We live by God’s Wisdom – not man’s wisdom. Christianity is not merely the product of human wisdom and natural reason. It is not man-made - It is the revelation of God!
There are many people, even many devout people, who think that knowing their faith really really well is what will save them. Being smart and orthodox is the way to salvation! Most are really sincere and well-intentioned, but they have missed the heart of the Gospel.
Being orthodox is really important, and we should all know our faith really well – but that won’t save us! As St. James reminds us, even the devils know the truth!
“It is personally accepting Jesus that saves us. It is a personal living relationship with him that matters.”
Others will only accept the teachings of Jesus and his Church if they completely understand them. This results in cafeteria Catholicism – where people pick and choose what they will believe. But this is also a great deception!
Yes, Christian faith is in conformity with reason, and is supported by rational argument, but the fullness of God’s reality is infinitely greater than the limits of our minds. It is the Lord and not our tiny brains that reveal the fullness of truth. In the words of the Servant of God Catherine Doherty, there is a time “to fold the wings of [the] intellect and open the doors of [one’s] heart” (Catherine Doherty, Poustinia – Encountering God in Silence, Solitude and Prayer, p. 127).
Pope John Paul II put it this way: “Humility is creative submission to the power of truth and love” (Cf. John Paul II, Angelus, 4 March 1979). Jesus loves us and would never ever lead us astray. Everything he teaches is Truth. It is Divine wisdom. And we must surrender to it. All of it – all of the time. Because it alone gives life and leads to life eternal.
Many people today reject the Christian faith because the God of Christian revelation does not exercise power the way they think He should. Some are even sceptical that God is acting in the world at all.
Many are ignorant of the miraculous signs and prophetic fulfillments given down through the ages. They and many others, even many who are Christians, will only accept the Lord on their own terms. They demand demonstrations of power according to their own particular specifications.
Such demands echo the mockery of the chief priests, scribes and elders: “He saved others; he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel! Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him” (Matthew 27:42). God does provide external signs to lead those sincerely seeking Him to faith and to strengthen the faith of believers. We should ask for them and even expect them. But always on his terms – and trusting his wisdom, even when his answer is “no” or “later”.
Or, like St. Paul heard from the Lord when he asked that a thorn be taken from his side. My grace is sufficient for you.
God is anxious to reveal Himself, but He cannot be manipulated. We must let him be God – as Fr. Bob used to say: “He’s very good at it!” We have to trust him even when we don’t understand his ways. Looking at Christ Crucified teaches us this! “As high as the heavens are above the earth are his ways above our ways!”