It is no accident that, when the sacred author comes to describe the wise man, he portrays him as one who loves and seeks the truth: “Happy the man who meditates on wisdom and reasons intelligently, who reflects in his heart on her ways and ponders her secrets. He pursues her like a hunter and lies in wait on her paths. He peers through her windows and listens at her doors. He camps near her house and fastens his tent-peg to her walls; he pitches his tent near her and so finds an excellent resting-place; he places his children under her protection and lodges under her boughs; by her he is sheltered from the heat and he dwells in the shade of her glory” (Sir 14:20-27).
For the inspired writer, as we see, the desire for knowledge is characteristic of all people. Intelligence enables everyone, believer and non-believer, to reach “the deep waters” of knowledge (cf. Prov 20:5). It is true that ancient Israel did not come to knowledge of the world and its phenomena by way of abstraction, as did the Greek philosopher or the Egyptian sage. Still less did the good Israelite understand knowledge in the way of the modern world which tends more to distinguish different kinds of knowing. Nonetheless, the biblical world has made its own distinctive contribution to the theory of knowledge.
What is distinctive in the biblical text is the conviction that there is a profound and indissoluble unity between the knowledge of reason and the knowledge of faith. The world and all that happens within it, including history and the fate of peoples, are realities to be observed, analysed and assessed with all the resources of reason, but without faith ever being foreign to the process. Faith intervenes not to abolish reason's autonomy nor to reduce its scope for action, but solely to bring the human being to understand that in these events it is the God of Israel who acts. Thus the world and the events of history cannot be understood in depth without professing faith in the God who is at work in them. Faith sharpens the inner eye, opening the mind to discover in the flux of events the workings of Providence. Here the words of the Book of Proverbs are pertinent: “The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps” (16:9). This is to say that with the light of reason human beings can know which path to take, but they can follow that path to its end, quickly and unhindered, only if with a rightly tuned spirit they search for it within the horizon of faith. Therefore, reason and faith cannot be separated without diminishing the capacity of men and women to know themselves, the world and God in an appropriate way.
17. There is thus no reason for competition of any kind between reason and faith: each contains the other, and each has its own scope for action. Again the Book of Proverbs points in this direction when it exclaims: “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out” (Prov 25:2). In their respective worlds, God and the human being are set within a unique relationship. In God there lies the origin of all things, in him is found the fullness of the mystery, and in this his glory consists; to men and women there falls the task of exploring truth with their reason, and in this their nobility consists. The Psalmist adds one final piece to this mosaic when he says in prayer: “How deep to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I try to count them, they are more than the sand. If I come to the end, I am still with you” (139:17-18). The desire for knowledge is so great and it works in such a way that the human heart, despite its experience of insurmountable limitation, yearns for the infinite riches which lie beyond, knowing that there is to be found the satisfying answer to every question as yet unanswered.
18. We may say, then, that Israel, with her reflection, was able to open to reason the path that leads to the mystery. With the Revelation of God Israel could plumb the depths of all that she sought in vain to reach by way of reason. On the basis of this deeper form of knowledge, the Chosen People understood that, if reason were to be fully true to itself, then it must respect certain basic rules. The first of these is that reason must realize that human knowledge is a journey which allows no rest; the second stems from the awareness that such a path is not for the proud who think that everything is the fruit of personal conquest; a third rule is grounded in the “fear of God” whose transcendent sovereignty and provident love in the governance of the world reason must recognize.
In abandoning these rules, the human being runs the risk of failure and ends up in the condition of “the fool”. For the Bible, in this foolishness there lies a threat to life. The fool thinks that he knows many things, but really he is incapable of fixing his gaze on the things that truly matter. Therefore he can neither order his mind (Prov 1:7) nor assume a correct attitude to himself or to the world around him. And so when he claims that “God does not exist” (cf. Ps 14:1), he shows with absolute clarity just how deficient his knowledge is and just how far he is from the full truth of things, their origin and their destiny.
19. The Book of Wisdom contains several important texts which cast further light on this theme. There the sacred author speaks of God who reveals himself in nature. For the ancients, the study of the natural sciences coincided in large part with philosophical learning. Having affirmed that with their intelligence human beings can “know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements... the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars, the natures of animals and the tempers of wild beasts” (Wis 7:17, 19-20)—in a word, that he can philosophize—the sacred text takes a significant step forward. Making his own the thought of Greek philosophy, to which he seems to refer in the context, the author affirms that, in reasoning about nature, the human being can rise to God: “From the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator” (Wis 13:5). This is to recognize as a first stage of divine Revelation the marvellous “book of nature”, which, when read with the proper tools of human reason, can lead to knowledge of the Creator. If human beings with their intelligence fail to recognize God as Creator of all, it is not because they lack the means to do so, but because their free will and their sinfulness place an impediment in the way.
20. Seen in this light, reason is valued without being overvalued. The results of reasoning may in fact be true, but these results acquire their true meaning only if they are set within the larger horizon of faith: “All man's steps are ordered by the Lord: how then can man understand his own ways?” (Prov 20:24). For the Old Testament, then, faith liberates reason in so far as it allows reason to attain correctly what it seeks to know and to place it within the ultimate order of things, in which everything acquires true meaning. In brief, human beings attain truth by way of reason because, enlightened by faith, they discover the deeper meaning of all things and most especially of their own existence. Rightly, therefore, the sacred author identifies the fear of God as the beginning of true knowledge: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov 1:7; cf. Sir 1:14).
Jesus, while on earth, spoke words which will give light to the above. I quote the passages to bring forth immediate clarity: "The kingdom of Heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?' He answered, 'An enemy has done this.' His slaves said to him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest, then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn'" (Matthew 13: 24-30).
A few verses later in Matthew 13: 36-43 we find, "His disciples approached Him and said, 'Explain to us the parable of weeds in the field.' He said in reply, 'He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send His angels and they will collect out of His kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them in the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear."
Surely the above, in part, could fit into the entire history of the Church, nonetheless, Jesus made reference to the END OF THE AGE. Making every effort to read the signs of the times as Jesus, Himself, had encouraged, in fact, in a way, commanded us, we have many evidences that we presently are in that frame of time. Jesus makes it clear as to what has happened in the Church.
It would seem that each one of the faithful in our present condition, must first identify himself/herself to establish within one's own heart as to whether he/she is a weed or a blade of wheat. The clearest distinction comes froth by attesting to myself that I am either indeed obedient to the Holy Father and the bishops faithful to him, or that I am knowingly following the drum beat of a leader not faithful to him. The distinction between the weed and the wheat has become even more manifest since the new Catechism and the encyclical Veritas Splendor ("The Splendor of Truth") have become available to the public. Both laity and clergy have had the opportunity to study these and react to their content. Now the Holy Father has released his most recent encyclical Fides et Ratio ("Faith and Reason") which further delineates the sides.
There is still something else that Jesus said in Luke 18: 8 which should be seriously pondered: "...when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?". He also goes into more detail in Matthew 24: 21-22 when Christ says: "For thaen there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened."
In the final installment of this short I will outline the conclusions that we are truly in that period Our Lord refers to as END OF THE AGE and how confusion blinds us to the truths His Church teaches.
I solemnly tell you the time of Great Sorrow is upon you! The Hour of Divine Justice is nigh, and still the world draws further away from God!
How I love you! How I long to lead all to my Divine Son Who alone is your Light against every satanic attack, against every frailty of your human weakness.
Have I not beseeched you to pray? Pray from the heart in humility. Be not proud. Do not refuse to bow before the Triune Divinity. Only in this way shall Divine Mercy swiftly lift you into the eternal embrace.
My little ones, the road to eternal life is a road of suffering. Is this not the path my Divine Son showed you by walking it Himself? How foolish are those who scorn suffering and reject it. I solemnly tell you that for all who have rejected the Cross now, more intense shall their suffering be in the Hour of Justice, and for eternity in the abyss.
My little ones, arm yourselves with all virtues. Attend daily Mass and count not the cost. Believe in my Divine Son's presence in the Blessed Sacrament, and adore and reverence Him Who is Life Eternal. For in the approaching days you shall see the fulfillment of all of my words given to you from LaSalette, to Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje and Akita; from every corner of your world.
You shall see the signs of the antichrist's reign dawn, and the powerful signs of God's Love and Warning shall be given. Only if you remain a pleasing tabernacle before God shall you see the signs with the eyes of your soul and believe!
Woe to all whose hearts remain closed. They shall perish in the persecutions and before the flames of God's Justice.
Therefore, I call upon all my children to make of each day of your new year a day of intense prayer, a day of sacrifice and holy penance. I ask that in this new year every church remain open, filled by my little ones who come to adore their God in the Blessed Sacrament. This, my little ones, shall cause my Immaculate Heart to Triumph and God's Justice to come swiftly. Then, my little ones, shall begin the age of the Divine Will fulfilled on earth as it is in Heaven.
O! Pray and beseech God to bring this to the world now, for His Mercy shall be in Its swiftness.
I love and bless you. Pray! Pray! Pray! Thank you for responding to my Call!
I ask all of my little ones: Live my Messages. Prepare yourselves well. There is now only Great Sorrow. The joy of God is empty within hearts. Therefore, by prayer you shall have His Peace to help you persevere. This next year will be a year of tears. I weep for all the world.
I beseech all: Pray! Pray! Pray! Thank you for responding to my Call!
Pope Martin IV, because of the unyielding influence of France and Sicily's King Charles, wrongly excommunicates King Pedro III of Aragon, over the infamous "Sicilian Vespers" when the islanders of Siciliy rebelled against the French. This was Charles' retaliation trump card with the Pope being the man caught in the middle due to his lack of political judgment and blind dependence on France's monarch.
The Family de Medici become rulers of Florence. They would have a tremendous political impact on Rome and future Popes, some coming from the family itself, and would foster the arts in Renaissance Italy.
Death of Blessed Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, who opened the first house outside of Dublin Ireland. It would become the largest order of nuns in the English-speaking world with nearly 1,500 convents today.