God uses Scriptures, the lives of the saints, our family and friends, and many other forms of His creation to teach us something about Himself. At the same time, you and I can be naive or even complacent in our knowledge of God. The Order of Preachers and its' missions were not founded for the naive nor for the complacent. From the beginning, our Order was founded for zealous ones. As a Dominican church family, you and I are called to seek God through prayer, penance, and, most especially, through our minds! Yet, you and I may also suffer from intellectual blockers which inhibit us from learning. For these next few weeks, I would like to discuss some blockers which prevent you and I from growing in our knowledge of the Lord.
Firstly, our politically polarizing culture of "conservative" and "liberal" has affected our ability to study and grow in veritas. As a Diocesan seminarian, I especially suffered from calling certain theologians "raging, heretical, liberals." Today, we are also hearing that there are camps now of Benedict vs Francis. People who identify as "conservative" claim that we need to "read Francis through the lens of Benedict." Whereas, others would say, "Francis is reforming the church which has been wrong for some time." Certainly, there are many aspects of religion and spirituality which can and should be categorized as right or wrong. However, I find that most truth is found not in the "either/ or'' but in the "both/ and" statements of faith. Good theologians can differentiate truth from falsehood, but great theologians can find the truth. Therefore, may you and I be true disciples of the Lord seeking only that truth which sets us free John 8: 31-32).
-br. James Martin Nobles, O.P.