During the unforgettable moment of the Last Supper, the Lord reaffirmed for the third time, in a stronger way, the infallibility of His Church:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16, 12-15).
What a wondrous promise Jesus made to His Church!
“But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to ALL truth.”
Jesus knew that at that momentous event of the Last Supper the Apostle had no psychological conditions of absorbing new information: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” That clearly shows that Jesus did not teach everything to His Apostles, but He gave them His Holy Spirit to go on guiding them towards “all truth.” As years and centuries went by, and thank to a great deal of prayers, meditation, Councils, trials and tribulation, the Holy Spirit slowly guided and still guides the Church towards the discovery of “all truth.” Not only a part of the truth, but THE WHOLE TRUTH.
Saint Vincent of Lerins (died 450 A.D.) affirmed that:
“It is necessary to grow, strive and thrive towards greater understanding, the science and wisdom of each and every one, not only individually but also the whole of the Church, as ages and centuries go by” (Communitorium).
We can clearly see that, in His last night before the Passion, at the solemn hour of His Farewell, Jesus guaranteed the infallible assistance of “the Spirit of Truth” to the Church, so that She could be always guided towards the truth and consequently be saved.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14, 16-18).
The great Saint Irinaeus (died 202 A.D.), who combated with zeal the heresies of his time, affirms us that:
The preaching of the Gospel is true and firm, and it is the only pathway of salvation to the world. In fact, God entrusted His Light to the Church, and therefore His “wisdom”, through which He saves men… The Church proclaims the truth everywhere: She is the “seven golden lamp stands” (Revelation 2,1) that carry Christ’s Light…it is important to shelter in the Church and seek for education in Her Ministry, nourished by the Scriptures of the Lord. For the Church was placed by God in this world like a Paradise” (Against the heresies, book V, Chapter 20).
My Catholic brother, be sure that Jesus could not have left a bigger treasure to His Church than His doctrine, “the depositary of faith”, with the guarantee that it would never be corrupted because of the Assistance of the Holy Spirit.
That is the reason why we can guarantee, in the Name of the Holy Spirit, that the Catechism of the Church, the documents of the Councils and the teachings of the Popes are the pure truth of God. That is the reason why the Apostle guarantees us that:
“… You should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth” (The First Letter to Timothy 3, 15).
Good Catholics, faithful and truly believing Catholics, cannot doubt anything that the Catholic Church teaches. Those who disagree with the official teachings of the Church are disobedient children. Disagreeing with the Church in central matters of faith is equivalent to disagreeing with Jesus and mistrusting the infallible assistance of His Holy Spirit to His Church. Jesus promised that to His Apostles. May that terrible temptation stay far away from us!
Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino