Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Rule of Faith

"When he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth."
Yesterday I met with a group of students who had recently received the sacrament of confirmation. This is a sacrament that is underappreciated and misunderstood, often mistaken for a rite of adult commitment. "[Confimation] gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ." (CCC1303) Like Saul who was anointed king and became a 'new man' (I Samuel 10:6), the Christian who receives the seal of the Holy Spirit is commissioned for the task prepared for him by God.

One of the frequent questions that we hear in the monastery from young people is "How do I know God's will for me?" The answer is, "by the gifts of the Holy Spirit." The next step is another stumbling block: how do we know that we are acting by the Holy Spirit? Christ cannot be contrary to himself, and so he cannot be contrary to his body, which is the Church. Are my actions in accord with Church teaching? Is someone in authority in the Church asking something of me? If so, then I can be confident of the Spirit's guidance.

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This blog is published with ecclesiastical approval.

If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
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