God’s Truth Is Not Theory, It’s a Life Force

Pope Benedict XVI presented a series of meditations on the early Church Fathers in 2007-2008. Discussing Clement of Alexandria’s thinking, he noted that Clement said Christians “must be guided by Christ and thus attain knowledge of the Truth…becomes a living reality in the soul: it is not only a theory; it is a life force.”

Discussing Irenaeus of Lyons, Benedict notes Irenaeus’ teaching that the Church should transmit the faith in such a way that it must be as it appears it is–public, one, spiritual.

Sometimes we humans become enraptured by a single word pulled from a context or by a theory proposed by another human. And we become fixated on just the words supposing that to be belief.

And we miss the spiritual, as Irenaeus would say, or we miss the life force described by Clement.

People who practice spiritual disciplines know that we must take those words and bring them to life within us. Not mere words, but descriptions of how we live. With the spirit, in the flow of the life force, described in the Christian Bible as living in the kingdom of God.

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