be swept away.
John Paul II, for example, in his determination to have everyone saved, is now calling for a review of the Church's traditional teaching that unbaptized children do not go to Heaven, but to "limbo" where they will not enjoy the Beatific Vision, but will live in a state of natural happiness. Will they be then the next to be declared saints? In this Zenit News Service report from Vatican City, note the repetitive use of the word "universal" (italics mine):
"After the Second Vatican Council, Catholic theology has sought answers that are in accord with the mercy of God the Father. When John Paul II received the participants in the plenary assembly of the International Theological Commission, he said: 'It (the question of unbaptized infants) is not simply an isolated theological problemůMany other fundamental topics are closely related to it: the universal salvific will of God; the unique and universal mediation of Jesus Christ; the role of the Church, universal sacrament of salvation; the theology of the sacraments; the meaning of the doctrine on original sinů It corresponds to you to scrutinize the nexus among all these mysteries to offer a theological synthesis that might serve as an aid for a more consistent and enlightened pastoral practice'" (Oct. 7, 2004, Zenit.org).
St. Paul never had that same assurance of salvation for all, as he says in his letter to the Philippians: "[W]ork out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God Who of His good pleasure works in you both the will and the performance. Do all things without murmuring and without questioning, so as to be blameless and guileless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a depraved and perverse generation" (Phil.2:12-15).
If there is something out of control in your life - think of the seven deadly sins - grace has not yet had its proper effect. The man without the wedding garment reminds us of those who belong to the Church as the dead branches belong to the tree - lifeless branches will be pruned and thrown into the fire:
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he shall be cast outside as the branch and wither; and they shall gather them up and cast them into the fire, and they shall burn" (Jn.15:5,6).
Sometimes we are visited by misfortune, illness, problems of all kinds. Perhaps God is at work tearing down the old sinful structures in our lives so that we can be reborn through grace "in justice and holiness of truth." Must it take a lifetime to learn to be obedient to God, to learn to accept God's plan, and not to insist on our own? Let Christ be the foundation of our lives, for St. Paul tells us: "For other foundation no one can lay, but that which has been laid, which is Christ Jesus" (1Cor.3:11).
"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace. This grace has abounded beyond measure in us in all wisdom and prudence, so that He may make known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure. And this His good pleasure He purposed in Him to be dispensed in the fullness of the times: to re-establish all things in Christ, both those in the Heavens and those on the earth" (Eph.1:7-10).