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We are really living in historical times. I am having problems establishing where I should start today’s post. Therefore I will begin where I have left off in the last post titled The Song Remains The Same (see here), since it is a good a place as any.
In yesterday’s post we were problem solving and I re-stated the underlying BASE PREMISE (a foundation statement; used as a point from which a hypothesis, argument, viewpoint etc. can develop) used by yours truly in trying to make sense of what is known to us through the natural light of human reason from the things that we can observe. Our BASE PREMISE goes by the title of the Lex Armaticus (see here) and is defined as follows:
Those individuals and institutions that comply to the et Invisibilium, will remain a part of the Visibisium Omnium. Those that do not, will be consigned to the trash heap of history.
Today’s post will build on our understanding of this BASE PREMISE and I have titled it The Tools Of The Trade. And as the title suggests, the subject matter of this post will try to idendify those “tools” which can be then applied to fix a particular problem. In our case, the problem that we will be attempting to fix is the Crisis within the Catholic Church. So here goes…
In the Holy Gospel according to John, chapter 21, verses 14-17, Our Lord gives an imperative to the visible head of His Church on Earth – St. Peter, the first Roman Pontiff to “feed my lambs” and “feed my sheep”. Here is the passage from the Douay-Rheims Bible (Holy Gospel according to John 21:14-17- see here): (emphasis added)
This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to his disciples, after he was risen from the dead. When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep.
And if you dear reader follow the link to the commentary as to the meaning of the said passage, this is what you will read:
Feed my sheep.
Our Lord had promised the spiritual supremacy to St. Peter; St. Matt. 16. 19; and here he fulfils that promise, by charging him with the superintendency of all his sheep, without exception; and consequently of his whole flock, that is, of his own church.
And what is meant specifically by “Feed my sheep“, you ask dear reader?
The answer to the above question must rest on another foundation statement, i.e. BASE PREMISE: Our Lord founded His Church for the salvation of souls (see here).
Therefore, the next question which needs to be asked is: how is this “sheep feeding” going these days?
The answer must be: not too well.
To provide anecdotal evidence of just how “not well” the “sheep feeding” is going, I draw your attention to just these links which I chose at random: here and here and here. Here is one more just for effect. And while we are at it, this here.
There is however some good news and here is where your humble blogger gets constructive. Over at the Rorate Caeli blog, one of the widest read in all of Christendom, a post attributed to Roberto de Mattei appeared pertaining to the third secret of Fatima and the newly “expanded Petrine ministry”. This is what Dr. de Mattei writes:
Regarding this (Ed. note: Full disclosure of the third secret of Our Lady of Fatima), an important hermeneutic principle needs to be borne in mind. The Lord, through revelations and prophecies, which add nothing to the deposit of the faith, at times offers us some “spiritual direction” to guide us through the darkest periods of history. Yet if it’s true that the Divine words cast light on dark times, the opposite is also true: historical events, in their dramatic unfolding, help us to understand the significance of prophecy.
In other words, what Dr. de Mattei is proposing is to ANALYZE the problem of the Crisis within the Catholic Church from a scientific, dare I say Thomist approach! Furthermore, I consider this passage quite extraordinary in the sense that it places in a proper context the manner in which apparitions ( the supernatural) and OBJECTIVE REALITY (the natural) relate to each other. And through the Lex Armaticus we know they are related. But I digress…
Here is the pertinent quote:
In this sense it’s not the Fatima Secret we need to start from in order to understand the reality of a tragedy in the Church, but from the crisis in the Church [itself] in order to understand the ultimate meaning of the Fatima Secret. A crisis which goes back to the 1960s, but with Benedict XVI’s abdication and Pope Francis’ pontificate, has seen a shocking acceleration.
In other words, the ultimate meaning of the Fatima Secret in the de Mattei approach acts as the ultimate confirmation or YARDSTICK or STANDARD if you will, of the correctness of any given theory or HYPOTHESIS.
On an aside, this observation aligns itself quite nicely with something your humble blogger wrote a while ago in a post titled Discernment Guide for Dummies (see here) where we discussed an “actively intervening Holy Spirit”. Here is the relevant passage:
Therefore, the problem with an actively intervening Holy Spirit arises as follows: If God gave humans free will, and he gave them this free will for a reason, and that reason is to determine if that individual human wants to spend eternity in His presence, then the logical question would be: why would He intervene in that persons decision making process?
The answer would be that as a rule, He wouldn’t.
Another reason why the de Mattei approach is an OBJECTIVELY CORRECT (TRUE) construction is due to its PHILOSOPHICAL CORRECTNESS. Here is the definition (see here):
Philosophy of science looks at the underpinning logic of the scientific method, at what separates science from non-science, and the ethic that is implicit in science. There are basic assumptions, derived from philosophy by at least one prominent scientist, that form the base of the scientific method – namely, that reality is objective and consistent, that humans have the capacity to perceive reality accurately, and that rational explanations exist for elements of the real world.
And how do we know that “reality is objective and consistent, that humans have the capacity to perceive reality accurately, and that rational explanations exist for elements of the real world”? Well, allow me to once again bring John Lamont into this thread. Here is what Mr. Lamont observed:
Any advanced field of study, such as philosophy, mathematics, or physics, can be convincingly portrayed as ‘arid’ and ‘rigid’. For most people’s tastes, this portrayal will often be true. Precise and rigorous subjects inevitably have arid components. Because it deals with fundamental questions whose answers are true always and everywhere, philosophy will be ‘ahistorical’ and ‘immutable’. It will not meet the desires and expectations of individuals or societies, because these desires and expectations are never geared towards subtle and difficult concepts. It will meet their needs – if it is true.
Concluding, what is important to understand from the above is that the OBJECTIVE REALITY of the Crisis within the Catholic Church is forcing the Faithful to think “outside of the neo-modernist box”. This thinking process is heading in the direction of normalization, in the sense that it is beginning to conform to OBJECTIVE REALITY.
The example of this “normalization” process can be observed from the above de Mattei post, through his proper “identification and ordering” of the “discernment methodology”. A methodology that is Thomistic, or scientific if you will at its BASE.
Given the proper definition of the “discernment methodology”, those who apply it can be expected to produce positive results, positive results that will deviate from the mean by a “statistically significant” MARGIN.
And finally, the best and most effective argument for adopting this “discernment methodology” like the one which Dr. de Mattei is proposing is, as we like to point out on this blog…