Friday, 3 July 2015
The Teaching of St Thomas the Apostle
We all have a bit of Thomas in us; we demonstrate poor faith by choosing self over God at times. Every time we choose to criticise rather than hold our tongue; every time we choose to give vent to rather than hold our temper; every time we choose to watch TV rather than pray; every time we choose to go to a sporting event rather than Sunday Mass, we demonstrate a loss in faith. We should not be surprised, because the clergy are as badly affected as the laity, but in an ‘educated’; ‘open-minded’ (Modernist) way (Modernism in the sense of rejecting revelation to follow reason alone).
The so-called ‘Enlightenment’ led to an understanding of the Gospels as mere historical texts and the search for the ‘historical Jesus’. As a result, most of the miracles in the Gospel were dismissed: there was no casting out of demons; it was simply epilepsy misunderstood; there was no multiplication of the loaves; it was a miracle of charity where people were shamed by the boy into sharing what food they had secreted on their person. Even the resurrection was dismissed as a mere spiritual event in the hearts of the disciples, as opposed to being a real physical resurrection. As a result, one half of the Gospel –its miraculous events- was simply trashed.
There also came the idea that whatever Our Lord said in the Gospels –the ‘ipsissima verba’ (words ‘truly spoken’ by Christ)- was all but unknowable: “we can’t be sure even two of the words in the Gospel were actually spoken by Christ”. Thus the teaching of Christ too was dismissed, along with the miracles. As such, nothing was left.
Both of these attitudes are wrong-footed by the experience of St. Thomas, who teaches us to have faith faith –THE FAITH. Due to his lack of (personal) faith he was given the opportunity to touch the Lord’s Risen Body, which brought about a faith-filled response: “My Lord and my God!”. What St. Thomas teaches us is that Christ being God, His teaching cannot be simply trashed or his miracles denied as Modernist scholarship maintained. We have to accept Christ’s teaching and miracles on the strength that He is God, the sole conqueror of Satan’s lie with it’s consequence of sin and death. If there is a true Gospel of Thomas, it is here: his experience of the Risen Christ and his response of faith.
How I wish today’s Catholics would accept Christ’s teaching and miracles on the strength that He is God. What we have is bishops (including Cardinals) asking for Our Lord’s teaching on marriage and sexuality to be trashed so that we can be ‘merciful’ (in their erroneous understanding of the word). These men have lost The Faith, and all who agree with them have lost The Faith: Christ is no longer their Lord and God. Indeed, I wonder if they believe in God as He has revealed Himself to us: a Trinity and Incarnate. How can they believe in the incarnation of God the Son and yet refuse to follow His words? The arrogance of today’s clergy –at every level- is disturbing: “the Church may have said ‘no’ to Communion for the cohabiting, the adulterous, for two thousand years but she got it wrong; we alone have got it right. God has been waiting for this generation of clergy to get the Gospel right”.
Personally, when I look at the fact that such clergy have about 50 years of speculative, secular-led opinion in the theological institutions and in the episcopate to rely upon, and I have two thousands years of teaching and proven wisdom to follow, I will follow the 2000 years of proven wisdom and leave them to their speculations -and the judgement of the Lord. I wonder if many of today’s clergy and influential Catholics are Deists rather than Catholics; they certainly seem to me to believe in some undefined God who accepts every kind of lifestyle in ‘mercy’, and not the God revealed in scripture and Tradition: one God in three Persons, with Christ as the Incarnate God whose teaching has been faithfully handed down under the guidance of the Holy Ghost for two thousand years. I will let the Modernists have their theological speculations and pastoral inconsistencies; I will stick with Christ and His Gospel and the teaching authority of Tradition.