Let us recall, once again, that this journey towards Lent is one of looking at the obstacles and entryways to a greater sensitivity and receptivity to the mind and heart of God. “Supposing then that we are careful in defining our terms,” writes Fr. Dubay, “assiduous in our study of relevant sources, and converted at least in the sense that God is our consuming desire and love, we ask next what the norms may be that will guide us to valid answers … Norms there must be, of course. Otherwise we flounder in emotionalism and/or voluntarism, both of which are forms of anti-intellectualism” (p. 30, HAYP).
Fr. Dubay points out that we all have basic premises from which we draw our conclusions. The premises Fr. Dubay will present later are all based on the following root criteria, each of which are necessary to hold if there is to be agreement on such biblical principles as evangelical poverty.
The five root criteria proposed by Fr. Dubay are: 1) New Testament revelation, 2) The teaching Church, 3) Consistency with the rest of revelation, 4) “From their fruits you will know them,” 5) The saints. I will spend the next few posts looking at these one at a time.
First, Fr. Duday views “New Testament Revelation” this way: “The meaning of evangelical poverty is learned from the lips of the Lord, or it is not learned at all. We are not dealing with mere humanism, nor are we engaged in a sociological study. We are looking into a divinely revealed plan for the equitable use of material goods in this world. We intend that they lead us and our brothers and sisters to the bosom of trinitarian life in our final fulfillment” (p. 31, HAYP).