An expert writes.
Fr. Angelo Mary Geiger is writing a series for Spiritual Direction Blog, Thinking With The Church: Mysticism and Magisterium - Part I of VI. Fr. Geiger offers excellent spiritual guidance faithful to the magisterium. It is much needed discernment for our times. I've already learned that I've made an error in distinguishing between the pre- and post-conciliar Church:
Unfortunately, it is not only the progressives who have adopted this individualistic spirit. Even in the name of Tradition, some today speak of a pre- and post-conciliar Church, thus creating a rupture between the past and the present. In this way, they submit everything the magisterium has to say to a test that ultimately sets the Church against itself.I've often said we cannot be holier than the Church - I think Fr. Geiger explains what that means here:
I begin this series on Mysticism and Magisterium with the notion of “thinking with the Church” because discernment is so basic to the spiritual life. For a Catholic, every authentic spirit is characterized by its “ecclesiality,” which means that the Holy Spirit works in and through the Church and always leads to communion with the Church.I think I write in vain - I have no credentials and I'm not a blog many people read, so I am very happy Fr. Geiger is writing this series. It is very much needed, especially for those of us who are confused by so many factions and opinions in Catholic media - especially online. Several of my posts had me searching for authoritative teaching to address the strange notions being generated online through Catholic news portals and blogs. Fr. Geiger sums it up quite succinctly here:
Finally, the autonomous personal conscience sometimes lays claim to a false discernment when it sets private revelation and presumed personal graces against the magisterium. The desire for union with God sometimes leads individuals to attach themselves to extraordinary manifestations of the “spirit,” but in such a way that weakens their attachment to the Church. Thus, Catholics continue to embrace New Age spirituality, or some dubious private revelation, or a personal insight even though they know that their conviction runs contrary to Church teaching or discipline.
"The Church is the solution not the problem."
The discernment of spirits is so important today because there are many voices competing for our attention, and it is all so easy to assume that that what we hear, or even what we think and say comes from God. We need to be careful, especially when we are tempted to think differently than the Church—to disregard or disparage her doctrine or choose a path that sets us at odds with the sacred magisterium. - Spiritual Direction Blog
H/T Mark Shea