Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"But the Church's teachings aren't popular..."

"Christ said, 'I am the Truth'; he did not say 'I am the custom.'"
- St. Toribio de Mogrovejo (d. 1606)

Culture changes. Fads come and go. And with the winds of societal change, the faith of some is blown here and there. Their perceptions of truth change with the society and are not constant.

Today is the feast day of St. Toribio de Mogrovejo. Toribio began his adult life as a lawyer in Spain. Though a layman, his reputation for fairness led to his appointment as the archbishop of Lima in modern-day Peru. After unsuccessfully trying to covince Church officials that he was not qualified, he reluctantly accepting the appointment. He was quickly ordained a deacon and priest, then consecrated bishop and sent to Lima. As archbishop there, he took a keen interest in exercising justice and defended the rights of the poor and of natives who were suffering under Spanish rule in Peru. He founded hospitals and schools to serve both Spanish and Indians there.

In his day and in his culture, he was not popular with the secular rulers. Many Spanish colonists allowed their perceptions to be marred by the popular view of their day that the Indians around them should not be treated as fellow-humans. They could not understand Toribio's insistence that Truth was not dictated by current thought, but instead, was unchanging and from above. But he persevered in his service to all: Indians and Spanish alike. He was canonized by the Church in 1726.

Truth is constant. Christ is unchanging. Our Faith is foundational. Let us build our house upon its timeless security.