I have met many I am sure who want to study theology, who are currently studying theology and seek a career in it somehow. Even I gave it a go but it wasn’t for me ( long story there, perhaps another time ) so instead just study it in the privacy of my home when I get a chance.
But many I have met on the road to college or in college, run into the biggest obstacle when studying and accepting Catholic doctrine/theology. This biggest obstacle is themselves. If our study of theology is going to be fruitful, beneficial to ourselves and society around us, we must first learn the true theology. That true theology is contemplation of Jesus Christ. It is a theology that can only be learned through action and living the Gospel. After we have developed this relationship with Jesus and there is a response from Christ of his grace, then our study ( should we choose that route in life ) will bear much fruit. Putting the study of theology before true theology is like being the blind man in the Gospel who leads other blind men and both will fall into the pit.
I am not commending myself now with what I am about to say, let me just remind people I am of the least understanding among us and the greatest sinner. The reason we have so many theologians, Bishops, priests and religious brothers and sisters who reject and even boldly challenge dogmas such as the Eucharist, the universal ban on women being priests and sadly . . . even the Churches stance on abortion, is because the study of true theology did not precede the classroom of the ordinary theology program. One could also venture to add that it did not even precede their vocation to the religous life to begin with ( remember the scripture tells us that many are called but few are chosen?. ).
The same applies for lay people. They were not nourished in the home because perhaps their parents were bitten by the bug known as ”Lapsed Catholic” and this disease if left untouched seems to just pass on generation to generation. But then when they exit the home to their local parish priest, nine times out of ten he has also been bitten in the seminary by this bug, often passed along by the modern theologians who created it in the ivory lab of worldly wisdom. Its a horrible sight isn’t it? Pitiful to look at and it must provoke us to great compassion and prayer for these souls of which I am no better.
So allow me to back up some of what I am saying by using words of the mystics and of Jesus himself. I would like it if you would consider the following qoutes. One qoute is from a mystic from the 4th century ( or thereabouts) known as ”Evagrios the Solitary” and the other is by Jesus himself as dictated to our present day mystic ”Vassula Ryden” in the messages ”True Life In God”.
Here is what Evagrios says: ”If you pray truly, you are a theologian and you are a theologian if you pray truly”.
See what I mean? You see now what it means to be a real theologian, a true doctor of the faith?
Now listen to what Jesus says in the True Life In God message of August 7 2002:
true theology, that is the contemplation to Me your God;
You can read that message to Vassula in full here
Don’t get me wrong, we all get bitten by the lapsed Catholic bug at some stage, but I hope this post will help us all stay clean and free of such a sickness. There is a cure out there to this unhealthy bug, we just need to look for it in the sacraments, prayer and a Christian way of living that can only be found in the Gospel. Want to learn theology and be a theologian? Repent. Study God truly in prayer and obeying Him and His Church and you will be a theologian.
When I write this post and read it back, I pretend as if someone is speaking it to me also, reminding myself I am no greater than anyone else. I just want to help and sometimes that can get me into trouble but the trouble is worth it.
Please pray for me.