Today, 11:33 AM
The Holy Scriptures are the ultimate written authority. But the Holy Spirit, Who is God of God, gives it this authority, just as the Holy Spirit gave the first council in Jerusalem it's authority. The Scriptures can unfortunately be misinterpreted and mistranslated. In order to discern the correct interpretation and correct understanding, we must above all pray for the Holy Spirit to enlighten us, and then seek the Church, which St. Paul says, is the pillar and foundation for truth. This is what St. Paul did and what he and the Apostles taught. It is easy for us to individually misinterpret something (because our framework and knowledge and wisdom is limited to our own personal experience, and we are sinful and imperfect beings), that is why we must seek the community of the faithful and especially the pious and graced amongst them, and seek what their voices say, to learn what the consensus and voice of the Church is. This is what St. Paul did after his conversion. Although he was graced by the Holy Spirit and baptized and beheld the risen Lord, he still travelled to Jerusalem to consult with those who were the leaders of the faith, those who were before him, so that he would not preach in vain things he believed which were actually against the witness of the Church and the teaching of the saints. Though full of zeal and purpose, reborn a Christian true believer, and graced with the Holy Spirit from God on high, he still understood the importance of self-examination and humility and obedience to those before and above him. We may believe we are inspired by the Holy Spirit, but our own passions and desires can also cloud our thoughts and distance us from truth. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth and not division. So, when we believe or interpret something which is different from what the voice of the Church proclaims and has proclaimed, we must be ever cautious lest we are preaching a new gospel and distancing ourselves further from the truth and that holy communion.
There is no religion in Christianity. There is a way of life, which is as a member of the body of Christ, the Church, which is the communion of united believers around Christ Himself. Christ said He came to establish His Church, which is to be His Bride in the culmination of this age. We should then take seriously, as St. Paul did, and as all the holy men and women since the day of Pentecost did, to deny ourselves, humble ourselves, and in faith and trust, enter into this communion, united in mind, spirit, and flesh, as one body partaking in one divine and sacramental love which is the Holy Trinity. For this is the Kingdom of Heaven, as taught by the Saints, to be united with God.