Love, Truth and Mercy
by Father Santiago Martín
from a meditation which can be heard in Spanish at:
Excerpts, in quotes, published in Spanish by
Translated from the Spanish by Roberto Hope
“I do not hesitate to affirm that the great malady of our time is its deficit of Truth. Success, results, has replaced truth's primacy everywhere. Renunciation of truth, and fleeing away from it towards group conformity are not a road to peace. This kind of community is built on sand. The pain of truth is the presupposition of the true community. This pain must be accepted day in and day out. It is only in the small patience of thruth that we mature inside, we make ourselves free for ourselves and free for God.”
We present below, in general terms, the ideas cast by Father Santiago Martin FM in a meditation which can be watched and heard in Spanish on Magnificat TV
“In this meditation I want to address [...] a question which bothers me extraordinarily. It worries me to the point that I believe the future of the Church is at stake; possibly as it has never been in two thousand years. On the horizon I see the real possibility of a schism with grave consequences. Naturally, my opinion would have no value were it not shared with persons much more learned and relevant than I.”
“It is openly being talked of schism as a real possibility. And I beleive there are moments in life when one has to have the courage to talk. And to talk frankly and honestly [...] So that certain things which have many, but too many possibilities of occurring, do not happen, the time is now, the decisive moment I believe, to talk.”
“I see myself duty bound in conscience to talk this clearly. I believe that there are many others who have been doing it as well. I know not whether uselessly, but the moment to say it is this. You cannot go against the teachings of Christ. Nobody, but absolutely nobody in the Catholic Church can say “You have heard that Jesus said ...so and so..., but I tell you”, because only Jesus is the Son of God ... If anyone pretends to be more God than Jesus Christ, he is automatically outside of the Catholic Church.”
“The use being given to the concept of mercy is an absolutely demagogical one. To say that mercy has to be applied without regard to Truth, or against Truth, is to go directly against the teachings of Christ Himself. To say that truth does not exist or that cannot be attained or that it is relative or that no absolute or objective truth exists, is not only to deny two thousand years of Christian thought but to deny thousands of earlier years of thought itself; it is to go back culturally to a time prior to Socrates'. One has to have either too much courage or too great ignorance to dare say this. To this, one can only respond: How bold is ignorance!”
"Truth exists and to know it is possible. To divest truth from the discourse of love is to run directly into a demagogical falsification of such discourse, which ends up inflicting harm to the person."
"While God's mercy is infinite, its reception is confined by man. Mercy is a gift, not a right. It is something we receive when we meet certain conditions. God has mercy for us always, but receiving that mercy is what we can condition. To receive it one has to ask for it and to prepare himself internally as is fitting."
"God's mercy, God's forgiveness can only be understood as a gift, no as a right. This is a point regarding which people are being demagogically led to confusion. I have a right to .., to what? to take communion? to become a priest? These are gifts. There is no right to these things. A petition to God cannot be a petition of rights but one of gratitude. Do we by chance have the right to get God's pardon? Did we by chance have the right for God to become man?"
"Living in a world where rights have been hypertrophied and duties have been nullified, all is a right, any desire is seen as a right. Which is plainly false."
"A disequilibrium has been produced at all levels; at work, in society, in the family, which is leading society to self destruction. And the relationship with God is what is destroyed in the first place."
"If we pose the relationship with God from the perspective of someone who has the right to so and so, we nullify the possibility of gratefulness, and with it the possibility of loving Love, and by not loving we cannot be happy and additionally we close the gates to heaven to ourselves, because to go to heaven one has to love."
"A concept of mercy which does not take into account that it is not a right but a gift, and which does not take into account that certain conditions have to be met to get it (i.e. contrition and resolve to sin no more) is a false concept of mercy."
"To separate truth, demagogically as it is being done, from the concept of mercy is to inflict immense harm on the person to whom, theoretically, a benefit is intended."
"It is being affirmed that Eucharistic Communion is a right to which access, without any need to meet any sort of conditions, should not be denied. This is tantamount to ignoring the words in the New Testament itself (1 Cor, 11, 27.29). He who unworthily receives the body and blood of Christ offends Christ Himself and this can lead him to eternal damnation. In two thousand years of Church history, never has it been pretended to separate the state of grace from Eucharistic Communion. This is something unprecedented in the Church; These things have never been questioned. To be able to receive the Holy Eucharist, a person to has to be in a state of grace and be in communion with the teachings of the Church."
"Cardinal Kasper's declarations with respect to the possibility of admitting divorced and remarried persons to Eucharistic Communion, breaks with all of Church's tradition. If the door to Eucharistic Communion were to be opened, disregarding the conditions mentioned above (to be in grace and to accept the teachings of the Church); if communion were to be permitted to those divorced and remarried, the demand would come immediately to allow anyone o take communion, regardless of his state in life, his moral behavior or his adherence to the teachings of Our Lord which have been kept faithfully by the Church from its beginnings to our day. If the door is opened for divorced and remarried to take communion, it is just a matter of time, and not much for that matter, for the door to be opened widely to everyone and anyone whatsoever."
"Beyond this foreseeable consequence, one should ask himself it the person who in such condition is admitted to receive the Eucharist will end up being benefited or not. To which one has to answer No!, because the same Word of God mentioned earlier says that he who unworthily receives our Lord eats and drinks his own damnation."
"Mercy, compassion, even when requested by the very same person who suffers, if it is severed from truth is not true mercy, it is false, it does not benefit he who asks for it but causes harm in him."
"We now see being presented as merciful someone who welcomes and consents to the petition of a person wishing to take communion without first attaining the conditions required. But what authority does he have to authorize this? Christ Himself has established the conditions and nobody is above Him or has the authority to change His message. He who does this is dismissing Christ as founder of Christianity and putting himself in His place. He does it out of compassion but acts against the will of Christ Himself."
"Such kind of concession would not only harm the person who goes to communion without first attaining the required conditions, but would also do great harm to the community, because it would lead it to division. Were this to happen it would take the Church, clearly, to schism."