For the sacred author, the task of searching for the truth was not without the strain which comes once the limits of reason are reached. This is what we find, for example, when the Book of Proverbs notes the weariness which comes from the effort to understand the mysterious designs of God (cf. 30:1-6). Yet, for all the toil involved, believers do not surrender. They can continue on their way to the truth because they are certain that God has created them “explorers” (cf. Qoh 1:13), whose mission it is to leave no stone unturned, though the temptation to doubt is always there. Leaning on God, they continue to reach out, always and everywhere, for all that is beautiful, good and true.
22. In the first chapter of his Letter to the Romans, Saint Paul helps us to appreciate better the depth of insight of the Wisdom literature's reflection. Developing a philosophical argument in popular language, the Apostle declares a profound truth: through all that is created the “eyes of the mind” can come to know God. Through the medium of creatures, God stirs in reason an intuition of his “power” and his “divinity” (cf. Rom 1:20). This is to concede to human reason a capacity which seems almost to surpass its natural limitations. Not only is it not restricted to sensory knowledge, from the moment that it can reflect critically upon the data of the senses, but, by discoursing on the data provided by the senses, reason can reach the cause which lies at the origin of all perceptible reality. In philosophical terms, we could say that this important Pauline text affirms the human capacity for metaphysical enquiry.
According to the Apostle, it was part of the original plan of the creation that reason should without difficulty reach beyond the sensory data to the origin of all things: the Creator. But because of the disobedience by which man and woman chose to set themselves in full and absolute autonomy in relation to the One who had created them, this ready access to God the Creator diminished.
This is the human condition vividly described by the Book of Genesis when it tells us that God placed the human being in the Garden of Eden, in the middle of which there stood “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (2:17). The symbol is clear: man was in no position to discern and decide for himself what was good and what was evil, but was constrained to appeal to a higher source. The blindness of pride deceived our first parents into thinking themselves sovereign and autonomous, and into thinking that they could ignore the knowledge which comes from God. All men and women were caught up in this primal disobedience, which so wounded reason that from then on its path to full truth would be strewn with obstacles. From that time onwards the human capacity to know the truth was impaired by an aversion to the One who is the source and origin of truth. It is again the Apostle who reveals just how far human thinking, because of sin, became “empty”, and human reasoning became distorted and inclined to falsehood (cf. Rom 1:21-22). The eyes of the mind were no longer able to see clearly: reason became more and more a prisoner to itself. The coming of Christ was the saving event which redeemed reason from its weakness, setting it free from the shackles in which it had imprisoned itself.
23. This is why the Christian's relationship to philosophy requires thorough-going discernment. In the New Testament, especially in the Letters of Saint Paul, one thing emerges with great clarity: the opposition between “the wisdom of this world” and the wisdom of God revealed in Jesus Christ. The depth of revealed wisdom disrupts the cycle of our habitual patterns of thought, which are in no way able to express that wisdom in its fullness.
The beginning of the First Letter to the Corinthians poses the dilemma in a radical way. The crucified Son of God is the historic event upon which every attempt of the mind to construct an adequate explanation of the meaning of existence upon merely human argumentation comes to grief. The true key-point, which challenges every philosophy, is Jesus Christ's death on the Cross. It is here that every attempt to reduce the Father's saving plan to purely human logic is doomed to failure. “Where is the one who is wise? Where is the learned? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Cor 1:20), the Apostle asks emphatically. The wisdom of the wise is no longer enough for what God wants to accomplish; what is required is a decisive step towards welcoming something radically new: “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise...; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not to reduce to nothing things that are” (1 Cor 1:27-28). Human wisdom refuses to see in its own weakness the possibility of its strength; yet Saint Paul is quick to affirm: “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10). Man cannot grasp how death could be the source of life and love; yet to reveal the mystery of his saving plan God has chosen precisely that which reason considers “foolishness” and a “scandal”. Adopting the language of the philosophers of his time, Paul comes to the summit of his teaching as he speaks the paradox: “God has chosen in the world... that which is nothing to reduce to nothing things that are” (cf. 1 Cor 1:28). In order to express the gratuitous nature of the love revealed in the Cross of Christ, the Apostle is not afraid to use the most radical language of the philosophers in their thinking about God. Reason cannot eliminate the mystery of love which the Cross represents, while the Cross can give to reason the ultimate answer which it seeks. It is not the wisdom of words, but the Word of Wisdom which Saint Paul offers as the criterion of both truth and salvation.
The wisdom of the Cross, therefore, breaks free of all cultural limitations which seek to contain it and insists upon an openness to the universality of the truth which it bears. What a challenge this is to our reason, and how great the gain for reason if it yields to this wisdom! Of itself, philosophy is able to recognize the human being's ceaselessly self-transcendent orientation towards the truth; and, with the assistance of faith, it is capable of accepting the “foolishness” of the Cross as the authentic critique of those who delude themselves that they possess the truth, when in fact they run it aground on the shoals of a system of their own devising. The preaching of Christ crucified and risen is the reef upon which the link between faith and philosophy can break up, but it is also the reef beyond which the two can set forth upon the boundless ocean of truth. Here we see not only the border between reason and faith, but also the space where the two may meet.
It is to the advantage of the enemy to have the faithful beset by confusion. It would be in this state that would make it difficult, if not impossible, for them to recognize the wolves in sheep's clothing, the hirelings, the false prophets, the false christs.
We have been gifted with the faith. We are asked to live our faith. Jesus often chided His disciples for their lack of faith. On the other hand, He praised those who manifested a strong faith. Jesus and Mary, in our own day, are making it so clear how important it is fosr each of us to maintain ourselves in faith. We are asked to pray the our faith within us be strengthened. Our Mother pleads that we pray with the heart so that our prayer would be a prayer of faith. We are asked by her to turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance. It is the Holy Spirit Who gives the increase of faith when such an increase is sincerely requested.
Our faith teaches us the importance of obedience. Obedience can be genuine and complete only when we live a life fostered by a lively faith, a living faith, a vibrant faith. The enemy is making every effort to get us out of the heart and into the head to introduce chances for confusion and a weakening of faith.
In order to survive in faith, in order to remain faithful to Jesus and to His Visible Head on earth, it is imperative that we remove ourselves abruptly from all confusion, clutch to our faith and move on and not fall victim to the condition as did Lot's wife. We must surge ahead, giving loving service to the physically and spiritually needy, ever clinging to the Vine as we are buffeted by strong amoral winds, and put ourselves into the loving care of our Heavenly Father and envelop ourselves within the mantle of our Blessed Mother. Thus we could walk step by step, day by day, unafraid, enemies to the left and right of us, confidently making our way along the path set out for us - the path which leads to salvation.
O! My dear little ones. Soon my time to be among you shall end, but many will continue to hear my voice as I constantly beckon all to my Divine Son.
O! Where is your faith? It is buried beneath the evil of your world! Yes, your world is so sunken in satan's snares that daily you drown and do not know it!
How I weep for all of my children; countless souls who are headed for hell. O! My faithful little ones, will you not console your Sorrowful Mother?
Will you not work ceaselessly for the Divine Will? When you are faithful to my call it is as if your soul resides within the Tabernacle where my Divine Son, the Prisoner of Love, awaits love and receives so little! Where are all of my children?
O! Pray! Go to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and be mindful it is a sacrifice; eternal, infinite, on-going as long as time exists!
Pray the Rosary. You will help my Immaculate Heart to triumph sooner by your faith.
For all who are lukewarm, who choose not to believe, I say to you: Return first to Sacred Scripture. Read particularly Isaiah and Daniel, and the Gospels. Then read the Apocalypse. Refer back to my words which I have given you and see in them the fulfillment you earlier rebuffed. I solemnly tell you that all unfolds as I have foretold, as God's time dictates and man's pride allows.
This is truly a time of tears and sorrow of heart. Be at peace, my faithful ones gathered beneath my Mantle. Come to Jesus through my Immaculate Heart and there His Peace shall be your secure refuge.
Be humble, little children. Heed the words of the Holy Father, my martyr of peace, John Paul II. His earthly martyrdom, which has been on-going, shall now mount in this Year of Tears, and I beseech you to pray for him who is so cherished by my Immaculate Heart.
Pray for all those who, through satan's lies, cause you grave persecution. Seek unity of mind and heart through the grace of the Holy Spirit! Pray, for in this year satan's grip upon every nation, particularly your own country, shall be completed!
Console your Sorrowful Mother and willingly give your lives to God. Only then shall you persevere. I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
O! I beseech all of my little ones, ardently pray to convert your heart, for only in this way shall you find Eternal Salvation.
You are asleep, lulled into a false security by the evil one and all his demons. Therefore, I solemnly tell you the time of your visitation is at hand, and you shall not have the lamps of your faith lit. Even now as I give to you my holy words, you receive them only with your minds and not with your hearts, for your hearts remain cold and closed.
All I have foretold to you shall now come to pass. Yet, my little ones, my Divine Son, Who is Mercy, desires your response so that Mercy may still enfold all of my faithful little ones. In this the time of Great Sorrow, the Year of Tears, I seek your hearts. When you give me your hearts I shall intercede for Divine Mercy to come upon you!
I am asking of all my little ones to Pray! Pray! Pray! Be obedient to my Son's Vicar and pray for him, for the forces of evil strike at him from every side. He is the Voice of Truth in the darkness of the Apostasy and Schism.
Pray. Be a living prayer, for the moment has arrived and great suffering strikes every nation.
O! Console my Sorrowful, Immaculate Heart! Console me by loving and obeying God, Who alone is your All. Seek only His Will, and He shall care for your every need!
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Death of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. For more on this saint, see TOMORROW'S LITURGY
Death of Blessed John Liccio, priest and miracle worker who lived to be 111-years old.
Pope Benedict XV, 258th successor of Peter, makes an impassioned plea for peace six weeks after he is elected. This follows up his very first encyclical Ad beatissimi Apostolarum issued two weeks earlier on November 1 to the world regarding a cry to preserve peace and not go to war.
Six Jesuit missionary priests are shot to death, martyred by El Salvadoran troops during a bloody coup in Central America when innocent Catholics are thrust into the fray.