Chp: The Apocalypse of St. John the Apostle
Jesus continues speaking:
"The truth about everything is in the Book. For it is the word written through the inspiration of Wisdom--that is, of God. Everything else is pretense, imagination, and human deduction. Only one never errs: God. Man, even the holiest or the most learned in human culture, can always err when speaking or acting as "man"--that is, when not moved by the Holy Spirit, when not illuminated by the Light-Jesus, when his gaze is turned away from the Father-God, no longer seeing Him in all his works.
Science, too, can be good and useful. God has given man the intellect with a good purpose and in order for him to use it. But ninety percent of men do not always use it for a good purpose. And more than ninety percent of scientists do not use it for a good purpose.
"Why? Because they lose sight of God and his law in order to follow and chase after human ways and chimeras. Yes, even if they apparently serve Him and offer Him worship and even, indeed, relative internal worship and are convinced they honor Him, in reality they no longer see Him luminously or luminously see the Eternal precepts of love. They no longer live the life of God, which is a life of love. If they lived this life, if they saw God and his Law luminously, how could they use their intellect to destroy the simple faith of the "least ones" with their scientific deductions and, with their scientific discoveries, the existence of so many human lives, of whole cities, and even undermine the entire globe by disturbing the equilibrium, the order of the elements, of the cosmic laws, established by God, which for millennia has been making the earth live and produce vegetable and animal lives without emerging from its orbit, without shifting from its axis, thereby avoiding apocalyptic cataclysms?
But it is a greater crime to destroy the faith of the "least ones," destroy the conviction in the masses that God is loving Father who takes care of even the birds and the flowers in the field and listens to and grants the requests which his children present to Him with prayer filled with faith.
"How can man simply believe any longer if, in the name of science and with the support of uncertain scientific evidence, you upset the foundations of the Revelation contained in the Book? How can man believe any longer that God is powerful and loving, a Father who takes care of his children, if, on account of your discoveries, man is stricken by punishments--no, not punishments, for the wicked are punished by all human laws, whereas your means of destruction strike an enormous number of the non-wicked--if man is tortured to the point of going mad or dying of terror and wounds, reduced to not having even the lair God grants to even ferocious animals, food and clothing granted to the birds and flowers of the field?
“The greatest crime! To destroy faith and trust. Faith in the truth of Revelation. Trust in the divine goodness and omnipotence. The first destruction brings about the collapse of a whole world of beliefs which were a powerful incentive to live as children of God; it cancels out all the luminous poetry of celebration of the infinite goodness of the Lord. The second makes man, discouraged by what he has experienced, wonder, “What is the use of praying, sacrificing, and living as just people if we are stricken all the same in this way?” It is doubt that arises! It is the consequent relaxation of faith and customs! It is the abandonment of prayer! Sometimes, it is despair! These are the fruits of science when separated from Wisdom.
“The fruits of the accursed tree of knowledge when not rendered good by the in-grafting of Wisdom. You want to know everything, investigate everything, and explain everything. But man’s intellect, especially that of fallen man, an intellect wounded by original sin, an intellect wounded by mental concupiscence, cannot know everything. Even Adam, though having been made the “king” of all creation, had received a prohibition: “Do not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for the day you eat thereof you shall die” (Genesis 2:17). He did not obey, he wanted to know everything, and he died, first to Grace and then in the flesh. Now as well too many, when faced with the two trees—the one giving Life (that is, Jesus the Redeemer-Savior-Word, who give eternal Life) and the tree of the knowledge, which yields fruits which are generally of death—reach out to the latter and not the former; taste the latter and not the former, and bring about their death and cause death.
“Is science to blame for everything? No, as no man is totally and perennially wicked, so science is not always and in all respects wicked and blameworthy. There are scientists who use their knowledge for good works. Others who, having discovered means for killing, destroy them, preferring to renounce the human glory they would obtain from such a discovery provided they can spare humanity new scourges. Others for whom, since they are truly Christians, scientific study augments religion and supernatural and moral virtues.
“They are blessed by God and are benefactors of mankind. And they should be imitated by all the others. But that is not the case. Listened to and caught up with the support of their deductions are the other scientists, the ones who scrutinize and explain everything in human terms, seeing it all with their human, material sight, which looks downwards, at the earth and its secrets, as animals do, and worse than they do. For in reality animals, many of them, may be said to praise things—at least the beautiful things in creation, the good things, and are grateful to the sun warming them, the water quenching their thirst, to the fruits of the earth feeding them, to man loving them—much better than man does.
“Man a rational creature, endowed with a spirit and supernatural life, ought to be able to look on high, to Heaven, to God. To purify his sight and knowledge through contemplation of divine works, through the belief that He has made them, and to see the indelible sign impressed upon all of them, testifying to their being made by God.
“Religion and faith, religion and charity, make human research actively good. When deprived of these spiritual forces or possessing them to an imperfect degree, human research falls into error or draws others into error and into the weakening or death of faith.
“In order to appear up-to-date, in keeping with the times, which in reality are certainly not to be applauded, do not reject the lights, all the lights coming to you directly from Revelation and Wisdom and indirectly from the wise investigation of Christian scientists who have elevated themselves to God to be able to penetrate into the mysteries of the world as well, but who do so in a good spirit in order to know their truth, a truth which confirms God’s work and gives Him praise for it. But, for the sake of appearing up-to-date and keeping with the times, do not pursue those “depths of Satan, “ as they are called in Revelation 2:24, or at least “of the world,” which are not consonant with Revelations, to explain what exists and exists only through divine omnipotence and action.
“Elsewhere there is also lukewarmness in the service of God and personal pride. Threefold concupiscence triumphs where the virtues should be the queens and makes the lukewarm and proud poor and without light. Poor as regards what is needed to be just and what is necessary to have to make one’s subordinates just. Those who are lukewarm cannot warm up to those who are cold. And those without light cannot communicate it. And those who are greedy about the major gifts of God has given them, cannot make his lambs rich. They keep the pasture for themselves and allow his flock to feed only on what is indispensable so as not to perish completely, without considering that in the flock there are weak ones that need to be nourished to a greater extent, sometimes very great, in order not to die.
"It is not enough to be saints individually, not to commit personal sins, to be good pastors. One must sanctify and keep watch so that others will not sin, and if one knows some lambs have sinned and mortally wounded themselves in spirit, not wait until they come to ask for healing, but go to them, treat them, and heal them. Even if they show rejection, one must return once, twice, ten or a hundred times, not only in the role of a preacher recalling people to their duty with words of reproach, but with other means--as a friend, a doctor, and as a father. And if one knows that a person is going astray, one must not let things go on that way, but intervene, with patience and gentleness, to lead the person back onto the right path.
"The apostolate of the priest is not limited to daily Mass, Confessions, and the explanation of the Gospel and doctrine in church. There is much more to do outside the church. To approach those for whom one is responsible; to bear the word of God and morality where people do not go to church or go seldom and inadequately; where one member, even just one, in a family fails to carry out personal duties as a father, mother, spouse, son, daughter, citizen, or moral subject.
"In how many family's there are sorrows, painful situations, and sins! What a vast apostolic field there is in the primary nuclei of human society, in these little churches in which, in the manner of unordained priests, but not without a very specific task--indeed, with two quite specific tasks: to continue creation by procreating, thereby cooperating with God, who creates the soul for every individual procreated by man and woman, and begetting new adoptive children for God--two love one another and live in union. Or at least they should. But sometimes they do not. They fail in their mutual duties as husband and wife and in their duties to their children, neglecting to make them true Christians, letting them go where they cannot become better, giving them examples which are not good, not looking after their religious training, and letting bad companions and the members of anti-religious parties approach them and lead them astray.
"The missionary lands are not only in Africa, the Americas, Asia, or different archipelagos. Europe, too, and Italy as well are a missionary land for those with a missionary spirit and supernatural vision. Every town, from the smallest ones to the big cities, the area of every parish, and every house can be a missionary zone, a place for rooting out the weeds and sowing good seed, a place of spiritual reclamation, a place for rebuilding in Christ. The reconstruction of the Kingdom of God in the family and its individual members.
"You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world" [Matthew 5-14]. The Master, Infinite Wisdom, has filled his chosen ones with his salt and has given them the power to transmit this salt, which must season, to their successors. The Master, the true Light of the world, has filled his chosen ones with his Light and has ordered them to illuminate every man and transmit this power to their successors. Moreover, He, 'as' the Eternal Pontiff, goes on infusing salt and light into the Mystical Body so that they will never be lacking therein, even if lukewarmness in members might produce a scarcity of salt and light."
"The Church is a "Mother." What mother, while pregnant, does not eat and live in such a fashion as to give birth to healthy children? The Church, too, in her individual pastors, whether higher or lower in rank, must provide her children with the salts keeping spiritual life whole and strong.
"The Church is the "Bride of Christ," and Christ is the Sun, the Orient, the Morning Star, Infinite Light. The Bridegroom gives the Bride his wealth and property, communicating them to Her so that She will communicate them to all her members, especially to those destined to bring light; her pastors of higher or lower rank must be "light" to illuminate the lambs.
"But light presupposes a flame; and a flame, burning. A fire blazes up when it burns and consumes. Apostles, too, blaze forth and then illuminate and warm, also setting others aflame if burning and being consumed. But, if out of fear of being consumed, and out of fear of becoming a target for the enemies of the Light, out of fear excessively, they remain lukewarm, they become insipid, no longer emit light, get extinguished, like a star which as stopped glowing in the skies, and no longer shine in their heaven, in the spiritual one.
"If, furthermore, to the loss of the light proceeding from the fire of charity, which is caused by personal pride, there is joined selfishness--and selfishness is the opposite of altruism, which is the lifeblood of Christianity: "My commandment is this: That you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than that of those who lay down their lives for their friends" [John 15-13]; "If we say that we are in communion with God and we walk in darkness, we are liars and do not practice the truth; if, however, we walk in the light, as God remains in the light, we are in communion with one another....; in those who observe the word of God the charity of God is perfect....[1 John 1:6-7; 2:5]; "If anyone says, 'I love God' and does not love his brother, he is a liar, for if anyone does not love his brother, whom he sees, how can he love God, whom he does not see? [1 John 4:20]--if this happens, the pastor is dead.
"Christianity is charity. Charity of the powerful towards the least ones, of the least ones towards the powerful, the charity of superiors towards subordinates--always charity. If there is no charity, Christianity is extinguished and is succeeded by selfishness and lukewarmness, the salt becomes tasteless, and the lantern does not shine, but smokes or is placed under a bushel so it will not be disturbed. And the souls, the poor souls of the lambs, are left abandoned, do not find warmth, light, and relish, grow weak, and go astray. Poor souls--the weaker they are, the more help they need!
"These deficiencies, intense and marked in the Churches no longer nourished by the Living Waters issuing from under the sides of the altar of the true Temple [Ezekiel 47-2], are not absent even in the true Church. Its Body is holy; its Head and Soul, most holy. Its members are not all holy because more or less intrinsic belonging to the Body does not change man's human nature. It is man who must constantly work to be regenerated, recreated, and supercreated to reach perfection and the most perfect resemblance possible to Christ, Head of the Church, with the Holy Spirit, Soul of the Church. A resemblance to Christ by means of a life as an alter Christus. The resemblance to the Holy Spirit by means of charity, holiness, purity, fortitude, piety, and every other attribute proper to the Sanctifier.
"The more the members strive to be holy, the more the Church triumphs. Because the holiness of the members--I am speaking of the most select--expands to the lower members, elevates them, sets them aflame, and makes them an instrument of sanctification and conversion for members who are already almost dead or completely dead.
"The priestly apostolate, if it is as Jesus wanted and wants it to be, prompts the great force of the lay apostolate. A great force because it penetrates more readily everywhere."
Contemplate every word what Jesus is striving to reveal even to the dullest.
More in the Notebook 1945-1950 Page 593 onwards.
Peace be with you always