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The Synod and the Spirit
There is a certain panic in some quarters of the Church on the heels of the Synod’s somewhat abstract post discussion report (relatio post disceptationem). People are asking, “What are the bishops doing in Rome? What is the Pope doing?” But the real question is what is the Holy Spirit doing? For the Spirit is the one Jesus sent to “teach you all truth.” The Spirit is our advocate, our help, our consoler, our strength, our wisdom… but also the one who convicts, enlightens, and exposes our hearts so that we have the opportunity to always move deeper toward the truth that sets us free.
The Synod in Rome was called to address how to deal with the pastoral challenges facing the family and the shepherds charged with guiding them. Indeed, who cannot see that the family is under tremendous strain today? Divorce, drugs, alcohol, pornography, rebellion, division, financial burdens, etc…. they have greatly affected nearly every family on earth.
Regardless – and we need to pay attention to this – what is happening now is that the Synod is acting like a sieve. It is beginning to expose where cardinals, bishops, priests and laymen alike stand on the immutable faith and morals of Catholicism. It is revealing, perhaps, the good and the bad branches before the pruning. It is exposing the fears and loyalties of laymen. It is revealing ultimately how much any of us trust Christ and His promise to remain with His Church “until the end of the age.” There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed. Everything that has been hidden in the darkness is coming to light. And that, I believe, is what the Spirit is doing.