Getting to know someone is a process in which one learns someone else’s worldview, hobby, approach to life and way of thinking. It is true about couples or families, as well as friends. If we tried to say what it means to know someone, we would say that an essential factor is understanding someone’s mind, i.e. knowing how that person thinks.
It is not surprising for anyone that most couples or friendships are built between people of very similar way of thinking. It is not a universal rule, but we can imagine many challenges between a couple that does not understand each other on the primary level. It is hard to imagine two friends believing in entirely different world orders and not sharing anything. Understanding is crucial.
Every human is a limited being. Our views, opinions or judgements are to be respected, yet they are not infallible. The fact of human limitations in achieving the truth explains diversity of opinions. The only infallible being is God. Thanks to His grace, the Church exercises Her infallibility in dogmatic and moral teaching. It does not mean that every statement of the Church or the Pope is infallible – this feature requires a solemn invoking his authority by the Pontiff. In the twentieth century, the Church has experienced a few such statements – the Dogma on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Pius XII, the Encyclical Humanae Vitae by Paul VI with the teaching on moral evil of contraception, or Ordinatio Sacerdotalis by John Paul II with the teaching on the impossibility of ordaining women to the priesthood. We, as Catholics, believe that God has been speaking to us through those statements and expects us to submit our intellect and will to those truths.
In a way, a relationship with God is like a relationship with a friend or a fiancee. One cannot be a true believer unless one gets to know God and learns to think like Him. God expresses His thoughts in the Bible, the Church’s teaching, and our spiritual life if we honestly seek to know Him. Sometimes it requires humility, as Peter experienced it in being reminded of his place behind Jesus in today’s Gospel. It is a reminder for us-faithful that we are not making temporarily beneficial investments by believing, but we hold to God and the truth. If we know what God thinks and accept it, we will be thinking like He does.
Łukasz Gołąb – Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Sydney, Australia
Fot. Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash.com