A Mark of Orthodoxy

Ran across a great description of orthodoxy today, written by Fr. John Hardon. Here is what he says:

“As a mark of orthodoxy, the Church’s catholicity is part of a mysterious paradox whereby the same essential faith and worship are held and practiced by a bewildering variety of peoples, separated geographically across the globe, culturally across the range of mankind, and historically across the centuries.”

I don’t mind being called orthodox. I think it is my obligation as a deacon, a cleric in the Church, to be orthodox. You deserve nothing less than that from any deacon or priest or bishop. It is the vocation of the ordained to teach the faith with fidelity to Divine Revelation, the living Tradition, and the Magisterium.

What I do mind is being labeled a “conservative” or a “liberal” when it comes to theological things or to the practice of my faith. I especially dislike either label applied to me when I try to express my political views. I am both conservative and liberal if you must use these descriptors and if you use those words in their true sense. I conserve what is true and handed on to me so as to hand on to you what I have been given and I must liberally, freely, offer the Gospel to the world.

I love Fr. Hardon’s description of orthodoxy. It expresses the aggiornamento sought by the Council Fathers at Vatican II. It expresses nicely an embrace of the world’s diversity in the preaching of Jesus Christ in all fidelity to the faith of our fathers, so many of whom have given their lives for the Church.

Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote that reception of the faith and living it out faithfully is not a matter of being spoon fed what to believe and how to live, nor is it a matter of defining for oneself what of the patrimony of faith we will believe and accept as truth. Orthodoxy, instead, is an embrace of the truth, of the faith, of the person of Jesus and in doing so wrestling with living in his presence and in obedience to his commands in the particular circumstances of our lives. In other words, we must live the faith, participate in its articulation and expression. This requires a strong heart and a clear mind. It demands a struggle to be a part of it all…. not just passive recipients…. not just defining for ourselves the truth…. but a ongoing discernment of the expression of faith in the modern world.

What a wonderful way to live in today’s world!

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
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2 Responses to A Mark of Orthodoxy

  1. Ron Amundson says:

    Greetings Bob,
    I remember reading your blasted and blessed post some time back which I thought was pretty cool. Sadly, in todays polarized political world, it seems labels are flung with abandon. Ultimately the Gospel always shines through, even though it throws a major wrench into the labels. I really like the live and participate, strong heart and clear mind statement.

  2. Pingback: A Mark of Orthodoxy | Catholic Faith and Reflections « Christology « Theology of Ministry

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