When truth is such an uphill climb, how many men remain in the valleys; how praiseworthy are they who even make the attempt upward.
Among those approaching us at our mountaintop siesta, hopping on the left foot, are the anti-metaphysicians, those materialists who deny even philosophy. Closely behind them, hopping on the right foot, are the apostasists, encumbered by their fathers’ ecclesial fallacies.
Where materialists and amaterialists hop, wobble, fall, convicted in belief, Catholics must be the Good Samaritan. Why would we worry? Our faith is the true footing.
Anti-metaphysicians have both faith and reason, lauding the latter to distraction. Denying the metaphysical as much as possible, they prefer a bare minimum faith in one’s senses; not just irrefutable things but inevitable things are their dogmas. True things must be obvious, say they, and so they bind themselves to nothing but that which is already bound. In practice, these materialists test the binding by breaking out of it, at which point it becomes rebellion and willfulness.
Apostasists represent manhandling little truths, unreasonably forcing facts to fit faith. As with all rationalization, all true things bound their way are distorted, a shield against things bound against them. In this way, convenient truths and inconvenient truths are likewise bound to their will. Apostasism is the reverse of the anti-metaphysicians, and it is the same — it becomes rebellion and willfulness.
We must not abandon the truth that fallibility and hubris limit man’s knowledge. We must deny that there must exist a full explanation for everything for us to believe it is true. We must recognize that the refusal to believe in a thing so much greater than ourselves that we cannot fully grasp remains, de facto, a circular prejudice against God.
We must firmly deny that all truth is a matter of trust, for we do have a way to test certain sorts of hypotheses against known truths. Reason being a gift of God, we do not test God but glorify Him by discerning the laws of his Creation. Where right reason begins with an axiom, building upward and outward, twisted reason is merely defensiveness. We must avoid this. We must firmly accept that there is and can only be one truth, that the What-Is is not a thing to be grudgingly reconciled with That-Else — we must deny that there is any Else to which we must reconcile.
If a Catholic does not breathe with two lungs, run on two legs, soar on two wings, he betrays Catholicism. This is not to say that we fail our tribal, even parochial identity; Catholic meaning universal, I am merely saying that supposed universalists are not living universally.
Walk toward our brothers, appalled as they are to our walking at all; walk down the hill to help them up.