Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
October 12, 2009
The Holy Spirit leads truth seekers to God
Often, people are scared into Church, drifting away once the crises has passed, returning at the next crisis
My Glass is Half Full
By MARK PICKUP
Over the years, I have noticed that disasters tend to make people either curse God or seek him. This was evident after the terrible events of Sept. 11, 2001, when planes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon.
People were terrified by the thought of another deadly strike. How and where might it occur? The talk about domestic terrorist networks, the possibility of a crude nuclear "dirty bomb" or some sort of biological warfare only heightened people's anxiety.
SCARED INTO THE PEWS
A mood of fear gripped North America. The fragility of life and human mortality came into focus for millions of people. Many turned their attention to God; church attendance spiked across North America for awhile until people's fear waned and the acute public anxiety over the events of 9/11 receded with time.
Safe and secure people do not usually seek God frightened or grief-stricken people do. But as soon as their immediate crisis passes, many may revert back to their established illusions of self-sufficiency . . . until the next crisis comes.
I wonder if they really want God the Creator of everything and the essence of all Truth or do they merely want an impersonal "life force" to be a security blanket in time of need? Simply put, do they want comfort or truth?
An impersonal vague life force makes no demands of people and does not challenge them to turn away from sin: only a real God would do that.
Seekers of truth may eventually find comfort but seekers of comfort will not find truth. C.S Lewis put it this way: "If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort, you will not get either comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair."
An earnest search for truth will ultimately lead the honest seeker to Christ, by direction of the Holy Spirit, in as much as the seeker is capable of receiving truth. Just prior to his betrayal, Jesus told his disciples: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you" (John 16.12-14).
The Holy Spirit does not compel people to the truth of Christ; rather the Holy Spirit leads and guides, cajoles and woos the seeker of truth. It is up to truth seekers to follow, knowing that the Holy Spirit always guides and leads to the objective truth and reality of Jesus Christ.
CHRIST IS ALIVE
The truth seeker will be shocked to discover that Christ is alive and personal (just like millions of Christians have discovered throughout the past 2,000 years).
At that momentous point of spiritual revelation, the authentic seeker of objective truth and the dabbler in religion will go in different directions.
The dabbler draws back while the seeker trembles that he has found God, then haltingly steps into the penetrating light of Christ.
Later he will be humbled to learn that it was God who found him.
He will be humbled to learn that a perfect God sought him even though he is so unworthy and incapable of accepting the Almighty's perfect love. Is this part of what Christ meant when he said, "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now"?
Perhaps the truth seeker who has accepted Christ will discover that he is unable to bear the glare of God's perfect and holy love. The light of Christ makes him cower and squint by its intensity until his spiritual eyes adjust to see Christ's inviting arms extended in sacrifice for sin and ready to embrace sinners.
AND THE WINNER IS . . .
The truth seeker finds what he wanted, the dabbler in religion is found wanting.
We learn from the Old Testament and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2465) that God is the source of all truth. The Catechism states that "Jesus Christ, the whole of God's truth has been made manifest" (no. 2466).
To seek the truth of Christ is to prepare for heaven and be made fit for God.
For some people, disease and affliction, or loss and bereavement, or calamities of war or natural disasters are their teacher and tough taskmaster. Life altering tribulations can motivate people to seek truth for truth's sake. The Holy Spirit will guide them - if they are willing to be lead.
To live and die for objective truth, which is only found in Christ, is humanity's greatest calling.
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