Skip to comments.The Holy Spirit and Middlemen
Posted on 05/22/2010 4:15:26 PM PDT by NYer
Some businesses boast they have cut out the middlemen to bring savings to customers. Strictly speaking, however, cutting out the middlemen really means reducing costs by rearranging the locations of warehouses and hiring new middlemen to take phone calls or tend the showroom. Proficient middlemen make it possible to communicate efficiently the policies of the boss and conduct business well. Middlemen are necessary in any social organization and are required by our nature as social beings.
Perhaps it comes as no surprise that Christ Himself uses middlemen. In the Gospel, Christ promises that Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (Mt 24:25). Yet, He had no scribes following Him about (except to put Him to the test) and He kept no personal diary (until, one supposes, Dan Brown of Da Vinci Code fame conjures up one). Christ uses middlemen the Apostles, the Evangelists, popes, bishops, and priests within the Church to pass His words down to us.
Messages can easily be distorted when passed down through human instrumentality. Anyone who has played the Telephone game of whispering a message from person to person will bear witness to how a simple message can be grotesquely distorted by middlemen. This explains why it was necessary for Christ to send the Holy Spirit to guarantee the authenticity of the message handed down. In todays Gospel, before His ascension into heaven, Christ promised, The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you (Jn 14: 24-26). These words of Christ reveal how He Himself relies on the Holy Spirit to guarantee that nothing is lost in the transmission by His chosen middlemen.
In the spiritual life, as in the worldly life of commerce, we may discover a tendency to dispense with middlemen. We may prefer to think that the Holy Spirit speaks to us personally, exclusively, directly and infallibly. Of course it is true that a properly formed conscience is ones infallible guide as the true voice of God. But after the fall of Adam, consciences are easily distorted by our sinful inclinations. Because of our weakness, in difficult circumstances we especially need the light of truth from middlemen appointed for the purpose. When a priest accurately presents authentic Church teaching as a divinely appointed middleman, he speaks for the Holy Spirit. It is a grave mistake to think that the Holy Spirit intervenes with special revelations that contradict those of the teaching Church or violate her lawful authority.
Middlemen themselves need to be open to the good graces of the Holy Spirit. The truth they transmit is not their own, nor theirs to manipulate. They must be aware of the many ears that itch to be affirmed in their error. St. Paul warns St. Timothy, Preach the word: be insistent in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables (2 Tm 4:2-4). Priests and bishops themselves need to beg the Holy Spirit to be their guide in directing them to the authentic truths of Christ as taught by the Catholic Church. In humility they need to recognize their role as lowly middlemen and beg for the courage to hold fast to the truths of Christ. The Churchs middlemen with Christ must say, The word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me (Jn 14:16).
It is perhaps part of our fallen human nature that we are impatient with middlemen. We often prefer to break the rules of good order and go to the top immediately without dealing with customer relations representatives. We prefer to bully directly for lower prices or otherwise to get what we want, never taking no for an answer. It may work in getting my way in worldly terms. But circumventing the middlemen as a matter of routine disrupts good order and reveals a pattern of selfishness, even pride.
Cutting out the middleman in the spiritual life by pretending that we do not need the Church in our relationship with God is sure means of choking off the action of the Holy Spirit. Christ and His Church are one. Christ is the final arbiter of truth and the Holy Spirit inflames the Church with His truth throughout the ages. It takes humility and the grace of the Holy Spirit to allow the Church to remind us daily of all that Christ has done for us.
The economic function of “middlemen” is disastrously misunderstood by most. Everyone should read Thomas Sowell and get it right!
A not to our non-Catholic friends, by this statement, Fr. Jerry Pokorsky is noting that our Lord never appointed anyone to write down what He said. Holy Scripture is based on the writings of those who associated with Jesus and/or were disciples of these same disciples. That explains why some of the writings do not agree completely with each other.
Did Jesus Christ with His own mouth instruct His disciples to "write down" His teachings? No. With the possible exception of the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) by St. John the Apostle, Jesus Christ gives no such instructions to any of His disciples or Apostles. In fact, only the Apostles Sts. Peter, John, James, Jude and Matthew were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write Scripture. Why were the other seven not inspired of the Holy Spirit to "write" if the "written" Word of God is the ONLY authority to be followed in the Christian religion?
This statement is the number-one reason to run far and fast in the opposite direction of Roman Catholics.
Aren’t the saints and Mary middle men?
Some are men, some are ladies.
I’m very literal-minded. It drives my family nuts, too.
At the same time it's no secret that Catholics worship the queen of heaven, so called Saints, statues, popes, etc...
Your middle man is your religion...Our middle man is the Holy Spirit...
You claim that your middle men are sinful men...
Priests and bishops themselves need to beg the Holy Spirit to be their guide in directing them to the authentic truths of Christ as taught by the Catholic Church.
We ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in His written words that we may understand...
We may prefer to think that the Holy Spirit speaks to us personally, exclusively, directly and infallibly.
Apparently Catholic laymen/women do not have the Holy Spirit abiding in them...Only the clergy have this Spirit as I understand it...
We that HAVE BEEN SAVED have within us the same Holy Spirit that you guys claim leads your church...And yes, he communicates with us...
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
But in the end, it's clear to me that either your group, or my group is deceived...One group are Christians, the other is doomed to damnation...
Just remember what your priest said; We may prefer to think that the Holy Spirit speaks to us personally, exclusively, directly and infallibly.
Well, we don't think...We know...
But you can know too, if you dump the religion, repent and call on the name of Jesus Christ...
No, really they’re more like heavenly companions to the Mediator. It’s His office, but He shares it with His saints out of love. He does the same thing as Judge as well.
“At the same time it’s no secret that Catholics worship the queen of heaven, so called Saints, statues, popes, etc...”
I’ve been Catholic my whole life and I have never once met a single Catholic who worshiped “the queen of heaven, so called Saints, statues, popes, etc...” I would ask you to prove that that that is what we teach and do, but I have seen you fail every other time so I don’t expect you to succeed now.
I think you meant to send that to Iscool.