obvious: Troll for the facts. A
Google search has provided a one-stop solution to simple problems
I’ve recently had, such as determining how to cook a still-frozen turkey; where to buy waterproof boots;
figuring out how many movies
Patrick Swayze made. But as we all
learn, some sources for “the facts”
are more reliable than others.
We learn, in other words, that
gathering information isn’t enough.
Not all resources for the truth are
created equal. Some sources are
authoritative. Others offer more or
less what I’m already doing: caging
the odds and making my best guess.
That is why we have authority, and
why we need it.
A big deposit
In matters of faith, Catholics have
developed a structure of authority
known as the magisterium. It’s the
teaching power of the church, laid
down in gospel terms when Jesus
calls Saint Peter his rock and later
when the apostles are on hand in
the upper room to receive the guiding and illuminating Holy Spirit.
Through apostolic succession—the
“laying on of hands” that confers
leadership on each new generation
of the church—connection to that
original authority has been pro-
tected and passed forward. I know
that there’s little in my life of faith
that doesn’t come to me directly or
indirectly as a result of 20 centuries
of magisterial collaboration.
What does the magisterium
provide for each generation of the
church? It’s entrusted with the
deposit of faith: that “trustworthy
teaching” scripture refers to that
guarantees “a remarkable harmony”
I know that there’s
little in my life of
faith that doesn’t
come to me directly
or indirectly as a
result of 20 centuries
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Learn more about #067 at VocationNetwork.org