Guest post by Noah Simmons.
In every person that ever was and ever will be there has always been the great desire for two things: to exist and to know the truth. In the Gospels Jesus states that he “Is the Way, the Truth, and the Life”. The humanity of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, is the Way, the bridge between heaven and earth. His divinity is both the Truth and the Life, the fulfillment that we all seek. So, with this knowledge in hand, we understand that both our need to exist and our need to know the truth are found in Jesus, the Truth and the Life. That is why he is the Way; because he is the source of what we long for.
But how exactly do we go along this “Way”? We have the Bible, the Word of God divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit, but can we truly say that we have the power to interpret the Word perfectly? In answer to this daunting question I would present the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Over two-thousand years of the development and growth of the Body of Christ. The wisdom of the Doctors of the Church, the meditations of the early Fathers, and the purity of the most holy saints are all presented to us in the book that is the Catholic Church. All we must do is listen.
Seems simple enough, but why then is that many leave the Church if it is so bountiful in this way? I myself can only think of two different reasons: Firstly, those who leave were never searching for the truth. If this is true then that would mean those specific persons have cut themselves off from their own human nature by rejecting the natural longings implanted by God within us. Now that cannot possibly be true for every Catholic that leaves the Church. I know a number of people that have left, but they do not fit this rather dark description. I believe these people leave for the second reason, that being they never heard the truth but rather a twisted, diminished, dampened picture of the Truth.
The Catholic Church has been given the Truth by God through his inspired children, and He has tasked certain parts of the Body, the priests, teachers, and ministers to communicate the Truth to the Body. If they fail to do this because they do not wish to drive the sheep away with harsh words then the sheep go astray. In the end, the Truth will not drive people away because “it hurts their feelings” or is “insensitive”. It will draw the parts of the Body closer together and in turn closer to the Kingdom of God. No, the faithful will lose their faith only if the truth, the inspiration of faith, hope, and love, is absent.
If a man is thirsty and you have a flask of water that will not only satisfy his thirst but see to it that he is never thirsty again and all you do is pat him on the head then he’s going to look elsewhere. I hope and pray that the leaders of our Church see this undeniable truth and, placing their trust in God, give only “springs of living water” to a people who are dying of thirst.