Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.” - Thomas Aquinas
A great quote by, but in my humble, puny human wisdom, I would propose a fourth item necessary: the courage to take those "oughts" and put them into practice. That is my struggle. I know with all my being that I want to know, love and serve God. I know that I should only desire things that are pleasing to Him and are good for my soul. I know that I ought to always seek his will in all I do. So, I guess a person has to ask him or herself, why do I struggle? Is it selfishness with my time? Laziness? Cowardice? This then begs another question, maybe I don't know what I ought to believe, ought to desire, and do, because if I did, I would just do it! Maybe pride has tricked me into thinking I know more than I actually do.
We could drive ourself crazy with wonder. So, how does one sort this all out? Who does one listent too? In today's unending mass of 30,000 plus protestant religions, atheism, cults, liberals and radicals, how does an individual decide and guide our beliefs, desires and actions? There are many Christian faiths that have "some" truth, but what may be truth at Baptist church A may not be truth at Babtist church B. I hears a speaker the other day who was questioning two protestant pastors of the same denomination, where he ended up receiving two totally different answers. The man asked each pastor, "How am I to know which one of you is correct?" The pastors replied, "I guess you have to decide which on of us you think is holier."
Did you know that there exists an entity who's teachings on faith and morals has NEVER changed in 2000 + years? Whose "keys to the kingdom" have a direct descention from Christ himself- Who is universal- Who holds the complete fullness of the faith. Who gives us the true body and blood of Christ, not a memorial meal. There is no ambiguity-only infallibility. I came into this truth 16 years ago, and yes, I still struggle at times with the three things St. Thomas speaks of, but, I now have a faith, when embraced and lived, will ALWAYS lead me to the truth. Pax et bonum!
(Stayed tuned for the next post, "My story of Conversion-from protestanism to the sacraments."