Parables of the Kingdom.
Why did Christ speak in parables?
Christ spoke in parables to test His hearers and, at the same time, separate the chaff from the grain. The parables are for the chaffs, those without Faith; the mystical meanings are for the grain, those who have Faith. When Christ speaks in the New Testament all men can understand the human meaning of His parables; in fact all men can easily understand what is a seed and what is a rocky ground.
But when Christ speaks and His hearers show interest in getting a deeper or mystical meaning of His parable then He, first, brings them into the house and explains the parable inside the house. The house is the Catholic Church. Those who enter her with Christ are those with Faith. And while inside they receive the mystical meaning of the teachings of Christ directly from Christ through contemplative prayer; and as a result are able to make the perfect human act of Faith that makes them deserving to receive the theological virtue of Faith.
If Christ sees that His hearers are not really interested, as in the case of the Pharisees who were simply out to trap Him, then He abandons them; He leaves them behind while entering the house.
This parable is the Gospel of the 15th Sunday in Ordinary time. The 33 Sundays in Ordinary time tell us the 33 different visible signs of Faith that comes in the form of parables.....and side by side Mother Church teaches us the 33 mystical signs of Faith that comes by understanding the mystical meaning of the parables; describing those with Faith as 'having eyes and see, having ears and hear.'
The visible signs of Faith, like the growing seed in the fertile soil, can be understood by everybody and use to find out if they have Faith or not. They can, also, use these visible signs to check if their loved ones, or their parish priest, or their diocesan bishop, or even if the Pope has Faith; precisely because these are visible signs meant for unbelievers and usually given in the form of parables. And these visible signs are precisely meant for that purpose; so those without Faith may use these signs to see the state of their souls fearful of what was said in previous Gospel that he who does not believe is already condemned.
Obeying Christ who commanded that we should judge by their fruits and to test if they are of God, we should, therefore use these instruments to find out if we shall be saved or condemned. And these Sundays in Ordinary time are meant for that.
So let us continue with the trend of the past posts in describing a very specific era prophesied by Christ and confirmed by St. Paul in his epistles; and use the Scriptures to judge if we have reached that fateful day or not. Again, the description of this era is a 'decay of Faith' and 'the waxing cold of Charity'; the consequences of which God would chastise us by removing from the priesthood who have lost their Faith and Charity the power to absolve sins and the power to celebrate Mass. What we see here is the lost of Faith, of Charity, of the power to forgive sins and the power to consecrate the Divine Species. And the further consequence of the uncanonical election of an anti-pope by cardinals and bishop without Faith. All of these are prophesied in Scriptures; from the Prophets of the Old Testament, from Christ in the New Testament, confirmed in the Epistles, from the Apocalypse, from the Fathers of the Church and the statements of at least the 11 popes we have often quoted (from Pius IX to Benedict XVI); these Popes are often referred to as the Marian Popes or the Popes of the Second Advent.
In the parable of the seeds Christ presents four kinds of souls represented by four kinds of soil. Three were in some way defective and could not nurture the seed of Faith. And the fourth is fertile and is able to nurture Faith . St. Thomas of Aquinas, with his sense of humor, noted that out of 100% of mankind only 4% will be cardinals, bishops and priests who would have Faith and will be preaching the right way because they obey Christ's instructions on evangelization as described in the Gospel of Ascension. 96% of the priest will be preaching their own private ideas. That alone raises the possibility that our priest is one of them. But among the 4% priests who are preaching well only 4% of their listeners will be listening well to the Word of God. And among the 4% who are listening 75% will not develop Faith. For every 4 only one will make the Act of Faith. St. Thomas just showed that truly the way is narrow and few will be able to enter it. That few? This is further proof of the right description of the era we have been describing in the last several posts.
Let us show how this Gospel explains further the fulfillment of Christ's prophecy on the 'decay of Faith' and the 'waxing cold of Charity.'
The first kind of soil, namely the footpath because it is trodden by men and beast is hardened. It is impossible for any seed to take root in it. Everybody knows this. The second is soil that is rocky. And the seeds, also, cannot take deep roots in it. And the third is soil where thorny plants grow. Though roots can dig deep into it the plant itself is choked by the thorny weeds.
Note that in the three examples Faith could not develop because of the state of the soil.
So what could cause the 'decay of Faith' and the 'waxing cold of Charity' in the Church. St. Augustine who had a splendid ecclesiology explained. Our minds cannot take two opposite thoughts. The preferred thought will expel the other. We cannot think of spiritual thoughts together with worldly or sinful thoughts. Our preferrence will drive the other away. If we prefer the worldly thoughts, which happens most of the time, our minds will expel the spiritual thoughts. So St. Augustine even during his time discouraged any form of worldly Liberal education as detrimental to learning the things of God. This liberal education consists mostly of pagan Philosophy, Cosmology, Ontology and Metaphysics; these are naturally helpful in the study of supernatural truths but St. Augustine showed preference in setting aside these philosophies and study directly the supernatural truths of God following the advice of St. Paul to keep our minds on the things of Heaven and not on the things of the world.
There was only one kind of education that helped the spiritual life. This was the monastic schools because they were aids to understanding the Words of God. These schools disappeared early in the Church though Blessed John Newman continued to praise it in the 18th century. Though he praised it as it existed in early Christian times and not as it existed during his time.
The educational system in the world both in democratic and communist system are designed to remove all fidelity to God and instruct all students to fidelity to the state....in essence a form of idolatry with the state as God. That had been the goal of both democracy and communism because both philosophies are outgrowths of the French Revolution which was entirely atheistic and anti-Catholic. And so, all systems of educations, even in Catholic school, are directed towards the worship of man, therefore, idolatry of the worst kind.
The education in seminary and theological schools are no different because they study subjects which are the objects of 'curiositas' the mere satisfaction of theological and moral curiosities and not the goal of 'studiositas' whose goal is personal salvation and the evangelization of others..... according to St. Augustine. The object of 'curiositas' is always sinful. Thus in seminary, without realizing it, seminarians are studying how to commit sin. And six years of such study will produce the kind of priest we have today; priests with 'decayed Faith' and ' no Charity'. It cannot be otherwise.
With such unspiritual training God pitied the Church and gave her Cardinal Ratzinger who was a beacon light even as a priest. As Cardinal, steeped in his deep involvement in Vatican II, he was stunned at the post Conciliar atmosphere which he expressed in his interview with Messori and published in the book 'Ratzinger Report.' He observed that the documents of Vatican II were not well expressed and, as a result, were badly interpreted with a very different spirit referred to as 'the spirit of Vatican II' which is completely a break from the Church of Christ, the apostles, the Fathers and the previous Popes. It was a totally new religion divorced from the 'original Catholic Church.' And the new environment is such that the seed of the true Faith cannot grow at all because the mind, which is the faculty that makes the Act of Faith, is too hard with 'curiositas,' that kind of pure natural knowledge that is detrimental to making the act Act of Faith. The mind has no space for 'studiositas' acquired ordinarily through 'Lectio Divina' and contemplation.
With souls of both laymen and priests like hardened footpaths, the seed of the Word of God cannot dig and anchor in the soul and becomes easy picking for the devil like seeds to birds of prey.
The world further satisfies the increased hunger for sensual 'curiositas' to the detriment of 'studiositas.' The seemingly harmless documentaries on animals, atoms, space travels, strange foreign lands, history...etc..are pure 'curiositas.' This is the fruit that is nice to the taste and the eyes and seemingly good because it is in the garden of Eden but it is the 'forbidden fruit,' states St. Augustine. Exactly like the seminary and theological curriculum it looks good and nice but it is 'forbidden' because it is not what is supposed to be taught. What is supposed to be taught? The Gospel states: 'to teach them all My commands.' No seminary is doing that. Maybe they teach a few commands but not ALL.
Add to this the conscious efforts of both government and state in filling up man's minds with entertainment to distract them from national problems. The governments of the world had truly filled the soul with stones and pebbles that there is absolutely no space for the roots of the Word of God to take hold. And now governments are filling up the minds of children with sin like sex education and all kinds of perverted sexual practices. To have Faith has become a rare miracle which occasionally shock us but it still happens.
And the thorny bushes that chokes the young plant are the world events that brings anxiety; from the rising prices to the spread of deadly diseases, from the rise in crime committed by law enforcers themselves to the rise of drug use. And, of course, the fact that no cardinal, bishop or priests are teaching the right doctrines on 'evangelization' as seen in the Bishop's Synod of 2013. We are in big trouble.
Then the Gospel describes the man of Faith as one who is like a fertile soil in which the seed of the Word of God is planted. And it grows and produces a hundredfold, sixty fold and thirty fold. And who is this man? The humble man. He is the man with the humility of Christ, a description only those with Faith can appreciate because it is a supernatural virtue taught by Christ, Himself, to those who have joined Him into the house, the Church. It is the humility described by Pope Gregory the Great in his treatise 'Superbia', it is the degrees of humility described by St. Augustine, the 12 degrees described by St. Benedict and St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
No cardinal, bishop or priest has described it, as of recently, in its mystical sense which would have been the sign of their Faith. Even Pope Francis in his book described humility as a nice political virtue which in truth it is. But as a mere cure for corruption and not as the first Beatitude. But then he wrote it when he was still a bishop of Argentina. Though the way some journalists are describing his humility it is more the humility of a slum dweller and not the humility of Christ.
When Pope John Paul II was traveling around the world he addressed Bishop's conferences ordering them all to redo the seminary curriculum because they were not producing Faithful priests. He emphasized that the curriculum should not be focused on theology or any theology for that matter. The emphasis must be on humility. Pope Benedict repeated that in the 'Year of the Priest.' But it seems nobody got it. When the head of the Congregation of Catholic Education was asked for a curriculum for seminaries his answer was; 'we do not have one. We are still making one.' What??? After two thousand years of training priests we do not have a curriculum!
In my country, obeying the instruction of Pope John Paul II, the CBCP appointed the Committee of Bishop in charge of seminaries to reform the curriculum of seminaries. They worked for almost 10 years and came up with a curriculum based on the formula of 'evangelization' as presented in the Liturgy of the Mass. It was immediately approved by the Bishop's Conference. After three years they were asked how the curriculum was doing. The answer was 'we cannot find anybody to teach it.' What???? nobody knows how to teach Christ's formula of 'evangeliztion' described in the Gospel of Ascension! Isn't that a sign of no Faith among the priest-professors? What do you expect from the seminarians? From that time most seminarians are now cardinals, bishops and priests. Up to this moment the curriculum approved by the bishops based on the Gospel of Ascension that will lead us to Faith had not been implemented. Without Faith we should not expect to have Charity, nor the power to absolve, nor the power to consecrate We have a Church that is totally different from the Church of Christ, the Apostles, the Fathers and different from Cardinal Ratzinger's Church. It is a thought that could make anybody in his right mind resign.