The King’s Highway
Pages 142 – 195
St. Mary of the Angels
August 13, 2021
Truth in the Church: As the Incarnation of God, Christ Jesus is the Truth. By definition, whatever He teaches is the truth. Also, whatever He obscures in parables is the truth. When we receive Him, we receive the truth. Therefore, to know the truth we must first know Christ Jesus in faith. For the truth to be efficacious in our lives, we must live out our lives in Christ Jesus in faith.
John 4:23-24: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
Note that the Father wants more than just devoted or ecstatic worship (worship in the spirit). He also wants His worshippers as much as possible to have a correct understanding of who He is and of His relationship to them and of them to Him (worship in the truth). The reason is that worship is meant to cultivate an ever-deepening relationship between God and His people. For this to happen, we must be in His image, which we have retained since our creation, and also in His likeness, which we lost as a result of Original Sin. To know the truth is to be changed by the truth. If we are not changed by the truth into creatures better able to worship God, then we do not know the truth no matter the knowledge we may have.
Authority in the Church: From page 165: “…the nature of the authority is always the same. It is always dependent upon that divine authority which Our Lord gave to His Church. The English Church, like every other part of the Catholic Church, has authority to make by-laws; but not such as contradict rules universally accepted by the whole Church…”
Therefore, to the extent the Church deviates from the faith and practice “universally accepted by the whole Church,” the Church loses her authority. Those parts of the Church that eschew Apostolic Succession, or the Sacraments, or the Creeds as enumerated by Ecumenical Councils prior to the division of the Eastern and the Western Churches, lose their divine authority and have to rely on something less (philosophy or psychology) as the basis for their authority over spiritual affairs. It is no coincidence that deviations from Catholic faith and practice lead over time to the embrace of humanistic (this worldly) criteria for delineating “truth” and for setting up what is or is not “authoritative.”
Divine Authority is received and passed on by the faithful remnant, for most everyone else will eschew divine authority for something less. To exercise divine authority, therefore, is to be at odds with the tenor of the times.
T.S. Eliot: “The world is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and to rebuild civilization; and to save the world from suicide.”
The faithful remnant preserves and passes on the Faith in the face of this near universal effort to root out the Faith. Therefore, until the Second Coming of Our Lord, divine authority will be discerned, exercised, and passed on in struggle with the world and under persecution from it.
Divine Authority in the Church is for building up and not for tearing down. It is for preserving all that Christ Jesus has entrusted unto the Church. It is for seeding and for growing the Faith that is imparted unto her members. The focus of divine authority in the Church is in “redeeming the time” for the Father’s Kingdom, not for any man made alternative, and so divine authority has nothing to do with this worldly political revolutions. God is replacing the Old Kingdom of Sin with the New Kingdom of Grace – not trying to preserve on life support some semblance of the Old Kingdom of Sin – and so He imparts His authority for this purpose and to this end.
See 2 Corinthians 13:10: “For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.” – Meaning not just the building up in confidence or in love of a particular Christian or parish of Christians, but more so the building up of the Father’s Kingdom. The Old Kingdom is not to be torn down forcibly, so much as it will wither of its own self-contradictions and false conceits in the face of the New Kingdom.
See Galatians 1:11-12: “For I would have you know, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” – Meaning that as the authority is from God, so the end purpose of exercising that authority is not this worldly but for God’s Kingdom.
Obedience: This is the corollary of divine authority, for there is no divine authority without the necessity of obedience to divine authority. What is true, and upheld by divine authority, is not temporal or situational, and cannot be compromised for the sake of comity or advantage, but rather is absolute and universal. Therefore, the necessity of obedience cannot be compromised for the sake of comity or advantage without denying the divine origin of this authority.
See John 14:23: “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
So then absolute obedience to God’s Will is the basis for an ever-deepening relationship with the Triune God (the One in Three Persons God meaning the God who is intrinsically, which is to say eternally, relational and so only really known when in relationship with Him). Obedience is the basis by which we may take on His likeness and so come to live with Him in His Kingdom.
See John 6:38: “For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” – Meaning that obedience is intrinsic to the relationship of the divine Son to the divine Father, for God is intrinsically relational and so only truly known by us in our relationship with Him. Moreover, since God is intrinsically relational, He will be self-known in Himself in the relationship of the Three Persons with one another.
Therefore, obedience is intrinsic to liberty. To obey God is to be freed from our sins and able to walk without the ball and chain of Original Sin. This is ordered liberty. All else is licentiousness.
See John 8:31-32: “So Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
When we live our lives in ordered liberty in Christ Jesus, then our very lives are living prayers. All prayer is some manifestation in word or in deed of a relationship with the Father through the Son and by the grace afforded by the Holy Spirit. As such, prayer is always worship, and prayer is both the precursor to and the expression of our ever-deepening relationship to the Father for whom we are made and redeemed.
See page 186 on prayer: “Prayer is a life to be lived. He is living the life of prayer who has learnt to live always in the presence of God, and whose conscious communion with God is rarely, and his subconscious communion never, broken.”
St. Francis of Assisi: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Meaning a life lived in prayer is truly transformative. We are made new creatures, for in prayer we worship God and are in relationship with Him in all ways.