Monday, May 16, 2005


The Alleluia Verse for Pentecost Sunday echoes an ancient prayer of the Church. It implores the Holy Spirit to lead the Church in all truth. On the night of the Last Supper, Our Blessed Savior promised to send us the Holy Spirit: “I will send you the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. He will lead you in all truth” (John 16: 13).
This promise of the Holy Spirit is Our Lord’s guarantee that His holy Church will never lead His followers into doctrinal or moral error.
Jesus did not set up the Catholic Church as a conglomerate of opinions and positions, which are subject to change in conformity with the world in which it lives. It is true that customs that are subject to Church Law can, and often, should change. But divine truth is unchangeable. We believe today that which Peter, Paul and the other Apostles taught from the very beginning. We are bound to live by the same moral code that bound the early Christians. This will be true until the end of time.
Can the Catholic Church teach falsehoods in faith or morals? No! Absolutely not! Such a claim is utterly bogus. Why? The Teaching Church, that is its Magisterium, consists of the Holy Father and/or the Bishops, teaching in union with the Pope. When the Church’s Magisterium proclaims and defends the Sacred Deposit of Faith, she teaches in the Name of Jesus Christ and under the guide of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Church cannot teach error.
This is precisely the reason that the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Pentecost. It is a reminder to Christ’s faithful of this fundamental truth. Our Lord founded the Catholic Church to carry on His work of Redemption until He comes again in glory.
The Church's mission is the salvation and the sanctification of souls. Saint Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, insists that followers of Jesus must have the "obedience of faith” (see Romans 1:5). If we render this "obedience of faith" to teachings of the Catholic Church, we have the "sure hope of eternal life.” How can God demand that we obey false teachings? How could Jesus, the Son of God, establish a Church, which would lead the sheep of His flock into falsehood and perdition?
Jesus Christ is the Way, the Life and the Truth. He is the Son of God and, thus, He cannot deceive us. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Spirit of Truth who cannot teach error. God can neither deceive nor be deceived, as the First Vatican Council taught. Any claim that the Holy Spirit would allow the Church to fall into error as it unfolds the Deposit of Faith, is nothing short of blasphemous. One is not free to make God a liar!
Do not be deceived by those who would divert us from the teachings of the Catholic Church. Saint Paul denounced these deceivers: “They oppose the truth and with perverted minds they falsify the faith. Stay away from them" (2 Tim 3: 5, 8).
In the Sequence of Pentecost Sunday, the Church prays: "Come Holy Spirit come! Bend the stubborn heart and will. Melt the frozen, warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray." The Church implores the Holy Spirit to, “enkindle us with the fire of your love.”

Father Richard J. Rego


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