Cutting to the Chase
by Erven E. Park
"Cutting to the chase," a saying derived from an individual's demonstrated ability to see where the "fox" (subject) IS rather than foraging for its location/position from where it has been. "Getting to the point" would be a somewhat analogous expression.
We are immersed in a sea of bewilderment, uncertainty and stress stemming from the serious issues in our days, which is then most often exacerbated by the very mechanisms that we turn to for the resolving of those innerving straits. We seek resolution and are obliged by torrents of varying opinion and counsel literally inundating us by every means and medium that has access to our cognitive senses. There is no wonder the extraordinary demand for the services of therapists, legitimate as well as fakirs, now proliferating under the banners of the so-called "mental health" industry -- become monolith!
For all things begetting the oceans of emotion, however, there exists the immovable immutable that exposes its folly. Immutable, designating truth of course, whose author is God.
Truth, then, is the answer and is that which must be winnowed from the chaff (falsehood). One might say: "Well now that is a na´ve statement, certainly truth is what is wanted but how do you know where it lies in a blizzard of varying or conflicting declarations all claiming to possess that truth? How is it possible to see through this maze of contradictions?" How do you "cut to the chase " otherwise?
The first necessity is to reacclimatize your thinking to the reality that we as a society have degenerated from that of seeking and esteeming truth to that of challenging whether it exists at all (Relativism). The former state has as its authority almighty God and the latter derives from man seeking autonomy from God -- a state that we are significantly immersed in today. The former will realize a civilizing society, the latter regresses to barbarism and chaos a state that is not without its own transcendent leader, the "prince of the world;" the "father of lies." Otherwise know that the chaotic array of disinformation being thrust upon us in our day is not a fluke occurrence; it is a deliberate strategy and its fundamental objective is to eradicate truth!
The second necessity, every bit as important as the first, is to restore the virtue of applying right reasoning to your evaluations of information being impressed upon you. If what you receive violates right reason, reject it outright. The great Catholic author and philosopher, G. K. Chesterton rightfully asserts: "The soul of Christianity is common sense." Common sense dictates that we grapple with the "IS," not the "IFS." Truth never violates sound reasoning, and reasoning has as its fundamental root the natural law.1 The powers to reason are a gift of God to accompany your gift of a "free will." To slothfully relinquish this power to others is not only to rebuff God, but also to surrender your free will to the world (read - the prince of the world). The common good and right reason are mutually dependent and to eliminate one is to extinguish the other.
WHAT IS OUR GUIDE TO RIGHT REASONING?
There is only one infallible guide to truth and that is its author, God. Those rejecting this affirmation, say for instance by denying the immutability of any element of the Ten Commandments, have placed themselves in a delusional2 state. Now some (possibly many) will reply: "That's merely your opinion, how can such a claim be substantiated?" There is incontrovertible proof and it lies in the inevitable and uncompromising factor known as "consequences."
Scriptural reference to consequences often uses the analogy of the quality of "fruits," e.g., "By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit." Mat. 7: 16-18 DRV
Otherwise, life has many variables but morals and/or morality (meaning good or evil) will always, repeat: always, produce a consequence (fruit) consistent with its nature. Good will never come from bad, or vice versa, nor will anyone be wholly spared from the effects of these acts.
We, of course, wish to be able to foresee the bad that might befall us beginning with ourselves and logically extending to our loved ones, our society and nation. To be thus informed hopefully allows us to plan and comport ourselves in a manner that does not find us unprepared and/or lost, especially as it may impose upon our eternal destiny a state (condemned for eternity) that God, His Church, and Scripture inform us is the tragic fate of the majority of mankind.3
Not surprisingly, but all too grievously overlooked, is the reality that our Father in His infinite love for His human creation, also wants us forewarned of the inevitable consequences of wrongful acts whether they be personal or emanating from the society and/or governance in which we are constituents. For even though we may not be the author of, or a collaborator in wrongdoing, its consequences are going to assuredly impact the good and the bad alike.
God, therefore, spares no effort in affording mankind very clear warning of the dire consequences that will always accompany sin (wrongdoing). Moreover, where it happens that His teachings are being misused or disregarded though the mediums of authority vested in His Church, sacred Tradition or Scripture, He will assign supernatural (heavenly) personages to communicate directly with mankind in order to further forewarn them of the urgency of the issues and times directly pertaining to them/us. Now this is extremely important!
Our present age gives witness to many supernatural visitations (I refer only to those events officially authenticated and approved by the Church), providing warning and awareness of forthcoming justice and punishment that the world is bringing upon itself. Moreover, these forewarnings have not been in the form of riddles or mystery, but are very specific as to time and place with every foretelling coming about precisely as declared. Giving overwhelming impetus to these heavenly visitations is the fact that they are revealed through innocents who would have no possible means of ascertaining beforehand the messages they are entrusted to make known to the world.
Taking just one such event of our own time, we need but relate to the prophecies that have come forth from the rural Portuguese village of Fatima in 1917. Our Holy Mother Mary appeared to three unschooled children (ages 7, 9 and 10) and over a period of six monthly visitations related to them monumental events that are still playing out, one by one even to our day, precisely as they were foretold 88 years ago.
These accurately prophesized events include: The "miracle of the sun" witnessed by over 70,000 persons (including non-believers hoping to dispel the apparitions), whereby the sun itself was dislodged from its setting and performed miraculous maneuvers while emitting astonishing light displays; the ending of World War I; the beginning of World War II as well as the name of the pope who would be reigning at that time; the extraordinary heavenly phenomenon which would be witnessed worldwide (1938) foretelling of the beginning of World War II; the ascendance of Russia (a weak and insignificant nation in 1917) to an evil monolithic power which would afflict the world with suffering and death; the demise of the Church initiated by "apostasy" within its own hierarchy, a work in process in our present day!
It is not the purpose of this writing to go into the analysis of the many sources of truth and prophesy provided for us by our all-merciful God in His paternal concern for each one of us. What I wish to discuss is why we assign so much gravity to the vicissitudes of man and so little to God? Why do we choose the world rather than He who created it?
Such bizarre conduct might be understandable if God chose to be detached from His creation and creatures, but just the opposite is what is factually true. He is intimately present to an extent unimaginable to us. His glory is so totally overwhelming, however, that He conceals His infinite majesty so that our free will may be exercised without being intimidated by supernatural manifestations. He nevertheless reveals His omnipresence to those who will see and hear (Faith) by means of the immutable teachings of His Word. Otherwise, only the divine is without error and this is demonstrated definitively by the infallible truths and consequences of His proclamations.
It is thus safe to observe that what comes from the intellect and word of man is as the shifting wind --"You vary, therefore you are not the truth!" 4 What comes from God is the rock of changeless truth, which of itself proves His presence with us. The Ten Commandments are not merely moral guidelines; it is God making known absolutely that which will bring forth good fruit, and which if transgressed guarantees evil or disaster -- not sometimes, but always. There are no "ifs" regarding the consequences.
In the face of this reality, is it not paradoxical that so many of us choose to "push the envelope," expecting that God's natural law somehow will not apply to me? Taking such license, of course, you make yourself as God.
We thus willfully blind ourselves to the truth and submit to the serpent lurking in our intellects that tells us to embrace the views we prefer to believe while rejecting the way to He who loves each of us infinitely. In other words, we consentingly consign ourselves to a delusional (psychotic) state! It is well to point out here the fact that even bad news has a stabilizing effect if it is certainty, for it informs our intellect clearly on what decisions must be made.
FINE WORDS - HOW DO WE GET TO THE TRUTH?
Let us take a subject that has become all-pervasive in our day, both within and without the Church, the matter of war. Let us further presume there are two things that concern us: 1) what is the cause of war, and 2) are we going to be involved in more war in the foreseeable future? We have two resources available that will inform us authoritatively. We have the secular world that has at its hands all of the intelligence gathering mechanisms there are i.e., newspapers, television, radio, the Internet, think tanks, government agencies, experts, academic institutions, on and on. Then you have your creator, God, who has made available His proclamations on the subject of war and its cause. Let us compare the two.
First the secular, "what is the cause of war?" We want to get right to the heart of the matter so we go to the "Google" search engine on the Internet and we type in the query: "The cause of World War I" and press search. Immediately we are informed of 20,500,000 (that's million) listed links to expressions given as to the causes of World War I. We go further and enter in the query: "the cause of World War II" and press search. On World War II we are informed of 24, 000,000 links to the causes of that war! What do you have in this menagerie? Inasmuch as these [opinions] originate from man, you have nothing actual but something for everyone. Chaos - the Devil's own tar pit!
What does God and His Church tell us as to the cause of war? Rather than the millions of opinions expressed above, we are factually informed via a three-letter word that all war is the direct result of sin. Some will undoubtedly say: "this is too simplistic." Being the truth, however, denying it is to be delusional by means of your act of rejecting reality. One might say: "Well this is certainly 'cutting to the chase' but what practical application do we look to from this?" By clearing the decks of all the demonic clutter, you set the atmosphere for much clearer thinking and logic. This brings us to the second question: "are we going to be involved in more war in the foreseeable future?"
The resounding answer to that crucial question lies in the very world around you. Ironically, it is here where the secular world accurately informs you on whether there is going to be ongoing and escalating war. What emanates from the media on a 24 hour basis is a report on the moral status of the world's culture and what you are bowled over with is debauchery abortion, sodomy, euthanasia, divorce, blasphemy, adultery, fornication, immoral law and government, on and on. Such a state in humanity does not just threaten war; it guarantees it. If it were not war in Iraq, it would be somewhere else and we can be assured it will go from bad to worse. Where does that leave us? If you are not concerned about your eternal destination, then there is nothing to discuss. If you are, your foremost responsibility is seeing to the salvation of your own soul, from there to those of your loved ones and all who are in your sphere of knowing. Many cannot sermonize but all can teach by example and that is sufficient before God.
What are we being taught here? First and most prominently, God is not at all remote. He is not merely involved in a general way with the world; rather He is intimately invested in every individual and makes every effort at providing the truth to them that they may return to Him for eternity. Rejecting or ignoring His charitable teaching renders you delusional and lost.
Shakespeare has a line in one of his plays that relates: "All the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players." 5 This saying accurately describes the world, but with the need of a single clarification. Any play demands a director who will formulate the scenes. In the case of the world stage, however, each player has their own free will. In such circumstances, the director (God) will formulate the scenes (events) consistent with the free will acts of the players. Otherwise, and we better well understand this, whatever occurs in the world war or peace does not just happen; it is directed and that director is God.
You want to be able to "cut to the chase?" Go to God and His Catholic Church, there you will find it spelled out quite plainly so that ALL may know the truth. The time is short and the hour is near!
Erven Park is a widowed father of eight children (one a monastic priest). He is a Catholic writer and investigative journalist. He is a past publisher of the Catholic Truth and Catholic Intersect journals as well as providing documentation and testimony before the official Vatican Commission that investigated and ruled on the ministry of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of the Seattle Archdiocese. Mr. Park currently contributes articles to publications in the U.S. and Europe. Mr. Park resides in Toledo, WA., and may be reached by e-mail at: email@example.com
NOTES:1 "Natural Law." The knowledge of right and wrong imprinted upon every mans heart by God at the time of his receiving his rational soul (10 Commandments).
2 "Delusion - al: Something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated; a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self." Merriam-Webster Dictionary
3 Cf. Mat. 7: 14 - Mat. 20: 16 - Mat. 22: 21 - Luke 13: 23 - 1 Peter 3: 20
4 Jacques Bossuet - 1627-1704, French Bishop and philosopher. (Truth does not harbor variances)
5 Shakespeare's As You Like It