Mandeville, LA – “The task of any Old Testament prophet could well be summed up by the phrase “stating the obvious.” The kings and people of Israel had been given the Law of Moses and knew full well what their obligations were, yet, as we all do, they routinely fell short of them, and even worked against them. The prophets were called upon by God to state the obvious to Israel, and they were usually thanked for their efforts by being murdered. Few occupations are as dangerous as the prophetic, precisely because they tell people what they already know but don’t want to hear.
Let this serve as a reminder to all. To those who roll their eyes at the “liturgy wars,” or eschew doctrinal discussions as needless hair-splitting, or are all too willing to throw virtuous babies out with disciplinary bathwater, remember the stakes involved: nothing less than the salvation of souls. Watering down the truth and relaxing certain disciplines will have the same effect on our spiritual health that a crash diet and no exercise will on our physical health: it will leave us malnourished and atrophied. Likewise, let those whose fight for truth and virtue remember that pride is at the root of all sin and a danger to us all, and that they must take care not to put their own self-satisfaction in their position overwhelm their regard for their neighbor’s well-being and salvation, that truth expressed without charity will bear no fruit in another’s life, that rituals and disciplines practiced without form or devotion really can become vain repetitions—in short, that while “Pharisee” can be a lazy charge, it can also be an accurate one.
This may seem obvious, but someone has to say it.” – Nicholas Senz, Stating The Obvious