Maternal and Loving Acumen

The Holy Catholic Church has always boasted an invincible acumen for unmasking disguised and subtle heresies, demonstrating, in these moments, the finest refulgence of her holiness. How does her sagacity radiate today?

Our century demands unrivalled astuteness […]. It is necessary, at all costs, to put an end to the disastrous naivety of supposing that every individual who confusedly outlines a vague and incomplete act of faith is implicitly a Roman and Apostolic Catholic worthy of the utmost trust.

This mentality is much more widespread than we realize. […]

Tenacious and combative acumen

[Those] who have been entrusted with positions of responsibility have an absolute obligation – we insist on the word absolute, fully aware of what we are saying – to cultivate their judgement in order to be able to distinguish between the real sheep and the wolf who is cunningly dressed in sheep’s clothing. Otherwise, he will not be able to be a leader, that is, a shepherd. Because what use is a shepherd who cannot distinguish the wolf among the sheep and protect his flock from the snares set for them by the adversary?

We have said that acumen is a particularly imperative need in our century. In reality, however, it has been necessary in every century, because the spirit of darkness has always been disguised and false, and the real exceptions are the historical eras in which, as in the last century, wickedness cast aside all disguises to openly attack the Holy Church. In general, its attacks have been disguised and surreptitious. The devil is never more dangerous than when he takes on the appearance of the faithful Angels.

There is no other reason why the Holy Church of God has always had an invincible acumen in unmasking disguised and subtle heresies, and it is curious to note that in this pertinacious and combative acumen she has placed the finest refulgence of her sanctity.

Loving acumen

The sagacity of the Church has nothing in common with the malicious perfidy of the underhanded politician, the spineless speculator and the unscrupulous spy. The Catholic spirit does not harbour hatred or malevolence, but only love. The Church’s vigilance is absolutely identical to the shrewdness of a mother who, driven by love for her children, constantly scrutinizes the dangers that surround them with her vigilant gaze in order to discern the approaching enemy.

The vigilance of the Church is like the shrewdness of a mother who constantly scrutinizes the dangers surrounding her children

The very love of a mother requires her to be vigilant and energetic in the defence of her children, and to do so with all necessary efficacy, with all the degree of detail required by the situation, and with all the perfection of the resources at her disposal. However, the Church does this out of an exclusive sentiment of love, without harbouring in her heart, for a single moment, the slightest trace of hatred towards the unjust aggressor of her children.

In reality, she pursues this aggressor in the darkness of his hidden machinations, she dislodges him from the castle of perfidies in which he tries to hide, and she punishes him with sovereign energy. Fulfilling her duty without the slightest faltering, without the least taint of false sentimentality, and without any hint of retreat dictated by fear or tolerance, she nevertheless does so transfixed with sorrow. Because instead of wounding, fighting and persecuting, she wants to alleviate, sweeten, soothe and save. And her zeal will always find ways to show her love for her adversary, even when she deals him the hardest blows.

The triumph of the Church” – National Museum of the Viceroy, Tepozotlán (Mexico)

This loving shrewdness is part of the Church’s most authentic traditions. Read the minutes of the councils, the doctrinal definitions of the Pontiffs, the oaths imposed by the Church on her priests, and you will notice that they have been written with unrivalled acumen, to unmask error in its most imperceptible and slightest manifestations, and to define the truth with such precision of terms that the Church cultivates as an indispensable art the difficult skill of finding the right word for each thought, and of sometimes defining the word before using it with the sole aim of preventing any shred of error from mixing with the truth. This is the Holy Church.

The priceless grace of Catholic sense

If this is the Church, this is how we should be. […]

Once the erroneous principles are well known, and especially the truths that oppose these principles are well known, the Catholic should exercise his mind in considering all the consequences, whether proximate or remote, direct or indirect, that these principles can engender.

That said, he should have a clear idea not only of the opinions that conflict with the fundamental truths expounded by the Pontiffs, but also of the opinions that are simply suspected of heresy. And then, with God’s help, he will have acquired that Catholic sense which is one of the graces that a son of the Church, truly worthy of this glorious name, should most aspire to.

Catholic sense will be the beacon of the lay apostle who wants to be a vigilant shepherd under the orders of God’s Holy Church

Catholic sense will be the beacon of the lay apostle who truly wants to be a shrewd and vigilant shepherd in union with and under the orders of God’s Holy Church. It will be Catholic sense that will enable him to perceive the slightest traces of error, the most disguised manifestations of evil. And, curiously enough, this Catholic sense, which is one of the graces he should most aspire to, inestimably useful and noble, [will help him] to perceive even in people, by means of a very subtle and very clear intellectual discernment, the stench of impurity and heresy. […]

But I believe that the Holy Spirit does not refuse this grace to those who, in order to obtain it, offer God, in union with Mary, a chaste life, nourished by humble prayers and guided by unreserved love and confidence in the Holy Catholic Church. ◊

Taken from: In the Age of Political Heresies.
In: Legionário. São Paulo. Year IX.
N. 298 (May 29, 1938); p.2



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