The eternal authority is like, in some respects, to the compass -- rather the North star -- conscience the compass. The North star is not the cause of the movement of the ship -- that is the wind -- but as long as it can be seen with clearness and certitude, the ship can sail with all the wind her sails are capable of carrying -- but obscure the star by clouds, so that the captain cannot be sure of his course, he will have to take in sail, move cautiously lest he should make shipwreck, unti the North star again appears distinctly. The wind is the Holy Spirit -- the North star is the eternal authority of the Church, the compass is the light of faith. ...
To wish the enlarge the action of the Holy Spirit in the Soul, independently of, or without the knowledge & appreciation of the necessity of the external authority of the Church, her disciplines, her laws, her worship, etc. & the spirit of obedience, would only be opening the door to eccentricity, schism, heresy, & spiritual death.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
The North Star
From the writings of Fr. Isaac Hecker: