If you’ve never known a cup of coffee before, its name ”coffee” or anything about and its source being obvlivous to you and I present it before you to drink what happens? You drink it, you taste it, you like it and as you grow to like it you may want to know more about it, perhaps just enough to know where it came from and its history. It may even evolve into wanting to know it so much that you study its entire history. I don’t know about you but I enjoy coffee. Don’t ask me the beginnings of it or inner workings of it. I know a little about it but it doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the coffee.
The coffee here is God. There is a false idea many of us fall victim to that we must know the faith to escape hell. In fact the reason I’m writing this post was because it was inspired by Michael Voris who repeatedly likes to drive home how much we need to know the faith in order to avoid hell. Forget about living the faith, we just really need to know everything about it. In fact I just don’t put the finger here and poor Michael I just beleive he is the victim of the American protestant culture which is heavy on being successful in the business world and education and that both of these things such as work and good education = salvation.In fact my wifes American father ( she is american also ) who is an entrepreneur goes by that exact saying ”Work = Salvation”. It seems to be the protestant American culture that working hard, putting your kids through college and learning as much as you can somehow makes you ”right with the Lord.” Although Catholicism and personally myself cannot emphasis enough a good education they are not a requirement for getting into Heaven.
In fact most of Our Lords major supernatural relationships was with the most uneducated and lowly of Saints such as St.Joseph of Cupertino who couldn’t read or write. He was reported to be as ”Dumb as rocks” yet he could levitate during prayer such was the closeness of his relationship with God. The little children of Fatima were just peasants as well as St.Bernadette of Lourdes who knew nothing about theology and I doubt either of these could read or write yet they were called to a deep relationship with God in a supernatural way. The list of uneducated Saints who Our Lord handpicked to be his role models of faith and love is endless simply because Our Lord is not interested in how much you ”know”. Yes he’ll give you knowledge it is afterall one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and you can, like St.Thomas Aquinas, come to desire to know it all and still remain a saint. BUT it is not a requirement for Sainthood or to escape the fires of Hell. Those who say this are deciding for God who goes to heaven and who goes to Hell based on what they know.
Finally we must learn and know about the Sacrament of confession in order to actually attend it right? otherwise we risk going to Hell. That is true but you don’t even need to know this to develop and begin a relationship with God. We must drink the coffee first and be fed with knowledge about it later. Same with God, he wants us to come to him broken and stupid as we are and our approach does not have to have knowledge of the Catechism to precede this. He wants us to come to him as we are in our current state of utter sinfulness and messy wishee washee beliefs that we’ve accumulated due to our secularisational upbringing. We may still be addicted to Heroin, cocaine, drink, sex, porn, TV, anger….whatever it might be God wants us now and our relationship begins like a small seed planted in the ground, which then grows and grows stronger and the more we taste the more we might want to know. and all these things then Like a basic knowledge of the faith fall into place and the tree keeps growing the more we feed it with prayer and knowledge ( but not a worldly knowledge of God, not a worldly knowledge of theology it is a knowledge not like this world where we learn ABOUT God but Learn to LIVE INSIDE OF HIM. this is true knowledge aquired only through prayer).
Evagrios the Solitary in his 153 texts on prayer said ”If you are a theolgian you will pray truly and if you pray truly you are a theologian.”
So if you’re trying to search what the Catholic churches teaches online don’t do it. go first into the Church before the presence of Our Lord, light a candle and sit, kneel, stand whatever you like before him. Just do it and do it every day. You can talk if you want, you can stay silent if you want but just sit there for a while. Pick up a book about the lives of the Saints and those who God graced with a supernatural gift to converse with him as I am conversing with you now and I cannot recommend a modern mystic Vassula Ryden to you enough http://www.tlig.org. Thats what happened me. I’m still not perfect but I first walked into a church, picked up a rosary and began to pray. after weeks of this someone proposed confession to me and so I went as my relationship with God had already started to grow you see? so going to confession was like watering that seed enabling it to grow and so the relationship developed even more. This is all you need to do to go to Heaven. Go to Mass, go to confession, read the bible, pray the Rosary and adore Jesus in the Eucharist. if you lay down this foundation, and you grow to Love God everything else will fall into place and accepting a teaching you once thought was at odds with your secular values might perhaps be that little bit more bearable. If you want to like many great saints go to college and learn more about systematic theology and so on the by all means follow that calling but don’t allow the devil to fool you, like he has the protestants that gaining knowledge of the faith will get you to heaven as mentioned before the children of Fatima are proof you don’t need to. what you DO need to do however is to LIVE the faith but God doesn’t give a fiddlers fart what you know about him because he wants your hearts not your minds.
Don’t forget the most important thing of all that will be of enourmous help to you in your quest for Heaven and when you find yourself on the brink of insanity and that is…….a nice…..old fashioned…..cup of tea with a simple glance to the Icon of the Holy Theotokos such small gestures of comfort and love can raise your place in eternity forever.