I received deeper light on these profound truths by accident yesterday as I prepared to mail my friend a second copy I bought by mistake of Father Dubay’s Authenticity. I had read the book a couple of years ago, but somehow overlooked a very important chapter on discernment, called “Conversion and the Attainment of Truth.”
Today’s first reading at Mass also spoke of this ligature of understanding that exists in some people:
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.
Now the natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually.
The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone.
Flat contradiction of magisterial teaching is a clear indication of inauthenticity, for the Holy Spirit does not lead the individual to reject the teaching of the very leaders He himself has established to protect the Truth.
A second curious problem concerns the extraordinary tenacity with which most people cling to their opinions. Why do so many men and women resolutely refuse to accept cogent evidence against their positions? Why this vast resistance to conclusive evidence?
It cannot be basically an intellectual matter. The typical theologian or moralist seems to assume in his discussions of disagreements that most if not all of the obscurities and cleavages are due to insufficent data and/or inadequacies of analysis. He assumes that at least in theory full discussion should yield agreement.
It is characteristic of the unconverted that he assumes his own superior insight and he pities what he considers the pathetic blindness of the spiritual man. Not only are the unconverted in error. They do not even grasp what causes their error. While some people hold to their errors with more or less conscious ill will, others fit the biblical explanation: their sight is so deeply wounded that they are not capable of suspecting either the error itself or the reasons for it.
When biblical writers, therefore, come to explain why some persons detect the mind of God and others do not, they do not offer the explanation that the former are more intelligent or have studied more deeply. They locate the difference in the presence of absence of moral goodness and in the presence or absence of a desire for the truth. The root of knowing God is in the human will as it expresses itself in moral choices and style of life.
The New Testament is remarkably intolerant of people entertaining private views regarding doctrine and morality contrary to the teaching of ekklesia’s leaders.
They cannot listen because their ears are uncircumcised, their hearts are evil. (Jer. 6:10, 7:24) They make their hearts adamant NOT because the listeners lack intelligence or because the prophet is unskilled in speech. It is because the people have freely chosen not to accept the divine instruction.
Father Dubay then explains in detail how sin itself is the very cause of interior blindness in beautiful detail of biblical truth and calls for absolute conversion. It makes much sense to me in a clearer light after reading this chapter that prior to baptizing, the apostles preached the absolute necessity of repentance.
Otherwise the blindness remains. He reminds us of Jesus’s admonition to shake the dust in witness, and move on.
I welcome any thoughts that others have come to understand with regard to the futility of attempting to speak to those who have obstinate hearts and how they handled it or perceived the problem.