JUNE 30, 2016 BY MATTHEW MINERD, PH.L.
Many paths can be taken during this Year of Mercy. Above all, we must trod the path of experiencing mercy—in our own participation in the Sacraments, and in our extension of Divine Mercy to others. Nevertheless, knowledge of the faith and, more specifically, of Divine Mercy, is an indispensible element for inflaming our loving embrace of Divine realities. As was once stated ably by Jacques and Raïssa Maritain:
Prayer, particularly in the case of intellectuals, can only preserve a perfectly right direction and escape the dangers which threaten it, on condition of being supported and fed by theology.
Knowledge of Sacred Doctrine has a peculiar tendency of its own to shorten, and render safer, the spiritual journey. It saves the soul from a number of errors, illusions, and blind alleys. In relation to the purgative life, it possesses an ascetic virtue which succeeds in detaching the soul from the degradations and trivialities of self-love. As for those living the illuminative life, the purification that it brings simplifies the gaze of the soul, and turns it from the human self, to God alone. And finally, in relation to the unitive life, a knowledge of theology plants the roots of the soul deep in faith, and divine truth, a predisposition essentially required for the life of union with God.