“To negate this scripture and insist that one cannot love unless one knows doctrine is a fallacy.”
One cannot love that which one does not know, period. One who loves may not know something as Catholic doctrine but that does not mean that they inevitably had to know that doctrine to love.
There cannot also be “faith” if there is no doctrine. There must be something to believe by faith i.e. we believe in what doctrine reveals by faith. Without doctrine, there is no knowledge. Without knowledge, there is nothing to have faith in.
The knowledge may of course be infused, directly revealed, gained through study. But the matter of how it was attained does not contradict the fact that knowledge is necessary for love.
Think about it this way. To love is to will the good of another. How can one will the good of another if they do not know what is good? You may say that the knowledge of good is infused but that does not change the fact that it is knowledge.
I agree with you that Tim has mentioned many good points. However, we cannot forget that Tim’s reply is only beautiful in so far as it reflects the truth, which means, doctrine.
So the problem I had with Tim’s reply was that he seemed to say he was never sure about himself and believes that the last thing a person needs to hear of is doctrine. But I think that is incorrect.
A dying person on his death bed can only find comfort in the doctrine of the judgement and eternal life. For us to even deny him such truths so that he may repent and even seek absolution, to me, seems criminal.
Even Tim is sure about things like “what a dying person needs is not doctrine”. So there is the aspect of inconsistency in his reply as well. In this world, every man must be sure about something. Catholics are sure about Jesus as the one they want to follow and they are further sure and know what else to believe, including that he is God, through doctrine. Even our sense of good and evil is due to moral doctrine written/infused in to our hearts.
So to me, Tim’s reply contains some dangerous errors.
Well as the Church states, he/she is saved in so far as he sought the truth, forms his conscience according to it, and acts according to his conscience. So the Atheist too, if saved, must know and act according to doctrine although he may not know it as “Doctrine” and “Catholic”.
[quote=Jabberwocky]Somehow there is a group of people it seems that do disagree with this seemingly obvious truth!
I’m sure you read it, but since your post here is meant to garner support from others to the detriment of your opposition, they may want to read another testimony that disproves your “seemingly obvious” truth.
I will bet the farm that it is very seldom doctrine that moves a person to embrace the faith. The Journey Home on EWTN has thousands of testimonies from people who either converted or reverted, and they never said it was due to knowing doctrine. You may want to check with at least some of those folks and watch the program. Nor is it doctrine that moves a sinner to give up a decadent life style. Unless they experience in their being the love of Christ/God, and are drawn by the Holy Spirit, knowledge is a dead letter to them. Many will admit to knowing doctrine, but live according to the flesh despite it.
I am a sucker for Scriptures, after all they were entrusted to our Church.
I like what St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:
*If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. *4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; 5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
I see Tim as crossing into maturity and realizing the fragility of life, and being honest enough to understand his faults and in his actions becoming less of him and letting Christ fill him up with more of Him. He sounds frustrated because doctrine can’t explain matters of the heart. After all, the peace of God surpasses all understanding. And that is what Tim seems to need the most.
Don’t get me wrong, doctrine matters. I get into all kinds of debates and discussions about doctrine, it stimulates my mind and helps me understand the Faith better.
Sirach my friend, why do you not address my objections or arguments? You cannot just direct me to your own posts as source of understanding because you are being challenged here as having an heterodox view.
Your argument is also invalid. If there are those who have knowledge but do not use it, like the devil, that does not mean knowledge is not necessary. That just means some people and beings will refuse to willfully disobey the creator.
But to obey the creator, one must have knowledge. Whether this is infused, revealed directly, or through the Church is not the question here.
So the reason why feel very confident, and to be honest anyone should feel confident, in saying that you are wrong in this matter is because you are promoting something logically impossible. You might as well say “God can make a stone he cannot lift” because what you are asserting is pretty much as impossible.
You cannot obey God if you do not know what God wants you to do. What God wants you to do is knowledge. Hence, there can be no pleasing God without knowledge.
Well perhaps this is due to imprecise definitions.
What is love?
Since you have a liking of Scripture, let us turn to 2 John 1:5-6
“But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning—you must walk in it.”
Now we may know his commandments by infused, revealed, learned knowledge but that is just it. commandments are knowledge and hence there can be no love without knowledge.
The reason why you and Sirach seem to dislike this is because you have understood the passages you quoted as being against knowledge when they simply acknowledge the truth that while knowledge is necessary for love, it is not sufficient.
There can be no love without doctrine. It is impossible (at least if we are speaking of Christian love). If you mean the emotion that is commonly identified as “love” today, then yes, a person only needs a physical body to “love”.