Saturday, December 23, 2006

Change and decay in all around I see.

A conclusion that I drew from my last post was that the way that the Truth reveals Itself overrides all ways of thinking about the Truth. The Truth is not a slave to the fashion unlike the the ways of the Athenians whom the Acts of the Apostles tell us "spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing." (Acts xvii.21)

I believe that we are today very much like the Athenians, always looking out for where the zeitgeist blows us, and alter our theologies in order to take into account the "newness" of the the ideas. And then comes Qoheleth, who says: "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."

As was written before, we are new every day, yet this belies our transience. We are the ones that change and alter, who grow and decay. This is not a characteristic of the Truth which is eternal. His Revelation to us does not change or alter because, despite our newness, the human race does not change in its need for God. Our technology and understandings of how things work may appear to be new. Indeed, at no other time in the existence of the human race has transglobal communication been as instantaneous as the present age.

However, Humanity itself does not change, and largely, neither does Humanity's understanding of Humanity. Our understanding of society is as rudimentary as it was in Abrahamic times. Our psychologies contradict each other and seem to explain very little. Our Anthropologies turn up evidence for one method of social behaviour and then another study performed a few years contradicts the first. Our understanding of what is good for us changes with the opinions of the scientists who happen to be in charge of the research at the time.

Science (Scientia Omnisciens the goddess of human reason) itself seeks answers, but can only come to replace God with other unprovable statements such as the existence of parallel universes which can never be observed or measured because, by definition, they are parallel to ours and never meet. When they do, they interact in something like the Big Bang so any information about this universe is lost in a melee of chaotic ripples.

All this leads to a question: How does the Revelation of the Truth apply to the current age? Well since the Truth is Eternal, "current age" makes sense only to those of us in the present. It is possible that you may be reading this long after I am gone, so the age will cease to be current for me, but it will be current for you.

It is the Church Militant that carries the Revelation to the inhabitants of the current age, and it is thus her duty to adhere to the Revelation and to engage it in conversation with those of the present. Thus the Church Militant has the difficult job of communicating the Eternal with the Temporal. The language it must use must be that of the Eternal Truth yet in a way that is communicable to the Temporal. To try and communicate Eternity to the Temporal is impossible but the aim of the Church Militant is to set the Temporal on the route to the Eternal. The language used will be strange and unclear except with much prayer, thought and meditation.

For example, the use of Latin to the modern Catholic, or the language of King James to the young churchgoer are both incomprehensible at first, yet with the encouragement and loving supoort of the church around, the language is learned. The subtle nuances within the Scripture and within the Liturgy add to the earnest soul's discovery of God which must be undertaken with the Church because only the Church has the key to hold together the Temporal with the Eternal.

To aid this process, Scriptures are translated into the modern vernacular, Liturgies embrace new forms. However, unless they do not point directly and clearly to Eternity, if they try to explain everything in simple language, if they attempt to remove the Mystery which results from the discrepancy between Temporality and Eternity, then they are useless, and worse than useless because they point away from the Truth.

Likewise, the Teaching of the Church comes from Eternity and does not change: it is immutable.
New Doctrines do grow as Humanity's discovery of God grows. Abraham realises that God exists and is worth obeying. Moses realises that God is powerful and faithful. Elijah realises that God is not just some mountain deity. The Apostles realise that God is personable and loving. New Doctrine grows as Humanity seeks God in His Eternity and only then does Humanity grow. If God makes it clear that there is a practice that is not right, then He doesn't change His ruling be it in the 20th century BC or the 20th Century AD. Thus the Teaching of the Church does not change: she is still engaged in her Mission of guiding the Temporal to the Eternal.

So rejoice that however temporal you are, you have a place in the Church Militant. If you are faithful then know that you will then have a place in the Church Triumphant when the Temporality of the Church will cease to be all that we human beings participate in, but participate in the Eternal Worship of God.

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