(Post written by Gian Domenico Daddabbo) “One who understands can calculate the number of the beast” (Revelation 13:18), that is what John the Apostle and Evangelist says about the being with animal aspect which appears in one of his visions. I my opinion, nowadays more than ever this word of the Apostle interpellates us, indeed we are assisting at a strong bombing of negative messages which present us things defying all logic as normal.
To give some examples, this manipulation game, defined by the philosophers of Frankfurt’s School Adorno and Horckheimer as “cultural industry”, passes off as rights those whims of few people which defy the natural law and, consequently, the cosmic project of God, so as to create false problems and make us miss the real ones, such as suicides because of the economic crisis, consequence of a system Popes Benedict XVI and Francis criticized and we seem to have accepted passively; persecutions against our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Middle East come to my mind too, but we don’t give them any importance.
These are the results of a serious moral crisis that we persist in pretending not to see, especially in our Italy where the majority of people ha got conformed to the dominant culture, since we haven’t awaken to the depth of the issues in our time, convinced it is enough solving the problems on the surface. The human intelligence is helpful to make note of this serious crisis of morals and faith, but as Christians we are aware reason alone is not enough, so the Spirit gives us Intelligence which is much more than human intelligence, because it can look further.
As in the Incarnation Jesus assumed a human intelligence, not to write it off, but to lead it to an aim of Salvation, so the the Holy Spirit arises in us Christians the grace of Intelligence to lead us to the knowledge of the unfailing treasures (Cf. Wisdom 7:13-14), similar to the treasure the peasant finds in in his field (Cf. Matthew 13,44). Let’s think about the two disciples of Emmaus. After seeing Jesus dead and laid in a sepulcher, the two followers feel deceived and go back home. Along the street they meet Jesus but don’t recognize Him because of sadness. While walking, Jesus explains them the passages of the Scripture regarding Him, starting from Moses and the Prophets, in the end they recognize him as he breaks the bread (Cf. Luke 24,13-27). If the two disciples had trusted to their intelligence, they would never have recognized the Teacher, but, above all, His words would have slipped out of them as rain drops on a slicker, so Jesus shows himself image of the Church’s Teaching which guides each baptised child step by step with the light of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit opens our minds and, enlightend by the Word, we too become mature Christians, able to think by our own heads; on the contrary without this grace we would become those Pope francis defines as “watered down Christians”, conformed to the dictatorship of relativism, or of the only thought.
We have to go back to the true faith and redescover its unfailing treasures through the gift of Intelligence to “discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romani 12:2), by becoming salt of the earth and light of the world (Cf. Mattthew 5,13-14) and purchase the courage to resist and go against every worldly indoctrination which aims at lukewarming our faith.
Lukewarmth is a sneaky evil the Book of Revelation warns us about (Cf. 3:15-16) and from lukewarmth to apostasy the step is quick. To calculate the number of the beast means above all to do serious descernement, so that every our yes may mean yes and our no, no; anything more is from the evil one (Cf. Matthew 5:37).